From Communication Arts: MusicNOW, a series of four new music concerts curated by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composers-in-Residence Samuel Adams and Elizabeth Ogonek, called for visuals no less compelling in their musicality. Thirst was happy to provide just that by creating unique illustrations for each concert, along with a graphic system for flyers, digital advertisements and on-screen content. A limited-edition poster—with offset lithography by Graphic Arts Studio, foil stamping by Artistry Engraving & Embossing Co., Inc. and generous support by Mohawk Fine Papers—further commemorated each concert illustration.
From Ron Spigelman at Sticks and Drones: Baldur Brönnimann made waves with his 10 things he would change about concerts post, but he didn’t bring up the most important thing! So in October Baldur’s blog post went viral and not that this discussion shouldn’t take place, or that several of his ideas aren’t valid, however his list is mostly about current tastes and aesthetics and not structural change. I will give my brief take on his 10 Things and then introduce my one thing that I believe really will make a difference. It has very little to do with the concert itself.
From Scott Cantrell in Dallas Morning News: The old overture-concerto-symphony model, with no real relationship among the pieces, gives no identity to a concert, no marketing hook. It’s just another ‘one from column A, one from column B’ mishmash. Slapping alliterative labels for single pieces on concerts — ‘Marvelous Mozart,’ ‘Bombastic Beethoven,’ ‘Ravishing Ravel’ — is pretty lame.
From BBC News: His career took off when he stood in at the last minute for a sick conductor when he was just 25. Almost 25 years later, he was recently named conductor of the year.
From NY Times: A century or so ago, when classical music thrived in a nation of immigrants, orchestras were a powerful force, flagship institutions that helped to put American cities on the cultural map. And the Big Five, when it coalesced, helped, with its cumulative weight, to put American orchestras firmly on the international map. No other country could boast of such a constellation.
But this landscape has changed greatly over the last half-century, much as the country’s economic, demographic and cultural landscape has, and in many of the same ways. The economic fortunes of the flagship ensembles have changed with the fortunes of their cities.
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.
Nautilus-designed timeline celebrates the orchestra's centennial
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.