From audience engagement, music education, and a changing relationship with the community, to technology and the best use of social media… there are a lot of questions in today’s orchestral world and not always a lot of concrete answers.
Indeed, if you had to narrow it down and list just the top five things orchestras should work to change, what would they be?
In a recent talk at the University of Michigan’s American Orchestra Summit, Brent Assink, Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony, took up that challenge in a keynote speech on the theme “What’s Working and What Must Work.” The American Orchestra Summit brought together arts administrators, educators, and musicians with the goal of inspiring “new ideas and new conversations” around such issues as productive collaboration, changing audiences and communities, and the training of the professional musician in the 21st-century.
In Ann Arbor this week, arts administrators, educators, and musicians are meeting at the American Orchestra Summit, organized by our very own Mark Clague, co-moderator of the live events in San Francisco and a frequent contributor to this blog.
The goal of the summit is “to inspire new ideas and new conversations” around such issues as productive collaboration, how to best serve audiences and communities, and the training of the professional musician in the 21st-century. (more…)
Participating in all three American Orchestra Forum events will be a group of eleven graduate students from University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. These students are enrolled in “Musicology 650: The Ensemble in America,” an upper-level doctoral research seminar organized by musicology professor Mark Clague, author of this post. The class examines the history of orchestras, choirs, bands (concert, rock, and marching), and chamber groups in the United States.
The fundamental hypothesis of “The Ensemble in America” is that the history of music in the United States is not just a story of talented individuals (composers or musicians), but of cultural organizations, such as the San Francisco Symphony—encompassing its audience, staff, donors, and civic leaders, as well as its musicians. Generally we think of “Art” as the product of individual genius, but making music really requires collective action and these collectives can also be creative. The San Francisco Symphony centennial only highlights this pervasive phenomenon. (more…)