April, 2012

  1. Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Music Director Designate of the Philadelphia Orchestra – On Community

    In September 2012, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will become Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He recently sat down with us to share some thoughts on Community as he gets ready to take the helm. It turns out Philadelphia might just be the perfect place for him. Was it written in the stars?

  2. Event video: Talking About Creativity Roundtable and Audience Q&A

    One last video from our Talking About Creativity event in San Francisco is now available for viewing — the roundtable discussion and audience Q&A.

    Read the Talking About Creativity Roundtable transcript (pdf)

    Participants include: Mark Clague, Professor of Music, University of Michigan; Ed Sanders, Group Marketing Manager, Creative Lab at Google; Margo Drakos, cellist and Co-founder, InstantEncore; John Adams, composer; Mason Bates, composer; Brent Assink, Executive Director, San Francisco Symphony; and Steven Winn, San Francisco arts journalist and critic.

  3. To Tweet or Not To Tweet – A Changing Relationship with the Audience

    Twitter Logo“Tweet Seats.”

    That’s the usual term for one of the most controversial ideas in the orchestral world these days. Mention the idea of tweeting during a concert and you’ll likely get a strong response. Love it or hate it, people have an opinion.

    In some ways, that’s good. The controversy around tweet seats often focuses on the physical disruption of the phone (the light! the tapping!), but it can also serve as a proxy to discuss the changing relationship of the audience to symphonic music. Rather than setting the music on a pedestal, with a silent, reverent audience listening in the dark… are we moving to a more interactive relationship? One where the audience is taking part in the performance in a way? Commenting, sharing, promoting, criticizing and responding. If so, how does that change the nature of our organizations? And our concerts?

    A recent Conducting Business podcast from radio station WQXR explores these issues with three guests: Brent Assink, executive director of the San Francisco Symphony; John Schaefer, host of WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds; and Christopher Pinelo, vice president of communications for the Cincinnati Symphony, who oversees the organization’s social media activities. Naomi Lewin leads the discussion.

    It’s a fascinating conversation. Take a listen.

  4. Live Blog: A behind-the-scenes conversation with The Cleveland Orchestra

    What follows is a live blog from our behind-the-scenes conversation with leaders of The Cleveland Orchestra.

    Participants include:

    • Gary Hanson, Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra
    • Gary Ginstling, General Manager
    • Joshua Smith, Principal Flute
    • Dennis LaBarre, President of the Musical Arts Association, governing body of The Cleveland Orchestra

    5:24pm Hanson: Word-of-mouth has always been the best way to get people in the hall. The dearth of formal music criticism in newspapers has not created a huge void.

    5:21pm LaBarre: The long-term commitment from conductor Franz Welser-Möst is the bedrock of the whole situation. He has been remarkably receptive to community programs. He wants to be involved.

    5:13pm Smith: Culture is changing to a more open-minded, pragmatic way of thinking about things.

    5:12pm LaBarre: As president the past three years, he’s focused on three things: 1) maintaining top artistic quality, 2) ensuring the long-term financial stability of the orchestra, and 3) strengthening “the fabric of the institution” – the three groups musicians, board, management becoming much more unified. A sense of… We are in it together, we know each other. (more…)

  5. The Cleveland Orchestra: No Longer Business as Usual

    Like many organizations, The Cleveland Orchestra has faced challenges the last few years, but challenges aren’t always a bad thing. The flip-side of challenge is opportunity and as a recent article by Zachary Lewis in the San Francisco Classical Voice puts it:

    For better or worse, it’s not business as usual at the Cleveland Orchestra. The atmosphere today is one of determination, of long-overdue gameness to collaborate, experiment, open up. Read the full article.

    The orchestra offers free tickets to summer concerts at the Blossom Music Center for all children 18 and under. They’ve also launched a popular Fridays@7 concert series, featuring an earlier start time, no intermission, and an after party. The orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences–started in 2010 and funded by a $20 million grant–ensures that such initiatives will have long-term financial and organizational backing.

    The orchestra is also expanding the definition of community by performing regularly in Miami, recently announcing a four week residency (more…)

  6. Video: Michael Tilson Thomas – Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony – on Creativity

    Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, talks about the different meanings of Creativity in the orchestral world. This video draws together highlights from our March 2012 event.

  7. Video: Michael Tilson Thomas – Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony – on Audiences

    In addition to being Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas leads the New World Symphony in Florida — a group whose mission it is to prepare highly-gifted young musicians for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world. At our live event in March, he discussed how his work there also involves exploring new ways to interact with the audience.

  8. Podcast: Chapter Four – The World Has Changed

    No orchestra, large or small, ever has a settled relationship with its community. It’s always a thing in flux, dynamic, fluid, fragile and complex. Whether it’s how to attract new audiences, invigorate connections to current concertgoers or tap the power of technology, orchestras are facing–and not always meeting–unprecedented challenges to remain vital.

    This podcast was developed from our behind-the-scenes conversations with leaders from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    Chapter Four – The World Has Changed

    Play | Download | Transcript