Russians with long last names

Tonight, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra played Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphonies in E and D minor, respectively. That's the symphonic programming equivalent of a home run contest between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, or, in today's age, between Barry Bonds and, say, Adam Dunn or Richie Sexson. Throw in special guest conductor Mstislav Rostropovich (hey, let's have Pedro as the honorary home run contest pitcher) and what with audience grade inflation rampant and it was two guaranteed standing ovations.
That the Orchestra played as well as I've heard it all season made it all worthwhile. They've sounded erratic or uninspired at times this year. Rostropovich was, as always, a character, walking around the stage to personally shake the hand of soloists. He's the warm-hearted musical genius of a grandfather we all never had.
I looked around tonight and couldn't help but wonder at the fate of orchestras and classical music. I'm not a kid anymore, but I was the youngest person by about thirty or forty years within 20 rows. No disrespect, but at intermission, if I'd suffered a bout of short-term memory loss, I'd have thought I was at a retirement home bingo social. When this older generation passes, who will be purchasing tickets to the symphony, and will orchestras still be playing Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphonies, and will the audience still give a nominal standing ovation to performances of each, and will musical scholars still puzzle over whether Shostakovich was a devoted member of the Communist Party or a secret dissident who encoded irony into his putatively patriotic symphonies such as the Fifth?