Home » orchestras
Our bookmarks on this topic are also at pinboard.in/u:unison/t:orchestras/
From LA Times: When the Los Angeles Philharmonic arrived backstage at Caracas’ Teatro Teresa Carreno for its first rehearsal with chorus and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony Wednesday morning, the first reaction from many Angelenos was a gasp, a wow and a big smile. Then they whipped out their cameras.
A sea of tightly packed children and young singers rose to the roof. The official count was 1,207, but with that many, who’s counting? They were warming up, and it seemed as though the earth itself was singing solfège syllables. The sound was primal. “I’m not sure I knew what I was getting into,” cracked the L.A. Phil’s longtime production director, Paul M. Geller.
From David Cutler: The fact that many American orchestras struggle to survive is no secret. In the past few years, top-tier ensembles in Philadelphia, Syracuse, Honolulu, Detroit, Louisville, Dallas, and New Mexico have cancelled concerts, issued pay cuts, declared bankruptcy, or closed their doors. Reversing this trend will likely require more than savvier social media use, fundraising efforts, or other one-dimensional potions. Members of the New World Symphony are daring to re-imagine the business model of orchestras from the bottom up.
From Alex Ross: The University of Louisville has announced that the winner of the 2012 Grawemeyer Award for music is Esa-Pekka Salonen. He receives the prize in recognition of his Violin Concerto, which had its premiere in April 2009, during Salonen’s final weeks as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France at ‘Festival Présences Paris’ in February 2011. Leila Josefowicz, Violin. This video is courtesy of Radio France. · Watch video →
Review by Allan Kozinn in NY Times: Jeffrey Kahane offered glimpses of both the past and a possible future in his performance with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall on Tuesday evening. In the first half of the program he conducted works by Bach and Mozart from the harpsichord, a nod to the practice of the time, and later he was both soloist and conductor in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. He played the Beethoven from memory, but for the Mozart, he used an iPad instead of a conventional score. Seeing the device perched on the harpsichord’s music stand called to mind the cover of Wendy Carlos’s “Switched-On Bach” album, on which the bewigged composer stands before a Moog synthesizer, though the iPad is elegantly miniature by comparison.
From FastCompany: Marketing managers for major orchestras had always assumed that convincing people to give the symphony a try was the key to gaining subscribers. “Get people through the doors!” was their mantra, assuming that the sheer beauty of the music would lure them back.
But when they actually studied the numbers, they discovered that getting new people wasn’t the problem. They weren’t passing the audition. Customer churn was killing these orchestras. It turns out the secret to unlocking demand for classical music — as for most products — is discarding the Myth of the Average Customer. Designing a product offer to appeal to one archetypal customer is always wasteful — one size fits few, not all. Instead, demand creators have to constantly focus on demand variation, asking how customers differ from one another and how those differences impact demand. This process of “de-averaging” can be complex, but it offers huge opportunities.
From the League of American Orchestras: A new, online-only publication that provides timely, topical stories about orchestras on a weekly basis. SymphonyNOW features original stories about orchestras that you won’t see in any other media outlet, with videos, audio interviews, and photos.