The (presumably) world?s slowest concert began on September 5, 2001 in an abandoned church in the Saxon town of Halberstadt in Eastern Germany and is scheduled to last until 2640 (www.john-cage.halberstadt.de).
The prediction is that the concert will still be performed at its half-time interval, which is planned for the year 2319.
The work, written by the US experimental composer John Cage, was originally intended as a 20-minute piece for piano. He transcribed it for the organ and titled it Organ 2/ASLSP, standing for as slow as possible. But how slow is slow? A congress of musicologists decided that, in theory at least, a slow piece could last for infinity. Due to local historical reasons (in 1361, 639 years before the beginning of the Cage project, Nicolas Faber built an organ in Halberstadt which helped to revolutionise church music), Halberstadt proposed 639 years aa the duration period of the concert.
Since the concert began on September 5, 2001, with an 18-month silence, fans of experimental music have been flocking to the church. Indeed, the little town is booming as a result and is actually visited by ten thousand people a year who come there to listen to the music and see the new organ take shape.
Despite of the actual interest, the question is whether the concert can stand the test of time (639 years). In my opinion, if the concert will still be performed at its half-time interval in the year 2319, there are good chances that it also will reach its end scheduled for the year 2640, because the project has gained enough "cultural / social momentum" to reach its end. So the more critical period for the occurence of an event ending the concert is the first half-time of the concert.
There are several possible occurrences which can be imagined to end the concert (ending public interest or financial support, falling apart or destruction of the organ and / or the building in which the concert is performed, for example by a a war, an earthquake, vandalism etc.). My guess is that there will be no such occurence in the first half-time of the concert and that therefore the concert will still be performed at its half-time interval in the year 2319, because it already has attracted enough interest and support from different persons and groups and that, due to an expected increase of consideration for long-term-thinking and long-term-projects in the future, the interest and attention for this particular long-term project will continually increase and protect the concert from beeing terminated prematurely.
Challenge Imre Bondar to a bet on this prediction!