What do monasteries of the 15-century and the modern orchestral world have in common? Ben Cameron—Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation—examines some surprising parallels.
I was startled at the International Society for the Performing Arts conference in 2010 when an audience member rose and asked, “What if we looked at the present as the equivalent of the Religious Reformation of the 15th-century? Are we in an Arts Reformation?”
Certainly there are striking parallels: both that past religious and our current arts reformations have been spurred by technological breakthrough. The invention of the printing press and the subsequent wide spread public access to scripture occasioned by the printing press certainly has parallel in the redistribution of knowledge with the invention of the internet. Both reformations challenge old business structures and every symphony manager must ask whether the orchestral model will suffer the same fate as the monastery, a model which was largely decimated in the wake of religious reform. But perhaps most profoundly, both reformations at their center challenge (more…)
In a culture that exalts the individual, creativity is thought of first and foremost as the distinctive stamp of a personality, the outpouring of a specific genius or talent. But organizations can and must be creative, too, if they hope to endure and thrive. In the face of financial woes, aging audiences, dwindling arts education and the momentum of an increasingly digital universe, orchestras are challenged as never before to find creative ways of making music and making it matter to their communities.
This podcast was developed from our public forum in March 2012, Talking About Creativity and a “Conducting Business” podcast by New York radio station WQXR.
Chapter Six – The Creative Challenge, Off the Stage
Where does the marvel of musical creativity come from and how does it work? What parts do muses and inspiration, intuition and the subconscious, hard work and happy accident play in the process? In this podcast, we examine the ways in which creativity can flourish, falter and forge new pathways in the symphony orchestra hall.
Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in June 2006, the office has produced over 20 research publications and revised the major federal survey about arts participation. What does this mean for administrators, audiences, and musicians? Hard data on some of the thorny issues we think about everyday. Here he talks with Mark Clague, American Orchestra Forum moderator and associate professor of music, University of Michigan at our Talking About Audiences event on May 13.
What can the American orchestral world learn from major league baseball? The two industries have more in common than you might think–as Elizabeth Scott explained at our “Talking About Audiences” event last weekend.
After years as a media executive for MLB, Elizabeth Scott joined Lincoln Center last fall in the newly created role of Chief Media & Digital Officer. Here she talks with Steven Winn, American Orchestra Forum moderator and arts journalist.
Here is the first of our videos from Sunday’s live event in San Francisco, our keynote conversation with Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic and Matthew VanBesien, Executive Director Designate of the New York Philharmonic.
Alan Gilbert says that his relationship with an audience is all about trust. It’s built over the long term, and it’s that trust that allows for exploration and risk-taking. In a world of immediate gratification, it can be hard to let go and let someone else choose what you hear and what is told to you — and it perhaps makes what happens in the concert hall even more important.
What follows is a live blog from our Talking About Audiences event in San Francisco on Sunday, May 13.
Keynote: Alan Gilbert, Music Director, New York Philharmonic in conversation with Matthew VanBesien, Executive Director Designate, New York Philharmonic
Spotlight #1: Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research & Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts
Spotlight #2: Elizabeth Scott, Chief Media and Digital Officer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; formerly V.P., Major League Baseball Productions
Roundtable: Spotlight speakers in conversation with Brent Assink, Executive Director, San Francisco Symphony; Matthew VanBesien, Executive Director Designate, New York Philharmonic; Mark Clague, associate professor of music, University of Michigan, and Steven Winn, San Francisco arts journalist and author
4:33pm Audience member: Orchestral music is a more positive experience than bull-fighting.
4:30pm Assink: Orchestras have an important role to play in getting rid of the divide between professional and amateur musician. (more…)
In a world of professional music-making, where does the devoted amateur fit in? Mark Clague—associate professor of music, University of Michigan, and co-moderator or our live event on Sunday—argues that orchestras need to work more closely with audiences who might be players themselves.
When the world’s great symphony orchestras were created 100 to 150 years ago, the strength of their audience was made up of amateur instrumentalists who knew from personal experience the transcendent joys as well as the endless struggles of making great music. This connection between performer and audience through musicianship rewarded both. Today, orchestras and orchestral musicians benefit not only by supporting K-12 music education but by reaching back to a lost tradition of amateur music making. Certainly I’d argue that amateurs have always made music, but our institutions routinely ignore their vital cultural heroics.
Web 2.0 has reminded us that communication is a two-way street. We now expect books not only to “speak” to us but to engage us in conversation. Our concept of “reader,” “listener,” and “audience” is thus shifting from (more…)
What can the American orchestral world learn from major league baseball? The two industries have more in common than you might think–as Elizabeth Scott explores in this post. After years as a media executive for MLB, she joined Lincoln Center last fall in the newly created role of Chief Media & Digital Officer. She joins us in San Francisco on Sunday, May 13 for our free Talking About Audiences event—register today!
Broadly speaking, audiences today occupy a vastly changed position in the entertainment landscape, compared to only a decade ago. In that relatively short time span, technology has enabled and encouraged audiences to be far more active in their entertainment experiences. Technology has also amplified that activity. Industries that are harnessing rather than hampering this audience empowerment stand to thrive in an ever-fractionalizing entertainment environment. As the character Billy Beane says in the film Moneyball, “Adapt or die.”
Them’s fightin’ words. But entertainment consumers wake daily to a participatory, perpetually plugged-in culture of community conversation. Multi-platformed, interactive experiences of entertainment have increasingly become an audience norm. Today’s sport fan, TV reality contest viewer, and YouTube surfer don’t necessarily have more opinions than audiences of earlier eras; they just have more immediate, more numerous and farther-reaching microphones than ever before. (more…)
Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in June 2006, the office has produced over 20 research publications and revised the major federal survey about arts participation. What does this mean for administrators, audiences, and musicians? Hard data on some of the thorny issues we think about everyday.
As we gear up for Sunday’s Talking About Audiences event, one recent NEA study certainly helps quantify a trend we’ve been exploring in the last few months—how technology is changing the orchestra’s relationship with its audience. (more…)