Discussion Topic: Community

  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. 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…)

  3. 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…)

  4. 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


  5. American Orchestra Summit at the University of Michigan

    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…)

  6. Podcast – Chapter Three: Considering Technology

    No conversation about music—about any art form, for that matter—gets very far these days without addressing the impact, potential and pitfalls of technology. From high- definition broadcasts of live performances, to an audience tuned in to Facebook, Twitter and other social media, classical music must find its place in an increasingly digital community. This podcast was developed from our October 2011 live event.

    Chapter Three: Considering Technology, Part 1

    Play | Download | Transcript


  7. Podcast – Chapter Two: Personal Stories, featuring Gustavo Dudamel

    The second chapter in our podcast series is about personal stories, those intimate connections between a student and a teacher that, like a pebble in a pond, send waves radiating outward. Few stories are more compelling or influential than that of Gustavo Dudamel, the Venezuelan-born conductor—and now Music Director of the Los Angeles Philarhmonic—who found his own pebble-in-the-pond experience in his home country’s visionary music education and social program, El Sistema. This podcast was developed from our October 2011 live event.

    Chapter Two: Personal Stories

    Play | Download | Transcript


  8. New! Podcast – Chapter One: Historic Context of the American Orchestra

    We’re pleased to bring you the first in a series of podcasts developed from our live events and behind-the-scenes conversations with musicians, scholars, composers, executives, critics and technologists.

    This first chapter is drawn from the October 23 public Forum during the Los Angeles Philharmonic residency and a later interview with Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. It addresses the historical and cultural roots of American orchestras and how those traditions impact and inform an orchestra’s place in the contemporary American community.

    Chapter One: Historic Context of the American Orchestra

    Play | Download | Transcript


  9. Live Blog: Behind-the-scenes conversation with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    What follows is a live blog from our chat with leaders from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

    Participants included:

    • Deborah Rutter, President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    • Martha Gilmer, Vice President for Artistic Planning and Audience Development
    • Anna Clyne, Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    • Stephen Lester, Bass, Chair of the Orchestra Committee
    • Lawrie Bloom, Clarinet


  10. Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    After four long years of searching for the right music director, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra got its man. Riccardo Muti took the helm in 2010 and has brought to Chicago his passion for “building bridges with music, to reaching listeners who might never set foot inside a concert hall or opera house,” as Wynne Deloma reports in a recent San Francisco Classical Voice article. When asked about his impressions of the city and the orchestra, Muti says:

    As for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the instrument is wonderful and has a long history of great music directors. Of course, every conductor gives his own stamp. But I didn’t come here with the idea that I want to change [the CSO]. I’m here not only to make music with this wonderful orchestra, but I also want to help the city, as much as I can, to come close to the music. Because I believe culture is the only thing that can save this world. Read the full interview.

    Administrative leaders and musicians from the CSO will be joining us on Tuesday, February 14 for a behind-the-scenes conversation. We’ll be live blogging the proceedings here and tweeting at @AmOrchForum. Certainly, the CSO’s community initiatives will be part of the conversation. What’s your take? Email us if you have questions you’d like answered!