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Concert Programming 2.0 Catching Up With Ives Side Gigs for Musician-Entrepreneurs Orchestras in Turmoil: Behind the Headlines
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6 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events 14 Critical Questions Looking beyond the headlines about orchestra struggles around the nation. by Jesse Rosen 20 Currents How to make concert programs that fit today’s changing cultural landscape. by Martha Gilmer
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Trusting Composers Under 30 Where are the composers of tomorrow’s enduring classics? by Frank J. Oteri
Guide to Emerging Artists
Surprise & Delight Unexpected rewards from the marketing department breed loyalty and commitment in audiences. by Chester Lane
Catching Up with Charles Ives Musicians and the public are warming to an American composer once considered “primitive and amateur.” by Jan Swafford
Side Gigs From designing musical equipment to forming new ensembles, orchestra musicians are taking on creative challenges beyond their “day jobs.” by Fred Cohn
58 Todd Rosenberg
The Quest for Generational Diversity To connect with Generations X and Y, orchestras must understand and embrace their values. by Harvey Felder
74 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund
78 Coda Longtime Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist Rick Robinson is working to make classical music more accessible.
44 about the cover
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77 Advertiser Index
Twentysomething Ann Cleare is just one of a new generation of composers active on today’s contemporary classical scene. Photo by Brian Redmond
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horeographer George Balanchine famously said that repertoire is destiny. He was talking about how repertoire shapes individual dancers—and then a dance company, and then its audiences. But he could as well have been musing on orchestras, because there’s nothing more central to what orchestras do than the music they play. Programming is sometimes overlooked amid very real concerns about finances, labor relations, and other pressing matters, but it’s at the heart of the mission for orchestras. Stick with the tried and true? Your box office will be fine—at least for a while. Venture into unknown territory with new or experimental music? You might draw unexpected audiences. How to determine what works for your orchestra in the here and now? In this issue we look at programming from a number of perspectives. Martha Gilmer, who handles programming at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and consults for smaller orchestras, looks at concerts in the context of the changing cultural landscape. New music is vitally important to orchestras, and there’s a crop of young composers who are passionate about orchestral music. How can orchestras find and encourage them? Frank Oteri tracks the career paths of some of today’s hottest emerging composers. And how to connect with audiences of the same generation as those young composers? Conductor Harvey Felder encourages orchestras to confront the issue of generational diversity, and offers multiple ways to engage Generations X and Y. Of course, none of this means that we’re ignoring the upheaval at several orchestras. In his column, League President and CEO Jesse Rosen reveals what lies underneath current labor disputes and what they mean for our field.
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Music for the Military
It’s not every day that the worlds of pro football and symphony orchestras intersect, but they did for an afternoon in November when Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and staffers joined Atlanta Falcons players Justin Blalock and Michael Turner to serve lunch and provide entertainment for more than 100 wounded and senior military veterans and their families. The event, at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, was part of the ASO’s “Music for the Military” initiative making the Woodruff Arts Center’s visual and performing arts more accessible to active military personnel, veterans, and their families.
s the orchestra season nears the midway mark, contract negotiations at several organizations around the country continue to dominate the headlines. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra isn’t quite out of the woods yet, but after weeks of negotiations, musicians signed a new contingency contract on October 15 and returned to the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage for rehearsals and performances. The new contract features a “bridge” agreement through February 3, 2013, with another through September 2017 set to take effect if the symphony meets its fundraising goals. The 74 musicians would be paid a minimum of $53,000—down sharply from $78,000 in the previous contract—rising to $70,000 at the end of the five years. The Seattle Symphony likewise averted an authorized musicians strike in October by extending terms of the previous agreement through January 31, 2013 to allow time to hammer out a long-term deal. Management had previously proposed a 15 percent cut for musicians for the 2012-13 season. Other negotiations have been resolved with minimal time lost onstage. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra agreed in late September to the $5.2 million in cuts management had demanded, just in time for the orchestra’s October 4 season opener. In return, a handful of top Atlanta Symphony administrators—those earning more than the base musician salary—will take 6 percent pay cuts. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra ended a one-day musicians strike with a three-year agreement that maintains compensation levels from the previous
contract, with slight increases in years two and three, but requires greater musician contributions to medical and other benefits. Musicians at the San Antonio Symphony in Texas and Sarasota Orchestra in Florida signed new three-year agreements with minor gains for musicians over the course of the contract, while musicians of the Spokane Symphony, after striking and missing five concerts, signed a two-year deal incorporating 11 percent cuts and three weeks unpaid personal leave. In Minnesota, however, at press time musicians remained locked out from both Twin Cities orchestras, having already missed months of concerts. Musicians at both orchestras had expressed desire to continue playing under terms of the previous agreements, but managements maintained that doing so would exacerbate the financial situations that had led to proposed cuts. Musicians at the Minnesota Orchestra requested a third-party audit of the organization’s finances and voted “no confidence” in President and CEO Michael Henson. At press time, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra had cancelled concerts through February 8, 2013, and the Minnesota Orchestra through February 10. In Florida, musicians at the Jacksonville Symphony opted not to strike after management had declared a negotiation impasse, instead going back to work under management’s last proposal, which included a 20 percent pay cut. Meanwhile, management and musicians were set to go to court over an unfair labor practice complaint musicians had lodged in late November.
Negotiating Table Update
Following tense contract negotiations between musicians and management, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra opened its season October 4 with violinist Midori, led by Music Director Robert Spano.
Top: Atlanta Falcons players Justin Blalock (#63) and Michael Turner (#33) help serve a Thanksgiving meal alongside Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President & CEO Stanley Romanstein. Above: A string quartet of Atlanta Symphony musicians performs Mozart, Borodin, and the Beatles for veterans and their families.
BYSO Musicians with Music Director and Conductor Federico Cortese perform at Symphony Hall, October 23, 2012.
MUSICAL CHAIRS DONATO CABRERA has been named music director of the New Hampshire Music Festival.
The New Bedford (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed PAUL CIENNIWA chorus master. Hendersonville (N.C.) Symphony Youth Orchestras has appointed JOHN YOUNG SHIK CONCKLIN music director. has been appointed principal pops conductor of the San Diego Symphony, succeeding the late MARVIN HAMLISCH .
Boston Togetherness: BYSO and BSO
Orchestras give back to their communities with more than music. For the last four years, orchestras across the country have made a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable by participating in the Orchestras Feeding America food drive. Launched at the League of American Orchestras’ 2009 National Conference in partnership with Feeding America, a national nonprofit that assists the one in six people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, the annual food drive has collected more than 400,000 pounds of food from some 250 orchestras. Just one example of the food drive’s impact: volunteers at the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in Fort Myers have delivered 3,000 pounds of food to the needy in their hometown since 2009. To add your orchestra to the list of 2013 participants and to learn more, look for “Orchestras Feeding America” at americanorchestras.org. americanorchestras.org
has been appointed vice president of marketing and public relations at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
The Long Island Youth Orchestra (Brookville, N.Y.) has appointed SCOTT DUNN music director. MARTIN DREIWITZ , who founded the LIYO in 1962, has been named music director emeritus.
Food Drive Turns Five
Following 32 years as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, GLENN DICTEROW will relocate to Los Angeles in fall 2013 to assume the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. ANDREA DILLENBURG
has succeeded A. SLADE MILLS as president of the New York Youth Symphony.
Illinois’s Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra has appointed JACQUELINE FISHER director of its Chamber Music Institute. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has announced the election of PHILLIP WM. FISHER as board chair.
pre-concert activities at family concerts The Boston Symphony Orchestra and featuring the BSO. The two orchestras the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras will explore the idea of creating a BYSO announced a significant expansion alumni ensemble for performances at of their existing relationship this fall, Tanglewood and having BYSO ensembles with new training programs and joint performance opportunities for musicians in both organizations. Through the program, “BYSO/ BSO: Partnering for the Future,” BSO musicians, guest artists, conductors, and assistant conductors will participate in coachings, master classes, and side-byside performances with At a gala dinner on opening night of the Boston Symphony BYSO musicians. Young Orchestra’s 2012-13 season, cellists from the BSO and musicians and their Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras performed together. T families will have access perform at BSO-sponsored events. The to selected BSO concerts and other BSO continues to present the BYSO’s events through a BSO/BYSO Family family concerts at Symphony Hall under Card, and the partnership will include BYSO Music Director Federico Cortese. a mentor/“godparent” program and
The New Jersey Symphony has named RICHARD president and CEO.
Michael J. Lutch
JACK FISHMAN has stepped down as president and CEO of the San Antonio Symphony.
ROSE ELLEN MEYERHOFF GREENE
has been elected chair of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla. New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s has appointed vice president for artists and programs.
has been named president and CEO of the Fairfax (Va.) Symphony Orchestra.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has named principal timpani, effective July 10, 2013.
California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music has appointed PATRICK HOSFIELD development director. Several appointments have been announced by The Cleveland Orchestra: HOLLY H. HUDAK , managing director of Cleveland Orchestra Miami; MICHELLE VECTIRELIS , director of human resources; and MARK WILLIAMS , director of artistic planning.
ANNE JOHNSON has been appointed director of development at the San Francisco Symphony.
The Binghamton (N.Y.) Philharmonic has appointed HEIDI KELLEY executive director, effective March 1, 2013.
has been named to the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall for 2013-14.
The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (Davenport, Iowa) has announced the appointment of BENJAMIN LOEB as executive director. Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts has appointed ARVIND MANOCHA president and CEO.
has been elected president of California’s Ojai Music Festival. ABHIJIT SENGUPTA has been named executive director. STUART MEIKLEJOHN
Composer MARJORIE MERRYMAN has been named interim president of New York City’s Manhattan School of Music pending the selection of a permanent successor to ROBERT SIROTA , who stepped down as president in October 2012. has been appointed music director of Ensemble LPR at the Manhattan performance venue Le Poisson Rouge.
The North Carolina Symphony has appointed JOE NEWBERRY director of communications. AMY RUSSELL has been promoted to artistic administrator, and ROBERT SCHILLER to CFO and senior vice president for finance and administration. has stepped down as executive director of the Evansville (Ind.) Philharmonic Orchestra.
MIGUEL A. RODRIGUEZ has been named executive director of the period-instrument orchestra Boston Baroque.
The Association of California Symphony Orchestras has elected KELLY RUGGIRELLO president. has been promoted to chief operating officer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She succeeds ARVIND MANOCHA , who is now president and CEO of Virginia’s Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. GAIL SAMUEL
Oregon’s Eugene Symphony Association has elected DUNNY SORENSEN president.
The Gulf Coast Symphony (Gulfport, Miss.) has appointed WHITNEY SUMRALL executive director.
has been named general manager of Switzerland’s Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, effective February 1, 2013.
New York City’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has appointed KRISHNA THIAGARAJAN executive director.
has been named to the principal pops positions at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony. JEFF TYZIK
The Asheville (N.C.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed DAVID WHITEHILL executive director. has been appointed concertmaster of the Richmond (Va.) Symphony.
Partners in Teaching
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Waterbury Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and Stockton Symphony are among those orchestras embarking on new education initiatives and partnerships. In Connecticut, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra launched a joint initiative called the Alexion Toolkit for Interdisciplinary Learning, a prep guide for teachers at 25 elementary and middle schools served by the orchestras. The toolkit provides lesson plans focusing on American musicians and composers. This season also saw the rollout of Waterbury’s new El Sistema-inspired education program, Bravo Waterbury!, at the Children’s Community School in Waterbury. Bravo Waterbury! students range from preschool through fifth grade and participate in choir, bucket band, instrumental exploratory class, academic enrichment, nutrition, and movement. The Phoenix Students and instructors in the Phoenix Symphony’s “Mind Over Music” program
Symphony is now partnering with ASU Preparatory Academy, a K-12 charter school sponsored by Arizona State University, on Mind Over Music, Students in the which integrates Waterbury Symphony music into the Orchestra’s new “Bravo Waterbury!” science, technology, program engineering, and math curriculum. And in California, musicians in the Stockton Symphony are working with 28 children in another El Sistema-inspired Students in afterschool program, the Stockton Harmony Stockton. Symphony’s Harmony Stockton Harmony Stockton takes place every program learn how to hold a violin. weekday at Marshall Elementary School in Stockton, and plans to add a second class of 35 students in January 2013. Students in the program, launched in August 2011, are provided with an afterschool snack, two hours of music instruction, including violin, chorus, recorder, and general music; and an hour of group tutoring in reading and math. Courtesy Calida Jones
has stepped down as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
One of the most venerated conductors of his time, Leopold Stokowski is credited with establishing the Philadelphia Orchestra’s iconic sound. In early November, the Philadelphia Orchestra paid tribute to Stoki by replicating one of his original programs—100 years after his first public concert as the orchestra’s music director. Current Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the program, which included Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Franck’s Symphony in D minor, and Stokowski’s orchestration of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The Stokowski commemoration began last June with concerts at the Academy of Music, where in keeping with Stokowski’s tradition of taking requests from the audience, the program comprised pieces chosen by concertgoers, among them Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Stravinsky’s suite from The Firebird, and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” from Die Walküre. And in a nice modern flourish, the June concerts featured live visual effects designed by opera and Leopold Stokowski theater director James Alexander.
Philadelphia Orchestra Archives
Philadelphia’s Philly Pops has appointed MICHAEL music director.
has been named artistic director of Oklahoma’s OK Mozart International Festival.
At the Movies: Classical Division © Entertainment One Films US and Opening Night Productions
featured the musicians Christopher of the Chicago SymWalken plays a phony Orchestra led by cellist in A Late Quartet. John Williams, who also composed the score. Two independent films currently in production take on topics important to the classical music field. Anthony Drazan is filming a documentary about Play On, Philly!, This fall saw a microburst of clasan El Sistema-inspired music-educasical-music films. A Late Quartet, a tion program based in West Philadeldrama released in November, featured phia, launched in 2010 by trumpeter Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Stanford Thompson, an alumnus of Hoffman, and Catherine Keener the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra among members of a professional Talent Development Program, Curtis string quartet struggling with personal Institute of Music, and New Engissues as they prepare to play their land Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows 25th-anniversary concert; at the film’s Program. The film is being produced by center is Beethoven’s Opus 131 String Quartet in C-sharp minor. Meanwhile, Jamie Bernstein and Elizabeth Kling. Dustin Hoffman directed Quartet, in And Graham Townsley’s upcoming which Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Landfill Harmonic chronicles a youth and Billy Connolly play residents of orchestra that plays instruments made the gossipy Beecham House, home for from garbage in a Paraguay slum; the retired singers preparing a gala concert; recycled instruments are the creation of the film opened in December in Los landfill worker Favio Chávez. Release Angeles. For Steven Spielberg’s redates have not been announced for cently released Lincoln, the soundtrack either film.
Past & Future in Reading, Pa.
Still thriving in an economically challenged region of southeastern Pennsylvania, the Reading Symphony Orchestra opened its 100th season on October 13 with a concert featuring two works it had performed under founding conductor Harry Fahrbach during its second and third seasons: Weber’s Oberon Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. Another piece from the RSO’s second season, the Hamlet Overture of Danish composer Niels Gade (1817-90), is scheduled for March 13. A highlight of the centennial season is a weeklong residency in April with violinist Midori, who will perform with both the RSO and its youth orchestra and coach members of the latter. Pictured with Music Director Andrew Constantine and the orchestra last spring (holding the two zeros) are Board President Susan Yatron and Executive Director Joseph Tackett.
At the League: Investing in Orchestras
FILENAME The League of American Orchestras has been IMG_9913.tif active in Phoenix supporting orchestras on several fronts CAPTION: in recent months. In November, the League announced that 22 orchestras were selected to NO CREDIT receive the first round of Getty Education and Community Investment Grants, which support FILENAME innovative educational programs and community Waterbury Moranda.tif or partnerships. The 2012-13 grants are part of a Waterbury Recorders.tif or three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program from Waterbury BucketDrums2.tif the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. The firstCAPTION year grants support in-school and afterschool programs at eleven orchestras: the Allentown CREDIT: Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, California Symphony Orchestra, Dallas FILENAME Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Harmony Stockton.tif Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee CAPTION Youth Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Association, Pacific Symphony, San Diego Youth CREDIT: Symphony and Conservatory, and the Sphinx Virtuosi. Nine orchestras have received grants for health-and-wellness programs: the Detroit, Hartford, Knoxville, Madison, New Jersey, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, and St. Louis symphonies. The Brooklyn Philharmonic received a grant supporting its neighborhood residencies; and the Central Ohio Symphony received a grant for a criminal-justice program to address the needs of adolescents with substance-abuse disorders and mental illness. In December, the League announced that six orchestras received 2012-13 MetLife Governance Grants for Board Development ranging from $3,000 to $6,000, to provide financial support to strengthen board governance practice. The orchestras, selected through a competitive application process open to orchestras of all budget sizes, are the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Central Illinois Youth Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Venice Symphony, and Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Diversity and inclusion is a key area of challenge and opportunity for the orchestra field. The League has launched a new Diversity Resource Center, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that provides League members with free resources on diversity and inclusion. Resources are categorized by topic and include: best practices in orchestras and arts organizations; the business case for diversity and inclusion; resources for board members and management; and related readings, publications, and research. To access the Resource Center, visit americanorchestras.org.
A traditional Afghani music ensemble performs at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.
Kabul Express In February, music lovers in New York City and Washington, D.C. will have a chance to hear classical music from an unlikely place: Afghanistan. On February 7, young musicians from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music will play at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts alongside players from the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras,
Photos: Courtesy Afghanistan National Institute of Music
A pair of young trumpeters perform for their classmates at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.
then move on to New York’s Carnegie Hall to perform with the Scarsdale High School Orchestra on February 12. Russian-Armenian violinist Mikhail Simonyan, whose Beethoven Not Bullets project has raised money for the school and who has spent time teaching there, will serve as soloist on the traditional Afghan tune “Lariya.” Two traditional
Afghan ensembles and a small wind ensemble will also perform. The United States Embassy in Kabul, the Carnegie Corporation, and the World Bank are financing the tour, which the institute’s founder and director, Ahmad Sarmast, has said is intended to show a more positive side of Afghanistan, where the Taliban banned music in the 1990s.
Sounds of Toronto
Courtesy Toronto Symphony Orchestra
premiere of Tod Machover’s A Toronto Symphony. Subtitled “Concerto for Composer and City,” the work takes crowdsourcing to a new level for Machover, the MIT Media Lab professor who is composer of the interactive Brain Opera and the robotic opera Death and the Powers and is the inventor of Hyperscore, a computer program Composer Tod Machover and Toronto that enables untrained musicians Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians to score music. Machover and toss ideas around at A Toronto Symphony the TSO asked Toronto citizens workshop. to record everyday city sounds, then upload them at YouTube, Facebook, If you could create a symphony that was and SoundCloud. Machover began a true reflection of city life, what would it composing the work and continued to sound like? For one city, the answer will solicit input through blog updates and be revealed in March, when the Toronto sessions with local music students, as Symphony Orchestra and Music Director well as through a web application that Peter Oundjian perform the world
A Web application created for the Toronto Symphony’s interactive A Toronto Symphony project with composer Tod Machover allowed users to create images like these, which are a visual representation of audio files created by those users and submitted to Machover to use in the final piece.
allows musicians and non-musicians to remix melodies and harmonies. The final Machover mix will be performed on March 9 during the TSO’s ninth annual New Creations Festival of contemporary music. symphony
On November 25 the New York Youth Symphony opened its 50th season with three signature programs on full display. Gabriel Zucker’s Universal at Midnight was a product of First Music, the NYYS’s long-running program of commissioned premieres. Partnering with the orchestra in that work were musicians from its youth ensemble, NYYS Jazz. And two of the soloists, Alice Ivy-Pemberton and NYYS Concertmaster Samuel Katz (first and second from right), appeared courtesy of the orchestra’s Roy and Shirley Durst Début Artist program, which presents young musicians in their Carnegie Hall solo debuts. Joining Ivy-Pemberton and Katz in Ludwig Maurer’s Sinfonia Concertante for Four Violins and Strings were Cho-Liang Lin (left) and New York Philharmonic Assistant Concertmaster Michelle Kim. On the podium was Joshua Gersen, in his debut as NYYS music director. Scheduled for March and May at Carnegie are two more First Music premieres: Paul Dooley’s Run for the Sun and John Glover’s Natural Systems.
It’s no secret that Jesse Rosen keeps a hectic schedule working on behalf of America’s orchestras, but this fall the League’s president and CEO was even busier than usual. On October 19, the Manhattan School of Music presented its Distinguished Alumni Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement, to Rosen (Bachelor of Music, 1975; trombone) and two other stellar alums: soprano Lauren Flanigan, and composer and performer Yusef Lateef. Receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award was pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine. The awards were presented by Manhattan School of Music President Robert Sirota, who wrapped up his tenure at the school later in the fall to pursue composing full time. Early November found Rosen in Macau, China, giving the keynote address, “The New Work of Orchestras,” at the summit conference of the Alliance of AsiaPacific Region Orchestras. On November 9, he attended the season-opening concert of
the Oakland East Bay Symphony; led by Music Director Michael Morgan, the program comprised works by American composers written between 1948 and 2002. On December 5, Rosen published his first column for the widely read Huffington Post site. He wrote about the impact of the “fiscal cliff” and changing tax structures on orchestras and the nonprofit sector—and how the League, its member orchestras, and other nonprofits are working to endorse a tax structure that promotes charitable giving incentives. This February 15-17 in Detroit, Rosen will be a speaker at SphinxCon, the Sphinx Organization’s conference focusing on diversity in the arts. Robert Sirota, president, Manhattan School of Music; soprano Lauren Flanigan; Jesse Rosen; and pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine.
C hristopher h oulihan “The gifted young organist Christopher Houlihan’s playing had a glamorous sheen appropriate to Vierne’s music.” (The New York Times)
“YOUNG STAR ORGANIST ASTONISHES... STAR POWER FROM A YOUNG ORGANIST: Astonishing performance… winning [the audience] over with performances that ranged from charming to overwhelming….Houlihan proved a captivating showman at the keyboard…. mesmerizing …star power is possible, even in the world of organ performance.” (The Birmingham News, AL)
www.concertartists.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.christopherhoulihan.com
Elliott Carter 1908–2012
Resident Conductor William Henry Curry leads the North Carolina Symphony.
From student concerts, competitions, and a puppet troupe to a Musical Mondays speaker program and a host of fundraising events, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra in central Illinois has been receiving invaluable assistance from its volunteer support group since the middle of the last century. The Peoria Symphony Guild, founded as the Women’s Symphony Guild in 1951 with 100 charter members, and now boasting a membership of more than 700, recently paid tribute to its history in a publication called Symphony Guild of Peoria: 60 Years of Support. The 40-page booklet documents the guild’s educational and fundraising activities with a text by longtime local journalist Jerry Klein and nearly 50 vintage photos from an archive maintained for the guild at Peoria’s Bradley University.
For the Love of Music
The Alabama and North Carolina symphonies are among the orchestras honoring the American civil rights movement this year. On January 20, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s annual “Reflect and Rejoice” tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. launches a year-long series of performances and other initiatives around the orchestra’s home base of Birmingham commemorating the 50th anniversary of events in the city’s civil rights history. The orchestra will premiere two new works by University of Alabama-Birmingham music professor Henry Panion III, who also leads the concert: “Send Me Hope,” a gospel song arranged and orchestrated by Panion, serves as a bookend with Panion’s “Here We Are,” featuring singer and co-writer Marquita Anthony. In February, the North Carolina Symphony celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a “Freedom” concert under the direction of Resident Conductor William Henry Curry. The program includes Roy Harris’s “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” Overture; John Adams’s The Wound-Dresser for baritone and orchestra, a setting of Walt Whitman’s “Drum Taps”; and Ives’s Symphony No. 2, which incorporates many American tunes and concludes with “Columbia, Gem of the Ocean,” the U.S.’s unofficial national anthem prior to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Also featured on the program will be James Westwater’s “The Eternal Struggle,” a photo essay set to Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.
t almost seemed like he’d live forever. But on November 5 composer Elliott Carter, the iconoclast whose productivity only seemed to increase with age, died in his home in New York City at age 103. Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and dozens of other awards, Carter wrote music that was often as difficult to comprehend as it was to perform. Still, he had many champions, among them conductor James Levine and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, for whom Carter wrote his last piece 12 Short Epigrams, completed in August 2012. In June, the New York Philharmonic premiered his Two Controversies and a Conversation under the direction of David Robertson. In April he completed Instances, which the Seattle Symphony is set to premiere on February 7 under Music Director Ludovic Morlot. Frank J. Oteri’s article marking Carter’s centennial and surveying his illustrious career can be read at SymphonyNOW.
Composer Elliott Carter, with New York Philharmonic composerin-residence Magnus Lindberg (above left), speaks to patrons about his Two Controversies and a Conversation, which the Philharmonic premiered in June 2012.
Excellence Rewarded Venezuelan-born Gustavo Dudamel (above), conducting superstar and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009, was named 2013 Musician of the Year by Musical America. Other awards presented December 6 at MA ’s annual ceremony, held at New York’s Lincoln Center, went to David Lang as Composer of the Year; pipa artist Wu Man as Instrumentalist of the Year; mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato as Vocalist of the
Year; and musician/teacher/visionary José Antonio Abreu—long the guiding light of Venezuela’s El Sistema music education system—as Educator of the Year. Also announced last fall was the University of Louisville’s annual Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, which went to Dutch composer Michel van der Aa for Up-close, a blend of cello concerto and film that had its premiere in 2011. The Grawemeyer carries a cash prize of $100,000.
Courtesy Boise State University - University Television Productions
Contemplating what the Boise Philharmonic might do to mark its 150th anniversary in 2013, Music Director Robert Franz asked himself, “What happened here 151 years ago?” The answer—the Shoshone and the Bannock tribes had been relocated by white settlers in the 1800s from what is now Boise to Fort Hall, near the Nevada border—resulted in a commission by Idaho composer Jim Cockey, Sacred Land: A Tribute to the ShoshoneBannock Tribes. For the world premiere on November 16, the orchestra was joined by the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale and Ballet Idaho; on November 17 at the Boise Art Museum, Franz and Cockey appeared at an open forum with tribal elders and Ballet Idaho Ballet Master Alex Ossadnik. The city of Boise donated $10,000 toward the project, and it also had the support of tribe members as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum. The performance was recorded by Idaho Public Television for a 2013 air date. Visit SymphonyNOW for more about what the experience meant for the orchestra and the community.
For the November world premiere of Sacred Land: A Tribute to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Boise Philharmonic was joined by dancers from Ballet Idaho and singers of the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale.
A New Score? What lies underneath the current labor disputes and what does it mean for our field?
ignificant numbers of orchestras are in financial extremis, and face daunting contract negotiations. In some high-profile organizations, deep concessions are being sought and others have already been secured. I’d like to offer some observations about the current situation in orchestras—a situation that is of great concern to us all. In this column I want to look at two questions. First, what is driving these situations? Next, what does it mean for the field as a whole? While the specific causes vary from place to place, everyone—managements, boards, and musicians—must take responsibility for the current crises in our field. I think we must acknowledge that in at least some instances, boards have not partnered with their executives to address near- and long-term financial realities, have not been transparent with stakeholders around those realities, and have not made decisions accordingly. Then there is the extraordinary pressure for continual growth that musicians and conductors exerted in the past on boards and managements. And there have been orchestra executives who were not fully able to manage the cost/resources balance. Now, the “cans” that have been kicked down the road are at the end of the road. Options are few and painful. In some instances, what we are seeing today are boards and managements exercising greater discipline in long-term fiscal
by Jesse Rosen
management. There is less of a tendency to accept escalating costs in order to avoid near-term pain, at the expense of longterm sustainability. Thanks to accumulated deficits, deficit spending, and persistent downward trends in both attendance and philanthropy, orchestra leaders are feeling obligated to break the cycle of cost exceeding income, which is, of course, not sustainable. But it is also true that the magnitude of the concessions being sought in some
While the specific causes vary from place to place, everyone—managements, boards, and musicians—must take responsibility for the current crises in our field. orchestras is extraordinary, wage cuts of 20 to 30 percent in some instances. It is a credit to musicians in some orchestras that the issue has become not whether to make concessions, but what the extent of those concessions should be. Let us remember that only a small fraction of professional orchestras is making headlines at the moment. And of course we have many, perhaps hundreds of orchestras—generally smaller ones—that continue to thrive. These are points that I frequently make to the press to provide context for their stories. However, we also know that many leaders in our larger orchestras anticipate facing similar challenges at various points on their horizons.
Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras
The Big Picture
It is hard to see clearly what is going on while we are in the midst of so much volatility and uncertainty. And the situation is hardly monolithic; every case is unique. So what does all this mean for our field? If we stand back from these immediate crises, I believe the complete picture is actually one of promise and opportunity. Here is why: the environment is changing. Orchestras are adapting to changes in audience behavior, demographic shifts, and the impact of technology, to name a few. The work is messy, uneven, not always smoothly executed, and different from orchestra to orchestra. It moves in fits and starts, but change is happening. So far there are few answers, but we see important questions being asked and many, many experiments being tried. In fact, I believe this is the most innovative time in our field in the last 20 years. The adaptations that I see are focused on the following:
• Achieving long-term and responsible fiscal management • Developing new and younger audiences • Meeting an imperative for civic relevance and engagement • Expanding the creative palette symphony
Arts advocate, 2030
Vote â€œYesâ€? for Music Education
The League knows that orchestras need advocates locally and nationally. Through our Washington D.C. office, we represent orchestras before Congress and the White House, mobilize individuals to raise their voices, and make the case for the unique public value orchestras create in communities nationwide. When you support the League, you are investing in the future of hundreds of orchestras across the country. And their future advocates. Make a gift today at americanorchestras.org.
I also believe we are experiencing a shift in the value proposition of orchestras. In the past—and I’m oversimplifying to make the point—we were transactional: you buy a ticket or give us a donation, and we’ll give you a concert. Today, orchestras are becoming more community-centric: access and service are becoming powerful new imperatives as they look for both new audiences and new ways to create relevance. They are recognizing that their communities extend well beyond current and even potential
Helen Thompson, the League’s iconic early leader, said that the single common quality that defines successful orchestras is strong boards. future ticket buyers. I think most would agree this is a positive change and one that the League has done much to push to the forefront. The Vision Statement from the League’s 2006 Strategic Plan reads, in part: “Orchestras and their communities are vital to each other; and orchestras are essential to the evolution and vitality of music.” That vision has informed the League’s publications, diagnostic tools, awards, convenings, and numerous magazine articles. All of these have aimed to support the vision by incentivizing new
practice, and disseminating the strategies that work. Our public-policy work has helped to frame orchestras’ public-value challenge, and the increasing awareness of those issues has given fresh impetus to community-engagement commitments.
Leadership conversations are also different today. We are hearing acceptance of the need for new practice and for broadening the scope of knowledge, and we are seeing a new curiosity to look outside the field for relevant experience and perspective. There is more candor, as leaders have explored and wrestled with their own capacities for leading change. And there is greater understanding that leaders need to unite key stakeholders around a compelling vision. Our leaders know they are in a new world. They are working hard—individually and together—to help their orchestras be a vital part of it. So where do we go now? Helen Thompson, the League’s iconic early leader, said that the single common quality that defines successful orchestras is strong boards. This year, thanks to support from MetLife Foundation, the League will refocus and expand our governance work by convening board chairs to address
Resources The League offers substantial resources for member orchestras, including the three discussed in this article. The Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program: In partnership with the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the League awards grants to member orchestras that are starting or expanding program work within their communities through educational, health and wellness, social service, and neighborhood residency programs. Find out more at http://www.americanorchestras.org/youth-educationcommunity/getty.html. The League’s new Strategy & Money Alignment Readiness Tool (SMART), made possible by The Kresge Foundation, helps orchestras examine and understand their true financial situations, their fiscal strengths and weaknesses, and how to formulate sustainable plans for the future. The Tool has been launched with 43 orchestra participants, and assessment and evaluation of the Tool is proceeding. Unveiled in 2011, Building Public Support: A ToolKit for Orchestras helps orchestras demonstrate their value and relevance to the broadest cross-section of their communities. While artistic excellence is fundamental to our work, it is no longer sufficient to generate widespread community support, particularly at a time when the public expects nonprofits to meet basic human needs. The resources in this Toolkit assist orchestras in meeting this critical public value communications challenge. Check out the Public Value Toolkit in the Resources area at League360. org (password required) or americanorchestras.org.
Executive director, 2047
The League knows that great leaders are the key to success. Through our leadership programs, we prepare executive directors of today and tomorrow to lead with vision, creativity, and purpose. When you support the League, you are investing in the future of hundreds of orchestras across the country. And their future executive directors. Make a gift today at americanorchestras.org.
Orchestra Management Fellowship Program $40,000, travel the U.S., and a year with top Executive Directors The Orchestra Management Fellowship Program is designed for those who specifically aspire to careers as executive directors of American orchestras. The Fellowship year, which extends from June 2013- June 2014, includes residencies at the Aspen Music Festival and School and two host orchestras. Commitment to the program includes a two-month placement as an orchestra manager at the Aspen Music Festival and School, a seven to eight month placement with a major American orchestra and mentoring from the Orchestraâ€™s executive director, and a 2-3 month placement with a smaller budget orchestra. In addition, fellows receive an annual stipend, medical benefits, and professional development funds to extend their own executive education. The Orchestra Management Fellowship Program is made possible by support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, alumni of the Fellowship Program, and by host orchestras.
critical issues like leadership turnover, and the relationship between the executive director and the board chair. And we are unfolding a double-barreled approach to community engagement: on the one hand, completing our online Toolkit of resources to help orchestras communicate their public value; on the other, offering our Getty Education and Community Investment Grants to incentivize and disseminate innovative practice in this critical area.
If we stand back from these immediate crises, I believe the complete picture is actually one of promise and opportunity. Our new Strategy & Money Alignment Readiness Tool (SMART) is already beginning to change conversations in orchestras about their true fiscal realities, their levels of risk, and how to plan accordingly. As the first round of the tool winds down, we will be developing a phase two that will include an analysis of the data from the first set of orchestras, an assessment of the utility of the tool, and more widespread dissemination of it. Of course, you canâ€™t help but be moved by the painful impact on the lives of musicians and staff alike when orchestras are forced to allocate very scarce resources. I know that many share my frustration that we donâ€™t have a lever to pull, a prescription or a program that will ease the pain and make it all better. The League is always available to respond to members who need help. We are in a position to suggest qualified personnel who can address a range of critical challenges orchestras may be encountering. But in the long run these conflicts reflect the tension between the patterns of the past and the needs of the new. In order to rise to this challenge, we cannot afford to have anything less than 100 percent of the energy of managers, musicians, and boards working together. symphony
Board chair, 2059
The League knows that an orchestra is only as strong as its board. Through our leadership programs, we teach board members how to make their orchestras successful, resilient, and forward-thinking. When you support the League, you are investing in the future of hundreds of orchestras across the country. And their future board chairs. Make a gift today at americanorchestras.org.
The Power of Programming
eing asked to address the subject of programming is a daunting proposition. There are many ways to approach the subject, from the immensely practical to the completely theoretical. While each program must stand on its own, programs become a season that defines the life of a conductor and an orchestra, and binds the audience to them. Over time programming defines an orchestra’s sound, profile, and musical identity. For over 30 years I have had the privilege to understand this firsthand in my role at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I have learned about making programs from many remarkable artists. Supporting the artistic vision of Music Director Riccardo Muti, and working alongside Principal Guest Conductor Laureate Pierre Boulez, highlights how important it is for the entire institution to understand and embrace the dynamism of the repertoire that an orchestra performs. Finding the right balance and advocating for the artistic vision as demonstrated through programming is critical, never more so than in moments of intense financial pressures. The subject of programming lies at the tension point of culture and commerce. It is a point in orchestra life where there can be great excitement and also great conflict. The tension is revealed in the questions we ask as we evaluate a season’s programs. Do
we create programs made up of familiar and unfamiliar music? Is the goal to achieve the highest ticket sales? Do we program what we believe people want to hear? Or do we program what we believe in, while challenging listeners to embrace new ideas? Is it possible to achieve all of these goals in the span of a season? What is the right balance? The answers to these questions may be very different depending on where you live and who your audience is. Programming is the heart and core of why orchestras and performing arts institutions exist, and the art of making programs must be treated with the greatest care in order to ensure the future of the art form. This applies for orchestras no matter what size your annual budget is. In addition to helping to develop programs for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with more than 150 concerts a season, I have also advised and assisted orchestras with seasons of 10 programs or less that combine classical and popular programs. The same overarching principles apply to small, medium, and large orchestras: programming defines who you are and is the nexus where the music director, orchestra musicians, audience members, board members, and staff meet. Many articles have been written about the history of programming—how concerts used to be shorter, longer, more casual, etc. What matters is the future—where
With so much attention on today’s economic challenges, it’s easy to forget that programming—deciding what music is actually played—is at the heart of what orchestras do. Here, Martha Gilmer, vice president for artistic planning and audience development at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and advisor to a number of smaller orchestras, looks at how to program for a changing cultural landscape.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti with CSO Vice President for Artistic Planning and Audience Development Martha Gilmer, at Vienna’s Musikverein during the final day of the CSO’s 2011 tour there
we go in a world that has more distractions than ever before. Today, music, like many other things, can be “consumed” in a “what you want, when you want it” world, in the comfort of home with great sonic representation and a modest investment. In this world where music is reduced and referred to as “product,” we must make greater efforts to restore its vibrancy, its ability to be transformative, and the power of live performance. Toward a Shared Vision
Talk to anyone connected in any way with an orchestra, and they have a distinct point of view about programming. From orchestra musicians to board members, marketing department staff members to music critics, subscribers and non-subscribers—everyone has ideas about what makes a good program. What many of those who hold opinions have in common is this: they hold their opinions strongly. To many individuals, for example, orchestras represent a sacred art form that, in the chaos of the modern world, is a place where one can feel comfortable. symphony
Taking the Fear Out of the Unfamiliar
A good program must always have something that surprises—and ideally something familiar that, after the unfamiliar, one hears in a different way. To some this means putting a contemporary piece after an overture, followed by a familiar symphony. Just as important is finding those works in the vast orchestral repertoire that haven’t been played over and over again.
Most of the composers who created this music had no intention that their music be perceived as comfortable. Some were reacting to an inner voice, or to the external world, in a way that was deeply personal and passionately felt. For others it was their surrounding culture that demanded that their music challenge performers and listeners to think about the world, or experience it more imaginatively and profoundly, or more playfully. The act of composing was often anything but comforting—and as we know from history, sometimes the act of composition was a great trial, taking a tremendous amount of energy, and, in some cases, even creating distress. While many audience members find the familiarity of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony comforting, Beethoven found no comfort in its creation, nor did he intend its emotional impact to be calm-inducing.
For its Beyond the Score program on Holst’s The Planets in 2008, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra filled Symphony Center with constellations.
being confronted by the unfamiliar: will I feel I got my money’s worth? Will I enjoy myself? Managers fear not making projected revenue goals and facing empty seats. Musicians fear the technical difficulties of music that they have not played before. It might also be that, because of the uncertainty in our everyday lives, we just want something we can count on. We must confront both the fear of the unfamiliar and our fear that we will not be able to draw people in to experience the music to which we feel so committed. In order to do this we must find ways to communicate in advance the power of each program, and the fact that it is the
only those that are “standard”? The same discussions happen whether you are building a season of eight programs or 35. What the discussion must center around is: “What stories are well known? Which ones are less obvious?” and “For those programs that are less obvious, how will we develop the story to connect to our audience?”
Dvořák wrote more than the “New World” Symphony and a cello concerto. Likewise, Schubert’s symphonic output, which led to the “Unfinished” and the “Great” C Major, is luminous, far richer than most people imagine, and deserves to be performed. We are all too easily tempted to rely on the same 30 pieces in the repertoire, bringing them back season after season. This clinging to the familiar is almost always based in fear. Audiences fear americanorchestras.org
music, both familiar and unfamiliar, that has the power to be transformative. In the most recent round of programming at the CSO we have had dynamic exchanges about the best mix of composers in a season that is made up of more than 32 different programs. Is there too much Prokofiev? Not enough Brahms? Should there be more works written before 1890 or after? Can we focus on unfamiliar concertos or should we perform
Programming is the heart and core of why orchestras and performing arts institutions exist, and the art of making programs must be treated with the greatest care in order to ensure the future of the art form. The same overarching principles apply no matter what size your annual budget is.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Vice President for Artistic Planning and Audience Development Martha Gilmer onstage at Symphony Center with Principal Guest Conductor Laureate Pierre Boulez during a musical celebration of his 85th birthday.
For its “Keys to the City” piano festival, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra paired amateur and professional pianists in performance at Symphony Center. Above, conductor Mei-Ann Chen and performers enjoy a standing ovation. From left, first level: Emanuel Ax and Judy Istock; Jonathan Biss and Kyle Huang; Jeremy Denk and Mio Nakamura; Marc-André Hamelin and David Hyde Pierce. From left, second level: Hyung-ki Joo (of the comedy duo Igudesman & Joo) and Martha Gilmer; Valentina Lisitsa and Eugene Izotov, the CSO’s principal oboe; Benjamin Hochman and Jonathan Paul Cambry; Daniil Trifonov and Bridgette Hayes.
While human beings like comfort at times, there is no question that they also thrive on the excitement and uncertainty inherent in drama. From the evening news to the latest film trailers, sensational headlines in magazines and newspapers to online news sources, we are enticed by drama every day. In addition to simply making a program we must provide a connection and context to the drama of the program. Every single program tells a dramatic story. We must address not only what we program, but how we communicate with the public what the program is about and the why behind its creation. The exploration of a time, a concept, or an overriding feeling, which joins all the individual pieces together, and which is much greater than any of the pieces taken individually, lies at the heart of the connection between performers and audience members. This is not the same as saying that every piece of music tells a story. Rather, I am saying that there are stories about every piece of music, and there is much to be gained by telling them. A program that includes the Schumann Piano Concerto and a Schubert symphony allows you to tell the story of Robert Schumann’s amazement and delight at opening a box and discovering the symphonies of Franz Schubert, which had never been performed. A program of Maurice Ravel and Manuel de Falla can
lead to consideration of the seven years when they both lived in Paris or the letters they exchanged after de Falla returned to Spain. A program with the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven exposes the torment of Beethoven’s isolation and loneliness. And these are just the stories that surround these pieces. There are also stories within the music itself, fantastic webs of connections, echoes, cross-references, and sometimes hidden messages. While it is tempting to rely on the easy solution—a phrase that sums it all up—we need to find the ways to tell the longer story, one that the listener will find so intriguing that they simply cannot miss the performance. Using the inherent stories present in any program, you can lure the most passive listener into the drama that the music enacts. What is important for the success of the experience is that they must know that they are going on a journey. The audience should feel the excitement of setting out into unknown territory.
Celebrities from the orchestra world and beyond were part of the CSO’s “Keys to the City” festival in May 2012, among them pianist Emanuel Ax and actor David Hyde Pierce.
With orchestras that have shorter or longer seasons, the drama can be sustained by focusing on an overarching theme, which is another form of storytelling. In this way we form an even deeper and longer connection with audience members that extends throughout the season, or over a period of several weeks.
Programs as Drama
Many orchestras are developing exciting and dynamic themes that help bring focus to their programming. Themes can be specific, such as covering a single composer, or more general, such as focusing on a specific time or place, or something completely different. Last season at the CSO, we presented “Keys to the City,” a three-week festival that focused on the piano and its physical and musical evolution. The festival attracted students, teachers, amateurs, and professionals. We launched the festival with Pianos in Public Spaces, in which grand pianos were placed in eleven locations from office buildings to museums, and people were invited to play them—it’s the kind of thing that other orchestras have been doing as well in recent years. We held a free Chicago Piano Day that featured etudes by composers from Chopin to Ligeti, and invited young and old to sign up to take their first piano lesson. Programming included focus on the piano as a reflection of the orchestra, as a soloist with the orchestra, in chamber music, and in solo recitals. Since the history and sound of the piano are deeply connected to the history of the orchestra, programming formed a natural bridge between the orchestra and an informed and enthusiastic audience.
There Is More than One Story To Be Told
It would be arrogant and absurd to believe that everyone is interested in the same story. We come from diverse backgrounds, interests, and ways of understanding. There are many who want a casual atmosphere around the experience of listening to music, while others prefer something more formal. Some are interested in new music, or in more popular music. When we make programs, we must hope to encourage a healthy appetite and curiosity across forms, styles, genres, and generations. If instead we adapt a “something for everyone” approach we risk displeasing everyone. Diversity in programming can be reflected in separate and contrasting series of concerts, and many orchestras have
created silos of dance companies and symphony orchestras, rather than finding ways to connect the two and their audiences. Likewise, finding common themes between visual artists and music allows us to, as the saying goes, “hear with our eyes and see with our ears.”
Bartók’s most important composition, The Miraculous Mandarin, is a dramatic musical work inspired by Melchior Lengyel, a dramatist, writer, and later in his life, a screenwriter. A collaborative composer who was curious about other forms of art, Bartók
Not every piece of music tells a story. But there are stories about every piece of music, and there is much to be gained by telling them. experimented with a wide variety of this kind of programming. It is also possible to have a different experience either before or after a concert for different segments of the audience, thus offering an opportunity to inform and shape the shared concert experience in ways that are tailored to unique interests. Designing an experience for a specific audience segment can assure the most compelling and relevant story is being told. Collaborate with Other Arts Organizations
Collaborative work with other institutions can be a most rewarding investment in artistic planning. Music is never created in a vacuum. Composers, like painters, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers, and actors, all live in a real world filled with joy and conflict. Their art reacts to the same experiences. It was created to be performed, and performance by definition is a collaborative undertaking. It is only in recent history, for example, that we have americanorchestras.org
gathered with the leading writers, painters, and actors living in his native Budapest and discussed the meaning of art and the meaning of life. The composition of The Miraculous Mandarin, originally intended as a pantomime ballet, is a prime example of a piece
that arose out of an environment where collaboration and combative discussion lay at the heart of the artists’ lives and their experience. Developing active partnerships with other arts organizations can be a real stimulus to creative programming.
Volunteers, tell us your story!
Volunteers are an essential part of every orchestra—they
TIN G 50 Y A E BR
bring passion, expertise, and that all-important extra hand to help make sure the performance goes on every night. we’re looking for your stories about volunteering. Tell
As part of the League Volunteer Council 50th anniversary, us why it’s important to you, about an extraordinary
to your orchestra.
experience you’ve had, or why volunteers mean so much
Ready to tell your story? Or a great story about volunteers?
Just email your 300 words or less by March 15 to email@example.com. We’ll use these stories at upcoming events and on the League’s website throughout the 50th anniversary celebration. Got volunteer photos or memorabilia that you’d like to share? Let us know about those, too! Please join us in celebrating the Volunteer Council and thousands of orchestra volunteers across the country!
TIN G 5 0 Y RA E AR
Curiosity and the Desire to Learn Are the Most Important Components
Music directors lead the artistic vision of our orchestras, and to sustain that artistic vision they often rely on the support and guidance of a team of musicians, staff members, volunteers, and audience members. It is important that we keep the process of programming and its integrity at the forefront for everyone involved in the orchestral experience: the orchestra itself, the listeners, and administrators, fundraisers, strategic planners, and marketing departments. We must all be dedicated to providing a season—whether five concerts or 150—that demonstrates music’s ability to transform the human experience and lift us out of our daily lives to another, higher, place. We sometimes hear from our public that they don’t know enough about music to understand and fully appreciate a musical performance. The truth is that no one totally comprehends everything in music. Once we accept this, we become free to discover what we can learn! The greatest response to any performance is “I didn’t know….” We begin with the fact that a composer lived in a specific time, in a specific place, and that his/her inner world and the outer world combined in some way to result in a work of music. As an example, we can look at three famous works explored in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score series. We learn of the swans that inspired the last movement of Jean Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. In looking at the “New World” Symphony of Dvořák, we can hear the spirituals and Native American rhythms that Dvořák heard as America’s folk music roots. And in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring we can uncover the connection between Russian folk instruments and the seemingly modern sounds of Stravinsky’s orchestration. The act of discovery is the excitement in every performance. Let us embrace discovery by finding the “I didn’t know” moments—and unleashing the drama that resides in each and every piece of music. symphony
FEBRUARY 15-17 2013 DETROIT
Empowering Ideas for Diversity in the Arts
REGISTER NOW! www.SphinxCon.org
Leaders from all disciplines of the performing arts will share ideas, challenges, successes, and lessons learned in pursuit of increased diversity in all aspects of the performing arts sector.
Author & Journalist
Horst Abraham Paragon
Andrea Hoffman *Diversity Affluence
Monica Hairston Oâ€™Connell *Center for Black Music Research
*International Society for the Performing Arts
*Theatre Communications Group
*League of American Orchestras
Ann Meier Baker *Chorus America
UMS at University of Michigan
Senior Advisor, Kresge Foundation
Daniel Roumain DBR Productions
Bertha Cea US Embassy Mexico
*National Association of Latino Arts & Culture
Margaret M. Lioi
*Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
*Chamber Music America
Michael Simanga *National Black Arts Festival
Maria de Leon
Sandra Gibson Consulting
*Americans for the Arts
Shirley Stancato New Detroit
Michigan Opera Theatre
*National Guild for Community Arts Education
Marshall Marcus Sistema Europe, Sistema Africa
Mario Garcia Durham *Association of Performing Arts Presenters
Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University
*National Performance Network
Urban Bush Women
With Generous Support from:
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In Partnership with:
Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts Americans for the Arts Association of Performing Arts Presenters Center for Black Music Research Chamber Music America Chorus America Dance USA Diversity Affluence International Society for the Performing Arts
Additional Support by:
League of American Orchestras Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs National Association of Latino Arts and Culture National Association of Negro Musicians National Black Arts Festival National Guild for Community Arts Education National Performance Network Opera America Theatre Communications Group
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by Frank J. Oteri
Trusting Composers Alarm Will Sound Artistic Director Alan Pierson discusses a score with Yotam Haber, resident composer at the 2011 Mizzou International Composers Festival.
Berlioz wrote Symphonie fantastique at age 27. Gershwin was only 25 when he wrote Rhapsody in Blue. Who are the young composers of tomorrowâ€™s enduring classics? How do they get startedâ€”and how can you find out about them?
Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Music Director Joana Carneiro and composer Dylan Mattingly, 21 (at right), following the orchestra’s premiere of Mattingly’s Invisible Skyline in December 2012
Anna Clyne introduces her piece Fits and Starts during the Chicago Symphony’s Mercury Soul concert at the Chicago club Metro in June. CSO cellist Brant Taylor looks on.
hile young people continue to be the face of pop music, there’s a general perception that classical music is the domain of the older and presumably more mature. Occasionally a prodigy performer captures tons of publicity (once upon a time Yehudi Menuhin, more recently Augustin Hadelich and Yuja Wang), but its most revered interpreters, especially its conductors, still tend to skew older, and so do its composers. Despite a majority of professional opportunities for young composers having a cutoff at age 30 (like the sci-fi movie Logan’s Run or the 1960s mantra “don’t trust anyone over 30”), in classical music it’s customary to be considered young at least until the age of 40—a perception reinforced last year by National Public Radio’s much-talked-about crowd-sourced list of 100 composers under 40.
Composer Dylan Mattingly, 21, discusses his new piece Invisible Skyline with Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Music Director Joana Carneiro and composer Steven Stucky during a rehearsal for the piece’s December 2012 premiere.
“Definitions of ‘young’ seem to change like the phases of the moon,” says Norman Ryan, vice president of composers and repertoire for the Schott Music Corporation. However, for the purposes of this article there are compelling reasons we might want to stick with 30 rather than 40. Calling someone young at 40 somehow doesn’t feel right. Still, while young pop stars are ubiquitous, their up-and-coming orchestral composer counterparts are harder to find. The majority of composers generally considered “young” whose pieces are receiving premiere performances this season in North America—as reported by League member orchestras for Symphony’s annual Premieres List—are all currently over 30. Those composers include Mason Bates,
Anna Clyne, Carson Cooman, Du Yun, Gabriel Kahane, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Clint Needham, Andrew Norman, Adam Schoenberg, Sean Shepherd, and Kate Soper, to name just a dozen. In fact, only six composers whose works are receiving premieres this season are actually under the age of 30: Zosha Di Castri, Troy Herion, and Sean Jaeger (all born in 1985), and Paul Dooley, Jordan Pal, and John Glover (all born in 1983; Glover, whose birthday is January 4, will have turned 30 by the time you read this). And yet a handful of standard repertoire mainstays were created by young composers: Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique (composed at the age of 27), Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (age 22), Beethoven’s first two piano
concertos (both completed before his 27th birthday), George Gershwin’s An American in Paris (age 29), Concerto in F (age 26), and Rhapsody in Blue (age 25). Which begs the question: who are the composers of tomorrow’s Symphonie fantastique or Rhapsody in Blue? Today, orchestras are utilizing a mix of old and new avenues in order to find those composers of tomorrow. Some music publishers are boosting the profile of young composers through initiatives that give composers a chance to work directly with orchestras. As the landscape has changed drastically for record companies, web platforms offer DIY opportunities for composers to get their music heard. Youngartist management firms are nurturing symphony
In previous generations, artistic administrators at orchestras frequently relied on publishers when seeking new works to include in their concert seasons. Although some of the most important composers of the last century were signed to publishers very early in their careers—Henry Cowell and Morton Gould come to mind—most were not taken on until they were more established. It’s easy to understand why: commercial publishers make a considerable investment in whomever they sign. According to Zizi Mueller, president of Boosey and Hawkes, Inc., “It is always difficult for a large publisher to sign younger composers. Since most of these composers are still developing, it can put an unnecessary pressure on both sides for the composer to ‘conform’ to the marketplace. This is something that neither party really wants,
“Certainly, we are always attuned to new voices,” says Schott’s Norman Ryan, “but a ‘new’ or ‘emerging’ voice in our field could very well be someone who in a previous artistic phase of their life focused primarily on another genre of music-making.”
Composer Sean Shepherd
Composer Timo Andres
composers by offering as part of their services the chance to work directly with music publishers, orchestras, and conductors. The performing-rights firms ASCAP and BMI continue to draw attention to upand-coming composers through annual awards, and conservatories and university americanorchestras.org
music departments are sponsoring initiatives spotlighting emerging composers. And of course there are orchestras themselves, which are taking more active roles by conducting composer competitions and linking young composers with older, established mentors.
so the publisher must be cognizant of this and guide the composer properly through the minefields of industry pressure.” The same has been historically true for record companies that issue symphonic music, a field that traditionally allocated the majority of its resources to pressing new recordings of older repertoire, with the exception of dedicated niche labels or new-music imprints. While twentysomethings and folks even younger remain ubiquitous in pop music (think Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, or eighteenyear-old Justin Bieber), there are only a handful of commercially released singlecomposer CDs of music by composers under the age of 30—e.g. Timo Andres (b. 1985) on Nonesuch; Dylan Mattingly
Kyle Dunn, winner of the High School Division of Missouri’s statewide Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.)
Martin Bresnick, guest composer at the 2010 Mizzou International Composers Festival, discusses a score with MICF resident composer Moon Young Ha.
velopment experience (the first beneficiary is 27-year-old Zosha Di Castri). “Technical changes have aided the dissemination of material and promotion/publicity possibilities for composers, but that is only one small part of the publishing package,” observes choose carefully how Mueller. “Most of to direct their future.” the young composers Helping to nurture we have met have no emerging composidea how to directly ers has also been the license their work, goal of the Comnegotiate contracts, poser Program at the charge rental fees, management firm protect themselves Young Concert Young Concert Artwith digital dissemiArtists composer David Hertzberg ists (YCA), which has nation and broadbeen launching the casting, learn about careers of instrumenproper copyrighting talists and vocalists since 1961. Thus far of their material, produce excellent-quality they have worked with nine composers: scores and parts. A good publisher will Dan Coleman, Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, guide them through this maze so that they Mason Bates, Daniel Kellogg, Benjamin can expand with each commission and Christian Steiner
(b. 1991) on innova; Mohammed Fairouz (b. 1985) on Bridge, Sono Luminous, and forthcoming on Naxos. The rise of internet transmission via everything from MySpace (it’s not dead yet) to SoundCloud, and posting to personal websites and blogs as well as YouTube and Vimeo, has made it easier to track down the music of younger composers than ever before. The rise of self-published millennial composers has undeniably been bolstered by their savviness with online technologies and the growing readiness of tastemakers to discover information on the web. Following up on Boosey and Hawkes’s Emerging Composers Initiative, which has thus far resulted in their signing young composers Oscar Bettison, Sean Shepherd, and Anna Clyne (now one of two composers-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony along with Mason Bates), Mueller forged a partnership last May with the New World Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony called New Voices, designed to identify and offer emerging composers professional de-
posers independently of an official proC.S. Boyle, Andrew Norman, Chris Roggram. Peermusic Classical’s roster includes erson, and most recently, David Hertzberg. Mohammed Fairouz, and the Theodore “I think that adding the composers to our Presser Company signed Clint Needham roster of instrumentalists, ensembles, and (b. 1981) shortly after his 28th birthday singers has only broadened the experience and Julia Scott Carey (b. 1986) when she for everyone involved, from the composwas sixteen. G. Schirmer trumps them all ers to the performing artists to those of thus far for having signed Jay Greenberg us working on their behalf,” says Monica (b. 1991) when he was fifteen years old, at J. Felkel, YCA’s director of artist managewhich point he had already been profiled ment. “YCA commissions works from on 60 Minutes and his fifth symphony had within our roster, forging relationships been recorded by Sony Classical. between our composers and performing Last year, Schott Music Corporaartists. The composers are given opportution launched Project Schott New York nities to create pieces for varying instru(PSNY), a digital music publishing ediments and collaborate with young YCA tion featuring more than 70 new works soloists. Through this working relationship by upwards of 30 composers, including they are able to flesh out their ideas and a generous number of composers who hone their techniques. The YCA composwere not yet 30 at the time, among them ers have the added value that these new Timo Andres, Christopher Cerrone, Ann works are performed by touring artists and Cleare, Hannah Lash, and Adrian Knight. heard around the country. We nurture the But Schott’s Norman Ryan acknowledges composers as we do our performing artists, that he “looks less at the particular age of providing them with the management and a composer and more at qualities that will publicity services of commercial managehelp forge the best relationship between ments in our industry. In addition to givcomposer and publisher. Certainly, we are ing ongoing career advice and encouragealways attuned to new voices, but a ‘new’ ment, so vital to any young artist, we also or ‘emerging’ voice in our field could very seek commissioning opportunities beyond well be someone who in a previous artisYCA, help them create a library for rentals tic phase of their life focused primarily and sales, and get additional performances on another genre of music-making. We of existing works where we can create a choose PSNY composers as we would any multiple-day residency in the community. other Schott composer. PSNY composers We help them to understand and navigate the realities of the music and pub“It is always difficult for a large lishing business.”
publisher to sign younger composers,” says Boosey and Hawkes President Zizi Mueller, here with New Voices composer Zosha Di Castri. “Since most of these composers are still developing, it can put an unnecessary pressure on both sides for the composer to ‘conform’ to the marketplace.”
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Major publishing houses have clearly been paying more attention to younger composers in recent years. Last year, Subito Music Corporation developed a fellowship program providing professional promotional activities for one of the participants in the annual Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, which has been one of the nation’s pre-eminent training grounds for emerging composers (covered in Symphony’s November-December issue of 2009). Though not limited to composers under 30 (the first fellowship recipient, Brian Ciach, is 35), many of the participants in the Institute have been within this age demographic. Other publishers have signed individual young com-
Your s o
schott-music.com eamdc.com firstname.lastname@example.org 31
of its most celebrated winners are now elder statesmen: John Adams, William Bolcom, George Crumb, Philip Glass, John Harbison, and Charles Wuorinen (who won a record four times). More recent BMI winners include Stephen Hartke, Steven Mackey, Cindy McTee, and Augusta Read Thomas. Composers who have won both ASCAP and BMI awards over the years include Daniel Asia, Vivian Fung, Daniel Kellogg, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Anne LeBaron, Lowell LiCourtesy American Composers Orchestra
are artists creating music that excites us in fresh ways and who are eager to be equal partners with us in bringing their music to wider attention using the digital publishing infrastructure we offer.” Beyond the select group of composers who have been embraced by publishers, there are vast numbers of young composers whose music can be tracked down via a few mouse clicks. But searching through all this music to find something that might be a perfect fit with your orchestra is a bit like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. The ASCAP and BMI awards, open to members of ASCAP and BMI as well as unaffiliated composers, have long been reliable barometers for predicting the future who’s who of contemporary American composition. Established in 1979, and renamed in honor of composer and former ASCAP President Morton Gould after his death in 1996, the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards count among past winners some of today’s most successful composers, including Derek Bermel, Richard Danielpour, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Higdon, Christopher Theofanidis, Melinda Wagner, and Julia Wolfe. Dating back to 1951, the BMI Student Composer Awards has an even longer history; some
ebermann, and Michael Torke, as well as Kevin Puts, winner of last year’s Pulitzer Prize. (Puts was profiled in the MarchApril 2010 Symphony.) Conservatories and top university music departments remain among the most important training grounds for future generations of orchestral composers. But connecting with prospective composers even earlier than their college years is one of the goals of philanthropist Jeanne Sinquefield, who has spearheaded a variComposer Pin Hsin Lin speaking about her Symphony No. 3 to the audience at the American Composers Orchestra’s June 2012 Underwood New Music Readings.
Composer Peter Fahey (center), winner of the American Composers Orchestra’s 2012 Underwood commission, with ACO Executive Director Michael Geller (left) and mentor composers (from right) Derek Bermel, ACO Artistic Director Robert Beaser, and Steven Stucky at the June 2012 Underwood New Music Readings.
Courtesy American Composers Orchestra
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s annual H.J. Heinz Company Audience of the Future Composition Contest culminates in a performance for the winning composer in addition to a cash prize. Although technically not limited to a composer under the age of 30 (last year’s winner, Eric Lindsay, was 32), the competition has previously awarded prizes to Jordan Kuspa (b. 1985) and Eric Segerstrom (b. 1993). Since the New York Youth Symphony launched its First Music young composer americanorchestras.org
Fabio Bracarda/Civitella Ranieri Foundation
ety of Missouri-based initiatives that benefit emerging composers. These include Composer Connection, a distance-learning program for students throughout the state; the annual Sinquefield Composition Prize for students at the University of Missouri (informally called Mizzou), whose winner is given an opportunity to write an original work for one of Mizzou’s premier large ensembles and have his/her music performed and recorded; and perhaps most visibly, Mizzou International Composers Festival, a project of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, which annually invites select under-30 composers to be mentored by prominent composers and have their music performed by leading new-music ensembles. Sinquefield has also established the Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.), a statewide competition offering cash prizes to K-12 students who compose original works in a variety of styles as well as a week-long Composition Institute (a.k.a. “C.O.M.P. camp”), open to students entering grades 9-12 as well as college freshmen, which culminates in performances of the participants’ works. “This summer we had sixteen composers at our high school summer camp,” Sinquefield wrote in an email exchange. “Some of the full-ride composer scholarships to Mizzou (two a year) are going to them. We also started a composers’ orchestra, which had a concert with six new pieces. The St. Louis Youth Symphony is considering six Sinquefield Prize winners’ symphonic pieces for second performances. Yes, we are busy. To make Missouri a mecca for composition, we need to find and grow composers. This requires that their music be performed at concerts and recorded. I want every orchestra to play at least one new piece a year. Wish me luck.”
Composer Chris Cerrone at work
BOOSEY & HAWKES is proud to support the composers of tomorrow with its “Emerging Composers” and “New Voices” programs Find out more at boosey.com
Tucson Symphony Orchestra Music Director George Hanson with composer Anthony Constantino during the TSO’s Young Composer Project, which gives elementary through high school students the chance to hear their works performed.
competition in 1984, it has awarded commissions to a total of 102 composers. Again, it is interesting to see the names on that list whose music continues to have or is currently gaining currency with American orchestras—among them Kernis and Lang (both from the first round in 1984) plus Bermel, Gregory Spears, Puts, Theofanidis, Thomas, Torke, and Roger Zare as well as Anthony Cheung, Michael Hersch, Pierre Jalbert, John Mackey, Carter Pann, and Dan Visconti. Visconti is also a past recipient of a Kronos Under 30 Project commission, as is Alexandra du Bois, now 31, whose latest orchestral piece was con-
Shawn Campbell, vice president of artistic engagement and education for the Tucson Symphony and a horn player in the orchestra, says that participants in its Young Composers Project “step into a world of possibility.”
ducted by Marin Alsop at last summer’s 2012 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Under Alsop’s leadership, Cabrillo has emerged as a significant incubator for emerging talent through its free “In the Works” concerts, which feature orchestral compositions by three young composers each year. Participating composers also get invaluable opportunities to interact with the more established composers featured in the festival. In New York City, the American Composers Orchestra’s Underwood New Music Reading Sessions continue to be a major testing ground for upand-coming composers, while the EarShot program, which evolved from the Underwood sessions, coordinates new music readings at orchestras across the country (see Symphony Winter 2011). The aims of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composer Project are quite different from other young-composer programs. Though it boasts participants who have gone on to pursue composition degrees and receive ASCAP Morton Gould awards, by focusing exclusively on elementary and high school-aged students, Tucson’s program is unusual among orchestra initiatives in planting what is often the very first seed of interest in musical creation. “We wanted to create a program that would promote the highest possible level of understanding and connection to our art form, and we decided that learning to write for the orchestra
would do that,” says Shawn Campbell, vice president of artistic engagement and education for the Tucson Symphony and a horn player in the orchestra. “The impact is also personal. We have seen young people use composition to deal with tragic events, the loss of a parent or close friend, or to express themselves where words or physical limitations fail them: fifteen-year-old Alex Garcia wrote a piece as a response to the shootings in Tucson on January 8, 2011; sixteen-yearold Ellie Krepp stayed up all night writing an amazingly beautiful piece after her father was in a fatal car accident. “Students use composition to express themselves where words fail them. One YCP student has a physical condition that makes speech difficult to impossible. She uses music to share her thoughts and feelings with the world. The young composers come from all segments of our diverse community, and become a close, mutually supportive family. By interacting with professional musicians as peers through the challenge of creative thought, we have seen young people step out of a seemingly pre-determined world of limitation into a world of possibility.” ASCAP award-winning composer and music journalist FRANK J. OTERI is the composer advocate for New Music USA and the senior editor of its web magazine NewMusicBox (www. newmusicbox.org).
to discover, nurture & promote young musicians
vibrant energized engaging! 1
2 1 Michael Brown piano 2 Sebastian Bäverstam cello 3 Steven Lin piano* 4 Jay Campbell cello* 5 Daria Rabotkina piano
6 Sarah Wolfson soprano 7 Hye-Jin Kim violin 8 Naomi O’Connell mezzo 9 Jennifer Stumm viola 10 Mischa Bouvier baritone * 2012 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition Winner
RICHARD S. WEINERT President AMY ROBERTS FRAWLEY Executive Vice President STEVEN D. SHAIMAN Senior Vice President / Artist Manager sshaiman @ concertartists.org Midwest
CINDY HWANG Associate, Booking /Artist Management chwang @ concertartists.org West & Asia VINCENT RUSSO Associate, Booking /Artist Management vrusso @ concertartists.org East Please contact a member of the artist management staff to learn more about CAG’s new Orchestra Partnership Initiative (OPI).
photos 1, 2, 6, 8, 10 JANETTE BECKMAN 3 ARTHUR MOELLER 4 MATTHEW WASHBURN 5 KATE LEMMON 7 BALAZS BOROCZ 9 ANGELA MORRIS
EMERGING ARTISTS Our annual listing of emerging soloists and conductors is inspired by the breadth and sheer volume of young classical talent. The following list of emerging talent is provided by League of American Orchestras business partners and is intended as a reference point for orchestra professionals who book classical series. It does not imply endorsement by Symphony or the League.
Conductors Jeffrey Eckstein Harwood Management
harwood-management.com 212 864 0773
Conductor – opera, orchestra. Current: Music Director, Nutcracker, Austin Symphony Orchestra. Guest Conductor: Guatemalan National Theatre, Miami Lyric Opera. Assistant Conductor: Royal Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Central City Opera. Photo by Chia Massina
Brandon Keith Brown William Reinert Associates, Inc. brandonkeithbrown.com 212 799 5365
Cristian Macelaru IMG Artists macelaru.com 212 994 3523
Ensembles Performing with Orchestra Brasil Guitar Duo Sciolino Artist Management, LLC
samnyc.us 212 721 9975
Equally at home on a world-music or classical orchestra series, this exuberant, critically acclaimed duo recently gave the world and U.S. premieres of Paulo Bellinati’s Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra.
Photo by Janette Beckman
PROJECT Trio Genevieve Spielberg, Inc.
projecttrio.com 908 608 1325
PROJECT Trio is pushing boundaries of the orchestral experience with a high-octane mix of classical, jazz, and the sounds of today. “Packed with musicianship, joy, and surprise,” (Downbeat) their YouTube views exceed 74 million. Season highlights include appearances with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony. Photo by Tom Walsh
Bernard Woma Ensemble, African Percussion Trio Sciolino Artist Management, LLC
samnyc.us 212 721 9975
Three virtuosi on the Ghanaian gyil (xylophone), kuor (gourd drum), and aslatua (shaker) take their West African repertoire beyond its traditional context. This season BWE debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Berliner Symphoniker. Sciolino Artist Management
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Ensembles (continued) DUO
Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo Astral Artists piano-4-hands.com 215 735 6770
Hermès Quartet Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Jasper String Quartet Astral Artists jasperquartet.com 215 735 6770
Instrumentalists Sebastian Bäverstam, cello Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
Musical America’s “New Artist” for June 2011, praised by The Strad for his “consummate instrumental mastery.” Appearances with Boston Symphony, Albany Symphony, Symphony of the Northern Arkansas, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Mankato Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony. Photo by Janette Beckman
Jay Campbell, cello Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
2012 CAG First Prize winner’s “electrifying” performances “conveyed every nuance” (The New York Times). Concerto highlights: The Juilliard Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Academy, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. Photo by Michael Washburn
Isabelle Demers, organ Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists
isabelledemers.org 860 560 7800
Organ professor at Baylor University with doctorate from Juilliard. Created a sensation as a performer at the 2008 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists, which launched her career.
Christopher Houlihan, organ Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists
christopherhoulihan.com 860 560 7800
Orchestral debut with Hartford Symphony while still in college. Last year described as “gifted” (The New York Times), “dazzling” (The Wall Street Journal), and “eloquent…launch[ed on] a major career” (Los Angeles Times). Photo by Ali Winberry
Michael Brown, piano Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
CAG Competition First Prize winner lauded as a “young piano visionary” (The New York Times). Recent highlights: New Haven Symphony (William Boughton), Juilliard Orchestra (Alan Gilbert), Bakersfield Symphony/Santa Maria Philharmonic (John Farrer). Photo by Janette Beckman
Instrumentalists (continued) Craig Ketter, piano Harwood Management
harwood-management.com 212 864 0773
Graduate of Eastman School of Music. First place in Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition. Performances with Grant Park Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Mobile Symphony, Raleigh Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic. Appearances on NPR, CBS, Carnegie Hall, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Harwood Management
Steven Lin, piano Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
Taiwanese-American winner of 2011 CAG Competition plays with “dazzling brilliance and a lot of personality” (The Washington Post). Career concerto highlights: New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic. Photo by Arthur Moeller
Gabriela Martinez, piano Sciolino Artist Management, LLC
samnyc.us 212 721 9975
An artist with brilliant technique, a riveting stage presence, and a natural affinity for education, this fast-rising star was recently chosen by Arts Presenters for its prestigious Young Performers Career Advancement Program. Photo by Monica Trejo
Daria Rabotkina, piano Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
“A pianist full of fire and warmth” (The Plain-Dealer). Featured concerto engagements: San Francisco and New World Symphonies, Kirov Orchestra, and the Harrisburg, Jacksonville, Winnipeg, Montreal and Moscow State Symphonies. Photo by Kate Lemmon
Xiayin Wang, piano Thea Dispeker, Inc.
xiayinwangpiano.com 212 421 7676 x16
Pianist Xiayin Wang performs worldwide as a commanding recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in such important venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, London’s Cadogan Hall, and in Russia with the St. Petersburg Symphony. She has eight highly acclaimed recordings to her credit. Photo by Dario Acosta
Juan Miguel Hernandez, viola Sciolino Artist Management, LLC
samnyc.us 212 721 9975
This multiple prize-winning soloist and chamber musician, a founding member of the Harlem Quartet, Boreal Trio, and Trio Virado, has electrified audiences and students from Carnegie Hall to the Middle East to South Africa. Photo by Jeffrey Homstein
Jennifer Stumm, viola Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
CAG First Prize winner applauded for “phosphorescent energy” (The Washington Post) and featured on the cover of Winter 2011 Symphony. Gabriela Lena Frank’s La Llorona (Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra); Bartók concerto (Youth Orchestra of São Paulo); Walton Concerto (New Haven Symphony). Photo by Allison Morris
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Clara-Jumi Kang, violin International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
violin.org 317 637 4574
Clara-Jumi Kang, Gold Medalist of the 8th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, has been concertizing worldwide since her triumph, including a Carnegie Hall debut and a CD release by Decca. IVCI
Hye-Jin Kim, violin Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
Yehudi Menuhin International Competition First Prize-winner recognized for “supremely musical playing” (The Strad). Featured engagements: Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersery Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, and Hannover Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Balazs Borocz
Soyoung Yoon, violin International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
violin.org 317 637 4574
Soyoung Yoon, Silver Medalist of the 8th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and First Prize winner of the 2011 Wieniawski Competition, was recently named concertmaster of Symphony Orchestra Basel. Photo by Denis Ryan Kelly, Jr.
Lionel Cottet Astral Artists lionelcottet.com 215 735 6770
Julietta Curenton Astral Artists juliettacurenton.com 212 735 6770
Cicely Parnas Young Concert Artists, Inc. and Latitude 45 Arts yca.org or parnasmusic.com 212 307 6655 (United States) 514 276 2694 (outside United States)
GUITAR Robert Belinic Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Narek Arutyunian Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Naoko Takada Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Romie De Guise-Langlois Astral Artists deguise-langlois.com 215 735 6770 José Franch-Ballester Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
PIANO Charlie Albright Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655 Sara Daneshpour Astral Artists saradaneshpour.com 212 735 6770
Ran Dank Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655 Umi Garrett David Belenzon Management, Inc. umigarrett.com 858 832 8380 Chu-Fang Huang Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655 Gleb Ivanov Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655 Ji-Yong Kim Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655 Denis Kozhukhin Opus 3 Artists deniskozhukhin.com 212 584 7555
Instrumentalists (continued) Andrew Tyson Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
PIANO (continued) Andrea Lam Astral Artists andrealam.com 212 735 6770
VIOLIN Benjamin Beilman Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Dizhou Zhao Astral Artists astralartists.org 212 735 6770
Soyeon Kate Lee Diane Saldick, LLC soyeonkatelee.com 212 213 3430
Bella Hristova Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
George Li Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Paul Huang Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Veit Hertenstein Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Benjamin Moser Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Noé Inui Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Ayane Kozasa Astral Artists ayanakozasa.com 212 735 6770
Louis Schwizgebel Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Eunice Kim Astral Artists astralartists.org 212 735 6770
Born Lau Astral Artists bornlau.instantencore.com 212 735 6770
be the first to book the best
“the stars of the next generation.” – the Washington Post
announcing the firs t P ri z e W i nne rs of the 2012 Young ConC ert a rt is t s int e rnat iona l a udi t i ons
YCOUNG ONCERT ARTISTS 2 5 0 We s t 5 7 S t r e e t , S u i t e 1 2 2 2
who join our current roster PIANO Charlie Albright Ran Dank Gleb Ivanov George Li Louis Schwizgebel Andrew Tyson VIOLIN Benjamin Beilman Bella Hristova Paul Huang
N e w Yo r k , N e w Yo r k 1 0 1 0 7
VIOLA Veit Hertenstein
MARIMBA Naoko Takada
CLARINET Narek Arutyunian Jose Franch-Ballester
COMPOSER Benjamin C.S. Boyle David Hertzberg Daniel Kellogg Chris Rogerson
SOPRANO Jeanine De Bique
w w w. y c a . o r g
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CHAMBER ENSEMBLE miXt
GUITAR Robert Belinic`
Kristin Lee Astral Artists violinistkristinlee.com 212 735 6770
Aleksey Semenenko Young Concert Artists, Inc. yca.org 212 307 6655
Arnaud Sussmann Opus 3 Artists arnaudsussmann.com 212 584 7555
Madalyn Parnas Latitude 45 Arts parnasmusic.com 514 276 2694
Vocalists Mischa Bouvier, baritone Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200
Praised by The New York Times for his “rich timbre and a fine sense of line.” Orchestral highlights: Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Colorado Symphony, The Knights, Northwest Indiana Symphony, New Mexico Symphony. Photo by Janette Beckman
Michael Nyby, baritone Dean Artists Management
deanartists.com 416 969 7300
Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program and Minnesota Opera Resident Artist; Leuthold (William Tell), Caramoor; Carmina Burana, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir; Kilian/Ottakar (Der Freischütz), Opera Atelier, Toronto; Winner, Western Canada Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Photo by Jay Lolli
Dominique Côté, baritone Dean Artists Management
deanartists.com 416 969 7300
First Prize, Concours International de Chant de Canari; First prize – Operetta, Concours International de Chant de Marmande; Nelligan (Nelligan), Opéra de Québec; Morales (Carmen), Pacific Opera Victoria; Falke (Die Fledermaus), Opéra de Montréal. Photo by Caroline Laberge
Stephen Hegedus, bass-baritone Dean Artists Management
deanartists.com 416 969 7300
Prize winner, New York Oratorio Society Competition; Finalist, Domingo’s Operalia; Messiah, Houston, Seattle, Montreal, San Antonio, Edmonton symphonies; Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) - Teatro Municipal de Santiago; Grant Park Festival, Chicago. Photo by Pierre-Etienne Bergeron
Aidan Ferguson, mezzo-soprano Dean Artists Management
deanartists.com 416 969 7300
Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal; Carmela (La Vida Breve), Toronto Symphony; Flora (La Traviata), Opéra de Montréal; Weihnachtsoratorium, Orchestre Metropolitain, Montréal; Mozart’s Requiem, Pro Coro Canada, Edmonton. Photo by Pierre-Etienne Bergeron
Vocalists (continued) Naomi O’Connell, mezzo-soprano Concert Artists Guild
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2011 CAG Competition First Prize winner hailed by The New York Times as “a radiant mezzo-soprano.” Orchestral repertoire: Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Mozart’s Requiem and C Minor Mass, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium. Photo by Janette Beckman
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San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program; Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal; Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, Winnipeg Symphony; Musetta (La Boheme), Montreal Opera; “Salute to Vienna,” Glatz Productions, Edmonton/Calgary; Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Manitoba Opera. Photo by Pierre-Etienne Bergeron
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Surprise& by Chester Lane
Armed with new research on donor motivation and subscriber behavior, orchestras are turning their attention to newcomers in their audience— and finding that unexpected rewards breed loyalty and increased commitment.
or the whole month of October last fall, patrons arriving at Avery Fisher Hall for a concert by the New York Philharmonic discovered envelopes taped to the backs of certain seats—white rectangles scattered throughout the hall in what appeared to be a random pattern. If one of these seats happened to be theirs, they would open the envelope to find a coupon good for half the price of the orchestra’s latest CD, a recording of Carl Nielsen’s Symphonies 2 and 3 under the baton of Music Director Alan Gilbert. Also in the envelope was a personalized note from a Philharmonic musician, complete with that individual’s photo. Depending on the patron’s status, the note thanked them for their subscription purchase, or acknowledged that they were a first-year subscriber, or expressed
Chicago Symphony ticketing representative Arif Negiz surprised a patron in December with Traditions and Transformations, a CSO Resound release featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Wu Man, and the Silk Road Ensemble.
awe and gratitude for their 50-plus years of commitment. The messages had been signed by nineteen different musicians, meaning that two subscribers sitting next to each other would most likely have had a completely different message from that of their neighbor. Unbeknownst to these patrons, it was Subscriber Appreciation Month at the Philharmonic. They had been unexpectedly singled out for special attention, thanks, and a tangible reward. Another kind of surprise awaits firstand second-year subscribers to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this season. On any given evening, just before the concert begins, some of them will be approached at their seats by a CSO staff member or usher, who introduces him- or herself, personally thanks them for their subscription purchase, offers them a complimentary drink at intermission, and hands them a copy of Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of Silk Road Chicago, a CD released on the orchestra’s own CSO Resound label featuring Yo-Yo Ma, pipa artist Wu Man, and the Silk Road Ensemble. At the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a select number of patrons are also getting unannounced visits from staff members after they’ve taken their seats. Their reward, aside from the smile and the thank-you, may be a small bag of chocolates, a rose, a free drink voucher to use at intermission, or perhaps an instant seat upgrade. Up to three individuals or households are targeted for these benefits each concert weekend, according to Sherri Prentiss, the Cincinnati Symphony’s vice president of marketing. They include subscribers of five years or less—the category considered most vulnerable to lapse—as well as what Prentiss refers to as “patrons with particularly compelling recent complaints made through the box office or email; a handful of targets who interacted with us on social media; and donor targets as requested by our development department.” All three of these orchestras are putting a new twist on the time-honored practice of rewarding patrons for their loyalty and support. They are taking the standard development model—promised benefits tied to specific levels of commitment and financial generosity—and extending it to subscribers who are not longtime subscribers, not necessarily donors, and have no
at the top don’t necessarily want more, because they are the most support-driven. ‘Surprise and delight’ was a way of turning this around and going back to that idea of weak brand relationships. If you could surprise people with small personal gestures to make them feel valued, hopefully they would respond. And you could touch pa-
year subscribers were offered a variety of benefits that included discounts for an additional concert and a DVD of A Concert for New York (a September 2011 Philharmonic performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks). “We touched about 8,000 subscribers in both years,” says Gallant. “And we’ve received a lot of wonderful feedback. In 2011 we were “We were getting thank-you notes right up to the holidays” getting thank-you notes from subscribers following the New York Philharmonic’s Subscriber right up to the holidays. This year, because Appreciation Month in October 2011, says Rachel Gallant. we gave them notes from the musicians, we “This year, some subscribers actually went backstage to had some subscribers actually going backthank a musician in person.” stage to thank them in person.” And as of late November, at least one donation to the trons in the hall—concertgoers who aren’t ments. As Rebecca Winzenried reported orchestra had come in from one of those necessarily donors. This is something that in the Winter 2012 issue of Symphony, “surprised and delighted” subscribers. has been driving a wedge between marketPrescott created “a database of 545,000 “The PGI study has shown that freing and development for a long time.” patrons, defined as those having purchased quency of attendance is really important,” Facilitator for the PGI group is Jack classical-series tickets or made a donaGallant says. “In December 2011 we sent McAuliffe, president of the New Yorktion during the fiscal years 2005 to 2009. a holiday greeting to all first- and secondbased consulting firm Engaged Audiences The database was then used to conduct year subscribers”—at the Philharmonic, LLC and a former vice president of the comprehensive surveys of 13,000 patrons, typically those with only a three- or fourLeague of American Orchestras. “What mining ticket transactions and donations concert subscription. The letter “included the research found,” says McAuliffe, “is that to identify levels of commitment, revenue an add-on offer that said if you buy anwhen we went to people at different givsources, and patterns of behavior relating other concert we’ll give you 50 percent off ing levels and asked, ‘What benefits do you to attendance, duration, and likelihood of and a pair of open-rehearsal tickets. We get for that?’ they couldn’t tell us. giving.” Originally completed in 2011, the brought in $9,000 in ticket sales They were just giving to support study was later updated with FY 2010-11 from that, which is a modest the orchestra. If you turn that data, as well as some new demographic amount for us but a way of helparound and just recognize supanalysis, and released as PGI2. New York, ing these subscribers increase port and loyalty, you’ve nurtured Chicago, and Cincinnati are among the their frequency. And by giving it. And it grows.” Efforts that rePGI orchestras that are now reporting them a pair of open-rehearsal positive results from “surprise and delight” ward newcomers are critical, he tickets—a $36 benefit—we get says, because typically fewer than Cincinnati efforts based on the Prescott research. And them into the hall another time half of an orchestra’s first-time they are actively sharing their findings with to hear the music.” Symphony subscribers renew. “Second-year other orchestras in the PGI group, which Gallant reports that while the staffers subscribers, instead of renewincludes the Cleveland Orchestra, Los AnPhilharmonic’s overall renewal ing at 45 percent, tend to renew receive an geles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchesrate increased only about 1 perat 75 to 80 percent. And when email or text tra, and the Atlanta, Boston, Houston, and cent from 2011-12 to 2012-13, they get to the third year they message Pittsburgh symphonies. the number of first-year substart making gifts. It’s like com- as soon as Kate Prescott, president of the firm that scriber households—“our danpounded interest—not in the a targeted bears her name, says one of the key findings ger group,” she calls it—signing banking sense but in the sense of patron arrives, on for a second year increased by of the PGI study was that orchestras “had being interested in the orchestra.” says Sherri weak brand relationships. People really re9 percent, and those going from spected their orchestras but didn’t necesPrentiss. “They year two to year three by 15 persarily feel connected and valued. We found cent. “Based on the higher reBuilding Commitment show up for that support trumps benefits: people give newal rate of the groups we were Rachel Rossos Gallant, the New their surprise primarily because they love their orchestra able to touch,” says Gallant, “and York Philharmonic’s director of and delight and love classical music, but they don’t use on similar results we’re hearing relationship marketing, initiated mission after a lot of their benefits—they consider many from other orchestras such as Subscriber Appreciation Month of them literally meaningless. This ‘surprise the Boston Symphony Orchesduring the 2011-12 season, stocking up and delight’ thing is an alternative way of when the mysterious envelope on chocolates, tra that do surprise and delight thinking about the hierarchical benefit benefits regularly, we’re planning attached to selected seats con- flowers, structure, which is very transactional and to roll out a new pilot starting tained a note from the executive and pocket give-and-get. It didn’t make sense: people in January that will touch five director, and first- and second- tickets.” expectation of reward for their purchase beyond the pleasure of attending concerts. Behind this “surprise and delight” stratagem is the Patron Growth Initiative (PGI), a study by the Cincinnati-based firm Prescott & Associates commissioned by a group of large-budget orchestras and based on data from their own marketing depart-
Prentiss reports that 151 subscribing households—114 for And what about the numbers? the Cincinnati Symphony, 37 “With people who had a surfor the Pops—were touched prise and delight experience”— by the orchestra’s surprise and the CD, the free drink—“plus delight activities last season. another retention effort such as an invitation to a luncheon re- “People are so Compared to the organization’s overall renewal rate of about 78 ception and a tour of the hall, we happy to be percent, Symphony and Pops saw a 10 percent increase in regetting special patrons who received the surnewals, up to 92.3 percent,” says attention,” prise and delight treatment reKoester. “Those who just got a surprise and delight experience says the newed for 2012-13 at 88 and 87 renewed at 76.5 percent, which Chicago percent, respectively. is still pretty extraordinary. This Symphony’s Recently Cincinnati has exseason we’re just looking at one- Philip Koester. tended surprise and delight and two-year subscribers and “Subscribers activities to patrons beyond its folks who were impacted by the are talking to family of subscribers. Last Sepcancelled concert, but we’re con- everybody in tember, Dr. Oscar Haber—a sidering testing this with people their general 102-year-old Holocaust survivor who have milestones coming up, vicinity— who was not in the orchestra’s like the 10- and 25-year sub- positive database—traveled from Louisscribers.” ville just to hear his idol Renee collateral side Koester notes that the CSO’s Fleming perform with the CSO effects of ability to locate target subscribon opening night. After learning ers as soon as they have entered our surprise his story from a family friend the hall is based on the sophis- and delight who was accompanying him to tication of its ticketing soft- program.” the concert, says Prentiss, “We ware. “With Tessitura you know decided to surprise and delight immediately,” he says. “The surprise and him by taking him backstage to meet the delight team has a house map in front of artist.” In another notable instance this them, and it’s in real time, so that fifteen season, the surprise went to a non-subminutes before the concert they can see if scribing jazz student who was a huge fan a ticket has been scanned by the usher.” of saxophonist Branford Marsalis, guest Tessitura is also in use at the Cincinnati artist for the Cincinnati Symphony’s conSymphony and Cincinnati Pops, where certs the first weekend in December. The Marketing VP Sherri Prentiss notes that fan had showed up to hear Marsalis at an orchestra staffers receive an email or text impromptu performance in a hotel lobby message as soon as a targeted patron has the previous week, and was planning to atarrived. “Staff members show up for their tend the orchestra’s concert as well. “We surprise and delight mission after stocking got his name, looked him up on Facebook, up on chocolates, flowers, and pocket tickand found out that his seats were in our nosebleed section,” says Prentiss. “Then we invited him to one of our Young Profes“The benefit needs to focus on the mission, the music,” sionals events to meet Branford, and we says John O’Connor of the Pensacola Symphony. “And upgraded him to better seats. the idea is to get board members to bring their friends, or “During the process we also found out people we want to know better.” that this patron happened to be legally blind. The upgrade meant that he actually got to see his jazz hero perform instead of phenomenal. People are so happy to be ets.” The latter, she says, “come in handy just hear him. He was over the moon.” getting special attention: big smiles, a lot for an on-the-spot upgrade if we notice of excitement and camaraderie that was that someone is in a particularly bad seat, Scaled to Size never there before. Subscribers are talking or if we know that their experience will be Orchestras operating on a far more modto single-ticket buyers and everybody in impacted negatively by where they are sitest scale than that of the PGI orchestras that general vicinity of the hall—positive ting. In some cases we’ll be surprising and are reporting benefits from similar efforts. collateral side effects to the surprise and delighting a single-ticket buyer, but more The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, in delight program.” often than not they are subscribers.” Florida’s panhandle, presents a subscripto ten households per concert, at approximately 50 percent of our concerts. We’ll offer an array of surprise and delight activities—backstage invitations, free drink coupons, seat upgrades, and small gifts. “We also have a few things for first-time single-ticket buyers,” says Gallant. “At certain concerts we have greeters in the lobby—volunteers from One Brick, a national organization that specializes in group volunteering. We piloted this with our Summertime Classics Series the last two summers, and now we do it two to four times a month during the regular season, at select concerts where our sales data tells us to expect a higher number of first-time buyers. The volunteers from One Brick are usually young people, so it’s very social.” Philip Koester, the Chicago Symphony’s vice president of sales and marketing, began focusing on first-year subscribers for surprise and delight benefits in 2011-12, and has added second-year subscribers for the 2012-13 season. Additional targets for surprise and delight last fall, Koester says, were patrons whose subscriptions had included the opening-night concert on September 22, which was cancelled at the last minute due to a brief musicians’ strike. “That was a Saturday night concert with a lot of tenconcert subscribers, many of whom have been with us for 20, 30 years or more. “For each concert we have a threeperson surprise and delight team,” says Koester. “Each team member is assigned ten to twenty subscriber households, and their whole mission is to find these subscribers in the hall, greet them and thank them, and give them their CD. We’re able to reach about 35 households a night. And the reactions have been absolutely
tion season of five classical and two pops concerts, with the option of buying a sixth classical concert as a standalone. John O’Connor, who serves as both marketing director and development director on a staff of three, relies heavily on the orchestra’s music director, executive director, and board in bringing surprise and delight to the orchestra’s patrons. “Basically our mantra is that the benefit needs to focus on the mission, the mu-
sic,” says O’Connor. “We do something that we internally call a ‘point of entry’ event. We invite donors, mostly upperlevel ones who happen to be subscribers as well, to an event at the hall the day before a concert. We offer them a glass of wine, a chat with Executive Director Bret Barrow—who’s also our principal trombonist—and with Peter Rubardt, our music director. We bring them in through the loading-dock entrance, so
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it’s really an insider thing. Patrons get to tour the backstage area while musicians are warming up, and they’re invited to stay for the rehearsal. Our music director is really good about getting involved in the relationship aspect of fundraising. He gives a personal story about why he does what he does. It’s something that no one else really knows, and it’s part of that insider feel.” O’Connor says that by getting a chance to talk with both the music director and the executive director, those who take the tour get “Pensacola Symphony 101: we let them know what our business model is, how we operate, what we do. Some of these people—even our most loyal concert patrons—don’t know, for example, that we do educational programs for kids on a regular basis. We’re shooting for maybe twenty people at these events: we want to make it feel pretty exclusive, not like a cattle call. The idea is to get board members to bring their friends or people we want to know better. “People take the tour on Friday night, an hour before the rehearsal. Then Bret gives them a call on Monday, and it’s almost like an excuse to talk to them, find out what their interests and background are. That’s probably the most important thing you can learn about a current or potential donor. We don’t ask them for money, either on the tour or in the followup. We’re just trying to get to know them better, to cultivate the relationship.” Another thing that has surprised and delighted high-level donors to the Pensa cola Symphony is the opportunity to sit onstage with the musicians during a rehearsal—something the orchestra has offered for the last two years. “We do that when we have double rehearsals,” O’Connor says. “The musicians get a break for dinner between the rehearsals, so we have the donors come for the last hour of the first rehearsal and then eat with the musicians. “It’s kind of the ultimate donor-engagement event, because they get to see Peter Rubardt conducting from the musicians’ side and get insight into the actual process of making music. The last time we did this, one of our board members said she enjoyed it more than the concert itself.” CHESTER LANE is senior editor of Symphony.
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Charles Ives outside his summer home in West Redding, Conn., ca. 1946. Background image: a page from the original full manuscript score of Ives’s Symphony No. 4, second movement.
Catching Up Musicians and audiences are warming to an American composer long considered “primitive and amateur,” thanks to more adventurous listening tastes and new performance editions.
Charles Ives Papers, courtesy of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University.
At right: Two pages from the original full manuscript score of Ives’s Symphony No. 4 (left top and bottom score pages), and (top right) a sketch and manuscript page (bottom right) from the first movement of Symphony No. 2. Below, top: Opening page of Ives’s Symphony No. 3 “The Camp Meeting,” from the 2001 full score edition, edited by Kenneth Singleton. James Sinclair, executive editor. Below, bottom: First page of Ives Symphony No. 4, from the new Charles Ives Society Performance Edition, based on the Critical Edition, 2011, realized and edited by Thomas M. Brodhead.
by Jan Swafford
his is a good season for Charles Ives. Orchestras all over are performing his works—including favorites like The Unanswered Question (Nashville Symphony; California’s Berkeley Symphony; Virginia’s Fairfax Symphony), Variations on America (Las Vegas Philharmonic), and Three Places in New England (Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra). There have been performances of lesser-known works such as Tone Roads Nos. 1 and 3, on a John Cage-themed program by the Victoria Symphony in Canada, plus performances of Ives’s major symphonic output. Remarkably, on the same night in October, the American Composers Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra performed the Third and Fourth symphonies—separate performances, both at Carnegie Hall, one in the main auditorium and the other in the smaller Zankel Hall. In February, the North Carolina Symphony takes on the Second Symphony, and in April, both the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert and the Detroit Symphony under Leonard Slatkin are performing the Fourth Symphony in their home concert halls. Copyr ight A ssociat ed Mu sic Pu blisher s, Inc.
Charles Ives Papers, courtesy of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University.
Music Copyright by Associated
with Charles Ives
In May, the Detroit Symphony is mounting, for the first time in history, all four Ives symphonies in a single evening, as part of the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall. One of the issues these performances bring up is the degree to which the eccentric old Yankee has become a member of the orchestral repertoire that during his lifetime he both scorned and vitally drew on. americanorchestras.org
As a longtime enthusiast, later scholar, eventually biographer of Ives, I have spent my life observing the changing pattern of response to this music that is a singular mingling of strange and familiar: some of the most imaginative and complex sounds and rhythms ever put on paper joined to material as familiar as a tune sung in church or whistled in childhood. I remember a performance of the raging Robert Browning
music could be.” He began to see Ives in Overture around 1970, conducted by Gunhistorical terms, as a bridge between Rother Schuller with the New England Conmanticism and Modernism. Hearing that, servatory Symphony Orchestra. AfterI recalled something Ives wrote to his ward, audience and players were chuckling friend, composer Carl Ruggles: “Ours is derisively. At that point I’d already heard just 15th century stuff—that is, it was to those chuckles for years, playing Ives rehave been made then—but they forgot to.” cordings for friends. Two years ago I heard In Ivesian parlance, what that means is Schuller again with the NEC orchestra, that for Ives the Renaissance discovery of this time reading enthusiastically through polyphony and harmony opened up posthe new Ives Society scores and parts for sibilities that had since been only incomthe Fourth Symphony. The students simpletely realized—the full range of effects ply put that sublimely difficult piece on and feelings harmony and counterpoint the stands and played it, and on first runare capable of. through it sounded quite like the piece I’ve known since 1966. Is the world finally catching up with Unique and Intensely American Ives? Composing difficult works in isolaUnlike many composers in the familiar tion, he seemed perpetually out of step repertoire, Charles Ives is an artist who in every era, ignored or ridiculed as an perennially needs explaining. He was a amateur. He produced scores that were Romantic in temperament who virtually sometimes of such poor invented the Modernphysical quality—unist musical vocabulary “Whenever I’ve played til recently—that peron his own, because he Ives I’ve felt that it formances were long grew up with an exspoke to people,” says thought to be impractiperimental attitude and Alan Gilbert, music cal. I asked Alan Gilbert, because he needed polydirector of the New York a longtime Ives chamtonality, polyrhythm, pion, if he has detected free harmony, performPhilharmonic, which will a warming toward Ives ing forces spread out perform Ives’s Fourth among players and perin space, to say what he Symphony this April. formers as he’s played was driven to say: that the music in recent years. we are spiritual beings, He replied: “I’ve never and music is the outfelt a coolness that needward echo of that inner ed to be overcome. The spirit. Once he put it question implies a need simply, “Music is life.” It for a rapprochement, was an intensely Ameribut whenever I’ve played can, democratic, unique Ives I’ve felt that it spoke conception of music and to people, both in Amerits place in life, and he ica and overseas.” created a unique music Leonard Slatkin, a to convey it. fervent Ives convert, has had a long and Ives’s interest in new harmonies and complicated journey with the composer. rhythms came early, when in the 1880s his Years ago, even as he performed Ives ocimaginative bandmaster father had him casionally, he was in the “Ives as primitive sing in one key while being accompanied and amateur” camp. “I thought that when in another, and told his son (the first time, things of his turned out all right, as in Three surely, any budding musician was ever told Places in New England, it was sort of by acthis) that any harmony whatever is valid cident,” says Slatkin. One of the stages in if you know what you’re doing with it. By Slatkin’s “transformational,” as he puts it, the time Charlie arrived to study music at rethinking of Ives was a series in which Yale, he had already in his teens experihe accompanied on piano a number of the mented with polytonality and with effects songs. “All of a sudden not only did I feel of chance and space, including his Fugue I understood the music, but I was able to in Four Keys (the keys being simultaneous) place him in a spectrum. I saw him not as and a set of variations on a hymn for band a maverick but as somebody who saw what played by contingents spread around the
town square—the theme and variations being simultaneous. In college he amused his classmates with wild keyboard impressions of football games and fraternity initiations. Already his most imaginative ideas were being drawn from community life. When Slatkin envisioned a program that could be played by the Detroit Symphony at Carnegie Hall this season as part of the Spring for Music festival, he wanted something unusual, and realized that Ives’s Symphonies 1-4 had never been done on a single evening. “As much as any composer you can think of,” Slatkin says, “Ives shows his development as a composer in the symphonies. This is a journey in which we literally hear a voice develop.” Indeed, the symphonies are a paradigm of Ives, because they begin in his student years with the First Symphony (ca. 189801), a big, Romantic work with echoes of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Dvořák, yet also with a distinctive voice. The Second Symphony (ca. 1899-1902) amounts to the inauguration of an indigenous American style in symphonic music, something that had long been discussed and dreamed of. To our ears it sounds rather like the kind of frank, unadorned “Americana” music Aaron Copland and others were writing 30 years later. Unfortunately, the generation of turn-of-century composers who needed that guide and inspiration never got it, because the Second—much of it based around Stephen Foster songs, fiddle tunes, and the like—was not heard until Leonard Bernstein premiered it with the New York Philharmonic in 1951. Leonard Slatkin notes, “With the Third Symphony, the experimentation begins.” Titled “The Camp Meeting,” this symphony is based on gospel tunes, starting with the first movement’s fugue on “O For a Thousand Tongues.” The finale is an intense stretch of post-post-Wagnerian chromaticism that resolves onto the old hymn “Just as I Am” and the sound of church bells. The Fourth Symphony, one of Ives’s most difficult and advanced pieces, Alan Gilbert calls “a miraculous work that defies analysis because it has a patchwork quality that, in an inexplicable way, becomes an incredibly rich tapestry of the human experience.” It is an epic journey that enfolds the quiet of a New England church and the pandemonium of a modern city in rush hour. symphony
To Market, To Market
presenting pieces that are unknown or new to our patrons, often pairing them with something like Dvorák or Mozart—as we are doing this season with the Ives. To give some insight on what people are about to hear, before each concert we have a free preconcert lecture by guest speakers or our assistant conductor, Teddy Abrams. We also send out program notes in emails the week of the concert so people have some time to familiarize themselves before hearing the music.”
concert to be performed on May 12. All media outlets received a candy bar, wrapped in a green S4M bandanna. The hall was overflowing.” Victoria (B.C.) Symphony. Ives: Tone Roads Nos. 1, 3; The Unanswered Question, during Cage 100 Festival, November 17, 2012. Mitchell Krieger, executive director: “At the Victoria Symphony we do a lot of themed festivals like the John Cage Festival. For these festivals we rely hugely on working the P.R. angle and social media to make the people who are not regular
Nashville Symphony. Ives: “Universe” Symphony (real. Austin), with works by Terry Riley and Percy Grainger. Carnegie Hall, New Victoria Symphony York, Spring for Music, May 12, 2012 Laurie Davis, publicist: “We pushed the oncein-a-lifetime aspect of this concert at Carnegie Hall. We met with all the local media early in the season and planned events for our patrons so they could help spread the word. In May, we scheduled concertgoers aware of it. For a rally party for people to pick up the Cage Festival, we also their tickets and Spring for Music collaborated with three other major arts institutions: Cage’s bandannas and we gave a free visual art at an art gallery; the lecture-demo concert, where University of Victoria’s music Nashville Symphony Music school, which did a number Director Giancarlo Guerrero spoke about the process behind of things; and an installation at a place called Open Space. Larry Austin’s realization of the Composer Christopher Ives ‘Universe’ Symphony. The Butterfield—a professor at U Tennessean embedded one of Vic who had been one of our their reporters, Jessica Bliss, composers-in-residence— to ride on the bus with the curated the entire thing. musicians, be at rehearsals, Collaboration is becoming very and cover the concert. The important to us. For the Cage orchestra received front-page Festival, we were covered on coverage twice that week. We the Canadian Broadcasting had a year-long social media Corporation, in the newspaper, campaign. All four of the local and on various blogs—a fairly TV stations covered the May well-known blogger here wrote 8 free concert in Nashville as a big article about it.” the intro into the actual S4M Victoria Symphony
Music, May 12, 2012. Jennifer Hempel, associate director of marketing and business development: “For contemporary music in general, we want to make sure that the concert is an event, an experience in and of itself. It’s not necessarily a young-person thing. We have a studentsubscription program here, and the most popular series are the very traditional orchestral American Composers concerts. Most of our promotion Orchestra. Ives: Symphony for a program [like Ives, Reich, or No. 3, with works by Narong Prangcharoen, Milica Paranosic, Glass] veers away from traditional print media, and toward direct and José Serebrier. Carnegie mail and outdoor, and in online Hall’s Zankel Hall, October 26, publications like Sequenza 21, 2012 Brooklyn Vegan, Gothamist. Heather Sikora, marketing We also have a really active manager: “We think it’s social media team, who create important to pair the historic relevant videos and clippings composer with current newfor our blogs and social media. music composers. Ives’s music That’s one way of creating is still very relevant. It goes familiarity with a composer or along with our mission as an piece. Spring for Music is a bit organization. For our Carnegie of an unusual situation—almost Hall performances, we work more of a co-production. We very closely with Carnegie’s marketing department. They will have an organizational team that works with all the different do marketing to radio stations, cover the bigger picture. We do orchestras, and they create a unified message for Spring for more of the grassroots things, Music. Each orchestra does have focusing on our current, living its own talents working on the composers. The night of our concert in October, the American marketing, but we assist greatly with our Carnegie Hall machine Symphony Orchestra was here—internal communications, performing Ives’s Symphony No. 4 upstairs at Carnegie Hall’s database, calendars, season Stern Auditorium. It was a great guide—but it’s up to them to take it over the top.” night for Ives-lovers to come to the hall! Our concert at Zankel Detroit Symphony Orchestra. that night nearly sold out, with just 30 seats left, which is a really Ives: Symphony Nos. 2, 4— Detroit, April 26/ 28, 2013. great turnout for us.” Symphony Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4— Carnegie Hall, New York, Spring Carnegie Hall. American for Music, May 10, 2013 Composers Orchestra, Ives Angela Detlor, senior director Symphony No. 3, October 28, of patron development and 2012 (Zankel Hall). American sales: “We are promoting the Symphony Orchestra, Ives fact that this is the first time in Symphony No. 4, October Carnegie’s history that all four of 28, 2012 (Stern Auditorium). his symphonies will be played Detroit Symphony Orchestra, back-to-back. In Detroit, we Ives Symphony Nos. 1, 2, 3, definitely plan to highlight the Ives 4, Spring for Music, May 10, 2013. Ives “Universe” Symphony, as we get closer to the concerts in April. We have a history of Nashville Symphony, Spring for How do you market an iconoclastic but not-easilyexplained American composer such as Charles Ives? How about John Cage, Philip Glass, or Steve Reich? Professionals from five arts organizations that have presented or will soon present Ives programs provide a behind-the-scenes look. —Jennifer Melick
The second reason the “amateur” tag stuck to Ives has to do with the materiTwo questions arise. First, why did the als players have had to struggle with, the idea get around that Ives was some sort uniqueness of what they are asked to do, of primitive—as Leonard Bernstein once the apparently haphazard mingling of said, “the Grandma Moses of music”? styles, and the sometimes ragged sound of There are two main reasons for that misthe music (though there are just as many conception, one coming from Ives’s career stretches of wonderfully beautiful music choice and the other the look and sound of in a more or less traditional sense). To adhis music to musicians. Partly because of dress those hurdles in reverse order: the the advice of his father, who had failed to old-fashioned Connecticut Yankee had a make a workable living in music, and partbit of a Puritan streak ly from the experience of that recoiled from polseeing his more imagiLeonard Slatkin, a ish and glitter in his native ideas regularly fervent Ives convert, work. Though he loved laughed at, Ives decided will lead the Detroit Debussy, he once said after musical studies at that the urbane FrenchYale that he would get a Symphony Orchestra in man might have done job in the life insurance all four Ives symphonies better if he’d dug some business in New York. at Carnegie Hall in May. potatoes, got his hands By that point he was Years ago, says Slatkin, dirty. Ives believed already one of the finest “I thought that when roughness was a sign of American organists of things of his turned out authenticity, and that his generation, and had was a quality dear to studied with the leading all right, as in Three him. In one of his most organ and composition Places in New England, it famous aphorisms, Ives teachers in the counwas sort of by accident.” declared, “Beauty in try. For a few years he music is too often conkept his options open, fused with something rising in the insurance that lets the ears lie trade while at the same back in an easy chair.” time serving as organFrom his teens, rawness ist/choirmaster at Cenand strong dissonance tral Presbyterian, a big were as much a part of New York church. But his language as pretty at a certain point it all sounds. caved in on him: in that The same attitude church job he could not marked his conceppursue the kind of mution of musical style, which had to do not sic he wanted to write, full of experiments with surface similarities of sound but with with the materials of music, and make a a unity of underlying spirit. Ives had the living in the profession as it existed. To largest harmonic vocabulary of any comput it in our terms: his conceptions were poser up to his time and for long after, decades ahead of his time. To put it in his enfolding everything from the simplest terms: he “quit music” in order to pursue diatonic harmony to tone clusters and anyhis most advanced musical ideas. thing in between—all of that sometimes So as Ives rose in business, co-founding on the same page. Likewise, any kind of what became the biggest and most innomusic was sacred to him if it was earnest vative life insurance agency in the country and authentic, from a ragtime piano in a (Ives & Myrick), as a composer he retreatbarroom to the cathedral and Symphony ed to his study, working nights and weekHall. He imagined an art, as he put it, “unends at white heat to produce his most visionary music. This included the Fourth limited by the narrow names of Christian, Symphony, the Concord Sonata for piano, Pagan, Jew, or Angel! A vision higher and and the “sets” for small and large orchestra, deeper than art itself!” To Ives, music was Three Places in New England and the syman external sign of the universal human phony Holidays—both assembled from inspirit, and it was that inner spirit, not exdependently written movements. ternal style and polish, that he aimed at in Misconceptions and Challenges
the notes he put on the page. To that end he used any sounds that would do the job. Thus the mingling of styles, the complexity, the dissonance, and the challenges to the players. I was in Chicago years ago to watch Michael Tilson Thomas and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra record the First and Fourth symphonies. I talked to the CSO’s legendary trumpet player Adolph Herseth, who always appreciated Ives even though, he said, “after playing some of those parts [including the thrilling but outlandishly difficult trumpet parts of Robert Browning Overture] I feel like a Ubangi, with my lips hanging out.” A clarinetist noted that in the first rehearsal he’d played a section at double speed and “I couldn’t tell and nobody could, it was all lost in the texture.” Most tellingly, the percussion section, having mastered terrifically difficult rhythms, came in to listen to the first playback of the tumultuous second movement (“Comedy”) of the Fourth Symphony. At the end the first comment came from a drummer: “I didn’t hear one note I played! What are we here for?” Leonard Slatkin’s answer to these perennial player complaints is to say that however busy Ives gets, to remove any part of it damages the effect. Ives, with his abiding concern with effects of space in music, might have said that what you hear depends on where you are sitting—and anyway, you can hear it, and what’s wrong with that? Unquestionably there is a divide in Ives: On one hand, he was a thoroughly trained musician; on the other hand, his long estrangement from the profession, amounting to some twenty years when he composed stacks of ambitious and innovative music largely in isolation, did affect his sense of practicality. He was never part of the concert-hall milieu, and for many years got little but hostility from professional musicians. He resorted to hiring musicians to read over his music, some of them theater pit bands at the end of the evening. He made use of those experiences, but only as his creativity was winding down did he hear anything approaching professional performances of his most ambitious work. The lack of performances is also reflected in the state of his performance materials for most of the last century. After a medical crisis in 1918, a descent into severe diabetes, and decades of invalidism with serious damage to his hearsymphony
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number of hours with the score and parts [of the Fourth Symphony] because the old edition is a mess, to say the least. I’m looking forward to comparing my marked-up materials with the new edition, and having new parts is sure to be very helpful.” This season is seeing performances around the world of the new Fourth Symphony edition (Associated Music Publishers), including this past October by the Berlin Philharmonic. Slatkin is using all new editions in his New York performance. This brings us back to that reading two Ives, Today years ago of the Fourth Symphony by Why Ives now? Why did Leonard Slatkin longtime Ives champion Gunther Schuller and Detroit decide the symphonies were a and the New England Conservatory Symgood way to bring a crowd and show their phony Orchestra. It was the first tryout of mettle? Audiences over the decades have the new edition, with its indeed warmed to Ives, remarkable, prizewinpartly because they have Conductor and Ives ning score computerstretched their ears to Society head editor engraved by Thomas encompass a wider palJames Sinclair says the Broadhead. He’d had to ette of sounds, partly benew performance scores reprogram his musiccause the performances copying software to are getting better, and “take a masterpiece allow it to convey the partly because the spiriand make it more freedom of alignment tual and philosophical comfortable. They will that some pages of the sources of Ives’s work 9/4/05, 12:21 PM make you reconsider the score call for. The parts, have become more genmusic.” for the first time, were erally known. Even at clear as can be, even in his most uproarious, the intricate “Comedy” Ives is essentially a removement. That Ives Soligious composer, but ciety edition took some hardly a solemn or nar25 years to complete. In rowly sectarian one. The the next five years or so raging, laughing, singthe Society will finish its ing Fourth Symphony is scholarly and performabove all a work of uniing editions and allied versal religion. new parts for the whole Meanwhile, one of of Ives’s work, with varithe longstanding barous publishers. Conductor and Ives Soriers standing between Ives and profesciety head editor James Sinclair is in the sional musicians has been the state of middle of recording the complete orchesthe performing materials, most of which tral music for Naxos. For Sinclair, who has were scraped together over the years by a struggled with dicey materials for decades, ragtag band of people whose work ranged the new editions “take a masterpiece and from splendid—the first engraving of the make it more comfortable, which allows a second movement of the Fourth Symhigher level of musical concentration. You phony (“Comedy”) in the 1920s—to the get to the musical issues faster. If you look disgraceful. Once an orchestra librarat the new scores, they will make you reian held up for me a flute part he had received for the Fourth Symphony: the consider the music.” page was solid black. He said another Ives part he once received had the notes JAN SWAFFORD is a composer and writer, and quite clear, but no staff lines at all. He author of biographies of Ives and Brahms, plus had to draw them in by hand. Says Alan a forthcoming one of Beethoven. His music is Gilbert, “I’ve had to spend an enormous published by Peer-Southern. ing and vision, Ives could no longer pull new pieces together. He spent the rest of his life promoting his work, helping to support new music in America with his fortune gained in business, and tinkering with pieces—sometimes to good effect (the revised Unanswered Question from the 1930s) and other times debatable. As late as the early 1940s, around the time the Third Symphony won the Pulitzer Prize, he made beautiful private recordings of his keyboard works.
Allentown Symphony Orchestra Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Brooklyn Philharmonic California Symphony Central Ohio Symphony Dallas Symphony Orchestra Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hartford Symphony Orchestra Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Los Angeles Philharmonic Madison Symphony Orchestra Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra
The League of American Orchestras and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation congratulate the following orchestras on receiving a Getty Education and Community Investment Grant. Chosen from a pool of more than 200 applicants, this yearâ€™s awardees are taking the lead in reshaping how Americaâ€™s orchestras can serve the educational and cultural needs of their communities. Congratulations to all!
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Omaha Symphony Pacific Symphony The Phoenix Symphony Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory Sphinx Virtuosi St. Louis Symphony
From designing musical equipment to forming and promoting new ensembles, orchestral musicians are rewarded by creative challenges of pursuits beyond the â€œday job.â€?
Side Gigs 58
by Fred Cohn
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Principal Cello Christopher Rex with the Georgian Chamber Players, one of the chamber ensembles he co-founded. The group includes several ASO musicians. Rex is also deeply involved with Florida’s Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and the Madison Chamber Music Festival in Georgia.
Joshua Smith, principal flute at The Cleveland Orchestra, also leads chamber group Ensemble HD, composed of Cleveland Orchestra members and guests.
Onetime Boston Symphony Orchestra percussionist Vic Firth founded one of the world’s top drumstick manufacturing companies. americanorchestras.org
Vic Firth Company
ll Vic Firth wanted was a couple of good sticks. The Boston Symphony Orchestra percussionist found himself increasingly dissatisfied with the commercially made drumsticks he had been using; they could not deliver the kind of impact he wanted in pieces like the Shostakovich Tenth, which has a snare drum solo. “I said to myself: ‘Stop bitching. You know what they should be—make them!’ ” He sent specifications to a wood turner, and got the sticks he wanted.Word soon spread in percussion circles about Firth’s exceptional drumsticks. Responding to the demand, he started a small manufacturing business in his basement. “I had no knowledge of sales or marketing—I was a total complete moron,” he says now. “But I certainly understood what makes a stick respond.”
of entrepreneurship has gained new prominence in musical circles. Conser vator ies across the country have been bringing entrepreneurial teaching into their curriculum. The movement has its roots at Eastman, which started its Arts Leadership Program in the mid-1990s. More recently, institutions like New England Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music have created departments deJeff Roffman
That was in the mid-1960s. In the decades since, the Vic Firth Company has become the world’s leading drumstick manufacturer. Its website carries endorsements from a roll call of top drummers— classical, jazz, and pop. Its plant in Newport, Maine, running two ten-hour shifts a day, makes roughly 400,000 units every week—enough drumsticks to capture 63 percent of the world market. Firth can be seen as the spiritual father of an increasingly familiar breed of player: orchestral musicians with an entrepreneurial streak. Some, like Firth, have founded manufacturing or retail businesses. Others have sustained impressive solo careers while still staying firmly rooted in their home orchestras. And any number of chamber ensembles across the world have been founded by orchestral players looking to add variety to their musical activity. The entrepreneurial musician is hardly a new concept. As Ramon Ricker, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at the Eastman School, notes, “Mozart was out there hustling his stuff—he was gigging!” But in recent years, the concept
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Principal Cello Christopher Rex performs the Brahms Double Concerto with Concertmaster David Coucheron and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Oliver Knussen.
voted to entrepreneurship, while others, like The Juilliard School and UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, have folded entrepreneurial elements into the curriculum. In Philadelphia, the Curtis Institute of Music requires students to take “The 21st-Century Musician,” a career-studies course examining the classical-music industry; the Institute’s Community Artists Program and ensemble39 show students how to engage audiences in new ways, whether that’s through a chamber group, workshops, or teaching programs. On the youth-orchestra front, the St. Louis symphony
Nashville Symphony Assistant Principal Second Violin Zeneba Bowers and Assistant Principal Viola Shu-Zheng Yang
Symphony, for example, includes learning about development, marketing, and public speaking as part of its Youth Orchestra curriculum. In fact, it’s hard now to find a university-level music school that doesn’t acknowledge entrepreneurship in its offerings. To some extent, this has arisen from a realistic assessment of the job market: without entrepreneurial skills, many gifted musicians will have trouble sustaining careers in their chosen field. Only a small percentage of conservatory graduates will land orchestral jobs and the attendant americanorchestras.org
work, a salary, and benefits—nonetheless get the entrepreneurial itch. The reasons are seldom economic: for most, outside endeavors represent at best a small supplement to their income. The real, more compelling motivation is that their outside activities can enhance their artistic lives. “I think it’s so important not to do only one thing,” says Jeffrey Khaner, who maintains a solo career and a teaching schedule on top of his job as principal flute with the Philadelphia Orchestra. “To be a solo flute player all the time would be unsatisfying, because few of the great composers wrote for solo flute. If I want to play Beethoven or Brahms or Bruckner or Stravinsky, the only option is to do it in the orchestra.” Orchestral musicians who start chamber ALIAS, a Nashville-based new-music ensembles are often looking to reconnect ensemble founded by Zeneba Bowers, assistant principal second violin with the with a genre of music that loomed large Nashville Symphony in their student days. “Chamber music is in their blood, so they look for every opportunity to do it,” says James Undercofler, artistic director of the University of security—a key consideration that educaMaryland’s National Orchestral Institute tors cite when explaining their emphasis and former president and on entrepreneurial studies. CEO of the Philadelphia “If you become the prinConservatories Orchestra. “It’s a chance to cipal whatever of the New across the country be heard.” York Philharmonic, you’re have been bringing For most musicians, an at the pinnacle of your proentrepreneurial orchestra job provides not fession,” says Joseph Polisi, just career stability but spiripresident of Juilliard. “Well, teaching into their tual rewards. It allows them what happens if that doesn’t curriclums. to use their extraordinary work out?” skills and training to engage But the surprising thing in one of the most demanding—and reis how many musicians with orchestral warding—collaborative endeavors around. berths and all that that entails—steady
But it also involves sacrifices. They spent their student years honing their interpretive skills; now they must cede the decision-making process to the conductor who stands before them. Playing in chambermusic groups can give them an opportunity to grab the interpretive reins and get some of their own back. “The main reason that orchestral musicians turn into chamber musicians is the musical outlet,” says Christopher Rex, who has long juggled his job as principal cello in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with
Among the recent student projects of New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship program is AcousticaElectronica, a multi-media evening that combined classical and electronic music, dancers, aerialists, DJs, and more.
The Manhattan School of Music’s “Setting the Stage” series features entrepreneurial speakers who share their expertise and advice with MSM students in hands-on interactive workshops. Here, violist Nadia Sirota and composer Nico Muhly in discussion, February 2011.
chamber-music activities: he’s the founder of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival in Florida and artistic director of the Madison Chamber Music Festival in Madison, Georgia. “As an orchestral musician, you sacrifice a certain amount of musical autonomy. Chamber music is something that gets you back into having a personal musical expression.” “In school, you spend a lot of your time learning how to interpret music and present yourself in recital,” says Zeneba Bowers, assistant principal second violin with the Nashville Symphony and the founder of ALIAS, a new-music ensemble based in Nashville. “There’s nothing like playing among 85 to 100 people who have the same goal. But as an assistant principal, what kind of artistic impulse do you have? None. I knew that when I started. The only way to have artistic control is to create it for yourself.”
New England Conservatory
At Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, student Gabriel Cabezas takes part in the school’s Community Artists Program and ensemble39, which teaches students how to engage audiences in new ways.
ibly crowded and incredibly fun.” Many in the audience may never have set foot in Severance Hall, but that doesn’t lessen the shows’ appeal. “It’s unusual for us to be in an environment where we wear jeans and drink beer,” says Smith. “It lets us connect with people who don’t expect us to be real members of their community.”
David Turben for TELOS Productions
Playing and Planning
Joshua Smith, principal flute at The Cleveland Orchestra, started Ensemble HD, composed of Cleveland Orchestra colleagues and named after the Happy Dog, a bar in the city’s hip Gordon Square Arts District. Here, Smith performs with Associate Concertmaster Amy Lee and violist Joanna Patterson Zakany.
Bowers acknowledges that, as much as she relishes the autonomy of playing in ALIAS, it also brings a new—and sometimes nerve-wracking—level of musical responsibility. “I like having control— which means you have to have ownership of your own mistakes,” she says. “That’s the part that sucks. If I’m going to choose my own music and play the way I want, I’m responsible for any and all failures. You can’t say ‘it’s the conductor’s fault’ —you’re the conductor now, dude.” Musicians who have taken up chamber music often say that, if anything, their outside work enhances their orchestral playing. That’s the view of Markus Tomasi, concertmaster of Salzburg’s Mozarteum Orchestra and leader of the Mozarteum String Quartet. (The orchestra has long offered its concertmaster the opportunity to use its name for a string quartet. By the time Tomasi got the chance to do that, he already had a string quartet in place; up until then, it had been known as the Mozart Quartet Austria.) “Chamber music sharpens our ears and senses,” he says. “The more you think about music, the better advantage you have in playing it.” Outside endeavors also give musicians a chance to reach new audiences. Joshua Smith, principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra, has started Ensemble HD, a chamber ensemble featuring orchestral colleagues, named after the Happy Dog, a bar in Cleveland’s hip Gordon Square Arts District. At the bar, which usually books americanorchestras.org
rock, pop, and jazz acts, Ensemble HD’s gigs have proved wildly popular. “The very first time we played, there was a line around the block—I couldn’t get a parking space!” Smith recalls. “It was incred-
Working out a schedule that balances orchestral duties with outside activities can call for meticulous planning. Tomasi’s Mozarteum String Quartet is able to maintain a touring schedule partly because the orchestra has a number of “off ” periods; still, its members often have to trade orchestra assignments with their string colleagues. In some cases, scheduling conflicts simply can’t be avoided. For instance, Richard Woodhams, principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is slated to play with some orchestral colleagues for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society this coming April. After the 8 p.m. concert had been scheduled,
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he discovered that the orchestra had a 5–7:30 dress rehearsal that very day. A planned 3:30–6 warmup for the chamber concert was quickly rescheduled for earlier in the afternoon. “It’s an hour when I have to be in two places at the same time,” Woodhams says, “and one thing you can’t change is the schedule of the Philadelphia Orchestra playing a Mahler symphony under the music director.” Jonathan Parrish, a horn player with the now-defunct Honolulu Symphony, encountered a more harrowing problem several years ago when he returned from a tour with the Spring Wind Quintet, a woodwind quintet featuring his orchestra colleagues. The tour had taken the group to Bergen, Norway; the return leg took two days, with a stop in New York City. The travel and jet lag left Parrish with a severe cold, just three days before he
was to play Tchaikovsky’s Fifth—one of the plums of the horn player’s repertoire. “When you plan it, you think ‘we’ll be back in time,’ ” Parrish says. “But when you find yourself in a situation like that, you think ‘Boy, was that dumb!’ I got The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Christopher Rex through it—but just barely.” with young cellists at a January 2012 ASO workshop in The popular conception partnership with the Atlanta Music Project. of classical musicians as ill-suited to the world outVic Firth points out, “I didn’t set out to side the rehearsal studio or concert hall make money.” is mostly myth. Still, few have received If it’s a small-scale endeavor like Clevetraining in the brass tacks of business. land’s Ensemble HD, the learning process Most of today’s orchestral musicians were may be relatively uncomplicated. “I’ve had in conservatories long before the current to figure out the administrative parts— entrepreneurial-studies movement; their putting together programming, getting evbusiness skills have been acquired on the erybody together in the same place at the job. Extra income is seldom the point; as Ahmad Mayes
Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner (left) and Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams (center). At right is oboe player Jonathan Blumenfeld.
same time,” says Josh Smith. “But since we’re basically doing it for hot dogs and beer, it’s all in a kind of grassroots, let’sput-on-a-show spirit.” But some musicians, faced with largerscale challenges, have nonetheless discovered a natural affinity for putting together a business. Firth is one example; another is Christopher Rex. In running his own chamber organizations, he has harkened back to his experience serving on a players’ committee that dealt with the Atlanta Symphony’s board. “You have to learn to communicate in a way where your head isn’t in the clouds,” he says of the challenges he faced running his music groups. “You have to appeal to a certain side of board members, and con-
tures. “I can say that I get fifteen to twenty calls a year—and that’s just from people who are entrepreneurial enough to make the call,” she says. “There’s a lot of desire out there to do things like this.” Even though very few orchestral entrepreneurs rely on outside ventures as significant revenue sources, in some cases they can make a significant difference—in their own lives, and in keeping music in the community. The players of the Honolulu
Symphony discovered this the hard way in 2009–10, when the orchestra went bellyup. Their outside activities have now become a lifeline. Cellist Joanna MorrisonPernela is the co-founder of Strings for Tomorrow, a Honolulu-based retail outfit that offers affordable string instruments to schools and students. Meanwhile, three separate chamber ensembles of orchestral musicians operate under the umbrella of Chamber Music Hawaii: the Spring Wind
“It’s unusual for us to be in an environment where we wear jeans and drink beer,” says Cleveland Orchestra Principal Flute Joshua Smith of his work with Ensemble HD. “It lets us connect with people who don’t expect us to be real members of their community.” vince patrons of the value of what you’re doing, in a way that inspires them to help you. I developed Amelia Island String Quartet with people who didn’t know anything about chamber music. Part of the challenge was to educate board members and patrons and audiences, and help them feel ‘I do get this. It’s something I can identify with, and be moved and affected by.’ ” As artistic director of ALIAS, Zeneba Bowers writes roughly ten grant proposals a year, and in 2004, she presided over the ensemble’s incorporation as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It has all required a lot of seat-of-the-pants learning. “It wasn’t taught when we were in school,” she says. “It requires you to know how to form a corporation and create a board—all the things that have nothing to do with Paganini caprices.” Because of ALIAS’s success, she gets calls from other musicians and artists seeking her advice as they consider launching their own entrepreneurial venamericanorchestras.org
The Juilliard School
At The Juilliard School, soprano Camille Zamora, co-founder of the nonprofit Sing for Hope, answers questions from students who attended this year’s orientation presentation about entrepreneurship.
Our Campus is Diverse.
It’s called Detroit.
Study music at Wayne State Choose from seven undergraduate degrees and six graduate degrees Study privately with members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra Perform in the heart of Detroit’s Midtown Cultural Center, a vibrant area of performing arts, museums, art galleries and festivals Qualify for Department of Music talent-based scholarships valued up to $8,600 a year Visit music.wayne.edu to register for a new student audition on February 1 or March 1, 2013
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Quintet, the Galliard String Quartet, and the Honolulu Brass Quintet. Not only has Chamber Music Hawaii provided work for its players, it has also filled some cultural gaps left by the collapse of the symphony. “We’ve always had a substantial education program,” says bassoonist Marsha Schweitzer, CMH’s founder. “The symphony’s program died; there’s no way we can cover it at the same level, but we’re sort of filling that niche.” Most orchestral entrepreneurs find themselves in a happier position, enjoying the security of a steady job while still finding opportunities to expand their musical horizons. “If I weren’t able to do the solo work, I would really regret it, and if I weren’t able to do the orchestral work, I would really regret it,” says the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Khaner. “I’m extremely lucky to be in a position to do all those things.” FRED COHN is consulting editor of Chamber Music and a frequent contributor to Opera News.
Talk to Us If you have any questions about the League, here’s how to get in touch. Advocacy • 202-776-0214 Development • 646-822-4034 Executive Office • 646-822-4062 Learning and Leadership Development • 646-822-4091 Marketing and Membership Development • 646-822-4080 Public Relations • 646-822-4027 Research and Development • 646-822-4004 Symphony • 646-822-4041
The League of American Orchestras is pleased to recognize the following orchestras on their noteworthy milestones: 100 years
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Reading Symphony Orchestra
Canton Symphony Orchestra Des Moines Symphony Louisville Orchestra Waterbury Symphony Orchestra
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Britt Festival Orchestra Enviso Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale New York Youth Symphony
California Symphony Chicago Sinfonietta Florida Youth Orchestra The Long Bay Symphony New World Symphony The Orchestra of Northern New York Philharmonic Association, Inc. Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon
Manassas Symphony Orchestra Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Leeâ€™s Summit Symphony Orchestra New Life Symphony Orchestra ProMusica Arizona
Divers by Harvey Felder
To connect with younger audiences, orchestras must understand and embrace the
he lights dim, a hush settles over the audience, and all eyes turn to the lone figure of the conductor walking to the podium to begin the concert, as concerts have begun for centuries. Except, something is different with this audience. In the darkness of one section of the concert hall, the ghostly faces of dozens of young people are illuminated by the pale blue light of handheld electronic devices. The opening chords of the Beethoven are the same, the soaring strings and thundering brass are the same, but with the added presence of an unseen and silent guide. The glowing faces are interacting with the guide, then with the music, the musi-
cians, and each other in ways never before imagined. This is the brave new world of the modern concert experience. At the core of this sea change is the American symphony orchestra’s never-ending pursuit of relevance. This time Generations X and Y are informing that pursuit. The challenge of broadening the appeal and relevance of symphony orchestras is not new. The notion of culturally and ethnically diversifying symphony boards, administrations, musician rosters, and audiences was one of the most pressing issues facing American symphonies in the 1980s and ’90s. One could suggest that the symphony orchestra’s cultural and ethnic diversity struggles were 20th-century issues. That is not to say that they have been
solved—nothing could be further from the truth. However, generational diversity is the challenge of the 21st century. More specifically, how do we generationally diversify symphony audiences? A wealth of research has been done about the demographic we seek to embrace, referred to as Generations X and Y. Their worldview and approach to life are unique. Any organization seeking to interact with Generations X and Y—be it an institution of learning, media outlet, retailer, political action group, or source of entertainment—has come to understand that their needs and expectations are different. These differences require specialized and innovative marketing and engagement strategies. symphony
Tacoma Symphony Orchestra Music Director Harvey Felder. Far left: Felder leads the Chicago Sinfonietta and violinist Tai Murray, October 4, 2010 at Symphony Center in Chicago.
values of Generations One could argue that the dominant influence on their lives has been technology such as computers and cell phones. On a broader level, technology has shaped their way of thinking, listening, and processing information. Any discussion of Generations X and Y cannot occur without an acknowledgement of the dominant role technology plays in their lives. To embrace Generations X and Y is to embrace technology. New Attitudes: Authority and Institutions
As orchestras develop strategies to become more attractive to Generations X and Y, and because orchestras all work with limited human and financial resources, understanding of the following shared traits can americanorchestras.org
X and Y.
inform our efforts: 1) their view of authority and institutions; 2) their requisite need for interactive engagement; and 3) their expectation of immediacy and service. The symphony is often perceived as an inflexible bastion of authoritarianism. The image of the all-powerful maestro, baton held aloft ready to strike down any dissention or challenge, is part of the folklore of this “mighty” institution. Clearly this image, justified or not, will not endear the symphony to Generations X and Y. The mistrust of institutions held by most from Generations X and Y means that earning trust is an essential first step. Efforts toward establishing trust and showing respect begin with an acknowledgement of their attitudes and preferences. Any ap-
proach that implies even the slightest “this is good for you” subtext needs to be abandoned. Any attempt to position musicians, classical music, or the concert hall itself as representing something above the ordinary will likely not be received well. Promotional materials should be reviewed carefully, with particular scrutiny given to graphic-design elements of advertisements, brochures, and websites that convey an implied superiority. Those of us who have worked in this field for years are often blind to these subtle yet powerful embedded messages. Something as standard as an image of an individual in white tie and tails can send a subliminal message of smugness. Fresh, outside eyes are needed to help us see what we are saying to people. Generations X and Y have witnessed their parents lose savings as a consequence of how the “experts” handled their investments, permanently reshaping their thinking. Having seen how a company laid off their mother or father after years of being a loyal employee, they have a natural mistrust of institutions. Growing up with unlimited access to information at the touch of a button, they are skeptical about “experts,” be they in business, science, or the arts. These factors have shaped who they are and how they respond to authority, institutions, and experts. If we truly value them and want them to value us, we need to change who we are and the images we project in order to better serve them. Interactive Engagement: Listening Styles
When considering Generation X and Y’s approach to entertainment, we must first accept that they will not perceive, experience, or relate to things as we do. The primary element in their preferred style of engagement is interactivity. Without it, activities are often viewed as unsatisfying. The classical music audience is traditionally thought of as quiet and attentive: passive admirers of what is happening onstage. They have been taught to sit still and remain in their seats until given the appropriate cues to move, and admonished to keep their thoughts to themselves. With the onset of beeping watches and cell phones, it has become necessary to remind people, via pre-concert announcements, of their traditional role as silent, isolated observers. We cling tightly to our expec-
via interviews and YouTube posts. Backstage docents could live-stream thoughts and observations as the music is being rehearsed. A permanent “orchestra-cam” could be set up onstage, allowing us to peek in on selected rehearsals.
How Can We Help You: Needs and Expectations
Looking at our organizations from a consumer-retailer perspective, can we say that we are prepared to meet the basic consumer needs of Generations X and Y? Their expectations are high in regard to consumer service and satisfaction. Consequently, it goes without saying that consumer-retailer interactions must be state-of-the-art and continually adapting. We have all experienced the exasperation associated with technical shortcomings. At a minimum, orchestras must ensure that our customers have the online ability to: • Peruse ticket purchase options. • Take virtual tours of the concert facility. • View seating options via virtual tours. • Make last-minute changes without penalty. • Learn about the performance and performers, with links and other background information about the coming performance. Music Director Harvey Felder addresses the audience at a concert by the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.
and silent video screens can co-exist with tations of what an audience should and live music. Problems may arise when the should not be doing during a concert. interactive style of Generations X and Y Generations X and Y, given their love interferes with the listening style of other of technology, have a fervent need to stay audience members. One easy solution is connected. For them, an experience is into designate a section of the concert hall complete unless they have played some “silent mobile device friendly” (with emrole in its creation or outcome, which phasis on silent), allowing the virtual comseems at odds with the rigidity of classical munity to engage in the multitasking and music presentations. They are not inclined interactivity that is second to be passive participants in nature to them. anything. At a minimum, One mistake made in Another idea that should they want the opportuour initial attempts be considered is having a nity to comment. How do at cultural and ethnic backstage internet docent these individuals fit into diversity was to view engage in various activities the world of the traditional ethnic communities as during the week leading up classical music patron? monolithic. The entire to an orchestra’s concert, Clearly, symphony conspectrum of incomes, giving access to musicians certs have to continue to education levels, and and selected rehearsals: evolve by becoming multilayered. There will be layers social values exist within these communities. for the traditional audi• Humanize the musience, such as pre-concert cians of the orchestra via lectures, program notes, and the occasional daily blogs, YouTube posts, and Twitter visual enhancement. For multitasking updates. An interview with the princiGeneration X and Y, there must be mulpal trombonist in Mahler’s Symphony tiple layers, all designed to broaden the exNo. 3, or a discussion with the principal perience beyond what has been thought of oboist in Strauss’s Don Juan, could ofas sufficient for a symphony concert. fer great personal insight. To be privy to Consider the baseball fan who brings a their excitement, psychological prepaportable radio or television to a game; perration, and even nervousness would be haps the modern-day equivalent is an iPad fascinating. or smartphone. The fan now has access • Guest artists could be tracked as they to a stream of information he or she will make their way to the orchestra’s city, miss by merely observing the game without electronic enhancement. In the concert hall, some Generation X and Y audience members undoubtedly would find the concert experience more attractive if they were offered a stream of information about the event they are witnessing. An interactive virtual community could be a part of every concert. With little effort, symphony orchestras could provide real-time concert blog entries, streaming video, commentaries from performers, or a running “play by play” about the concert. Modern technology means anyone in the audience can communicate thoughts, questions, and observations to a backstage docent who, via mobile device, could serve as a silent guide during performances for patrons wishing to partake of his or her expertise. Conversation, of course, must be curtailed during a concert, since it competes with the sonic creation emanating from the stage. But written communication
Generations X and Y
A spate of recent studies points to some general characteristics. l hey grew up as a part GENERATION Y T They have a tendency (born 1977 – 1998) of a service society, to rewrite rules to fit not a manufacturing their reality. l l The first generation Sometimes referred to one. Their expectations l to grow up with as “Millennials.” They embrace the are high with regard to computers, they have notion of institutional l customer service and They are at the a natural comfort level irrelevance. satisfaction. forefront of how with technology. Both society combines l Generations X and They are independent, communication, Y do not consider resilient, and adaptable. X and Y Shared Traits entertainment, and the computer to be Many grew up as innovation. l T hey both prefer the technology, just as latchkey kids and have internet to television, l their parents and learned to approach Unlike baby boomers because it provides grandparents do not problem-solving and many in the the crucial element of consider the toaster from an independent Generation X, they interactivity. to be technology.They perspective. have internet lives, have a pragmatism and l existing as avatars and l Doing is more They are qualitycynicism that affects escaping to fantasy important than seekers. They do not their interaction with and social-networking knowing. The concept mind spending more everything from the sites at regular of an “expert” is rarely for quality, and remain media and institutions intervals. embraced. passionately loyal of higher learning to l toward those who They believe it is “cool” l Static knowledge is corporate America. provide it. to be smart, and have irrelevant to them; l They possess a casual an insatiable fascination if needed, it can be disdain for authority with technology. found on the internet. and are somewhat l They tend to be l less loyal toward their Results and actions team-oriented, and employers. are considered more band together to date important than the and socialize.They accumulation of facts. enjoy the hubbub of crowds; multitasking is endemic.
GENERATION X (born 1965 – 1976)
Determine parking availability and mass-transit options. Find pre- and post-concert activities at or near the concert hall.
A critical reason to have members of Generations X and Y among us is simply to have them serve as reverse mentors— providing technological guidance and advice to the older generation. The level of service and immediacy expected by Generations X and Y as a result of their technical prowess may seem trivial. However, we ignore their proclivities at our peril. Fortunately, We Have Been Down This Road Before … Sort Of
Symphony orchestras have already struggled with issues of diversity. The symphony world discovered during early attempts at cultural and ethnic diversity that if we made no efforts to understand and value the communities we sought to add to our base, we could expect those communiamericanorchestras.org
ties to look askance at our organizations or continue to ignore us all together. Our implied message was, “We don’t care who you are as a culture, we just want you to support our culture (the symphony).” The institutional disrespect was palpable and could only lead to failed efforts. Seeking diversity is a two-way street. I am heartened by the growing number of admirable exceptions to failed or ineffective attempts at cultural diversification. One of note is the St. Louis Symphony’s IN UNISON program, inaugurated in 1992 after the orchestra recognized that the African-American population represented a substantial percentage of the city but was not equally represented among the supporters of the symphony. IN UNISON began with five churches and quickly established itself as the model for the St. Louis Symphony’s community programs. Musicians in the program now perform for 20,000 members from more than 30 churches serving the African-
Generations X and Y multitask. Listening to music is rarely done without texting or some other form of engagement. taying connected S is essential; isolation or disconnection is dreaded. hey have a strong T demand for immediacy and little tolerance for delays. They expect service 24/7. hey have a videogame T trial-and-error approach to solving problems, rather than a logic-and-rules-based approach. hey blur the lines T between creator, owner, and consumer of information.
American community in St. Louis. The SLS understood that something more substantial than the traditional “outreach” program had to be developed. The symphony listened to this community and
• • • • •
identified an underserved segment of the community; developed systematic steps toward understanding the culture of that community; identified and placed value on elements of that community; interacted with that community from a position of mutual respect; based success on the amount of human interaction between the orchestra and the African-American community, rather than on the type of repertoire performed.
The IN UNISON program represents an organization’s willingness to change its thinking and notions of engagement. A
League Resource Center on Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is a key area of challenge and opportunity for the orchestra field. It is at the heart of how orchestras will better connect with their communities. But recent research by the Marmillion Company indicates that orchestras are still perceived by critical stakeholders as insufficiently serving the country’s diverse communities. The League’s new Resource Center, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to provide League members with a range of free resources on diversity and inclusion that are practical and helpful for those working in orchestras. Resources are categorized by topic and include: • A “Quick Start Section” • Best Practices in Orchestras and Arts Organizations • Best Practices in Other Fields • Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion • Board Resources • Management Resources • Readings/Publications/Research To access the Resource Center, visit americanorchestras.org.
new and successful raison d’être for the St. Louis Symphony grew out of their seeking to understand and embrace the African American segment of their community before they sought to be understood and embraced. In seeking to generationally diversify symphony patrons, we will again have to understand, embrace, and respect the values espoused by Generations X and Y as one of the first steps in this process. Over the past three decades many attempts at cultural and ethnic diversity have been initiated, with the best of intentions. Most have had little or no impact upon the makeup of audiences, supporters, administrative staffs, boards of directors, and the musician rosters of this country’s symphony orchestras. It is important to understand that these efforts cannot be judged as failures. Perhaps the most important lesson is that this is a complicated issue that will not be solved with superficial gestures, and it’s going to take time. The same can be said of efforts to generationally diversify. The issue is complex and will not be solved with halfhearted, cursory efforts. Common Strategies, Approaches to Avoid
We have been wringing our hands over the graying of symphony audiences for decades. However, these concerns were
usually assuaged with comments such as, “Symphony audiences have always been gray” and “We will always be able to find the 50- and 60-somethings to fill our concert halls.” Our thinking on this has begun to change. We have discovered that the vast majority of the younger generation does not naturally evolve into symphony lovers. A successful shift in institutional attitudes and policies will only result if we clearly articulate a strategy reached via careful self-examination and embraced by all within the organization. One of the mistakes made in our initial attempts at cultural and ethnic diversity was a tendency to view ethnic communities as monolithic. Within the African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American communities one finds great diversity. The entire spectrum of incomes, educational levels, and social values exist within all of these communities. With an understanding of the diversity within each community comes a more enlightened and potentially successful approach to reaching out to these communities. Approaching the younger generation with an understanding that someone who is 25 years old carries a different relationship to the world than someone who is 35
represents an enlightened strategy. With each group comes a different set of expectations and characteristics. The younger generation’s receptivity to the symphony hinges on our ability to present an organization that reflects each group’s unique consumer needs, cultural values, and experiential expectations. Brave New World
The lifestyles of Generations X and Y represent dramatic changes in how individuals perceive and interact with the world. Their coming of age coincides with the exponential growth in technology that our society is currently experiencing. This pairing has created an experiential and intellectual gap between young and old unlike any we have experienced. Rather than seeing the shifting personal traits and characteristics of Generations X and Y as temporal quirks at best and character flaws at worst, we need to understand them and how they govern their lifestyles. As is the case with any organization that serves the public, our challenge is the changing society in which we live. We can fight for the expectations and norms of the past, and in doing so continue to exclude people with different experiential needs. Or we can see the new and evolving expectations as ours. Our paralysis or ineffective gestures toward diversity are, more likely than not, a manifestation of our resistance to change, or fear of change. Redesigning our organizations in ways that make us more attractive and relevant to our communities will be difficult. We may need to try not once or twice but multiple times before we discover a new model that effectively embraces the change we seek. What we are trying to accomplish with regard to cultural, ethnic, and generational diversity is appropriate and honorable. We should celebrate our successes and rejoice in the changes in our industry. With ongoing, well-meaning, and carefully designed efforts, our relevance and place in our communities is likely to continue and even grow. HARVEY FELDER is music director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra in Washington State and associate professor of music at the University of Connecticut.
The League of American Orchestras would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2012 National Conference. We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis! To inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 Conference taking place June 17–20, please contact Steve Alter at 646 822 4051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts Consulting Group Artsmarketing Services Inc. Arup ASCAP Avectra Bennett Direct Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Caminos del Inka CCS Cirque de la Symphonie Classical Movements, Inc. Colbert Artists Management The Cooking Group LLC/Cirque Musica Corporation for International Business DCM, Inc.–Teleservices & Consulting for Non-Profits Fisher Dachs Associates–Theatre Planning & Design Goodear Acoustic Shield La Playa Arts & Entertainment: Insurance with Intelligence Patron Technology, Inc. Sciolino Artist Management ScoreBig SD&A Teleservices, Inc. TALASKE | Sound Thinking Texas Commission on the Arts Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. Van Cliburn Foundation Video Ideas Productions, Inc.
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Bassist Rick Robinson, a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for many years, explains why he is working to make classical music more accessible.
Off the Pedestal Rick Robinson in Detroit
themselves and the music and talk about where and why they perform classical music. Many classical fans come out for these events, but I love when we surprise young have wanted to de-stigmatize classical semi-improvising. We ate, drank, and people who happen to be there and stay. music for new listeners since before talked as we listened for a pleasurable eveSome are quite excited by the experience I joined the Detroit Symphony ning around classical music. A third of the and ask about the next one. Orchestra in 1989. Clearly, orchestras audience was musicians waiting to play. Experimenting has helped me test what were not drawing many young and Another third was older and glued to the makes young and diverse audiences curidiverse music lovers, and playing in music. The last third was young and not ous about classical. What dominates pop relaxed bars and cafes seemed like an focused on the event, but tolerant enough culture are song forms, driving rhythms, obvious way to do that. But there were to stick around. and the blues third (a flatted two big problems: volume and tone that gives the blues cigarette smoke. Often after its saucy character). Makplaying DSO concerts I would ing the case for old-school go out and enjoy live rock, instrumental adventures like jazz, folk, and even karaoke. I a quartet means pointing this learned to wear earplugs and out with confidence, humor, put up with smoke, because and insightful context. outside of the standard concertTranscribing and comhall setting there is a vibrant posing allow me to bring a community that loves to sing, taste of the symphonic and dance, clap, and watch bold my own hybrid music into performers have fun. Rick Robinson, at left, listens in as clarinetist Sam Martin, bassoonist bars and to talk about why I began to imagine that Jonathan Boyd, and flutist Dennis Carter bring classical music to the I choose to play classical some symphonic music could Majestic Cafe as part of Classical Revolution Detroit, which Robinson even though I love other be enjoyed in this way too. As started in 2010. musical styles too. I want to the saying goes, if you can’t beat inspire more musicians to do the same ’em, join ’em. So I began arranging and I was so excited by what I saw in rewarding work: there is such great composing for small groups of classiCleveland that I started CR in Detroit need. Professional symphony traditions cal musicians. Michigan’s smoking ban the very next month. Every place I asked are highly regarded. But to the average became law in 2009, and I was really was willing to try the series on a slow American those traditions seem sacred, excited to learn about Classical Revolunight. I settled on two popular venues aloof, and cold. tion.org the following year. CR started in for a monthly series: one is in my Detroit We can warm up classical music simply 2006 when a violist began organizing free neighborhood, while the other is just by taking it temporarily off the pedestal chamber music in the cafes of San Frantwo blocks north of Orchestra Hall. And of our concert hall and relaxing with it. cisco’s Mission District. It has since grown at a Caribou Coffee in a hip suburb I Doesn’t everyone deserve such beauty and into a worldwide movement with 30-plus began a monthly open jam that welcomes pleasure? chapters, often featuring sight-reading anyone who can read at least Eine Kleine and new and hybrid music. Nachtmusik. I drove to a popular Cleveland bar In hosting these events I made them RICK ROBINSON was a bassist in the Detroit to witness a CR event that had seven informal, informative, and personal. Symphony Orchestra from 1989 to December acoustic ensembles, all made up of music We’ve had around 60 volunteer musicians 31, 2012. He is now working to develop new students—except for an amateur ensemble participate in performances, sight-reading, audiences with his CutTime ensembles, music, with classical and unusual instruments and brief interviews. Players introduce and teaching. Jon Luebke