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Changing Perspectives New directions in education, podium talent, musicians connecting with communities, board diversity, orchestra commissions

Pops Now MITJ ’s Real Musicians Conference 2016: The Richness of Difference

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VO LU M E 6 7, N U M B E R 4

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atching the video of the podium talent in the League’s Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, which took place at the Nashville Symphony in May, it’s impossible not to be floored by the distinctive approaches of the five conductors in the showcase. It’s not every day that you can observe multiple conductors in succession lead a professional orchestra, and seeing them one after another made clear that each manifests an innate style, a highly personal understanding of music and music-making. No less impressive are the musicians of the Nashville Symphony, who make shifting from Beethoven to Copland to Dvořák to Michael Daugherty—under five different conductors—appear effortless. (Catch the video through November 9 at americanorchestras.org.) Equally striking was the New York debut of conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla this fall, when she led the Juilliard Orchestra. Expressive and fluent, the thirty-year-old Grazinyte-Tyla brought fresh insights—and raw power—to repertoire staples, and sustained tension to a 2010 work by Raminta Serksnyte. Grazinyte-Tyla is hardly an unknown— she’s associate conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra—but the New York classical-music industry was out in force for her local debut (and this on the same night as the opening of the Metropolitan Opera and the first presidential debate). The young musicians in the Juilliard Orchestra sailed through the divergent demands of the scores with aplomb. At a time when things are changing rapidly at orchestras, seeing all the rising talent in classical music—and the above are just a couple of examples of what happens every day across the country—is deeply encouraging.

Marilyn Rosen Presents IN THE SPOTLIGHT







symphony®, the award-winning quarterly magazine of the League of American Orchestras, discusses issues critical to the orchestra community and communicates to the American public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. EDITOR IN CHIEF

Robert Sandla


Chester Lane


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symphony symphony S U MFM A EL R L


Weill Music Institute

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Free | Summer 2017 Application Deadline: November 1, 2016 The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America brings together America’s finest young players ages 16–19 for an intensive summer of training, coaching, and an unforgettable concert tour of South America led by acclaimed conductor Marin Alsop. carnegiehall.org/nyousa Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by The Jack Benny Family Foundation; Andrew and Margaret Paul; and Jolyon Stern and Nelle Nugent.

Also, check out the second season of NYO2, an all-scholarship training program for young instrumentalists ages 14–17. carnegiehall.org/nyo2 Chris Lee

Leadership support for NYO2 is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founder Patron: Beatrice Santo Domingo.

symphony FA L L 2 0 1 6


2 Prelude by Robert Sandla


6 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events

Jordan August

16 Board Room How five California arts organizations are moving toward diversity and inclusion in the board room. 20 Seen and Heard: Conference 2016 Voices from the League’s 2016 Conference in Baltimore.



Naming Rights Are the evocative, eye-grabbing titles of today’s new orchestral works superseding traditional numbered symphonies? by Matthew Guerrieri


Podium Pipeline For more than two decades, the League’s Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview has showcased talented maestros. by John Pitcher



Service Mission Stories from five players honored with the League’s new Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service. by Chester Lane


Randall L. Schieber

The Beats Go On The ever-expanding category of “orchestral pops.”



Small Screen, Big Talents Spotting classical stars on Mozart in the Jungle. by Jennifer Melick

40 2016 Guide to Symphony Pops Advertisers

Amazon Studios

Music Education for All Students Getting music back in the classroom, starting with the new Every Student Succeeds Act. by Steven Brown

72 Richard Lippenholz

69 Advertiser Index 70 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 72 Coda U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings on how music can change lives. Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline l at symphony.org.

about the cover

Clockwise from top: Opening session of the League’s 2016 Conference (photo by Richard Lippenholz). The Pacific Symphony’s Lantern Festival (photo courtesy Pacific Symphony). Composer Jessie Montgomery (photo by Nate Malinowski). Oregon Symphony Music Director Carlos Kalmar. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra musicians at Carnegie Hall (photo by Tristan Cook).

Call Arts Consulting Group today to discuss industry challenges and

Symphony Success Stories.

(888) 234.4236 ArtsConsulting.com ArtsConsultingCanada.ca

Growing Institutions. Advancing Arts & Culture. Enhancing Communities.

Boston | Calgary | Chicago | Dallas | Denver | Halifax | Los Angeles | Nashville | New York | Portland | San Francisco | Tampa | Toronto | Washington DC

SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry THE

Conference 2016

The Baltimore Youth Symphony Orchestra and members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program perform at the opening session of the League’s 2016 Conference.

Richard Lippenholz

Richard Lippenholz

Richard Lippenholz

The League of American Orchestras’ 71st National Conference, “The Richness of Difference,” attracted positive attention as well as extensive press coverage for its urgent focus on diversity and inclusion. Held from June 9 to 11 in Baltimore and hosted by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Conference drew nearly 1,000 stakeholders—orchestra managers, musicians, staff, trustees, and volunteers—from across the country. This was the first League Conference to take place in Baltimore, and the first to focus on diversity. The Conference opened with celebratory performances by the Baltimore Youth Symphony Orchestra and members of the BSO’s OrchKids program, which provides free music education for Baltimore youth. League President and CEO Jesse Rosen provided context with his introductory remarks on “The Richness of Difference,” and Earl Lewis, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, delivered the opening keynote address. A panel discussion on diversity initiatives followed, with Lewis, BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, ArtsPlace in America Executive Director Jamie Bennett, and Phoenix Symphony Principal Clarinet Alex Laing. Sessions throughout the Conference explored diversity and inclusion at orchestras, along with such topics as music education, fundraising, emerging subscription models, new music, electronic media strategy, and building a healthy organizational culture. In “Taking Out the Guesswork: Using Research to Build Arts Audiences,” based on a new guide from the Wallace Foundation, League President and CEO marketing expert Bob Harlow The Conference’s closing luncheon featured a discussion of actions Jesse Rosen at the 2016 orchestras can take to better reflect the diversity of 21st-century demonstrated how research is helping Conference in Baltimore America. From left: Gayle S. Rose, Anne Parsons, Alex Laing, Marin arts groups. Intensive, two-day PreConference seminars focused on donor development, education and Alsop, Monique Chism, DeRay Mckesson, and Jamie Bennett. community engagement, and training for new executive directors. Association of California Symphony Orchestras Executive Director Kris Sinclair, who retires this year after 31 years at the group’s helm, received the Gold Baton, the League’s highest honor. Five orchestra players were awarded the new Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service: Penny Anderson Brill, viola, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Sharon Orme, bass clarinet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Jeff Paul, principal oboe, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra; Brian Prechtl, percussion, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; and Beth Vandervennet, cello, Oakland Symphony. (See page 48 for complete coverage of these musicians.) Musical, social, and networking events included a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert led by Music Director Marin Alsop featuring music by Thomas Adès and Ravel, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring performed with its Martha Graham choreography by young dancers from the Baltimore School of the Arts. Alsop led a conducting masterclass on June 11. The closing luncheon focused on identifying key actions orchestras can take, individually and collectively, to help our institutions and art form better reflect of the diversity and dynamism of 21st-century America. Speakers included Marin Alsop; Jamie Bennett; Dr. Monique Chism, deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs, U.S. Department of Education; The Honorable U.S. Representative Conference Resources Elijah Cummings (Maryland District 7); Alex Laing, principal Check out the videos, presentations, toolkits, transcripts, and additional resources from the League’s 2016 Conference clarinet, Phoenix Symphony; DeRay Mckesson, activist, educator, organizer; Anne Parsons, president and CEO, Detroit Symphony at the post-Conference web page, americanorchestras.org/ Orchestra; and Gayle S. Rose, board chairman, Memphis Symphony conferences-meetings/conference-2016.html. Orchestra.



FALL 2016

Carnegie’s New Kids

MUSICAL CHAIRS SHRUTI ADHAR has been named executive director of The Knights, an orchestral collective based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Louisville (Ky.) Orchestra has appointed LESLIE ANTONIEL director of development. Will Figg

At the Cape Symphony (Hyannis, Mass.), ROBERT J. BARKER has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees. Florida’s Orlando Philharmonic has named CHRISTOPHER BARTON executive director. The New York Philharmonic has appointed MICHAEL BECKERMAN Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence for 2016-17.

At the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Symphony, ART BLOOM has been named chief operating officer, KENT WALLACE-MEGGS chief philanthropy officer, and E. ANDREAS NASSER resource coordinator. California’s Marin Symphony has appointed TOD executive director.


PATRICK CHAMBERLAIN has been appointed director of artistic planning at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Music Publisher Boosey & Hawkes has named CAROL ANN CHEUNG manager of marketing and public relations.

WESLEY COLLINS has been named principal viola in the Cleveland Orchestra; he succeeds ROBERT VERNON , who has retired from the post following a 40-year tenure.

Firebird in Flight

North Carolina’s Greensboro Symphony Orchestra has appointed DANIEL CRUPI to the newly created post of chief operating officer. The San Francisco Symphony has named DEREK DEAN chief operating officer. ROBIN FREEMAN has been named director of public relations.

has been appointed music director of the Knoxville (Tenn.) Symphony Orchestra.


Jordan August

Fred Stucker

The Fort Worth (Tex.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed DANIEL BLACK associate conductor.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has appointed Gabriel van Aalst president and CEO, effective in October 2016. He succeeds Susan Stucker, who had led the orchestra on an interim basis since September 2015. Van Aalst goes to New Jersey from London, where he served as chief executive of the chamber orchestra Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Prior to that position van Aalst was orchestra Gabriel van Aalst manager of the Sydney-based Australian Chamber Orchestra, and before entering the orchestra field he spent four years as associate producer for the Australian theatrical company Andrew McKinnon Presentations. Van Aalst plays piano and violin and was principal second violin in the Sydney Youth Orchestra.



JAMES BLACHLY has been appointed music director of the Johnstown (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra.

New Jersey Symphony Taps Gabriel van Aalst as President and CEO

With its giant puppets and South African dance moves, this Firebird was a far cry from Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking 1910 ballet with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, premiered in Paris. This summer at the Mann Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra debuted a new liveorchestra version dubbed “Firebird: Reimagined,” with South African a cappella ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo, choreography by This summer’s “Firebird: Reimagined” world premiere featured new choreography by Jay Pather and giant Jay Pather, and puppetry and dance puppets designed by Janni Younge. Cristian Macelaru designed and directed by Janni Younge. Among the innovations were led the Philadelphia Orchestra premiere at the Mann Center. new arrangements of the Russian folksongs “The Larch Tree” and “The Vain Suitor”—quoted in the Stravinsky score—by Mann Center Artistic Director Nolan Williams, performed by the singers of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Cristian Măcelaru led the premiere, with the orchestra onstage along with the dancers and puppeteers. Later in the summer, “Firebird: Reimagined” was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

STEFANA ATLAS has joined Columbia Artists Management as an artist manager and senior vice president.

Musical Chairs

Carnegie Hall’s Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), established in 2013, now has a younger sibling called NYO2. The goal of the new program: “attracting talented young musicians from communities underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field.” The new youth orchestra was recruited via a comprehensive audition process that took into account the varied backgrounds and geographical circumstances of the musicians. Comprising 78 musicians aged 14 to 17, from 27 states and Puerto Rico, NYO2 convened for the first time last June for two weeks of training, mentoring, and performance at the State University of New York-Purchase. The youngsters then headed to Philadelphia for events that included a July 2 side-byside concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra (above) led by Giancarlo Guerrero and a performance at the city’s 23rd Street Armory in collaboration with NYO-USA and musicians from Philadelphia-area youth orchestras.


At the Wichita (Kans.) Symphony Orchestra,

NICOLE C. DIBBEN has been named director of development and ELLEN JOHNSON MOSLEY coordi-

nator of education.

The Annapolis (Md.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed ROBERT DILUTIS principal clarinet.

has been named education and outreach coordinator at the Marietta-based Georgia Symphony Orchestra.


Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra has named FOUAD FAKHOURI music director.

New York City’s InterSchool Orchestras of New York has appointed KAREN GEER executive director.

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra has named KEVIN GIFFORD development director.


It was a tough summer for residents of Orlando, Florida, following the June 12 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub. But orchestras did their part to help, with Orlando Philharmonic Music Director Eric Jacobsen joining performers from more than 50 local arts groups on June 28 for a benefit concert. Proceeds went to those affected by the tragedy. Performers included the Orlando Ballet, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and the Orlando Gay Chorus. A second benefit, “One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song” on September 11, was organized by Opera Orlando, with the Orlando Philharmonic donating its music library’s services and collection of music and the rehearsal space; several musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic performed. The event benefitted Orlando health and human-services agencies. Elsewhere, the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra were among orchestras dedicating performances to Pulse shooting victims. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a “Requiem for Orlando” organized by the School of Music featured Mozart’s Requiem, with students, faculty, and alumni joined by musicians from the Michigan Philharmonic and from Michigan’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Rochester symphonies. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana this August, historic flooding meant

In Orlando, the lawn outside the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Orlando Philharmonic, was the site of a June 13 vigil following the Pulse nightclub shooting.

J.M. Giordano

Orchestra Benefits For Victims of Tragic Events

that some musicians of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra lost homes, vehicles, and musical instruments. The orchestra launched a GoFundMe campaign to help musicians with food and shelter as well as to help pay for replacing instruments. On September 8 in New Orleans, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and New Orleans Opera gave a benefit concert for schools, arts organizations, and artists hit by recent floods. Louisiana Philharmonic President Matthew Eckenhoff said, “We feel for our colleagues in the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and for the Baton Rouge arts community as a whole, knowing all too well how it feels to lose not only homes and possessions, but the instruments we need to create our art. This concert, performed by LPO musicians donating their services, is the least we can do to repay their generosity and help them regain what was lost.”



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FALL 2016

From sunrise August 13 to sunrise August 14, it was Bach, Bach, and more Bach. Music of Johann Sebastian Bach, to be precise. Dubbed “Bach Around the Clock,” the event was described by Ohio’s Toledo Symphony Orchestra as the city’s first 24-hour marathon event and presented in partnership with the Toledo Museum of Art. Eighteen performances took place in eleven indoor and outdoor locations across the museum’s campus, and included the Mass in B minor in the museum’s Peristyle, as well as a Bach Breakfast, Coffee Cantata, and a BACHyard Barbecue. Nearly 400 all-day tickets were sold, with some free events, and an estimated 2,200 people attended throughout the day. Pictured (at left): a Toledo Symphony cellist performs the Cello Suite No. 1.


In June, New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi led hundreds of trombones at Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza (right) during an attempt to break the world record of 369 trombones in a mass gathering. Musicians performed arrangements of “One Hand, One Heart” from West Side Story and “The Pilgrim’s Hymn” from Tannhäuser. In addition to members of the Philharmonic’s trombone section, performers included Tom “Bones” Malone, former trombonist in the Blues Brothers band and former leader of the Saturday Night Live band; Philadelphia Orchestra bass trombone Blair Bollinger; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra trombonist Steve Norrell; jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon; and Canadian Brass trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos. The rain didn’t seem to particularly bother anyone, and with 370 trombones wailing away, they just managed to crack that world record. On a blazingly hot day in August, even more people crowded around the Lincoln Center fountain for the world premiere of David Lang’s the public domain, conceived for a choir of 1,000 amateur singers from the NYC metro area and presented by the Mostly Mozart Festival in celebration of its 50th year. americanorchestras.org

The Lexington (Ky.) Philharmonic has named

TRISH ROBERTS HATLER advancement manager, SARAH THRALL general and personnel manager, VINCE DOMINGUEZ marketing and communications manager, and JOHN THOMPSON marketing and

development associate manager.

has been elected president of the New Orleans-based Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He succeeds HUGH W. LONG , who was elected a life trustee of the orchestra after fifteen years as president. WILLIAM D. HESS

The American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles has appointed CARLOS IZCARAY music director and JUAN FELIPE MOLANO resident conductor. Ohio’s Toledo Symphony has named SARA JOBIN resident conductor for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.


has been appointed music director of the annual Sarasota Music Festival, a program of Florida’s Sarasota Orchestra.


The Adrian (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed BRUCE KIESLING music director.

has returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as principal oboe following a twelve-year hiatus.


Eastman School of Music and the Rochester-based Gateways Music Festival have named LEE KOONCE to the newly created post of president and artistic director. The Savannah (Ga.) Philharmonic has appointed MITCHELL KRIEGER executive director. MEREDITH KIMBALL LAING has been appointed director of communications at the Raleigh-based North Carolina Symphony.

Kentucky’s Paducah Symphony Orchestra has appointed GINA LEEPER development director.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Symphony Orchestra has named CHRISTOPHER JAMES LEES assistant conductor.

Chris Lee

Toledo Symphony

“Bach Around the Clock” Rocks Toledo

has been appointed interim CEO at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.


Philip Holahan

Sarah E. Kelly, a fundraising professional with more than 25 years of experience, has been appointed vice president for development at the League of American Orchestras. Kelly, who took up duties in early summer, has worked as a senior staff member or consultant with a variety of nonprofit organizations, most recently as vice president for advancement at West Virginia’s Wheeling Jesuit University. Prior to that she served as director of development at the Sarah E. Kelly National University of Ireland, Galway, and upon her return to the United States she became NUI Galway’s stateside fundraising representative and spokesperson. She also provided fundraising counsel to a range of Irish institutions establishing a presence in the U.S., including the Druid Theatre Company, All Hallows College, and Abbey Theatre. Before starting her own consultancy, Kelly was director of development at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Purchase College in New York State.


Musical Chairs

League Names Sarah Kelly Vice President for Development

GABRIEL LEFKOWITZ has been appointed concertmaster, and JULIA NOONE assistant concertmaster, at

the Louisville Orchestra.

Michigan’s Grand Rapids Symphony has appointed MARCELO LEHNINGER music director. The Flint (Mich.) Institute of Music, parent organization of the Flint Symphony Orchestra and Flint School of Music, has named RODNEY LONTINE president and CEO.


The Association of California Symphony Orchestras has appointed MITCH MENCHACA executive director. He succeeds KRIS SINCLAIR , who held the post for 31 years. WOJCIECH MILEWSKI has been named music director of the Summerville (S.C.) Orchestra.

The Cleveland Orchestra has appointed ABBY chief development officer.


JESSICA MOREL has been named assistant conductor of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Symphony.


MUSICAL CHAIRS California’s Pacific Symphony has named JOSEPH MORRIS principal clarinet. has been elected board chair at Worcester (Mass.) Youth Orchestras.


The St. Louis Symphony has appointed resident conductor.


At the New York Philharmonic, JULII OH has been promoted to vice president, marketing and customer experience.


has been named youth orchestra conductor at the Topeka Symphony in Kansas.

Sing Her Name

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra (North Brisbane, Australia) has appointed DAVID PRATT chief executive. California’s Long Beach Symphony has named music director, effective with the 2017-18 season.


has been appointed executive director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.


The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has named

Musical Chairs

TONYA MCBRIDE ROBLES vice president and general manager. RAQUEL WHITING GILMER has been

appointed executive director of OrchKids, the BSO’s school-based education program.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has appointed ELIZABETH SOBOL president and CEO, effective October 1, 2016.

Amber Snow

has been elected chairman of Carnegie Hall.


On July 13, a large audience turned out for “Sing Her Name,” a concert at New York City’s Cooper Union held on the one-year anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman found hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, after being arrested in a traffic stop. Hosted by WQXR classical radio host Terrance McKnight and organized by the nonprofit group The Dream Unfinished, “Sing Her Name” was meant to increase awareness of violence against black women. It featured music by female composers, including Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and Ethyl Smyth, with Dream Unfinished’s co-artistic directors James Blachly and John McLaughlin Williams as conductors. Performers included vocalist Helga Davis (pictured above, with Blachly leading the Dream Unfinished Orchestra and Choir) in Courtney Bryan’s Yet Unheard, set to poetry by Sharan Strange honoring Sandra Bland. Also performing were violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, pianist Michelle Cann, harpist Ashley Jackson, soprano Marlissa Hudson, and baritone Dashon Burton. The keynote speaker was Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, co-founder of African American Policy Forum; other speakers included Gina Belafonte, Farah Griffin, Ashley Jackson, Agunda Okeyo, and Farah Tanis.


The Amarillo (Tex.) Symphony Board of Directors has elected LAURA STREET president. Chicago’s Grant Park Orchestral Association has appointed FAREINE SUAREZ marketing manager and HILARY MERCER education and community engagement manager.

Shanghai-New York Connection

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra has named TIMOTHY VERVILLE music director.

As part of the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program, four musicians from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy traveled to New York City in June, where they received individual lessons and performed alongside Philharmonic musicians in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 at the Philharmonic’s Concerts in the Parks. The twoyear fellowship program, launched in 2014 Shanghai Orchestra Academy bassoonist Hui Zhang, 24, in New York at a June 2016 as a joint endeavor of the Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, is designed to rehearsal at David Geffen Hall, with New York Philharmonic Principal Bassoon Judith address the need for advanced, post-graduate LeClair in background. orchestral training in China. In July, the Philharmonic traveled to Shanghai for a second performance residency there, which included a Young People’s Concert, a Very Young Composers workshop and performance, and a free outdoor concert by the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet. Previous participants in the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program have come from Music Academy of the West in California and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Texas.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has announced the appointment of PHAREZ WHITTED as director of a new jazz orchestra that debuts this fall.

Andrew Bogard

has been named to a two-year term as assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.



has been named executive director of the Conductors Guild.


California’s Santa Cruz Symphony has appointed executive director. CORDELIA NEFF has been named director of administration, education and development, and JD De LEON director of marketing and communications. DOROTHY WISE

has been named music director of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra in upstate New York.


The Minnesota Orchestra has appointed GABRIEL principal clarinet.



Chris Lee

has been named president and CEO of the Toledo Symphony in Ohio.



FALL 2016

Olivia Latney


Contract News Among several orchestras with recently signed musician contracts is the Kansas City Symphony, where over the four years of the new contract musicians will receive a 19.7 wage increase, along with improved healthcare and longterm disability insurance. The contract was ratified more than a year before the current contract’s expiration in June 2017. At the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, musicians and management negotiated a one-year contract extension in June that includes a 1.33 percent pay increase effective September 12, and a 2.63 percent increase beginning May 1, 2017. The Buffalo Philharmonic has a new contract with musicians that goes through 2022 and includes a wage increase of 12.6 percent over the six years. The Delaware Symphony Orchestra has a new musicians’ contract through August 2019, with annual pay increases of 5 percent. The Grand Rapids Symphony announced a new collective bargaining agreement through August 2020 that includes pay increases, restores retirementplan contributions, and makes no changes to health insurance. The musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra have a new contract that includes a 9.3 percent pay increase and boosts the number of musicians from 74 to 76. The contract runs through 2019-20 and was signed fourteen months before the current contract’s expiration. The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra musicians have

ratified a collective bargaining agreement that includes a rehearsal schedule of one evening rehearsal per day instead of two rehearsals; financial terms were not disclosed. Musicians and management of the Nashville Symphony announced a new contract that provides a 4.5 percent base salary increase in the 2016-17 season and two increases totaling 5.3 percent in 2017-18. Under a threeyear contract extension at the Oregon Symphony retroactive to September 2015, musicians will receive cost-of-living pay increases, following a pay freeze in 201415; musicians continue to receive full family healthcare coverage and pension contributions of 5 percent per year. The San Diego Symphony’s new contract for musicians includes an annual wage increase from $70,000 to $80,000 through the end of the contract in June 2021. At press time, contract negotiations between musicians and management of the Fort Worth Symphony had come to a halt, and musicians went on strike on September 8. Contract talks had been underway for more than a year. At the Philadelphia Orchestra, the musicians’ one-year contract expired on September 12, and management and musicians were in ongoing talks while performances continued. At the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, contract talks were underway at press time, with an agreement to continue performances past the September 18 contract expiration.

New and Improved: Orchestra Statistical Report The League has been collecting data from orchestras since 1946. Its Orchestra Statistical Report (OSR) is the largest orchestra data set in the U.S, and the financial and operational data it captures is widely used by participating orchestras to inform strategy, management, and case-making. Beginning with fiscal year 2015, OSR data is being collected on the League’s behalf by DataArts (formerly the Cultural Data Project) and integrated with its flagship service, the Cultural Data Profile (CDP). The CDP is used by thousands of cultural nonprofits, and orchestras that already use it will find that their OSR is half complete. The new survey is shorter than the old OSR—and quicker and easier to complete. Survey participants will continue to receive the League’s detailed OSR benchmarking report, and will also gain access to business intelligence tools from DataArts. The deadline to complete the survey is October 31. For more information, visit americanorchestras.org/OSR. americanorchestras.org

Two Hours of Comedy and Music! Two Mime Superstars Dan Kamin— as The Classical Clown. Charlie Chaplin— in two film classics. See for yourself at www.dankamin.com

Dan Kamin

Comecdeyrtos Con (412)563-0468 dan2@dankamin.com




 Program book editing and layout  Special program book articles  Understandable musical analysis  Text translation  24-hour turnaround on rush jobs  Notes for chamber ensembles  Audio examples for web sites See samples at:

www.wordprosmusic.com Elizabeth A. Kahn, Ph.D. Joseph S. Kahn, Ph.D. phone: 919 851-2410 wordpros@mindspring.com

The Britt Festival’s world premiere of Michael Gordon’s Natural History on the rim of Crater Lake, Oregon, July 2016

Jim Teece

Informative and entertaining, with accessible discussion of the music itself, as well as lively historical and cultural background information.

Sounds of Crater Lake

One of this summer’s more visually dramatic world premieres took place on July 29 along the rim of Crater Lake, Oregon: Michael Gordon’s Natural History, commissioned and presented by Oregon’s Britt Festival. Music Director Teddy Abrams led the Britt Festival Orchestra, a 70-voice choir, 30 brass and percussion players, and fifteen members of the local Klamath Tribes, who sang and played a third-generation powwow drum. Crater Lake is the ancestral homeland of the Klamath Tribal people. Describing the piece, Gordon said, “The idea is to draw out the natural sounds in and around Crater Lake and connect the natural sonic environment to the orchestra.” Gordon’s piece was one of many orchestral performances this year marking the centennial of the National Park Service.

Essential Learning Curve


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early-career professionals delved into the world of orchestra management this July at the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management program in Los Angeles. Hosted by USC Thornton School of Music, the ten-day residential program, presented in association with the University of Southern California Arts Leadership Program, offered a 360-degree immersion into the complexities of orchestra management, with an intensive curriculum, network building, and innovative leaders as faculty. Topics included the evolving work of orchestras, programming, community engagement, fiscal health, governance, and technology. Among the highlights, Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, moderated an “Orchestras in the 21st Century” discusFaculty at the League’s 2016 Essentials of Orchestra Management sion among Deborah program included Karen Lewis Alexander, vice president for Borda, president and development at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, shown here CEO, Los Angeles leading an Essentials seminar. Philharmonic; Deborah F. Rutter, president, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Simon Woods, president and CEO, Seattle Symphony. Essentials of Orchestra Management was made possible by generous grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., the National Endowment for the Arts, and Wells Fargo Foundation. Essentials was sponsored by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. For more on Essentials, visit americanorchestras.org. symphony

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USC/Daniel Anderson

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New Perspectives on Orchestra Diversity Two pioneering new studies on diversity at U.S. orchestras were published this fall by the League of American Orchestras. Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras’ Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians, commissioned by the League with research and analysis by Nick Rabkin and Monica Hairston O’Connell, is an in-depth, longitudinal examination of orchestras’ efforts to diversify their musician ranks with fellowships for African American and Latino musicians. The report presents program and impact data about diversity fellowships from 1976 to the present day, and explores the perspectives of program alumni. Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field, commissioned by the League with research and data analysis by Dr. James Doeser, reports on workforce gender and ethnic diversity at orchestras among musicians, conductors, staff, executives, and board members. Read or download the reports free of charge at americanorchestras.org.


SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras debuts this season with concerts at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center by the Boulder Philharmonic (March 28), North Carolina Symphony (March 29), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (March 31), and The Knights (April 1). Looking ahead, the Kennedy Center and the festival’s co-presenter, Washington Performing Arts, have announced the orchestras selected for the second SHIFT festival in April 2018: the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Albany (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra. Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in cooperation with the League of American Orchestras, SHIFT celebrates “the vitality, identity, and extraordinary artistry of orchestras and chamber orchestras by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation’s capital.” SHIFT encompasses Kennedy Center concerts, mini-residencies, symposia, community events, and educational activities by the participating orchestras.

Brexit Arts Impact Unclear

The United Kingdom’s historic “Brexit” vote in June severing ties with the European Union left many in the arts community unsure of possible consequences on the arts. Arts leaders raised concerns about loss of access to EU arts funding and freedom of movement across borders as trade and travel regulations are revised, with added time and paperwork needed for British musicians to obtain visas to work in Europe. For European musicians, the vote could make it more difficult to play with U.K. arts groups. Others in the arts community were more optimistic, noting that Brexit could encourage more investment in the U.K.’s own artists and cultural collaborations among Commonwealth nations.

Each year since the Juilliard Historical Performance Program was established in 2009, conductor William Christie and a group of musicians from the French Baroque ensemble Les Arts Florissants have served extended residencies at the school. This August, a group of eight alumni and current students from the two-year graduate-level program headed to southwestern France to perform side-by-side with members of Les Arts Florissants and work with Christie. Their residency coincided with the “Dans les Jardins de William Christie” festival, which is held annually on the magnificent grounds surrounding Christie’s restored 17th-century house in Thiré. Juilliard musicians performed with LAF musicians in the festival’s opening weekend main concert, as well as in a latenight concert conducted by Les Arts Florissants Associate Music Director Paul Agnew; two late-night concerts led by Robert Mealy, director of the Juilliard Historical Performance Program; and informal “promenades musicales” throughout the week. Juilliard students shown above in front of the estate’s “Miroir d’eau” outdoor stage (left to right): flutist Joseph Monticello, violist Nayeon Kim, oboist Caroline Ross, and bassoonist Benjamin Matus.



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Jennifer Melick

French Immersion

Three New League Board Members

Lester Abberger, of Tallahassee, Fla., is a managing partner in the investment banking and public affairs firm B.L. Abberger & Co. and a limited partner in Hometown Neighborhoods/Civic Software, a real estate investment, development, and consulting concern. He was a board member of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and his volunteer activities have included service as a trustee of the National Trust Abberger for the Humanities and as chairman of the Museums of Florida History. Abberger is a graduate of Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., and a Knight Fellow at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Pratichi Shah, of Chevy Chase, Md., is founder and CEO of Flourish Talent Management Solutions, a firm that works exclusively with the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in talent strategy development, strategy and culture alignment, training and organizational development, and coaching for executives and emerging leaders. A human-resources professional with more than twenty years of experience, she holds a Shah bachelor’s degree in psychology/management from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and an MBA from American University in Washington, D.C. Nathaniel J. Sutton, of New York, N.Y., is a vice chairman of the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, where for sixteen years he has worked with corporate and nonprofit organizations. Sutton was formerly vice president and director of corporate communications for Citigroup. He is a former board chair of New York City’s Opus 118 Harlem School of Music and a former trustee of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Sutton Sutton holds a bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School.

Roman Forum

Lots of orchestras perform in museums and libraries these days. But it’s not every orchestra that debuts a commissioned score that directly relates to an exhibit in a setting crammed with masterworks. In June, the Chamber Orchestra of New York gave the world premiere of Salvatore Di Vittorio’s La Villa d’Este a Tivoli, commissioned by the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan and inspired by the museum’s exhibition City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics. Di Vittorio’s newly composed score is a free transcription based on Liszt’s Fountains of Villa d’Este for piano. Di Vittorio is Chamber Orchestra of New York’s music director; he led his new score and music of Rameau, Respighi, and Mozart at the concert. americanorchestras.org

Salvatore Di Vittorio, music director of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, with Frances Barulich, curator of music manuscripts and printed music at the Morgan Library and Museum. The Morgan Library invited Di Vittorio to donate the manuscript of his La Villa d’Este a Tivoli to its music archive.

Sarah Kelly

The League of American Orchestras has announced the appointments of Lester Abberger, Pratichi Shah, and Nathaniel J. Sutton to the Board of Directors. The three were elected by the membership of the League during its annual meeting in June. Each will serve a three-year term.

League Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan with Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at a Capitol Hill event on new ivory rules this July.

Protecting Elephants and Musical Instruments

On July 6, the Obama Administration put new rules in place that protect endangered African elephants while also protecting musicians and their instruments. Musical instruments crafted decades ago can contain small quantities of African elephant ivory, and remain in use by musicians. Throughout the Administration’s consideration of changes to the rule, the League of American Orchestras was a lead partner with other national music organizations in working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and conservation experts to craft policies that support cultural activity while also advancing conservation needs. At a July 14 reception on Capitol Hill, the League was recognized by conservation leaders, USFWS, and the U.S. State Department for its work pursuing policy solutions. League Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan spoke about the positive outcomes in the new ivory regulations, alongside USFWS Director Dan Ashe and a State Department undersecretary. Three musicians from the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra performed at the event. For more on the ivory regulations, visit americanorchestras. org/advocacy-government/travel-withinstruments.html.



Diversity and inclusion are critical issues for the performing arts—not only in the audience and onstage, but in the board room. In June, the James Irvine Foundation asked executives and board members of the Pacific Symphony, Cornerstone Theater Company, Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americano, and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival to examine what it takes to move board diversity from a “problem to solve” to “something to practice.” Here, they discuss how their organizations are adapting to reflect changing demographics and engage with their communities.


rom #OscarsSoWhite to #parityraid, discussions of who is represented on our stages and our walls, within our organizations, on our boards, and in our field, abound. Our state of California has a rapidly changing demographic, our country has a growing problem with economic inequality, and we have research from as late as 2005 showing that 70 percent of 400+ arts organizations responding to a survey said that racial or ethnic diversity is “not at all” or “not too important” in the selection of new board members. What role should arts organizations play in this landscape? As our grantee-partners in the New California Arts Fund are moving arts engagement to the core of who they are and what they do, they’re focused on evolving their approach to everything from audience development to board leadership and governance. While inclusive representation is just one component of a strong

board, there are significant hurdles to overcome: logistic, strategic, and perceptual. We spoke with eleven senior leaders and board members from four arts organizations participating in the New California Arts Fund to get their advice on how to overcome some common hurdles and why it’s worth diversifying your board. —Josephine Ramirez, Portfolio Director, The James Irvine Foundation Hurdle #1: Considering diversity an important qualification of board membership

Recognizing the Opportunities a Diverse Board Brings The common expectations for a board of directors are well known across the arts field: help us raise money, help us think and act strategically, and, for “working boards,” help us get the work done. But does who is on the board matter as much

Pacific Symphony

Getting Your Board to Look Like Your Community

At a Pacific Symphony community concert at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California: Ling Zhang, Pacific Symphony Board Member Charlie Zhang, Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte, and supporter Betty Huang

as what they’re doing? The first hurdle you might face in convincing the board to consider its own makeup is that representation matters. Cornerstone Theater Company Artistic Director Michael Garcés states, “The focus of the board is often on fundraising, but their role can get distorted when you lead with that. Nonprofit theaters were created to support the community we exist in. We get a nonprofit tax status because we are in service to that community. Our board’s purpose is to ensure we fulfill our mission; raising money is just one way they accomplish that goal.” Twenty percent of the seats on the Cornerstone board go to “community board members” for whom financial capacity is explicitly not a factor in their board membership. Cornerstone Board Member Paula Ely says these community members “[are] on the board to keep it real for everyone else. It’s fairly common for a community board member to have

Reprinted and abridged with permission from The James Irvine Foundation. Read the complete report at irvine.org/blog/moving-board-diversity-from-a-problem-to-solve-to-something-to-practice.



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Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony Board Member Mildred García speaks with orchestra patrons on opening night.

a unique insight into what impact our process has had on their community. They remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing, and how important the work that Cornerstone does is in the lives of real people and communities.” That said, Ely rejects the notion that board members from diverse backgrounds wouldn’t also contribute financially: “We don’t have to relax our standards to have a diverse board. There are plenty of very qualified, interesting, successful people out there. Some of them just haven’t been asked yet.” As Garcés puts it, “Look at the demographics of the world changing around us. Don’t consider the representation of your board because it’s good for you, do it because it’s necessary. Otherwise arts organizations are going to die of nobody caring.” A board representative of your community brings many benefits:

• Board members will be your advocates in their community. The more diverse your board, the more communities you have access to for potential audiences, donors, staff, artists, and other board members. • A board composed of members from many different backgrounds and experiences enables you to solve problems more strategically because every member brings a unique lens to the issue at hand. • Given the complicated (ongoing) history of diversity and inclusion in America, people who look, act, or think differently than “the majority” have likely learned unique adaptation skills that your organization will find valuable. americanorchestras.org

• It can be invigorating for a board to hear directly from the communities that are impacted by the art on your stage or your walls; a board member who is deeply embedded in one of those communities can serve as a constant guidepost. • Maintaining a board representative of your community, with the capacity to help share that community’s story, is captured in the spirit of why boards exist in the nonprofit structure. Practical advice from the field about bringing diversity into board conversation:

• Walk the talk in your own practices before you ask others to do the same. “It’s going to be hard to cultivate a diverse board if your programming and audience and staff are predominantly white and affluent.” —Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, executive director of Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americano (MACLA) • Use hard data as a jumping off point. “I sit on another board that just hadn’t been educated about what Orange County looks like today. They live in neighborhoods where they don’t have a lot of exposure to the diversity of our community. I brought in census data for Orange County by age and ethnicity, how much it’s changed in the past ten years. They were blown away.” —Mildred García, board member of Pacific Symphony • Explore different models of financial giving expectations for board members, particularly if you are concerned about the short-term negative economic impact of diversifying your board. “We have three options for board giving: give, give/get, and a ‘meaningful’ contribution based on

your personal circumstances, a gift that is among the three largest you give in a year.” —Paula Ely, board member of Cornerstone Theater Company • Keep at it, even when it’s hard or uncomfortable or risky. “Don’t think of board diversity as a one-shot deal that you can talk about once and then it goes away. The leadership at the top needs to be committed to it, and use their pulpit to keep the organization focused on it. Take the time to talk about it, wrestle with all the complexity. If the board is fearful of change or skeptical of the value, it’s your job to convince them.” —Mildred García, board member of Pacific Symphony Hurdle #2: Defining your community and what it means for your board to be representative

Choosing Who Is Important to Your Organization “As an arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience, MACLA is a little different,” says MACLA Executive Director Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez. “We’ve long had a board of Chicano and Latino community leaders, but not necessarily representative of the professions and economic capacity of broader San Jose and Silicon Valley. We identified the skill sets and networks we had on the board, and the ones we still needed access to. We’re being proactive in going after who we want to be reflective of our community — ethnically, socio-economically, professionally, generationally. The next generation of board members are already out there, and they won’t already be balancing four other boards.” Getting Started “Our approach to board member recruitment is driven by our organizational strategy, goals, and values,” states Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte. “The reality is our board members need to have financial capacity, given the importance of their contributions to our budget. But there are a variety of factors that we look at: profession, age, gender, race, geography,


San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. “I started googling and there are oodles of leadership groups in the area that we’ve never connected with, specific to different communities.”

diversity of thought. And it’s about more than tokenism. Everyone on the board needs a voice, not just a seat at the table. So we began drafting a diversity and inclusion statement that starts to put these ideas into something tangible.” Pacific Symphony Board of Directors Statement of Inclusion: Introduction

Practical advice from the field about defining what diversity means for your organization:

• “Get some board champions, and get the board to articulate diversity itself, so it’s not just coming from you.” —Michael Garcés, artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company • “Attend performances and be aware of the audiences. Have an anecdotal feel for the community, what they’re feeling, what they look like.” —Barbara Fatum, board member of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival • Find opportunities to instigate change, like winning the support of a new funder, undergoing a transition of leadership, or kicking off a strategic planning process. “Our grant from Irvine gave us a useful prompt to start codifying something inherent to our culture, which hasn’t 18

Hurdle #4: Getting new and old board members to work together and learn from each other

Pacific Symphony

A recently proposed strategic goal for Pacific Symphony is to attract, engage, and serve a larger and more diverse population in Orange County and the region. The more diverse the population we engage, the more our institution truly serves Orange County’s communities. We believe that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors. Throughout our work, we will support diversity in all of its forms, encompassing but not limited to age, disability status, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender, and religion. Pacific Symphony recognizes that diversity exists in multiple dimensions, including differences among people that are not immediately visible.

Pacific Symphony Board Member Anoosheh Oskouian (pictured with husband Alan Oskouian) spearheaded a concert in celebration of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.

been as deliberate as perhaps it should be.” —John Forsyte, president of Pacific Symphony Hurdle #3: Finding and recruiting new board members who are representative of your community

Finding Them “We look for board members in a variety of ways,” said Michael Garcés, “from business owners among our neighbors in the downtown arts district to colleagues of our existing board members to people we have met in the communities where we’ve worked. It’s a collective effort by the board, ensemble, and staff to generate a list of potential new board members and then we work together on cultivation. Diversity is one of the many factors that we consider when evaluating new members.” Paula Ely, Cornerstone board member, went on, “The ensemble helps us recruit community board members, but to foster a diverse board, you have to get the whole board involved. But we also recognize our networks are limited. We recently signed up to participate in the African American Board Leadership Institute, which identifies African American professionals who are interested in board service but haven’t yet sat on a nonprofit board, and provides them weekend workshops about financial statements, fiduciary responsibility, other skills-based learning a board member needs.” “It could also be blindingly obvious,” says Toby Leavitt, executive director of

Letting Yourself Change “Inclusion is about bringing in individuals who will have new ways of doing things; don’t let them assimilate into what you already have,” says Pacific Symphony Board Member Mildred García. “That’s scary for institutions. It takes time for people to share their ideas and fears.” Practical advice from the field about onboarding and integrating new members:

• Small groups can empower new voices: “It’s one thing to include people, it’s quite another to make them feel like they have a voice. Because we have a big board, we hear more honest comments in smaller, informal meetings, which are a better environment to hash out things. So we intentionally keep our board committees quite small.” —Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte • Be transparent: “It’s more awkward for us than for them to talk about their capacity to give. Potential board members just want to know what’s expected.” —Paula Ely, board member of Cornerstone Theater Company • Give board members a project to tackle: “We realized that like many other boards, we were pretty inward-facing. The board was spending a lot of time in meetings reviewing financial statements, approving policies, hearing reports from staff members. We flipped the ratio, so now we’re engaging the board with our artistic plans for the future, and giving them an opportunity to identify projects they want to take on, to enlist their friends and colleagues in helping us.” –Megan Wanlass, managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company symphony

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Mi Winter Managers’ Meeting an re Meeting e inar -


The League of American Orchestras invites executive directors (and administrators of youth orchestras) to attend the 2017 Mid-Winter Managers’ Meeting. It’s your opportunity to meet with fellow executives, to hear and be heard about what is happening in the field today.

Go to


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for pricing and additional information

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Seen and Heard: Conference 2016

The Conference’s closing luncheon featured a forum focused on identifying key actions orchestras can take to help our institutions and art form become more responsive to the diversity of 21st-century America. Here are excerpts from panelists’ remarks; visit americanorchestras.org/ conferences-meetings/conference-2016.html for more. Marin Alsop, music director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: I look at my role as a very privileged ambassador for classical music. Conducting is really just a metaphor for this whole conversation, because I can only achieve what everyone will allow me to achieve. I don’t make any of the sound. I’m just trying to create an environment where people can be the best that they can be. And that’s really the kind of citizen of the world I want to be, as well. But what I would say is that I feel encouraged to continue on. The power lies with the people who take action. You have to keep moving forward and take action, just continue to take action no matter what. If you believe it’s the right thing, speak up and be open. And now that we started the dialogue I think we should make a commitment to talk about the problem of race in our institutions on every level. Monique Chism, deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs, OESE, U.S. Department of Education: In our 21st-century knowledge-based economy, a well-rounded education is not a luxury but a necessity—and the arts are an integral part of that well-rounded education. When we look at arts-engaged students, overall, they have a higher GPA, especially for high school students. Students who have an arts-engaged, arts-


enriched experience enroll in colleges and competitive universities at a much higher rate. And for low-income students, we know that they are three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than students who are not exposed to an arts-enriched education. We know that a high-quality arts education program is absolutely critical for providing students with a worldclass education. The National Center for Education and Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Education, has conducted a national survey to look at the arts and arts access around the nation. About 1.3 million students in elementary school fail to get any exposure to music instruction. The same is true for about 800,000 high school students. Unfortunately, when we start to look at this in terms of opportunity and access, we know that students who live in high-poverty areas are substantially disenfranchised from access to arts education. We have the responsibility to trumpet the importance of integration of arts in education as a vehicle for improving educational outcomes, and we need to continue to beat that drum. I know that you are all working tirelessly in this effort, and I thank you for that. I urge you to continue to fight and to provide for all of our children the well-rounded and rigorous education that they deserve.

Richard Lippenholz

Voices from the closing plenary of the League’s 2016 Conference, “The Richness of Difference,” June 9-11 in Baltimore.

Civil-rights activist DeRay Mckesson at the closing session of the League’s 2016 Conference

Alex Laing, principal clarinet, Phoenix Symphony: Who is onstage matters, because the stage is the most outward-facing facet of our organizations. It’s how we tell a story about what this is and who it’s for. I’m a terrible golfer, but I wouldn’t be a golfer at all if it weren’t for Tiger Woods. I saw someone doing it and I could project myself into that. And so, it matters who’s onstage. But changing who’s onstage doesn’t change our structure. It doesn’t change our viewpoint, necessarily, it doesn’t change our philosophy. In orchestras, our culture is informed by our structure. One way we might investigate changing both the structure and the culture would be to create unstructured spaces in which various constituent groups could come together to work on a project. It might be creating a new donor experience involving music or creating a new concert or any number of things. Putting people in different roles and giving them the opportunity to be creative and imaginative might give us some view of a future culture and a future structure. I’m interested in reimagining what a symphony orchestra can be, and I want these voices in the room so that the reimagining is richer and more vibrant, more interesting and more relevant. symphony

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Richard Lippenholz

The discussion panel at the closing session of the League’s 2016 Conference, from left: Gayle S. Rose, Anne Parsons, Alex Laing, Marin Alsop, Monique Chism, DeRay Mckesson, and moderator Jamie Bennett.

DeRay Mckesson, civil-rights activist, educator, organizer: What stories do your actions or your decisions reinforce about the communities you say you serve? Are you reinforcing a narrative that says that music by black artists only matters during Black History Month? Or are you making decisions that help people think about music and the rich history of blackness beyond Black History Month? What do your actions and decisions tell us and the world about how you understand diversity? Are you one of those people who says that there simply are no people of color out there who are musically inclined, or are you someone who understands that the condition of racism in this country means that we have to work differently to find the talent that exists? Are you someone who uplifts programs like Soulful Symphony, which is here in Baltimore? Or are you someone who says that nobody is doing this work? It is the way that we tell stories with our actions and our decisions that change the way we act in the world. When we think about classical music, it is often the question of, why does music matter? Why does art matter? We understand art to be both a mirror and a window. Sometimes we have to do a clean-up on both of those things. The mirror helps us think about who we are differently, helps us reflect and see ourselves in a deeper way. The window helps us imagine what worlds can be. It helps americanorchestras.org

us think about the future that we want to live in. Art pushes the boundaries of those things and the art community helps bring more people into what their gifts are. The Beyoncé concert [in Baltimore] last night was great. But I think about how in the [justice and social-equity] movement we think about what she has done with her music to push people to think about the world differently. And that’s what you get to do in your work, too: push people to think about the world differently, and be in spaces where everyone can understand their gifts. Anne Parsons, president and CEO, Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Our job at this meeting today is to move the conversation forward and to make sure the conversation is honest, open, transparent, direct, respectful. Honesty is about digging deep—asking questions, listening, asking more questions. Listening again, having conversations about what we’ve heard and then collectively deciding how we can move forward. I don’t think about our power [as leaders] as much as about our authority—the difference between leadership and authority and how you marry the two. Using our platforms of authority, it’s our job to ask the right questions. Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And why does it matter? Every single day we should be asking ourselves these questions in our institutions, to be better and to lift ourselves

and others up. Why are we here? Not for ourselves, we’re here for others. We’re here in service. If we ask ourselves these questions around whom we serve, we will propel things forward. We will make sure things change. There will be sprints and there will be marathons. Change does not happen overnight in most cases. However, there are things you can change from today to tomorrow, from this hour to the next. I don’t think anyone here can leave this room without feeling changed, and that’s a good thing. Gayle S. Rose, board chairman, Memphis Symphony Orchestra: The Memphis Symphony has been through a [financial] crisis the past couple of seasons. When I was asked to lead the symphony board in 2012, I think a lot of people were hoping that I would get money and maybe not try to invoke some of the change that we’re attempting to make in Memphis. But when I came into the room and saw literally all Caucasians, I said, “This is a problem.” Memphis is 63 percent African American. Thirty percent of our community lives in poverty, 47 percent of our children live in poverty. How is the Memphis Symphony going to react when we had one African American on our board, zero on our staff, two on the stage? It just didn’t make sense. So my goal was to have 40 percent African American representation on our board in two years. There is a strong and growing Latino community and other ethnicities in Memphis, but it’s a predominantly African American community. Right now, we have 24 percent African American representation on our board—and that’s within one year. And it is primarily due to the networks and the relationships that we’ve created in the African American community. Conference Resources Check out the videos, presentations, toolkits, transcripts, and additional resources from the League’s 2016 Conference at americanorchestras.org/conferencesmeetings/conference-2016.html.


J. Henry Fair

For many years, John Corigliano avoided calling his symphonic works “symphonies.” He broke that rule in 1988 with his Symphony No. 1, in memory of friends and colleagues who had died of AIDS.

Courtesy Grant Park Music Festival

Are poetic, evocative titles replacing more traditional, numbered names for symphonic works?

At the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park this August, the Grant Park Music Festival premiered Michael Gandolfi’s The Cosmic Garden in Bloom, the latest installment of a multi-part work inspired by Charles Jencks’s actual garden in Scotland. From left: Gandolfi, Grant Park Orchestra Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, and Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell.


by Matthew Guerrieri

1988 was a good year for symphonies. It was the year John Corigliano wrote his Symphony No. 1, a memorial to three friends who had died of AIDS—a work that, in scope and emotional heft, exemplified the form’s capacity for grand, public statement. It was also the year hip-hop producer Marley Marl released his first album, In Control, Volume 1, which included one of the first and still best posse cuts, a track featuring multiple rappers: Masta Ace, Kool G Rap, Craig G, and Big Daddy Kane. Four movements unified into an ambitious whole: with good reason, Marl titled the track “The Symphony.” The two symphonies represent two extremes of what is, admittedly, a lesser aspect of the form, but a engrossing one: the title itself. Corigliano, compositionally aligned with the symphony orchestra, had nevertheless, for his entire career, avoided calling his symphonic works “symphonies,” rejecting what he considered their weighty aura; but, in this case, the word’s status lent gravity to the work’s serious intent. Marley Marl, in contrast, appropriated that gravity with equal parts cheek and bravado, the colliding worlds summed up in the track’s motivic handoff from MC to MC, each rapper finishing his verse by exhorting the next with the same refrain: Light up the mic for the symphony. One wonders if Marl would use the word “symphony” as his title today. To peruse the newer repertoire being premiered and performed by American orchestras is to leave aside such formal titles and visit realms of evocative images, programmatic scene-setting, and eye-grabbing vividness. This season, the Las Vegas Philharmonic will premiere the orsymphony

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Andrew Norman has composed several works with one-word titles. Among them: Switch, premiered in 2015 by the Utah Symphony, with percussion soloist Colin Currie, and Play, first performed by Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2013.

derson Jessa An

chestral version of Nathaniel Stookey’s YTTE (Yield to Total Elation) (jointly commissioned with the San Francisco Symphony) and Jennifer Bellor’s 898 Hildegard. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will offer four world premieres, including Melinda Wagner’s Proceed, Moon and Carl Vine’s Five Hallucinations; their MusicNOW series opens with a concert featuring two premieres, Katherine Young’s the moss glows and the water is black and Kyle Vegter’s Monday or Tuesday. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will premiere Mohammed Fairouz’s Desert Sorrows; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra will present the West Coast premiere of Adam Schoenberg’s Scatter (a co-commission); the Seattle Symphony’s season includes the premiere of Kenji Bunch’s Megalopolis. And so on. It’s a trend, not a sea-change. Composers are still writing symphonies, and calling them symphonies. (The Montreal Composer Jessie Montgomery says having to come up with a title “can sometimes be a blessing, and gives a point of view for writing the piece.”

Symphony, after all, will premiere Samy Moussa’s Symphony for Montreal in 2017.) And it’s not as if programmatic titles, and music, haven’t always existed alongside more formal titling conventions. Plenty of symphonies have come with evocative tags of their own: Pastoral. Resurrection. Pathétique. Kaddish. But the current of history constantly churns: crests become troughs, troughs become crests. Consider: in the 1960s, the New York Philharmonic gave the world premieres of Stefan Wolpe’s 1st Symphony, Richard Rodney Bennett’s 2nd, Anis Fuleihan’s 2nd, Nicholas Nabokov’s 3rd, Roberto Gerhard’s 4th, Hans Werner Henze’s 5th, Howard Hanson’s 6th, William Schuman’s 8th, Roger Sessions’s 8th, David Diamond’s 5th and 8th, and Roy Harris’s 11th. Since 2000? Only Mark Neikrug’s 2nd, Stefan Hartke’s 3rd, and Christopher Rouse’s 4th. For now, fancy is ascendant; composers are more likely to opt for a bit of poetry than a measure of music-historical product placement. Finding the Frame

For Andrew Norman, whose percussionand-orchestra concerto Switch was commissioned and recorded by the Utah Symphony, and whose piano concerto Split was premiered by the New York Philharmonic last December, the title can be as elusive as the notes. “I struggle with it quite a bit— what to call a piece,” Norman says. It’s his one chance to reach the audience before the downbeat: unlike program notes, which have no guarantee of being read, the title, Norman says, “is the one thing I know they’ll see.” Norman’s titles crystallize some facet of the musical impetus, a unifying theme that usually comes to the fore during the composition of the work. “Lately I’ve been on this one-word-title kick—it’s kind of my schtick,” Norman says. “One word, usually a verb.” (His orchestral catalog also includes Play, Apart, and Unstuck.) He likes such titles because they capture a forward energy that the audience can tap into. The idea is to provide the listener—and the

performers—a prompt, but an open-ended one: “If I can get an audience member to ask questions even before the piece starts, I know I’ve come up with a great title.” Composer Missy Mazzoli’s vivid titles are also deliberately ambiguous, more spark than specific cue. And, like Norman, the image emerges from the process of creation. Take her River Rouge Transfiguration, premiered in 2013 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and repeated last April by the Phoenix Symphony. Mazzoli knew she wanted to create a piece about Detroit—the DSO commissioned the work—and she began researching and composing at the same time; the piece began to coalesce around both the quasi-religious terms in which Detroit’s industrial capacity had often been extolled, and the image of the Ford Motor Company’s massive River Rouge factory complex, which Mazzoli began to imagine as “a giant pipe organ.” It’s a provocative referential web; but, at the same time, Mazzoli doesn’t read too much into titles. “It’s always going to be this sort of failure,” she says. “You could have a title that’s four paragraphs long and it’s still not going to communicate as much as the music does.” “Sometimes, to be perfectly honest, a title is required of me from the commissioning organization before I’ve even gotten down to the real guts of the piece,” writes composer and violinist Jessie Mont-

Marylene Mey

Missy Mazzoli’s River Rouge Transfiguration was premiered in 2013 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and performed last April by the Phoenix Symphony. The inspiration for the piece was the Ford Motor Company River Rouge factory complex, which Mazzoli imagined as “a giant pipe organ.”


americanorchestras.org Jiyang Chen

The title of Montgomery’s gomery, interviewed by email. To peruse the “But this can sometimes be a newer repertoire string quartet Source Code encompasses both technique and blessing, and gives a point of view for writing the piece.” being premiered culture. The work’s hypothesis is that all American popular Montgomery’s titles run the and performed music can trace its ancestry to programmatic gamut, from by American African-American spirituals, descriptive (her Strum, for but, she notes, “coming up with strings) to metaphoric (Star- orchestras is this title also sparked in me burst, written for the Sphinx to leave aside the idea that all music comes Virtuosi) to just a little oblique formal titles from simple sources—source (Voodoo Dolls, a dance work with music performed with and visit realms codes—and one can easily travel through different styles string quartet). Other works of evocative or diverge from one place to the have titles putting the music in images, next”: music perceived through a specific cultural context. She “several different lenses at wrote Soul Force for the New programmatic once.” That might well sum up York-based activist orchestra scene-setting, much of current non-traditionThe Dream Unfinished to per- and eyeal titling practice. form on a New York City benAnd what of traditional efit concert for the Black Lives grabbing titles? Montgomery has used Matter movement in 2015. In vividness. them “in kind of a nostalgic writing the piece, Montgomway” (she’s written a Rhapsody No. 1 and ery says she was “inspired to search for a a Duo) but she thinks “it’s important to title that would resonate with the moment stay somewhat descriptive these days. Our it would first be received.”

audiences are seemingly widely versed in many different cultures and associations. A more thoughtful title might engage them more in their listening, trigger a memory or an expectation.” Mazzoli likewise is wary of formal titling conventions—“I associate them so much with other eras of music-making”—preferring titles that keep the story-driven aspect of her music, however abstract, front and center. Norman, for his part, is intrigued by the divergent impressions of standard titles among musicians and audiences. He recalls telling an audience member that he was working on a concerto, which the person cheerfully assumed would be in the traditional three fast-slow-fast movements—an assumption Norman found “fascinating,” but the sort of thing that makes him cautious around standard titles, lest the musical experience be derailed by a mismatch of composer intent and audience expectation. “I wouldn’t want to use one of those titles without really, really meaning it.”

The inspiration for Missy Mazzoli’s River Rouge Transfiguration was the Ford Motor Company River Rouge factory complex. Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts were also inspired by the city’s manufacturing history.

A Tangled Etymology


Hē gàr harmonía symphōnía estín, symphōnía dè homología tis, Plato wrote: “Harmony is consonance, and consonance is a kind of agreement.” A literal or metaphorical concord, symphonia soon slipped those bounds, the word being applied to tones and ensembles, bagpipes, and drums. Those definitions competed for a few centuries, and then the word began to migrate further, being applied to music of various kinds— sometimes advertising the homogeneity of the instrumental forces, sometimes the euphonious quality of the result, sometimes simply to make the piece’s structure clear to the audience. The etymological history makes the current imprecision around the word “symphony” feel relatively slight. Now, this term might refer to a group of performing musicians: the symphony orchestra. It might be a figurative compliment, applied to any unusually pleasant counterpoint of elements. (Sometimes self-applied: the painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s output includes eleven “Symphonies” of various colors.) It might even be a magazine. But mostly, it is a musical work—four movements (usually), large ensemble (traditionally), serious (more often than symphony

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of, say, Milton Babbitt. “What’s changed radically in the last 50-60 years is the rejection of the ivory-tower approach,” he writes. “It was cool to be remote, difficult, and inaccessible. That attitude has now largely disappeared. Descriptive titles give audiences something to hang onto, even if the idiom remains difficult.” On the one hand, Bonds’s book charts a shift in musical ideals, from ancient unity to modern heterogeneity. On the other hand, it’s a wheel that, from a distant vantage, never stops turning. “I think what’s interesting is that when the New German School got old—ca. 1910—composers returned to abstract music, away from programmatic music (which by its very nature features descriptive titles),” Bonds says. In that way, titles are a symptom of music’s constant dance of reiteration, renewal, and rebellion. Maybe it’s appropriate that the symphony, which Haydn himself particularized as an essentially public form—as opposed to something like a string quartet, which he considered more for the performers’ pleasure—should adopt titles that more obviously double as publicity. But is it effective publicity? From an institutional standpoint, maybe not, according to Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter. A new work might come with an intriguing title, but “rarely, if ever, will that title headline the concert,” Showalter says. “When it comes

In October, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (above) will give the world premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Records from a Vanishing City, recalling her childhood on New York’s Lower East Side.


Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano conducts the premiere of Mark Grey’s Frankenstein Symphony, February 2016.

Jeff Roffman

not)—a usage that, in the grand scheme of musical things, is of recent provenance. The first two qualities (four movements, large ensemble) date to the Classical era, and the symphony’s first great, prolific practitioner: Franz Joseph Haydn. But the seriousness, the aura that Corigliano resisted, is even younger, the still-formidable legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven. It’s a legacy that composers have tangled with before. Musicologist Mark Evan Bonds’s latest book, Absolute Music: The History of an Idea (Oxford, 2014), takes a long view of the musical tug-of-war between descriptive illustration and selfcontained, self-evident abstraction—the absolute music of the title. Writing by email, Bonds points out that the reaction to Beethoven, Vienna’s adopted musical hero, began within a generation, via the “New German School,” exemplified, according to German critic Franz Brendel, by the music of Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz. Crucially, Brendel argued “that music had to somehow engage with the world beyond sound, that it had to serve some sort of social function.” Bonds likens that change of channel to the current vogue for descriptive titles, only, instead of Beethoven, the ricochet is off the likes

to titling individual concerts, we focus on the most famous piece, the one most audience members will know.” Concerts incorporating the season’s two commissioned premieres, by Chris Rogerson and Kenji Bunch, are being marketed with Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, respectively. The orchestra’s upcoming performance of Norman’s Switch—on a program that also includes Christopher Rouse’s Supplica and Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben—is advertised with the picture and name of the soloist, percussionist Colin Currie. That last one is the most common pattern, to judge by other orchestras around the country. Witness one of the higherprofile premieres of the last season, John Adams’s Scheherezade.2, first performed by the New York Philharmonic and violinist Leila Josefowicz, who was as much—if not more—an advertised feature as composer and concept. A similar approach held for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s marketing of the world premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s Outscape Cello Concerto in March, featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein. A singular title won’t carry the marketing on its own, but a singular performer is a perennial draw. Composers might be reluctant to use the term “concerto,” but the concerto’s spotlight— swashbuckling protagonist, feats of virtuosic and interpretive derring-do—implies its own compelling narrative.


Chris Lee

Among John Adams’s evocatively titled orchestral works is Scheherezade.2, premiered in 2015 by the New York Philharmonic with violinist Leila Josefowicz, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Still, it’s telling that much of the Oregon Symphony’s public image has become visual-based. Three programs in the upcoming season—Bluebeard’s Castle, a performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, and a concert featuring Stravinsky’s Perséphone, all including specially commissioned theatrical and visual accompaniments—have been grouped as a series called SoundSights, just the sort of title one might find attached to a new

work. The Dale Chihuly-designed glass sculptures that will form the set for the Bartók are also the visual linchpin of the season’s marketing materials. It’s that sort of eye-catching approach that, to Showalter, does the most to attract new audiences. Where composers use verbal imagery to create a dynamic expectation for a piece, the Oregon Symphony uses visual imagery to create a dynamic expectation for the concertgoing experience. “If it

Symphonic Titles: A Recent Sampling Become Ocean (John Luther Adams), Seattle Symphony, world premiere June 2013 Caribbean Rhapsody (Roberto Sierra), Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, world premiere August 2016 City in Colour (Jordan Pal), Toronto Symphony Orchestra, world premiere June 2016 The Cosmic Garden in Bloom (Michael Gandolfi). Grant Park Music Festival, world premiere August 2016 Dear Life (Zosha Di Castri), National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Canada), world premiere September 2015 Frankenstein Symphony (Mark Grey). Cocommission with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (world premiere February 2016) and Berkeley Symphony (May 2016) Living Language (Dan Visconti), California Symphony world premiere May 2016


Mozart and Salieri symphonic poem (Dejan Lazi). Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, world premiere April 2017 Records from a Vanishing City (Jessie Montgomery). Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, world premiere October 2016 RIFT symphonic ballet (Anna Clyne). Cabrillo Festival, world premiere August 2016 Scatter (Adam Schoenberg). Co-commission among Charleston Symphony, IRIS Orchestra (Tennessee), Amarillo Symphony, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, premieres February-November 2016 Two Variations on Ascent into the Empyrean (Carl Schimmel). American Composers Orchestra, world premiere, Underwood New Music Readings, May 2015 Water Prism (Jung Yoon Wie). New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Composer Institute, world premiere, July 2016

looks exciting from the pictures we show,” Showalter says, “it can drive sales.” Programs are marketed through different channels to different groups of potential ticket-buyers: Jim Fuller, the Oregon Symphony’s vice president for marketing, notes that newer music and striking titles can help stimulate specific online or social-media campaigns to devotees of more innovative fare. But, overall, it seems that those listeners who care about repertoire are concerned with the classics. For the orchestra’s “core constituency,” says Showalter, “if Beethoven’s Fifth is on the program, they’re there.” How does a modern symphonist compete with that? Taking It Back

One possible answer: “flipping the script,” as Missy Mazzoli puts it. Her most recent orchestra work adopts the old terminology on new terms, reorienting tradition as gentle subversion. The title of Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2014, “came long after I finished the piece,” Mazzoli says. The term almost coincidentally encompassed much of the music’s qualities: Baroque-inspired counterpoint and motion, as well as the presence of long harmonica chords, reminiscent of a hurdygurdy. But the subtitle echoes another of Mazzoli’s goals: “a piece in the shape of a solar system.” Like everything else in music, Mazzoli’s gambit has a history of its own. In Anton von Webern’s 1928 work titled Symphony, the title and the highly distilled, head-ofa-pin serial music seem to interrogate each other. Luciano Berio’s 1968-69 Sinfonia used the word to ruefully and righteously encompass the music’s—and the era’s— more chaotic brand of simultaneous occurrence. Likewise, Elliott Carter’s 199396 Symphonia amplifies the term’s classical Greek overtones out of its classical-music connotations. (The preposition in Carter’s earlier A Symphony of Three Orchestras is a subtler but similar giveaway.) The opening of Carter’s Symphonia, called Partita, finds its 21st-century counterpart in Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning Partita: one orchestral, one vocal, but both channeling the word’s Italian sense of a game, a match. And then there’s one of music’s most unlikely yet most dedicated symphonists: symphony

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terms on their own terms, Glenn Branca, composer of Unexpected rather than taking them for (for now) sixteen symphotitles are one granted. They are, in other nies, many for his own group, words, attempts to make the the guitars-bass-and-drums small way of Glenn Branca Ensemble, a rekindling other established, formal vocabulary as evocative and provocative few for traditional symphony expectations— as the most poetically purple orchestra, and two—his Symtitle. phony No. 13 (“Hallucination of wonder, of Like any other musical eleCity”) and his Symphony No. imagination, of ment, the old-fashioned titles 16 (“Orgasm”)—for an encuriosity, of a can be “a tool,” Mazzoli says. semble of 100 electric guitars. “There’s this nostalgia and Often fiercely idiosyncratic, flow of energy while just as often making from composers this history that you could use.” It’s an interesting idea: meaningful nods to the structo performers the formal title as conjuring ture and rhetoric of Beethoven an image of its own. And all or Mahler, Branca’s sympho- to listeners and titles, absolute or programnies pull the form out of the from listeners matic, formal or freewheeling, historical waves, their energy to performers to are just tools, means to an end. not so much reinventing the Mazzoli prefers images, but symphony for the current era composers. the image should pique a reas restoring the word’s original sponse: “I try to make [the listener] curiopen-ended overtones of possibility and ous about how this image is going to be complementarity. sonically transformed into music.” NorThese are radical, back-to-the-root recman aims for titles that give “the tiniest lamations of the lexicon: shaking off the bit of frame to everyone,” he says, “so that dust, challenging listeners to take such

they can open a whole bunch of different doors.” Montgomery adds: “All I really want is for people to be engaged in their listening.” That expectation is ambitious, but aren’t symphony concerts already all about expectations? And, sometimes, limiting ones: expectations of format, expectations of decorum, expectations of behavior. Unexpected titles are one small way of rekindling other expectations—of wonder, of imagination, of curiosity, of a flow of energy from composers to performers to listeners and from listeners to performers to composers. Maybe, in the past, composers could have taken that flow for granted; but, if that’s an expectation that now needs to be consciously summoned and shaped, it also is an expectation that can energize the creation of music as much as the reception. “I think expectations are OK,” Montgomery says. “They keep you alert.” MATTHEW GUERRIERI has written frequently about music for the Boston Globe and NewMusicBox.

Astral’s reputation as an industry leader in indentifying top talent has made it a trusted partner for presenters. The rising stars on our roster inspire listeners, while the skills they develop through our mentorship will help you deepen your community impact. Contact Astral to enrich your concert series 215.735.6999 | astralartists.org | astral@astralartists.org Photos: Kristin Lee (Steve J. Sherman), Jordan Dodson (Ryan Brandenberg), Henry Kramer (Ryan Brandenberg)



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At this year’s Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, May 2016, left to right: conductor Rebecca Miller, League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen, conductor Stefan Sanders, conductor Conner Gray Covington, Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony CEO and President Alan Valentine, conductor Roderick Cox, and conductor Paul Ghun Kim.

Podium P I P E L I N E R

oderick Cox walked onstage at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center and bowed to the audience. A 28-year-old native of Macon, Ga., Cox sometimes feels nervous when he conducts an orchestra for the first time. Would the musicians of the Nashville Symphony follow his directions? More importantly, would they play beautifully for him? There was only one way to find out. Cox took a deep, calming breath, raised his arms, and gave the orchestra its downbeat. In an instant, the full orchestra


played the expectant opening motif of Beethoven’s First Symphony, and Cox’s face, which functions as a kind of emotional mirror, registered immediate delight. Now he wanted more. As the violinists prepared to make their lyrical entrance, Cox curled his fingers, as if squeezing an orange. His message was clear: give me a succulent a sound. The Nashville Symphony responded with the sweetest cantabile playing imaginable. “I was quite nervous before the concert, because you never know how a relationship with a new orchestra will work out,” says

Cox, who currently serves as an assistant conductor at the Minnesota Orchestra. “But I found the Nashville Symphony to be incredibly warm and responsive, and the musicians exuded a good positive energy from the outset. That really calmed my nerves.” Cox wasn’t leading the Nashville Symphony in an ordinary concert. Rather, he was participating in the League of American Orchestras’ Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, a program that showcases up-and-coming conductors to an audience of orchestra search commitsymphony

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The League of American Orchestras’ Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview provides up-and-coming young maestros with exposure and mentoring, and gives orchestras a look at the next generation of conducting talent.

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Leading the Nashville Symphony at the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview in May 2016 are (clockwise from top left) Rebecca Miller, Paul Ghun Kim, Roderick Cox, Conner Gray Covington, and Stefan Sanders.

by John Pitcher

tees, managers, and artistic administrators. The five conductors in this year’s Preview—Cox, Conner Gray Covington, Paul Ghun Kim, Rebecca Miller, and Stefan Sanders—spent three days in Nashville from May 9 to 11. In addition to working with the orchestra, during that time they received significant mentoring from Giancarlo Guerrero, the Nashville Symphony’s multi-Grammy Award-winning music director, himself a Bruno Walter alumnus. They also met with musicians and staff, including the orchestra’s gregarious president and CEO, Alan Valentine. americanorchestras.org

Each conductor got to rehearse the orchestra, with Guerrero looking on, offering encouraging words, providing pointers when needed. After each rehearsal, groups of musicians from the orchestra met with the conductor to offer feedback. The event culminated in a major public concert on May 11, with the five conductors each leading a 20-minute program. The participants all earned rousing ovations. “I was extremely proud of our orchestra,” says Guerrero. “They had to play an incredible amount of music for five different leaders, and they did so with

consummate skill. I was also proud of our five conductors, who all got the chance to shine.” The stakes of the May 11 concert, which the League videotaped and made available online for a limited time, couldn’t have been higher for the five participants. (Visit americanorchestras.org/ brunowalter for more on the Conductor Preview and the video.) A big impression made here could lead to invitations to guest conduct a broad range of American orchestras. Under the right circumstances, it could even result in a full-blown music directorship.


life depended on it. Voigt made a mental note of the concert, and when he arrived back in Nashville headed straight for Alan Valentine’s office. “The Bruno Walter Preview turned out to be a huge break for me,” says Guerrero, who had been a little-known assistant conductor at the Minnesota Orchestra back in 2001. “A couple of days after the performance, my phone started ringing

“Unlike law or medicine, the conducting profession was lacking a professional residency,” says League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “Instrumentalists could go to school, get a master’s degree, and be ready to become full-time orchestra musicians. Young conductors couldn’t do that. They needed something more.” view. And fewer still offer young conductors as much concentrated attention while providing orchestras an overview of rising talent. All told, 85 young conductors have now passed through the program, and more than 50 orchestras have engaged these artists for concerts. Some have gone on to become music directors as a direct result of the Preview. Launching Pad

As a promising young maestro, Giancarlo Guerrero participated in the 2001 National Conductor Preview, conducting the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in music from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Seated in the audience was Karl Jeff Voigt, then artistic administrator for the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero, who was inspired by the Civic Orchestra’s blazing brass, conducted as if


off the hook. It was extraordinary. And it’s safe to say that all of the good things that have happened to me since resulted from my participation in that Preview.” As Nashville’s Valentine recalls, “Jeff was really excited about Giancarlo, and told me that we really needed to bring him to Nashville to guest conduct. Of course at that time, our former music director, Kenneth Schermerhorn, was still alive, and we weren’t looking for a music director. But we wanted Giancarlo to conduct the orchestra and finally arranged for him to come here in 2005. He ended up being the first conductor to lead the orchestra after Kenneth died [on April 18, 2005], and he said all the right things to our musicians. That really set him up to become our music director a few years later.” Guerrero didn’t have to wait years, though, for his

Michelle Day

Chris Christodoulou

Rachel Hadiashar

Joel Larson

The League has staged a dozen National Conductor Previews since 1995, holding them approximately every other year. This isn’t the only American program that boosts conducting careers. Among others, Dallas Opera’s Women’s Conducting Institute and Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship provide crucial support. But few programs have as high a profile as the National Conductor Pre-

participation in the Preview to pay off. Oregon’s Eugene Symphony had dispatched a music-director search committee to the 2001 National Conductor Preview. The chairman of the committee met with Guerrero after the performance, and a few months later Guerrero was appointed music director in Eugene. Guerrero isn’t the National Conductor Preview’s only notable success story. Other alumni include Mei-Ann Chen, music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta and former music director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Hege, music director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra; Alastair Willis, former music director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, who’s now a busy guest conductor; and Laura Jackson, music director of the Reno Philharmonic. “Most of us who have participated in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview over the years were already pretty experienced young conductors,” says MeiAnn Chen, who took part in the 2003 preview in Jacksonville, Florida. “The preview is not for students, and it’s not a competition, although like a competition it does provide important professional exposure. Before the League started the Conductor Preview, it was very difficult for young conductors to break into the profession in the United States. It was always easier for conductors to get a start in Europe.” True enough, young conductors in Europe enjoy more clearly marked paths of advancement. This is partly due to history. Since the 19th century, European conductors have often launched their careers in small, regional opera houses, working their symphony

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Participants in this year’s Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, from left: Roderick Cox, Paul Ghun Kim, Rebecca Miller, Stefan Sanders, and Conner Gray Covington.

way up to larger orchestras. Bruno Walter himself, the great German-born maestro and namesake of the National Conductor Preview, started his career in the 1890s at the Cologne Opera. By 1895, he was chorus director at the Hamburg Opera, where he was discovered by his mentor Gustav Mahler. These days, Europe is home to hundreds of small- to medium-size opera houses, fertile proving grounds for young maestros. The close proximity of these opera houses means an artist manager can listen to a promising young conductor at the Munich Opera, then drive 90 minutes to hear another young maestro at Salzburg Opera. If the manager learns that the winner of one of Europe’s many conducting competitions is appearing in Prague, she can catch a train in Munich and be in the Czech Republic in just over four hours. “It’s extremely difficult for artist managers in America to find up-and-coming talent, because America is so huge and the orchestras are all spread out,” says Valentine. “Auditioning is an extremely timeconsuming process even under the best of circumstances. That’s why the League of American Orchestras decided years ago that we needed some kind of a program.” Filling a Need

It just so happened that in the early 1990s, the League had a conductor on staff who could create such a program. The late Donald Thulean became the League’s vice president for artistic affairs in 1984, after serving 20 years as the music director of Washington’s Spokane Symphony. Thulean made the betterment of the conamericanorchestras.org

ducting profession his mission at the League, creating and leading, among other things, conductor workshops and music director search seminars. In 1995, he helped launch the League’s first National Conductor Preview, which was later named for Bruno Walter. The Preview, as Thulean conceived it, was intended to compensate for an important missing ingredient in the business of conducting. “Unlike law or medicine, the conducting profession was lacking a professional residency,” says Jesse Rosen, the League’s president and CEO. “Something in the profession was clearly missing, because violinists and cellists and other instrumentalists could go to school, get a master’s degree, and be ready to become full-time orchestra musicians. Young conductors couldn’t do that. They needed something more.” The League’s National Conductor Preview grew from that need. Conservatories can train young conductors to analyze scores and lead ensembles in dauntingly difficult music. But they don’t necessarily teach fledgling conductors about the sorts of things that occupy a significant chunk of a music director’s time. On a daily basis, music directors must help their organizations raise money and connect with community leaders. They must also supervise up to 100 musicians.

actively he’s been representing his orchestra in Nashville. It really made me appreciate getting into the Conductor Preview.” Admission to this year’s National Conductor Preview was fiercely competitive. The League received 150 applications from an international pool of gifted young maestros. Whittling that field down to five was no easy task. “We receive a lot of strong applications, but the conductors we choose always have three things in common,” says Rosen. “First and foremost is technical mastery. If you stand in front of an ensemble like the Nashville Symphony, you have to have the skills to command the respect of the musicians. We’re also looking for conductors who are obviously eager to learn, and who are capable of continued growth and development. Finally, we want conductors with strong personalities who have clear points of view about the music they conduct.” The five conductors in this year’s preview demonstrated these qualities in their 20-minute programs, which included movements from Beethoven’s First Symphony, Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Michael Daugherty’s American Gothic. During rehearsals, Guerrero was usually handsoff. “I don’t remember him saying anything specific during the actual rehearsal,” says Covington. “But after the rehearsal he offered some great conducting pointers. In the slow movement of the Dvořák

“It’s extremely difficult for artist managers in America to find up-and-coming talent, because America is so huge and the orchestras are all spread out,” says Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan Valentine. “That’s why the League of American Orchestras decided years ago that we needed the National Conductor Preview.” “In truth, conducting is just part of a music director’s job,” says Conner Gray Covington, a 29-year-old conducting fellow at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music who participated in this year’s preview. “Giancarlo Guerrero gave all of us great feedback about our conducting, but the most eye-opening things were the great stories he told about his own experiences as a music director. He talked about the community events he attends, and how

Seventh, for example, there was one tricky measure where I subdivided the beat to make things clear. But instead of playing with clarity, the musicians slowed down. Giancarlo offered great advice on how to approach those kinds of passages.” Critical Feedback

Guerrero wasn’t the only Nashvillian offering advice. One of the most important features of the National Conductor Preview


rectors must learn to be efficient,” says Kim. “We have only so much time and so much money, and we must do the best we can in order to be cultural leaders.” Before becoming artistic beacons in their communities, the five participants in this year’s National Conductor Preview had to make a lasting impression with their programs. Naturally, they selected music that reflected their strengths. Kim, who began his musical studies as a violinist, gravitated to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. This orchestral blockbuster is filled with sensuous violin solos, and Kim conducted it with a look of sheer ecstasy. An elegant stylist, he led with sensitive arm movements. His euphoria must have been contagious, since the Nashville Symphony’s musicians performed this familiar music with melting lyricism. Rebecca Miller, a California-born conductor who now lives and works in London, wanted to race out of the gate at a full gallop, so she selected music that was full of sparkle and rhythmic vibrancy. In the finale of Beethoven’s First Symphony, she often leaned over the podium, like a swim-

Peter Schaaf

is the musicians’ central role in providing feedback. “Often the people most qualified to give advice to conductors are the musicians themselves, but they are typically left out of the feedback loop,” says Rosen. “One of the goals of the National Conductor Preview is to get the musicians from the host orchestras to offer guidance and suggestions.” For the musicians of the Nashville Symphony, the Conductor Preview proved to be a fun, if somewhat exhausting, challenge. Playing multiple scores for five different conductors is akin to working in a large commercial kitchen for five of the world’s most creative and demanding chefs. “We had conductors tell us to play the same piece of music in completely different ways,” says Christopher Farrell, a longtime violist with the Nashville Symphony. “Our job as musicians is to make those competing ideas work. Mostly, we just want to be prepared, so a lot of our feedback had to do with using rehearsal time effectively.” Paul Ghun Kim, the 35-year-old resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony, took Farrell’s advice to heart. “Music di-

John Powell / Blue Collar Studio

Chris Ocken

JOHN PITCHER is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tenn. He is the former classical music critic for the Omaha World-Herald and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Past participants in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview currently leading American orchestras include (top row from left) Giancarlo Guerrero (2001 Preview), music director of the Nashville Symphony; Marcelo Lehninger (2011), music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony; Carlos Miguel Prieto (2001), music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic; Paul Haas (2007), music director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas; and (second row from left) Carolyn Kuan (2009), music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Keitaro Harada (2013), associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops; Morihiko Nakahara (2005), music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic and resident conductor of the Spokane Symphony; Mei-Ann Chen (2003), music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta.


mer preparing to dive. The gesture elicited energetic, dramatic playing from the orchestra. In the finale of Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, she led with graceful, flowing motions, resulting in warm, fluid playing. “Working with an orchestra the caliber of the Nashville Symphony was a valuable experience,” says Miller. “It’s a responsive orchestra and you can feel that your gestures have an immediate result.” Stefan Sanders, the 39-year-old associate conductor of New York’s Buffalo Philharmonic, showed his knack for contemporary music, opening his portion of the concert with the first movement of Michael Daugherty’s 2013 work American Gothic. This is rhythmically complex music, with lots of moving parts. Sanders kept it together with baton gestures of geometric precision. His approach was rooted in his musical thinking. “My philosophy of conducting centers around the pulse of the music,” says Sanders. “I think of pulse metaphorically, as in the music has a pulse or heartbeat. In order for the music to be alive, the orchestra needs to feel the music’s pulse together.” The Nashville Symphony was certainly feeling the beat during Roderick Cox’s turn on the podium. He conducted the opening movement of Beethoven’s First Symphony with gusto, and the musicians rewarded him with playing of uncommon warmth, charm, and emotion. As the music concluded, Cox gave the orchestra a satisfied grin and then silently mouthed the words “thank you.”

The 2016 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview is made possible by a generous gift from Martha Rivers Ingram. Additional support is provided by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Visit http://americanorchestras.org/ brunowalter to learn more about the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview and to watch the video (available for a limited time) of this year’s conductors with the Nashville Symphony. symphony

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The Harry Potter movies and their John Williams scores are a popular orchestral filmwith-concert option. A new Harry Potter Film Concert Series tour launched this summer included performances of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the Mann Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra and at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is now making the rounds in the U.S. and abroad. Right: In July, Canada’s Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed music from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone led by Justin Freer. The show later tours everywhere from Moscow’s Kremlin Palace to the Sibelius Concert Hall in Lahti, Finland.

Go On

Matthew Baird

How pops concerts change with the times.



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Randall L. Schieber

Far left: The Boston Pops’ annual July Fourth concert at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, complete with fireworks display, is one of the city’s most popular outdoor annual events. This year, a crowd of half a million came out to hear the Boston Pops, led by Keith Lockhart, along with pop performers Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, and Little Big Town. Left: Music Director Joseph Giunta leads the Des Moines Symphony’s annual free “Yankee Doodle Pops” concert on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol, also with fireworks display, which typically draws a crowd of about 100,000. This year brought the premiere of three movements from the newly commissioned Symphony On A Stick, depicting sights and sounds of the Iowa State Fair. The July Fourth pops-orchestra-andfireworks tradition seems to be holding its own, with these two events representing a small sliver of similar annual events.

This summer, the rapper Nelly made his symphonic debut with two orchestras. His debut took place on July 9 with Ohio’s Columbus Symphony Orchestra (above) at a Picnic with the Pops concert led by Resident Staff Conductor Albert-George Schram. It was the inaugural program in “A Night of Symphonic Hip Hop,” a new series that pairs hip-hop artists with orchestras. Nelly performed the same program later this summer with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong. Nelly joins a growing list of rappers—Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Sir Mix-A-Lot, among others—who are performing with orchestras.

Cirque de la Symphonie

Families flock to classical-music-withcircus programs, which have become a nearly ubiquitous pops offering by orchestras. Among the exponents of the genre is Cirque de la Symphonie, with aerialists, jugglers, acrobats, and contortionists twisting and turning above the orchestra. Right: Cirque’s aerial duo Alexander Streltsov and Christine Van Loo.



ot that long ago, pops meant the Great American Songbook, patriotic Sousa marches, some enchanted Rodgers and Hammerstein evenings, and the occasional von Suppé overture. Today, hip-hop stars perform with orchestras. Rapper Nelly made his orchestral debut this summer with not one but two orchestras: on July 9 with Ohio’s Columbus Symphony Orchestra and then with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Nelly joins a growing list of rappers, including Kendrick Lamar and Sir Mix-a-Lot, who have performed with orchestras. It’s easy to think of pops as fairly static, a known entity, unchanging. But pops ranges from Arthur Fiedler, longtime éminence grise of the Boston Pops, to Common and Nas—the chart-toppers who dominate today’s airwaves. The reality is that pops always embraces the music of the day—maybe not immediately, when new sounds are hot and perhaps a bit outré for orchestras, but with time. The Beatles and Elvis embodied shocking new beats and styles when they first hit the scene— that hair! those hips!—but at this point Beatles tribute bands and Elvis epigones have been getting orchestral pops audiences all shook up for decades. (The Beatles didn’t sneer at orchestras—producer George Martin loved symphonic sounds. Now there’s a Classical Mystery Tour pops show celebrating Sgt. Pepper’s fiftieth anniversary.) Even some works written for orchestra take a while before canonic assimilation: early on, Gershwin’s Concerto in F was thought by some to be too jazzy for


Lee Snow / Cincinnati Pops

It’s easy to think of pops as fairly static. But the reality is that pops concerts have always embraced the music of the day—maybe not immediately, when new sounds are hot and perhaps a bit outré for orchestras, but with time.

At Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center this July, Aretha Franklin made a rare orchestra appearance, joining the Cincinnati Pops for a concert. From “Think” to “Chain of Fools,” “Freeway of Love”—and of course “Respect”—the Queen of Soul had the audience on its feet. Not only do pops concerts featuring pop and rock legends appeal to audiences: singers and bands relish the opportunity to perform backed by the lush sound of a full symphony orchestra. Respect, indeed.


to R & H or the great big hits of the past, constantly update their fare with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Les Miz shows; if you want to get a sell-out crowd of teenage girls and their parents, program Wicked. Performers are not just glamourous Like your pops concert a little bit country, or perhaps with an R&B/funk tinge, or a Grateful Dead jam? Tanglewood had it all this summer, and more, with Dolly Parton (right) making her debut at Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Music Shed on a pop-artist lineup that also included Earth, Wind & Fire, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring guitarist Warren Haynes, and R&B/gospel singer Mavis Staples.

Hilary Scott

an orchestra (Gershwin himself referred to the last movement’s “orgy of rhythms”); now it’s central repertoire. With hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar performing at orchestras, the forward edge for orchestral pops might be rap. Is “To Pimp a Butterfly” the new Light Cavalry Overture? With a wide aesthetic embrace and sensitivity to market interest, pops has always adapted to the times. A hardcore definition of pops is elusive: is it simply “other” works that orchestras perform that aren’t purely classical? “Lighter” fare from composers like Grofé? Evenings with gracious sopranos waltzing through operetta? Gershwin replaced Lehár a long time ago at pops concerts; so did Irving Berlin’s syncopated tunes, which drew much of their energy and élan from African American music traditions. By the 1960s, delicate Jeanette MacDonald types were hopelessly out of date, and swinging jazz virtuosos like Ella Fitzgerald were bringing along their rhythm section for orchestra gigs. Even traditional pops fare like Broadway concerts, which could stick

Broadway stalwarts like Bernadette Peters or Kristin Chenoweth; now that Hamilton has rewritten the rules on what a musical can be, its co-star, Leslie Odom, Jr., a Tony winner in the show, is performing with orchestras. Pops loves rock. There are evenings featuring music of Journey and other ’70s bands; Freddie Mercury lives on with Queen tribute concerts; there are pops tributes to those masters of rock’s improvised long form, the Grateful Dead, and nights with Rolling Stones tribute bands. Motown concerts recall the sounds and styles of an era and a culture. Anyone looking to gyrate under a mirror ball can boogie on down to their nearest orchestra for a disco night. The deaths of two very dissimilar rock legends, David Bowie and Prince, unleashed immediate outpourings of grief—and almost equally immediate outpourings of pops productions for orchestras. Maybe that’s not too surprising: Bowie wrote and sang great rock tunes that toyed with musical complexity, and the polymathic Prince encompassed pop


FALL 2016

Calvin Dotsey

From “Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions” to “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses,” videogame concerts are now a pops-orchestra staple, with the long-lived “Video Games Live” series perhaps the best-known of the bunch. In Montreal, there’s even an orchestra of gamers, L’Orchestre de Jeux Video, devoted to the genre. Above: Arnie Roth leads a Houston Symphony “Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy” rehearsal, July 2016.

and funk and R&B and soul. (Twenty years from now, will Lady Gaga sing “Poker Face” with orchestras, her “little monster” fans jamming concert halls?) Rock-focused pops shows like these and similarly themed nostalgia evenings— “Disco Days and Boogie Nights,” “The Beat Goes On! The Music of the Baby Boomers”—zero in on one of the country’s biggest and most financially able demographics. Where does movie music fit in? And what about the more recently emerging

genre of musically ambitious scores for video games? Some orchestras categorize film and videogame scores as pops, some program them as their own category, and other orchestras give them no distinct rubric but program live-orchestra-withscreening as standalone events. Does a pops definition for film include only scores of “classic” movies from some undefined Hollywood Golden Age—the swashbuckling Korngold of The Adventures of Robin Hood? Or, a few years later, from Bernard Herrmann’s eerie soundtracks, which

“The Piano Men” was the theme for the Grand Rapids Symphony’s September pops program at DeVos Performance Hall featuring songs from albums by Elton John and Billy Joel, with the orchestra joined by Canadian singer/songwriter Jim Witter (above). Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt led the concert, one of the orchestra’s six 2016-17 pops offerings ranging from “Hits of Barbra Streisand” with vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway to a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

sometimes deployed the theremin (definitely not an orchestral instrument)? Or, more recently, from John Williams’s infinite profusion of great scores? Now we’re hearing pops concerts devoted to current television shows like House of Cards—and any Game of Thrones-themed concert is a sure sellout. Just as Broadway evenings and American Songbook shows aim for certain crowds, concerts revolving around music from video games target the ever-expanding ranks of geekdom. Many Americans’ exposure to the wonders of a full orchestra is as accompaniment to the exploits of Harry Potter or a bunch of Hobbits or the latest superhero. Hollywood has done a lot to keep the sound of the full-orchestra-in-full-throttle at the heart of popular culture: Take a Star Yes, there is definitely still a place in the orchestra pops universe for classic songs by George Gershwin, André Previn, Jerome Kern, Marvin Hamlisch, and more. Soprano Sylvia McNair, seen at left with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, is a veteran of the genre. Others on the long list of singers who perform the American Songbook with orchestras include Megan Hilty, Kelli O’Hara, Liz Callaway, and Bernadette Peters.



est. 2005 Broadway and so much more...

orchestrations by MOTOWN THE MUSICAL's Joseph Joubert

A. Yes! Play-Along Concerts For Families of All Ages Make/Take Instruments Play with Your Orchestra Build Young Audiences Engage the Community Your audience members make the ‘Drumpet,’ a simple, combined wind, string, brass and percussion instrument. Concertgoers play with your orchestra on 2-3 pieces such as ‘Concerto for Drumpet.’

Pink Martini, a self-described “little orchestra” that performs everything from classical and Latin Audience portions ledOregon by Dr. music to jazz to classic pop, made its orchestra debut in 1998 with the Symphony. Pink Martini lead vocalists China Forbes and Storm Large have headlined concerts with the Los Craig Woodson Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Performed with major Symphony, among many others.

Yassine El Mansouri

American orchestras Traditional pops presentations conWars fanboy to hear an orchestra perform Contact: Dr. Craig Woodson tinue to occupy pride of place. Keepers of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the 440-725-8767 woodsonphd@gmail.com the pops flame like singer/pianist Michael New World”), and he’ll perk right up. It’s www.EthnomusicInc.com/ Feinstein present concerts that are smart, a familiar aural world. And sometimes at Drumpet concerts/orchestras.htm sophisticated, musically deft. Orchestras orchestra-with-film events, the concert dedicated to pops—Cleveland Pops, New hall can turn into a high-art house of mirYork Pops, Pasadena Pops, a newly revirors. When not playing their instruments, talized Philly Pops, among others—enthe musicians swivel in their seats to watch gage devoted audiences with tried-andthe film: we’re watching them watch the true pops programming while trying new movie we’re watching.

The National Symphony Orchestra dealt up House of Cards this July at D.C.’s Kennedy Center in a performance featuring music and footage from the Netflix TV series starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as a scheming U.S. President and First Lady. Jeff Beal, who composed the Emmywinning score, served as conductor. The concert was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Politico’s Joe Schatz with the show’s creators and actors. americanorchestras.org

B. Yes! Play Play-Along Concerts For Families of All Ages Make/Take Instruments Play with Your Orchestra Build Young Audiences Engage the Community Your audience members make the ‘Drumpet,’ a simple, combined wind, string, brass and percussion instrument. Concertgoers play with your orchestra on 2-3 pieces such Concerto for Drumpet.’ as ‘Concerto Audience portions led by Dr. Craig Woodson Performed with major American orchestras Contact: Dr. Craig Woodson 440-725-8767 woodsonphd@gmail.com www.EthnomusicInc.com/ concerts/orchestras.htm. Drumpet

things, playing new scores, experimenting with new sounds. Groups like the Indianapolis Pops Consortium, a division of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, creates theatrical pops programs that are available for other orchestras. And how proud are orchestras of their pops divisions? The Cincinnati Symphony will bring along the celebrated Cincinnati Pops for its Asia tour in 2017, while Music Hall is closed for renovation. In cities including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taiwan, the ensemble will appear as the Cincinnati Symphony under Music Director Louis Langrée and as the Cincinnati Pops under Conductor John Morris Russell. Pops isn’t just a homespun offering—it’s an international brand. Pops today embraces a huge variety of music that increasingly reflects the changing demographics of the country. Are orchestras doing more pops, of more variety? Yes. Are they responding to consumer demand? Yes. Maybe Boston Symphony Orchestra founder Henry Lee Higginson got it right at the very start. When he founded what became the Boston Pops in 1885, the goal was to present concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day. It still is.


Guide to Symphony’s The following paid listings have been supplied to Symphony by League of American Orchestras business partners who represent pops attractions and conductors in the areas of pops performance. What follows does not imply endorsement by the League of American Orchestras or Symphony. It is not intended to be fully comprehensive, but to be a reference point for


orchestra professionals charged with pops programming.

Americana/Country Dave Bennett’s “Roots of Pop: From Swing to Rock” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Dailey & Vincent JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com Manhattan Moonshine™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Michael Martin Murphey JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com Music City Hit-Makers JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com

Big Band/Swing Dave Bennett’s “Tribute to Benny Goodman” and “Clarinet Swing Kings” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Ann Hampton Callaway’s “To Ella With Love” A Centennial Celebration Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Dee Daniels Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com


In The Mood Gurtman Murtha Associates GMArtists@aol.com inthemoodlive.com We have the charts! Imagine your symphony pops with a sensational big band, singers, and dancers transporting you back to the swing era. Touring worldwide for 22 years, In The Mood will make your audience fall in love again while celebrating the music that moved a nation’s spirit.

John Pagano David Belenzon Management, Inc. david@belenzon.com johnpagano.com John has worked with Burt Bacharach as studio musician and featured touring vocalist for 20 years. Additionally, John has collaborated with Barry Mann, George Duke, George Howard, Elvis Costello, Whitney Houston, and many more.

The Rat Pack! 100 Years of Frank!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Doc Severinsen Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Denzal Sinclaire Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Byron Stripling Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Swinging Holiday Celebration!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Broadway Behind the Mask™ The Music of Webber, Hamlisch, Schwartz & More! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Bohème to Broadway!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Broadway A-Z: ABBA to Les Miz!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Broadway By Request™ Your Audience Picks the Show! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Broadway Gentlemen™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Julie Budd Sings “Show-Stoppers” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com


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POPS Advertisers Liz Callaway’s “Broadway and Beyond” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

Sandi Patty JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com

Liz Callaway & Ann Hampton Callaway “West Side Story to Wicked: Broadway with The Callaways” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

Penning & Langford – My Favorite Things; Off the Charts; Lights! Camera! Action!; A Penning & Langford Holiday Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com

Ethel Merman’s Broadway The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com

Shalom Broadway!™ Celebrating the Heritage of Broadway Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Fascinating Gershwin™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com The Golden Age of Broadway!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Kern Tribute featuring Show Boat in Concert!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Lerner and Loewe’s Greatest Hits!™ featuring My Fair Lady, Brigadoon & Camelot! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Now Playing on Broadway™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Will & Anthony Nunziata’s “Broadway Our Way” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com


Something Wonderful™ The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein with Oscar Andy Hammerstein III, As Your Host! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Lisa Vroman Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com

Conductors, Pops Tim Berens tim@timberens.com timberens.com Looking for a unique pops conductor to engage, uplift and expand your audience? Tim, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s arranger/ guitarist, will work with you to create programming ideal for your audience.

Bob Bernhardt Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com


Jim Brickman The Brickhouse Network wendy@thebrickhousenetwork.com thebrickhousenetwork.com Two-time Grammynominated Jim Brickman has revolutionized the sound of solo piano with his pop-style instrumentals. Brickman’s best-known compositions include the chart-toppers “Valentine,” “The Gift,” and “Love of My Life.”

Brian Byrne Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Paul Langford Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com Lee Musiker Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Doc Severinsen Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Jeff Tyzik Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com William Waldrop Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com

Dance/Movement Dance to the Movies The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com


Guide to Symphony’s Dancing with a Twist The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com Dancing with a Twist-mas The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com Nashville with a Twist The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com Tango Caliente! Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com

Family Concerts Ethan Bortnick David Belenzon Mangement, Inc. david@belenzon.com ethanbortnick.com With over 2,000 PBS airings, 15-year-old music sensation Ethan Bortnick’s concerts are packed with energy, excitement, and PBS pledge audiences. Venues are spending zero ad dollars. Educational opportunities available.

Concert for Titanic™ Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Oscar-winning Film! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Dan Kamin’s Comedy Concertos Dan Kamin dan2@dankamin.com dankamin.com Ted Wiprud, NY Philharmonic Education Director, says that The Lost Elephant, Classical Clown, and Dan’s other family programs showcase his “unique talent for physical comedy and wonderful feel for music.”

Film with Orchestra Dan Kamin’s Comedy Concertos: Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony

Lights, Camera…the Oscars!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Dan Kamin dan2@dankamin.com dankamin.com Dan Kamin’s entertaining introductions and Grant Cooper’s witty and tuneful symphonic scores make Chaplin classics Easy Street and The Immigrant funnier, more exciting, more poignant—more relevant—than ever before.

The Merry Widow in Concert™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Great American Songbook

Annie Moses Band JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com Put on a Happy Face… A Dick Van Dyke Celebration!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com Swinging Holiday Celebration!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Julie Budd “Remembering Mr. Sinatra” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Ann Hampton Callaway’s “Streisand Songbook” 75th Birthday Celebration Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway “Sibling Revelry” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Dee Daniels Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Great American Songbook™ with a Special Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com




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POPS Advertisers In The Mood Gurtman Murtha Associates GMArtists@aol.com inthemoodlive.com We have the charts! Imagine your symphony pops with a sensational big band, singers, and dancers transporting you back to the swing era. Touring worldwide for 22 years, In The Mood will make your audience fall in love again while celebrating the music that moved a nation’s spirit.

Steve Lippia – 100 Years and Beyond; Simply Sinatra; Simply Swingin’ – Great American Crooners; A Swingin’ Holiday Affair Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com

John Pagano David Belenzon Management, Inc. david@belenzon.com johnpagano.com John has worked with Burt Bacharach as studio musician and featured touring vocalist for 20 years. Additionally, John has collaborated with Barry Mann, George Duke, George Howard, Elvis Costello, Whitney Houston, and many more.

Denzal Sinclaire Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com

Proudly Canadian, Jeans ’n Classics is the complete package, bringing their top drawer artists and band, vast show catalogue, and superbly scored musical arrangements to symphony orchestras and happy audiences far and wide.

No tribute act here! Faithfully interpreting the music of legendary rock and pop albums and artists with their own special and signature flair, for the past 20 years and counting... jeansnclassics.com Peter Brennan americanorchestras.org

jeansnclassics@mac.com 519-439-1370 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


Guide to Symphony’s Emily West JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com Lisa Vroman Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com

Holiday Pops Dave Bennett’s “A Swinging Holiday” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

Jim Brickman The Brickhouse Network wendy@thebrickhousenetwork.com thebrickhousenetwork.com Two-time Grammynominated Jim Brickman has revolutionized the sound of solo piano with his pop-style instrumentals. Brickman’s best-known compositions include the chart-toppers “Valentine,” “The Gift,” and “Love of My Life.”

Julie Budd’s “Home for the Holidays” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Ann Hampton Callaway’s “Making Spirits Bright” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

Colcannon Producers, Inc. mick@colcannon.com colcannon.com Traditional Irish music meets symphony in eloquent harmony. Colcannon’s Pops and Holiday Pops shows bring together storytelling, laughs and joyous and bittersweet music. A proven winner for your season.

Melinda Doolittle JRA Fine Arts info@jrafinearts.com jrafinearts.com Steve Lippia – A Swingin’ Holiday Affair Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com New York Voices “Swingin’ Christmas” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

John Pagano David Belenzon Management, Inc. david@belenzon.com johnpagano.com John has worked with Burt Bacharach as studio musician and featured touring vocalist for 20 years. Additionally, John has collaborated with Barry Mann, George Duke, George Howard, Elvis Costello, Whitney Houston, and many more.

Penning & Langford – A Penning & Langford Holiday Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com



Swinging Holiday Celebration!™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Jazz/Rock/Blues/Pop American Idols Celebrate Motown The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com Patti Austin’s “Ella, Now & Then” A Centennial Celebration Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com The Beat Goes On: Liz Callaway Sings the ’60s Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Dave Bennett’s “Roots of Pop: From Swing to Rock” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

BRASS TRANSIT…The Musical Legacy of Chicago Tony Carlucci tonycarlucci@sympatico.ca brasstransit.com 2017 will be CHICAGO’s 50th anniversary! Brass Transit pays homage to their American iconic pop songbook…over 20 top 10 and #1 hits. Newly orchestrated for Pop series by Emmy-winning arranging team. “Classic! Spellbinding!” – Vegas 24/7

Blood Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com


FALL 2016

POPS Advertisers Ann Hampton Callaway’s “Streisand Songbook” 75th Birthday Celebration Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

Jeans ’n Classics – Abbey Road

Jeans ’n Classics – “Soulful”

Classical Night Fever – The Ultimate Symphonic Best of 70’s Disco Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com

Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com Viewed as the Beatles’ best – ranked as one of the greatest albums ever, Abbey Road remains the Beatles’ bestselling record. With great pleasure, we present it, in its entirety.

Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com We are thrilled to present “Soulful,” a night in which we offer 50 years of brilliant R&B, Motown, Funk, Disco, and Pop material by 20 of the finest artists and performers.

Kelly Clinton – Sing, Laugh, Love Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com

Jeans ’n Classics Presents Bowie

Jeans ’n Classics Presents That’s My Jam

Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com Always unique, interesting, and controversial, and never afraid to push his own creative boundaries, his music pleases, challenges,and always amazes. With great respect, Jeans ’n Classics offers “Bowie.”

Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com For younger audiences or fans of current pop music. Featuring the music of Adele, Arcade Fire, Ellie Goulding, Bruno Mars, Outkast, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Brandon Flowers, Pharrell Williams, and more.

Jeans ’n Classics Presents Canada Rocks

Jeans ’n Classics Performs ‘The Who’

Peter Brennan

Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com In a great marriage with the symphony, we bring you the power and energy and the awesome iconic epic rock hits of The Who, JnC-style!

DUKES of Dixieland Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Kiki Ebsen – Joni Mitchell Project™; To Dad With Love: The Buddy Ebsen Tribute Andersen and Associates, Inc. lori@andersenreps.com andersenreps.com Ellis Hall Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Ella Fitzgerald Birthday Celebration with Freda Payne The Stander Group Inc. scott@scottstander.com scottstander.com I Heart the ’80s™ featuring the Music of Prince, Bowie, and Michael Jackson! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com There’s been a massive worldwide impact by Canadian songwriters, vocalists, and bands on pop/rock music for decades and we are very proud to present this taste of our homeland.

Jeans ’n Classics Presents Heartland Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com A very exciting new area as we explore some of the very best new country acts plus a few classic country artists. Fabulous songs; wonderful vocals; beautifully orchestrated JnC style.



Jeans ’n Classics – Women of Rock Peter Brennan jeansnclassics@mac.com jeansnclassics.com Five decades of some of the most dynamic and influential women in rock and pop music are masterfully presented by four of Jeans ’n Classics’ incredible female vocalists.


Guide to Symphony’s POPS Advertisers Michael Lynche Greenberg Artists jami@greenbergartists.com greenbergartists.com Magic at the Symphony Gewald Management robertgewald@hotmail.com gewaldmanagement.com New York Voices “Baby Boomer Bash – Music of the 60’s and 70’s” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com New York Voices “Swing & Jazz Romp” Marilyn Rosen Presents marilyn@marilynrosenpresents.com marilynrosenpresents.com Oh What a Night, Billboard Hits of the 1960s™ Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com

Mark Wood McCoy Artists Group larry@mccoyartists.com markwoodmusic.com Founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mark Wood creates programs including rock arrangements of the greatest classical music repertoire, symphonic arrangements to classic rock, holiday music, and educational outreach.

Light Classics Mancini and Moonlight™ Celebrating 50 Years of the Pink Panther! Broadway Pops International office@broadwaypops.com broadwaypops.com


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World Music Colcannon Producers, Inc. mick@colcannon.com colcannon.com Traditional Irish music meets symphony in eloquent harmony. Colcannon’s Pops and Holiday Pops shows bring together storytelling, laughs and joyous and bittersweet music. A proven winner for your season.

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FALL 2016


Mission The League’s new Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service recognize five orchestral players for exemplary work in education, cross-cultural diplomacy, and bringing music’s therapeutic power to hospitals and other special-needs facilities. Here are their stories.

Richard Lippenholz

by Chester Lane

The Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service were presented at the League of American Orchestras Conference on June 10. From left: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl; South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboe Jeffrey Paul; Oakland Symphony cellist Beth Vandervennet; League Chairman Patricia A. Richards; Ford Motor Company Fund Community Relations Manager Elizabeth McAdam; League President and CEO Jesse Rosen; Detroit Symphony Orchestra bass clarinetist Shannon Orme; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violist Penny Anderson Brill.


MORE AND MORE, the definition of what it means to be a musician in a symphony orchestra is expanding. As orchestras’ missions evolve, their musicians are contributing in ways that go far beyond the traditional role of performing concerts for a ticket-buying public. Under the orchestra’s auspices, some musicians teach in area schools, or bring live music to hospital patients or eldercare facilities. Others work with low-income or at-risk youth. Still others connect with communities that are steeped in very different musical traditions. A new program launched this year by the League of American Orchestras—the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service—recognizes orchestral musicians for outstanding efforts in these areas. Made possible by Ford Motor symphony

FALL 2016

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl with members of the bucket band he directs as part of the BSO’s OrchKids program.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Detroit Symphony Orchestra musician Shannon Orme performs for patients at Children’s Hospital of Detroit Medical Center as part of the DSO’s Neighborhood Residency Initiative.

© Crazy Horse Memorial

South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboe Jeffrey Paul (at left, holding guitar) played a major role in bringing the orchestra to Custer City, South Dakota, for a 2010 collaboration with the Creekside Singers at Crazy Horse Memorial. Music Director Delta David Gier (at far right in front of harp) led the concert, part of the orchestra’s Lakota Music Project.

Company Fund, the program honors individual musicians’ essential contributions to the community through work supported by their orchestras. Of the many orchestral musicians who engage in community service, the inaugural Ford program has singled out five awardees, selected by a panel of industry professionals following a competitive nomination process. They are Penny Anderson Brill, a violist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Detroit Symphony Orchestra bass clarinetist Shannon Orme; Jeffrey Paul, principal americanorchestras.org

oboist in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra; Beth Vandervennet, a cellist in California’s Oakland Symphony; and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl. Each award includes a $2,500 grant to the musician and an additional $2,500 to his or her home orchestra to support professional development focused on community service and engagement for its musicians. The five musicians demonstrated their community-service work—some with instruments, some through video—during a “Ford Musician Awardees in Action”

session at the League’s Conference in June, and were formally presented with their awards during the League Luncheon and Annual Meeting. “These five musicians serve as models and mentors to the entire orchestra field,” says League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “Their commitment and dedicated work, whether by inspiring under-served students, bringing comfort in healthcare settings, or bridging cultures through their artistry, is on the leading edge of orchestras’ service to their communities. We’re grateful to Ford Motor Company Fund for helping support this vital program, and for enabling us to publicly acknowledge and share the important work of these musicians.” Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund, notes that when music is combined with community service, “it results in a powerful experience that has lasting impact on everyone involved. These dedicated musicians, and many more like them who take the time to share their talents with those less fortunate or in need, deserve special recognition. They really do go further



Anna Patsch

music therapists. She has led numerous workshops on health and wellness and written extensively on the subject, most recently in “Addressing Community Concerns Through Music,” a scholarly article published in the July issue of Music and Medicine, journal of the International Association for Music and Medicine. And thanks in large part to Brill’s work, the Pitts- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violist Penny Anderson Brill burgh Symphony has, through at The Woodlands, July 2016. The Pittsburgh-area retreat Music and Wellness its newly launched Musicians as serves children with autism, Down syndrome, and other Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violist disabilities. a Community Resource website Penny Anderson Brill first experienced the things. And the sound of everybody doing (musacor.com), become a resource for orchespower of music to help heal the body and the drone together is incredibly powerful. tras and orchestral musicians seeking to essoothe the soul nearly two decades ago. You gather a sense of strength from helptablish or manage wellness programs. Faced with a number of procedures following each other create the sound.” For Brill, “wellness” is not simply the abing a diagnosis of breast cancer, she turned In hospital settings, it’s not just the pasence of sickness. It’s a matter of mental and to music therapy. To prepare for reconstructients who benefit from what Brill and her emotional focus, relief from stress and wortive surgery, Brill had a therapist do a sescolleagues have to offer. Twice a year she ry, a feeling of connectedness. Music and sion using a technique called guided imvisits UPMC Children’s Hospital with a sound have a powerful role to play in all of agery. “It was enormously helpful to me in violinist, cellist, and flutist from the PSO to that, as she demonstrated in the Ford Muimagining the surgery and the recovery,” she perform at a memorial service for the chilsicians session at the League Conference. says. Particularly beneficial during the postdren who have died—about 75 of them will Brill owns many percussion instruments— operative phase was the therapeutic use of have passed during a typical six-month period. Aside from the children’s families and Pittsburgh Symphony violist Penny Anderson Brill has become UPMC medical staff, the people attending an international authority on the effective use of live music in these services come from “all parts of the healthcare settings, and in the complementary relationship hospital: the spiritual department, the administrators, the music therapists. There’s a between musicians and music therapists. sense of the whole community helping the families get through an unimaginable event. “a rolling suitcase of stuff,” she says—and Indian-inspired Shakti Yoga music, which The memorial service takes place after the for this gathering of orchestra professionals Brill says “helped me in getting my circufamilies have had some private time to deal she brought out one of her standard tools, lation back, and in reducing the amount of with their loss. A sibling, or someone whose the ocean drum; it evokes the sound of pain medication I needed. It made a big difchild died, might talk about how they are waves washing over a beach as it’s tilted and ference in how quickly I recovered.” coping. The people who play for these sermetal balls under the drumhead roll from At that time, Brill says, there were no muvices often tell me it’s one of the most powside to side. Brill asked the audience to insic therapists on staff at the hospital where erful and important things they do all year.” hale and exhale slowly and deeply, mimickshe was treated, the University of Pittsburgh Brill also brings her musical talents to ing the ebb and flow of the ocean. She then Medical Center (UPMC). With help from The Woodlands, an organization that runs played two pitches on a violin, a perfect the Pittsburgh Symphony, she set out to weeklong retreats for special-needs kids in fifth, directing half the audience to drone on change that. Music therapists are now a key Wexford, Pa., just north of Pittsburgh. This one note, half on the other. component of the PSO’s Music and Wellsummer she visited a Woodlands retreat “Practicing with the wave and creatness program, which allows Brill and many for children with autism, Down syndrome, ing the drone are ways of extending the other musicians from the orchestra to bring and other disabilities. Together with a time that you’re breathing with your diamusic to hospitals in the UPMC system, as music therapist and two PSO colleagues, phragm,” Brill explains. “There’s a test well as nearby nursing homes and specialviolinist Louis Lev and cellist Adam Liu, that hospitals do before letting you go needs facilities. They do this through a sershe worked with the kids in interactive home. You’re more likely to pass it if you’ve vice-exchange arrangement that earns the settings. The goal, she says, is to give them been practicing deep diaphragm breathmusician vacation days for time spent in a the “most positive experience of music. At ing. Four minutes have gone by, and what vital community service. the end of the week there’s a performance has changed? Everything, because for four Brill has become an international auwhere each child—by being allowed to minutes you’ve been paying attention to thority on the effective use of live music in conduct or do other things—is given a the present. Suddenly you feel more optihealthcare settings, and in the complemenchance to shine.” mistic, you’re more alert, you can handle tary relationship between musicians and in their communities, and we’re proud to recognize their thoughtful and caring service. Enjoying music and the arts, sharing cultural activities and community traditions are all part of building stronger communities. Supporting music and music education has always been important to Ford Fund, because music can inspire creativity and help sharpen skills and learning in ways that benefit people beyond the concert hall and into other aspects of their lives and careers.”


FALL 2016

Health in the Neighborhood

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, musician visits to healthcare facilities and nursing homes are part of a comprehensive Neighborhood Residency Initiative that also includes subscription series and chamber concerts in the suburbs and a wide range of in-school and other educational activities. Shannon Orme, the DSO’s bass clarinetist, participates in all of these. For her, playing at the Children’s Hospital of Detroit Medical Center has been especially rewarding. “The kids are really sick at this hospital, and their attention spans are short,” says Orme. “We’ve played for kids of all ages. If it’s toddlers, you might play nursery rhymes. For the older kids you might

“We have to be able to change what we’re doing at any moment,” says DSO bass clarinetist Shannon Orme of her work with patients at Children’s Hospital of Detroit Medical Center.

incorporate TV tunes or popular songs they might know; they’re not going to be happy with ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’ I do some improvisation, and we play ‘name that tune’ games. Sometimes I’ll play a march-like melody and change the tempo as they stamp their feet. I’ll play high or low and they move their bodies or arms up and down. We try to make it physically active for them, but they have different levels of mobility. If something isn’t working we go on to the next thing. I’ve done these with my bass clarinet and with a regular clarinet, but I usually use the regular one, because it’s easier to carry and I can play a americanorchestras.org

greater variety of music with it. We have to be able to change what we’re doing at any moment.” Crucial to these sessions, says Orme, has been the presence of a music therapist. Children’s Hospital recently discontinued its music-therapy program, and Caen Thomason-Redus, who holds the title of Community Catalyst, Director of Community and Learning at the Detroit Symphony, says the orchestra is actively working with the hospital to find a way to restore music therapy to its program of musician visits. Orme also visits nursing homes as part of the DSO’s Neighborhood Residency Initiative. “Music can help reduce stress, and ease pain and discomfort,” she says, “especially in anxious situations like before and after surgery, or if an older patient is going through a difficult time in their life or transitioning into the home. I really like these concerts for seniors, because it elevates their mood and can aid memory. The music may help them remember a different period in their life: we might play Gershwin, or ‘Moon River,’ or patriotic tunes. They can really relate to that music. I have a few musicians I play with quite regularly, another clarinetist and a bassoonist. And sometimes, in homes where the seniors are still quite active, I play by myself and give a little lecture and demonstration.” Native Sounds

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra serves a state in which nearly 10 percent of the population consists of Native Americans, most of them residing on reservations far from the orchestra’s home in Sioux Falls near the Iowa border. The Missouri River bisects the state, with the indigenous Da-

presenting programs that meld Native and Western European styles. Jeffrey Paul joined the South Dakota Symphony in 2003 as principal oboe in the orchestra and oboist in the Dakota Wind Quintet, an ensemble of SDSO principals that performs in educational settings. Not long after he arrived the quintet visited Pine Ridge Reservation, in the southwestern part of the state. “The minute we got there,” he recalls, “it became evident that there was no reason for us to be teaching the Native children about wind quintet music or Western classical instruments. It seemed wrong to go there with the idea, ‘We’re here to give you something.’ The Western classical tradition wasn’t really relevant to them, and the children had no means of getting ahold of most of our instruments.” Paul says that when Delta David Gier, who became the orchestra’s music director in 2004, “came out on one of our reservation tours, we started brainstorming on how we could collaborate with Native musicians, getting out of the ‘white concert hall’ and onto the reservations.” Paul was a key part of that brainstorming, and his talents as a composer and player have been essential to the Lakota Music Project. He says the effort was initially “met with a bit of mistrust and suspicion: ‘Why are you doing this? White people don’t do anything without getting something out of it for themselves.’ But we got together for a jam session with some of the Native musicians—played for each other, then played a bit together, discovered each other as human beings, and tried to figure out if this had any legs.” The first Lakota Music Project concerts, says SDSO Executive Director Jennifer Boomgaarden, took place in May 2009—in

The idea of the Lakota Music Project, says South Dakota Symphony Principal Oboe Jeffrey Paul, is to “get into the reservations and play with Natives for Natives—to see if there is a possibility of using music to culturally heal.” kota people living largely east of the river, the Lakota west of it, and the Nakota toward the south. Mindful of this larger community, the orchestra has broadened its musical and cultural mission well beyond the Western European canon. It has done so with the Lakota Music Project, a multiyear effort to bridge musical cultures by performing for and with Native musicians and

Rapid City, far to the west of Sioux Falls, and on reservations in Flandreau, Lower Brule, and Pine Ridge. As Paul describes it, the program began with “a back-and-forth between a drum group—the Porcupine Singers—and our chamber orchestra: a dialogue on common themes like love, war, and celebration. A Lakota war song was played next to Khachaturian’s ‘Saber Dance.’ A


by the Sisseton Arts Council, based in a town near the reservation’s southern border. “They had heard my Desert Wind,” Paul recalls, “and they said, ‘This is great, but we have a cultural treasure here in Bryan Akipa. He’s Dakota, and so far that’s been lacking in the Lakota Music Project. We want to have Dakota music represented.” The orchestra premiered Paul’s Pentatonic Fantasy in Sisseton in April 2013. The Lakota Music Project’s most recent iteration was a March 2016 partnership with Joseph Horowitz’s “Music Unwound” project exploring Native American and African American influences on Dvořák’s “New World” SymSouth Dakota Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboe Jeffrey phony. Presented in Sisseton Paul (right) with Native American performer and flute maker and Sioux Falls, the program Bryan Akipa and SDSO Music Director Delta David Gier at paired the Dvořák with Brent the April 2013 premiere of Paul’s Pentatonic Fantasy for Michael Davids’s Black Hills Dakota Flute and Orchestra. Olowan, performed with the Creekside Singers, a Lakota drum group. own Desert Wind. The concert was a “very Boomgaarden expects the Lakota Music moving experience for the orchestra, and seemed to be so for the drum group as well,” Project’s next phase to include programs involving the full orchestra as well as resisays Paul. Another new work generated dencies by its Dakota String Quartet and by the Lakota Music Project was Waktégli Dakota Wind Quintet in multiple South Olowan (“Victory Songs”), a song cycle for Dakota communities and reservations. baritone and orchestra by Jerod Impich-

Janes Rasmussen

Lakota song of mourning was paired with Barber’s Adagio for Strings.” The second half included the world premieres of two South Dakota Symphony commissions: Black Hills Olowan by Native American composer Brent Michael Davids (a Wisconsin-born member of the Mohican Nation) and Paul’s

Baltimore Symphony percussionist Brian Prechtl learned about educating at-risk youth during his time with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic 25 years ago: “We needed to fill a lot of roles that a normal teacher or musician wouldn’t be expected to fill.” chaachaaha’ Tate, an Oklahoma-born member of the Chickasaw Nation. (His middle name means “high corncrib.”) It was commissioned by the South Dakota Symphony and premiered in January 2013. Paul, a composer since childhood, has long had a keen interest in indigenous and folk music, and he admires those influences in his favorite composers. “Beethoven borrowed tunes from the German countryside,” he points out. “Bartók was using Hungarian stuff all the time.” Paul’s Pentatonic Fantasy for Dakota Flute and Orchestra, composed for the South Dakota Symphony and Bryan Akipa—a noted performer, cedar flute maker, and resident of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation north of Sioux Falls—was commissioned


As Paul sees it, the whole idea of the project is to “get into the reservations and play with Natives for Natives—to see if there is a possibility of using music to culturally heal, even in the tiniest way. It’s so important not to traipse into their territory, to cheapen or exploit their music. We want this to be authentic. And that has meant treating each of our traditions with equal reverence.”

Music for Excellence

Cellist Beth Vandervennet makes her living in what Bay Area freelance musicians call the “freeway philharmonic circuit”: she performs with California’s Oakland and Marin symphonies and is principal cellist in the Vallejo Symphony. Her main job is with the Oakland Symphony, where in addition to playing cello she serves as the orchestra’s education coordinator and runs a key component of its Music for Excellence (MUSE) program. Through MUSE, Oakland Symphony musicians make regular visits to the schools, not just as instrumental instructors but as mentors and role models for the students. “Oakland Symphony musicians from all four instrument families are paired with the school’s instrumental teachers, and they partner around whatever the teacher’s biggest need is,” Vandervennet says. “This year we go to ten elementary schools, eight middle schools, and four high schools. There’s an after-school program with three ensembles, and a piano class for third graders.” The students served by MUSE, she says, represent “diversity in skin color, family makeup, and socioeconomic status.” The MUSE Orchestra, a fourth- through sixth-grade group that meets weekly under Vandervennet’s supervision, “has kids who can’t even get a ride to rehearsals—latchkey kids, kids on free or reduced lunch—but it also has two sisters whose mom is a lawyer.” As a hands-on leader of the mentoring program, Vandervennet employs skills outside her expertise as a cellist. “I’m not very good on the violin,” she says, “but I can lead a group and play beginner music. I’ll be up and walking among the kids, something that you can’t do when you’re behind a cello! Each May we put together a concert involving about 100 beginner violinists, violists, and cellists. That’s hard, because I have to go around to all of those schools that I don’t visit regularly and go, ‘rah rah rah!’ But it’s such a heartwarming concert—really adorable.” In her school visits Vandervennet talks

Ford Webinar: Watch, Listen, Learn All five recipients of the 2016 Ford Musician Awards will discuss their work in a League of American Orchestras webinar this fall moderated by the noted educator and author Eric Booth. Individuals affiliated with League-member orchestras may participate in the webinar free of charge, and the full content will be posted to americanorchestras.org following the event. symphony

FALL 2016

Eric Londgren

gram ‘mentoring/teaching artists.’ We really are different from that teacher the kids see every day. In the five years I’ve been coordinating the program I’ve encouraged our mentors to develop relationships with the kids so they’re learning about our careers. When they come to a concert they get really excited: Swapping her regular instrument for a violin, Oakland Symphony ‘Oh my gosh, there’s my cellist and education coordinator Beth Vandervennet leads kids mentor up there!’ It’s hard from the Oakland Unified School District at the annual String to get kids and families out Festival last May. to concerts, but one small piece of that is having them see us as menabout “the four things you need to make tors and not just teachers.” Having particia symphony concert happen: a musician, pated in the mentoring program for sevena composer, a conductor, and an audience. teen years, Vandervennet is “seeing kids I’ve I’ll have a kid come up and play ‘Pop Goes worked with go off to college. They haven’t the Weasel,’ where they pluck the E-string gone to Juilliard or anything like that, but on ‘pop.’ I’ll have kids conduct me while I that’s not my focus. It’s to enrich their lives play the cello: when they conduct big I play through music, and to show them that loud, if they conduct fast I go fast. They’re when you really stick with something you learning how music is shaped. It’s one of can get good at it, and it will add a whole the most rewarding things I do. other dimension to your life.” “I like to call the musicians in this pro-

Buckets in Baltimore

“So many life skills are tied up in ensemble playing,” says Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl. “Teamwork. Understanding your place in the greater scheme of things. Putting yourself second and the group first. Everybody wants to see himself as part of a group. And this is like, ‘boom, you’re in a group.’ Pride, identification, knowing who you are, who your peeps are. So often we see groups form around less desirable commonalities. It’s really nice to give kids something that’s so productive.” Prechtl is talking about his bucket band, an ensemble that he directs as part of OrchKids, a program of the Baltimore Symphony that provides free instruction, both after school and year-round, to students in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. “Except for the ones who are exclusively percussionists,” he says, “almost all of the bucket-band kids play other instruments. They’re coached by OrchKids specialists in those instruments and participate in an orchestra, then come to me for the bucket band.” As a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic some 25 years ago, Prechtl says



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the Arts, to summer camps such as Interlochen, and to the El Sistema-inspired National Take a Stand Festival, a partnership of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Longy School of Music of Bard College. “The relationships I’ve developed with these kids are going to last forever,” Prechtl says. “When I spend time with them outside of rehearsals or class, we’re talking about life—how to handle disappoint-

ment, how they deal with their parents, or some of the hurdles they have at school, especially when they’re trying to balance it with the kinds of demands OrchKids puts on them. They may not go on to become percussionists or cellists or tuba players, but you know you’re helping these kids in a host of different ways. And they will take that with them.” CHESTER LANE is senior editor of Symphony.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl leads the OrchKids bucket band at Baltimore’s Lockerman Bundy Elementary School.

he “got a call from a woman at the YMCA in one of the worst parts of town. She said, ‘I have an after-school program, and I want it to have music.’ I said, ‘How much money do you have?’ Her response was, ‘$850.’ So I said, ‘OK, we’ll buy some buckets at Home Depot and get drumsticks.’ I learned pretty quickly just how much you are able to do with such an economical approach.” Prechtl also learned a few things in Fort Wayne about educating at-risk youth. “I would go to this person who ran the afterschool program and say, ‘We have a problem with this kid. He doesn’t really understand what I want from him and how he’s going to handle himself. We need to get him a psychologist, get his parents here.’ She said, ‘Brian, that isn’t going to happen. I know his mother. She has five kids, works two jobs, and there is no father. And no psychologist. We are all of those things rolled into one, and we’ll have to solve these problems ourselves.’ That was a wakeup moment for me. I realized that we needed to fill a lot of roles in this kind of work that a normal teacher or musician wouldn’t be expected to fill.” A member of the OrchKids team of teacher-mentors since 2009, Prechtl works with more than 200 students weekly in three schools. What is the kids’ level of commitment to the program? “There are always some hurdles,” Prechtl says. “Their idea of what’s acceptable in terms of participation is constantly being updated by us. I have to let them know, ‘You can’t just come or go as you please. If you want to work in this world, there are expectations you have to meet.’ That’s really difficult for some of them. But they do get selfmotivated.” Prechtl has watched kids in his bucket band go on to Baltimore School for americanorchestras.org



ANNIE MOSES BAND REPRESENTING SOME OF THE FINEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD “Sandi Patty is one of today’s most versatile interpreters of song. The soulfulness she brings to concert audiences is matched by her sense of entertainment and humor. She remains a treasure of American song. ” – Jack Everly, Principal Pops Conductor: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic


“Melinda Doolittle has a stunning voice, an infectious personality and an inviting presence. She lights up the stage!” – Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor “Our audiences had an overwhelming experience. Their combination of high energy, raw talent, and showmanship is a consistent recipe for success. They’re such a pleasure to work with, it’s extremely easy for any orchestra and conductor to be swept up in the fun as well.” – Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor, Cape Cod Symphony


“ Music City Hit-Makers are the real deal. They are all phenomenal performers in their own right. It was fantastic to hear their hits with the backing of an orchestra and a thrill to make music with such talented performers.” – Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor

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Right: Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero works with students at Nashville’s Ravenwood High School as part of the organization’s programs in public schools.

Kaitlyn Korogy

Below: As part of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s work in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, Conductor Adam Pezdek leads the Community Opus Project’s Esperanza Band in a rehearsal in March 2016.

Music Education for All Students by Steven Brown


The new Every Student Succeeds Act takes a big step toward putting the arts back in classrooms. But that won’t happen on its own. Now is the time for orchestras to advocate for a complete education that includes music for each and every student. symphony

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Nashville Symphony


sponsibility to offer a well-rounded education and ensure that all those subjects become part of the fabric of their district.” Yes, arts education can overcome neglect. And policymakers in Washington, D.C. are giving schools across the United States new leverage in launching, reviving, or enhancing arts education. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law last December by President Obama, eases the high-stakes testing focus on a few core subjects that marked No Child Left Behind, the previous federal education law. Giving state and local school officials fresh discretion over how they use their federal dollars, ESSA emphasizes students’ need for a well-rounded education. Not only does its list of potential components include music and the arts, but ESSA calls for a broad education to be available to all students, not just those from the best-funded districts. “It’s a great validation from the federal government that the arts actually do matter,” says Mary Deissler, president and CEO of North Carolina’s Charlotte Sym-

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra


prawling across 103 square miles between San Diego and the Mexican border, the Chula Vista Elementary School District serves a far-from-wealthy area. Nearly half of its 30,000 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Nevertheless, the district offers arts education—including music, visual art, theater, media arts, and dance—on all its campuses. That’s up from almost nothing five years ago. Arts education is blossoming in Chula Vista. The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory spurred the revival by launching an after-school program that, more quickly than anyone expected, showed district leaders how music benefits children, schools, and families. After starting with music classes, Chula Vista has been expanding its arts education ever since. “Our experience shows us that a school district that finds value in one of the art forms will not choose to offer only that,” says Dalouge Smith, the youth symphony’s executive director. “It will take on the re-

Young musicians at Winterfield Elementary, a Title 1 school in a low-income east Charlotte neighborhood where the Charlotte Symphony has run a music program since 2010.

phony Orchestra. “We’ve spent so many years defending ourselves, if you will, since those awful cuts that happened in the ’80s and ’90s, when music was virtually eliminated from the public school curriculum.” ESSA’s potential benefits won’t magically appear, though. Orchestras, art museums, and other cultural groups have to campaign for arts education’s return, Smith says. “There is no federal mandate


that all children receive music education,” he notes. “There is just a definition of what a well-rounded education is. It’s up to the local stakeholders to make sure that is fulfilled in their community.” Ratified by Congress with bipartisan support, the new law aims to correct the restrictiveness that many saw in No Child Left Behind. “While NCLB had the right goal of making sure that all students were represented in the system, it fell short in that it was a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Monique Chism, deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs at the federal Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The Every Student Succeeds Act still points toward high standards, accountability, and closing achievement gaps. But it provides more flexibility to states to think about their accountability systems and reform efforts.” Education officials nationwide are working on that now. By June 2017, they have to send Washington their plans for how they’ll comply with ESSA when the federal dollars begin flowing in the 201718 school year, says Jeremy Anderson, president of Education Commission of the States, a nonprofit that works on education policy. “The chief school officer in each state is going to have to put together

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Making the Case for the Arts

“As we look at potential new board members, we’re very interested in having an educator on the board who can represent the public schools inside the board—and be an ambassador as well,” says Charlotte Symphony President and CEO Mary Deissler.

the ESSA plan,” Anderson says, “and the governor’s office is going to have to sign off on that. So you’ve got a lot of states where the chief school officer is just starting stakeholder engagement meetings. Getting engaged in those discussions about the importance of the arts will be key.” In Massachusetts, state education leaders have been discussing a well-rounded education since before the new law came

The Every Student Succeeds Act gives schools and communities across the United States new leverage in launching, reviving, or enhancing arts education.


President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015 surrounded by students, educators, and lawmakers.


along, says Myran Parker-Brass, the Boston Public Schools’ executive director for the arts. She thinks a united front serves cultural organizations best. “We’re strongest when the Boston school district goes to the state [legislature] with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Ballet, and we’re all making the case together,” Parker-Brass says. Cultural groups’ supporters ordinarily go into such meetings fired up about their art form or cause. This time, though, they should “show up with the intent of listening for what the bigger context is,” says Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy at the League of American Orchestras. “We need to be partners in helping schools with the big goals and challenges in front of them.” Giving children equal access to quality education is one of their biggest challenges, and ESSA emphasizes it.

Advocacy efforts by the League in coordination with other national arts and education organizations pressed the U.S. Department of Education in 2012 to examine how widely arts education was available in U.S. schools. The study, Noonan says, found what one might guess: Students in the poorest districts received the least access to arts education. The department’s then-secretary, Arne Duncan, declared the imbalance “absolutely … a civil-rights issue.” During the closing session at the League’s annual Conference in Baltimore this past June, Chism urged orchestras to confront the problem head-on. “Our job is to have honest and courageous discussions about inequality in our nation,” Chism said. “If you’re not comfortable talking about inequality—particularly in race, gender, class—then you need to get comfortable. Because our children are depending on you.” Arts leaders who may never have seen themselves in this role can still embrace it, symphony

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Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Nashville Symphony

Unequal access to music education is “a societal problem” running deeper than schools’ budget and curriculum decisions, says Walter Bitner, the Nashville Symphony’s director of education and community engagement, shown here during public informational meetings about the Nashville Symphony’s inaugural Accelerando program with prospective students in March of 2016.

Charlotte Symphony Music Director Christopher Warren-Green with a student in the orchestra’s music program at Winterfield Elementary, a Title 1 school in a low-income east Charlotte neighborhood.

• Dedicate a portion of your orchestra’s upcoming board meeting to consider how to engage in local education-reform conversations in your school system.

Unequal access to music education is “a societal problem” running deeper than schools’ budget and curriculum decisions, says Walter Bitner, the Nashville Symphony’s director of education and community engagement. Even where music programs exist, some children can’t take advantage of them: they may lack transportation to after-school programs, or their families may be unable to afford costs such as dues for participating in marching band. “There are too many of us involved in advocacy who have seen this problem,” Bitner says. “Our school systems are no longer able to address this adequately. It is now coming to the attention of cultural institutions like the symphony orchestra, one of whose cultural roles is to make an impact in our communities. It’s becoming our responsibility to influence making this kind of opportunity available to our neighbors.”

• Ask your local schools and state department of education to publicly report on the status of arts education offerings in schools.

Local Advocacy

says Lee Koonce, an advocate for diversity in orchestras and the president and artistic director of the Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, N.Y., a biennial event that spotlights classically trained musicians of African descent. Koonce points to “the business imperative”: orchestras increasingly recognize that their survival and success depend on connecting with all segments of their communities, and music education offers a gateway to groups they need to reach.

That rationale should click with any arts backer. “With all of this, you start where people are,” Koonce says. “It may be too early in the process for some to perceive of themselves as champions for equality. But I believe that orchestras can grow to that place where they see their important role in communities. Our success is actually dependent on it. The whole ecosystem of the music we love will be influenced by the children who have this opportunity.”

Taking Action for Music in the Schools • Contact your state department of education to ask when their next public stakeholder engagement will happen as they design new education plans.

• Take a look at where your orchestra’s education programs are being delivered, and identify new ways to increase access to students. • Consider how your orchestra can give public recognition to local in-school music teachers throughout the school year. • Don’t go it alone! Partner with parent associations, teachers, school leaders, and other cultural organizations to improve education opportunities for all students.


That responsibility drew the San Diego Youth Symphony to Chula Vista. The orchestra’s leaders realized that its young musicians came mainly from affluent areas, Smith said. Bringing music education to other areas was the only solution, but the orchestra figured school leaders had to see music’s benefits firsthand before they


Every Student Succeeds Act: League Resources for Orchestras The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) marks an important new opportunity to ensure that every student has access to arts and music education. Now, even more of the decisions about how the arts are supported in education will be made at the state and local levels. The highest-poverty public schools currently have the least access to music education, denying many students all of the advantages that a complete music education can provide. As civic-minded community-based organizations, America’s adult and youth orchestras work every day—through their programs, partnerships, and policy—to increase access to music education in our nation’s schools and communities. At the Music Education section of americanorchestras.org, find an overview of the new law, public statements to elected officials that urge full funding and support, resources to equip arts advocates at the state and local level, and next steps for orchestras to take action. For more information, visit americanorchestras.org or contact Heather Noonan, the League vice president for advocacy, hnoonan@americanorchestras.org or Najean Lee, the League’s director of government affairs and education advocacy, nlee@ americanorchestras.org.

would take action. After more than a year of planning, in 2010 the group launched an El Sistema-inspired after-school program serving third-graders in two Chula

Vista schools. Teachers and principals soon began witnessing the impact. “They were seeing things like a better classroom environment, because students were act-

ing out less,” Smith says. “The students seemed to have better concentration and more self-control, so they weren’t being sent to the principal’s office. And there was more consistent parent engagement during the school day. Parents were now feeling that they had a place on the campus, because they were so welcome to the music program.” Within six months after the program began in 2010, Smith says, school officials gave the orchestra money to expand it. The district added music instruction to the school day in 2012, then continued to add classes and faculty in theater, dance, and other disciplines. With the help of grants from the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Chula Vista has hired 70 arts teachers, most of them full-time. The youth symphony’s after-school component, the Community Opus Project, also has mushroomed. Smith sees this as a case study in how orchestras can engage in local education advocacy, and the youth symphony is sharing its experience. In March, the orchestra will host its second national convening

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“We’re strongest when the Boston school district goes to the state [legislature] with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Ballet, and we’re all making the case together,” says Boston Public Schools Executive Director for the Arts Myran Parker-Brass. 2014, after California gave local officials more authority in allocating money. “At our spring orchestra concert, I had one parent—who struggles with English—tell me that because of the orchestra program, her son was finally taking school seriously

and doing well academically. All because he loves to play the violin!” says Carol Sweat, the district’s parent, school, and community specialist. “This is only one example. These are the stories that motivate us to continue on in our struggle.” In North Carolina, Charlotte’s civic pride suffered a blow in 2014, when a study of intergenerational mobility (scholar. harvard.edu/f iles/hendren/f iles/ mobility_geo.pdf) ranked the city 50th out of 50 U.S. regions in terms of children’s chances League of American Orchestras Vice President for Advocacy of lifting themselves from pov- Heather Noonan delivers a statement in support of access erty. The shortcomings included to the arts at a January 2016 meeting at Department of education, and that’s where the Education headquarters in Washington, D.C. at which the Charlotte Symphony hopes to department began framing guidance for local and state policy under the Every Student Succeeds Act. help turn the situation around. Hollenbeck, a Winterfield second-grade Since 2010, the orchestra has run a music teacher who had enjoyed studying the program at Winterfield Elementary, a Title violin as a youngster and thought her stu1 school in a low-income east Charlotte dents would, too. Covering the expenses neighborhood. herself, she gathered instruments and The program began with Courtney P IANO

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for education advocates. And it’s counseling two other California school districts striving to bring the arts to their students. One of them, the Chino Valley Unified School District, started an orchestra in

taught the class, even though her teacher training hadn’t included music. After three years, the students’ needs began to outstrip her skills and resources, and the Charlotte Symphony said yes to her cry for help. During the orchestra’s second year in charge, Music Director Christopher Warren-Green brought the youngsters to the concert hall to join the orchestra in the opening of a subscription program. As he introduced them, Warren-Green took the long view. “This is not the future of classical music, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the future of humanity,” he said. With the orchestra providing teachers and support, the Winterfield project has expanded to about 100 students, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Mary Deissler says. Seven youngsters’ talents have won them places in CharlotteMecklenburg Schools’ arts magnet school. Hoping to duplicate the Winterfield program on two more campuses in the next couple of years, the orchestra’s education team has begun meeting with district staffers to map out plans. And the orchestra, in light of ESSA, is ready to make its case. “We have board members who have strong political connections to our governor and legislature, and within the school community as well,” americanorchestras.org

Nashville Symphony

Richard Lippenholz

The Every Student Succeeds Act “provides more flexibility to states to think about their accountability systems and reform efforts,” says Monique Chism, deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs at the federal Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. She’s shown here addressing delegates at the League of American Orchestras’ 2016 Conference.

Nashville Symphony bassist Katherine Munagian works with students from the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association.

Deissler says. “As we look at potential new board members, we’re very interested in having an educator on the board who can represent the public schools inside the board—and be an ambassador as well.” The San Diego Youth Symphony, Smith says, has complemented that kind of advocacy with another: “Inviting school leaders to a concert and having them hear why the youth symphony is here. ‘Look what’s happening here.’ It was about building a shared experience and shared understanding. We took the approach of being a neighbor, being a citizen.” Advocates can point to studies from across the U.S. showing that arts programs benefit students in a host of ways, the Education Commission of the States’ Anderson says. The Arts Education Partnership, a center within the commission, offers an overview of such research on its website, www.aep-arts.org. The advocacy and government section of the League’s

website, www.americanorchestras.org, also contains ESSA resources. The coming months will be “a critical time for folks to get involved,” the League’s Noonan says. But arts advocates also have to look beyond the federal dollars. Washington supplies only about 10 percent of the nation’s school funding. So cultural groups also must win over those who govern state and local revenue. “The federal part is just the thin edge of the wedge that opens the door for conversations where the real resources are allocated,” Noonan says. “The main thing to do is, find out where the conversations about education are happening within your local school district and within your state. And be at the table.” STEVEN BROWN, a Houston writer specializing in classical music and the arts, is the former classical music critic of the Orlando Sentinel, Charlotte Observer, and Houston Chronicle.


Amazon Studios

Pianist Emanuel Ax plays Video Chess for a scene in Mozart in the Jungle.

Small Screen, A pop-cult phenom TV show is putting the orchestra world—and some of classical music’s biggest stars—center stage.


Lisa Marie Mazzucco

Pianist Lang Lang was seen onscreen bowling and playing ping-pong during season two of Mozart in the Jungle.

Harald Hoffmann

by Jennifer Melick


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Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios

Actress Lola Kirke (as oboist Hailey Rutledge) gives dating advice to pianist Lang Lang in a scene from season two of Mozart in the Jungle shot at a bowling alley.

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert plays pool in a scene from season two of Mozart in the Jungle.

Big Talents Eric Kabik

I Violinist Joshua Bell (above) has appeared in two episodes of Mozart in the Jungle. Emanuel Ax (at left), seen here in his more typical role as pianist, appeared in season two of Mozart in the Jungle, playing the interactive video game Dance, Dance Revolution.


t’s after-hours, and the musicians are blowing off steam at a local bowling alley. “Joshua Bell! What are you doing here?” asks Lang Lang. “I’ll tell you what I’m doing here,” Bell retorts, striding up to the pianist while carrying his own bowling-ball bag. “I’m noticing that you foot-faulted. This line, you’re not supposed to put your foot over that line.” “Oh, come on,” says Lang Lang. Conductor Alan Gilbert approaches. “Josh. Still Mister Competitive. It’s not much of a difference, if at all, really.” Bell isn’t ready to let it drop. “This much makes a really big difference. On the violin, a millimeter means the difference between an F and an F-sharp. With conducting,” he says, with a stabbing glance at Gilbert, “if you’re off by a millimeter what does that do?” Gilbert sighs, then adds, “We’re having a good time—trying to have a good time.” Nearby, a frustrated Emanuel Ax is playing the interactive video game Dance, Dance Revolution. “Some people think that in order to play the piano really well, what you need to do is keep your fingers limber,” says Ax. “But that’s not true at all, it’s the feet. Horowitz used to say, if my feet don’t walk my fingers don’t run. And he was a pretty great pianist. Well, it hasn’t helped so far.” Later on, the musicians move on to a crowded group selfie in a photo booth, a pool table, and a ping-pong match. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you will recognize that this is not a scene from reality but an episode from Mozart in the Jungle, Amazon’s hit streamingTV series about a young aspiring oboist, Hailey Rutledge, the fictional New York Symphony, and that orchestra’s musicians and circle of friends. Very loosely based on oboist Blair Tindall’s 2005 memoir of the same name, Mozart in the Jungle was


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Malcolm MacDowell, Bernadette Peters, and Gael García Bernal in season one of Mozart in the Jungle. On the show, MacDowell plays the fictional New York Symphony’s outgoing music director, while Peters portrays its executive director and Bernal its new, Dudamel-like music director.

entertainment-TV faces. The show has at the surprise winner in 2016 of a Golden this point been discussed endlessly in the Globe Award for Best Television Series, classical-music press, with reactions rangMusical or Comedy. The show’s third ing from outrage to laughter over the ocseason is set to begin streaming on Deccasional lack of realism of Mozart in the ember 7. Jungle: an impromptu outdoor symphony Watching these real musicians’ cameo rehearsal in an apartment-building courtappearances on the show, it’s obvious that yard, or a cellist hailing a cab to go straight they are having a great time, given this from a New York Symchance to be funny, ficphony performance to tional versions of them- “I think it’s always great playing in the pit of a selves, to speak lines when classical music Broadway show. instead of performing “I think it’s a real win music. Joshua Bell has can be in there as part of for orchestras that there appeared on the show the popular culture, and is a popular show ustwice, first playing a not a fringe thing. I get ing our world as a setsnippet of the Tchaiting,” says New York kovsky Violin Con- a lot of people coming Philharmonic President certo in the show’s pilot to my concerts who say Matthew VanBesien. “I episode, and then in the they saw me on Mozart certainly don’t remember episode just described, from season two. They in the Jungle.”—Violinist ever seeing anything like it when I was growing explain that they were Joshua Bell up as a classical musinot given scripts, but incian. The thing that I’ve found impressive stead were encouraged to improvise their is how much they really get right, albeit lines from a broader storyline. The show’s with creative license, about our world. occasionally insiderish aspect—Alan GilThey’ve clearly invested the time to underbert is not identified in his cameo—can stand how an orchestra works, and the remake it even more enjoyable for classicalsult is a real and entertaining window into music aficionados, who recognize these our lives. It’s not every day you see adverimportant-in-classical-music-but-not-on-


tisements plastered across New York City that feature an oboist! I think that is really a bonus for us.” The success of Mozart in the Jungle is notable, especially when any TV series revolving around music—not just one that’s set in the world of classical music—can be a hard sell today. HBO’s fictional Vinyl, about a 1970s record producer played by Bobby Cannavale, had an all-star cast and seemingly all the sex-drugs-rock’n’roll needed for a long run, but was cancelled after its 2016 pilot season. Another musicfocused fictional HBO series, Treme, was set in post-Katrina New Orleans and featured several of the city’s better-known musicians, including R&B/soul singer Irma Thomas, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and singer/guitarist Coco Robicheaux. Its executive producers were The Wire’s David Simon and Eric Overmyer and it got good critical reviews, but Treme struggled to find an audience, and ended in 2013 after three-and-a-half seasons. Vinyl was a dark, violent drama chronicling the New York City post-1960s music and club scene, and Treme aimed to make a deeper social statement about New Orleans and social justice. Meanwhile, Fox’s scorching hip-hop drama Empire, starring symphony

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Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios

is well known to classical musiclovers is Broadway’s Bernadette Peters, an artist who appears frequently with orchestras. (In 2015-16 she performed with the Boston Pops, Charlotte Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and San Diego Symphony, among others.) On Mozart in the Jungle, Peters plays Gloria Windsor, an acting role that blurs the line between board chairwoman and Actor Gael García Bernal (left) backstage with Gustavo executive director of the fictional Dudamel, real-life music director of the Los Angeles New York Symphony. The fact Philharmonic. In Mozart in the Jungle, Bernal plays Rodrigo, that this highly regarded vocalist conductor of the fictional New York Symphony, and Dudamel has a cameo as a Hollywood Bowl stage manager. did not sing on the show during its first season may be an indicaGael García Bernal’s conductor Rodrigo tor of how unseriously Mozart in the Jungle (the latter clearly modeled on Dudamel takes itself. himself ). Dudamel’s few lines, in a HolMozart in the Jungle continues to atlywood Bowl backstage scene, include a tract big classical names for cameo roles. succinct put-down of the LA Phil music In addition to Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, director. In another episode, the role of a Emanuel Ax, and Alan Gilbert, those venerable oboist is played by the 99-yearwho have made appearances in the first old composer and conductor Anton Coptwo seasons include Los Angeles Philharpola (uncle of movie director Francis monic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel Ford Coppola and great-uncle of Jason as a stage manager, in a scene with actor

Lola Kirke plays an aspiring oboist on Mozart in the Jungle.

Taraji P. Henson and Terence Howard, has, like, Mozart in the Jungle, also proved a success and just launched its third season in September. One face on Mozart in the Jungle who

Leaders Developed Here Congratulations to the incoming class of the Emerging Leaders Program: Nora Brady, Associate Director, Sales and Marketing, Los Angeles Philharmonic Benjamin Cadwallader, Executive Director, Vermont Symphony Orchestra Susan Lape, Executive Director, Lake Forest Symphony Elisabeth Madeja, Director of Marketing, Chicago Symphony Orchestra David Renfro, Director of Operations, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Kathryn Rudolph, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Jacksonville Symphony Amanda Stringer, CEO, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Jodi Weisfield, Vice President of Development, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Randy Wong, Executive Director, Hawaii Youth Symphony

The League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders Program continues the League’s tradition of professional development efforts designed to increase the capabilities and enhance the leadership qualities of high-potential orchestra executives. americanorchestras.org/ELP



it [laughs], that’s all. I’ve done other comedy—with comic piano-violin duo Igudesman and Joo, and it’s nice to have fun with classical music! “For my lines, I knew that since they had me doing this thing on walking or dancing, I remembered a quote from [Vladimir] Horowitz. It was appropriate, so I used it, as simple as that—that’s what he said! He took long walks every day, and said, ‘If I don’t walk, my fingers don’t run.’ It was nice to see how they did it, and I enjoyed it, but I don’t expect to be called back for an acting job.”

Amazon Studios

Maurice Jerry Beznos

Lang Lang and Alan Gilbert, but when I arrived my friends Manny and Alan were there. For the speaking parts, they gave us an idea of what was going on, and [we said] whatever came to us. It wasn’t a lot of memorizing lines, it was improvising and being ourselves. We did it different every time. It’s easier to act that “I enjoyed being way, when you don’t have to on the show, but think about lines, you can be I don’t expect to inside a character, and you go with whatever feeling comes. be called back “The competitive spirit is certainly a trait of a lot of EMANUEL AX for an acting musicians—we’re perfectionSeason 2, episode 4 (“Touché, job.”—Pianist ists, we’re competitive. For Maestro, Touché”) Emanuel Ax instance, ping-pong is a sport that we all played at sum“I think they wanted to do an episode with JOSHUA BELL mer camps, it’s a sport that musicians are a number of musicians, and they called Pilot episode; Season 2, episode 4 allowed to play. I remember being quite various people—it’s as simple as that. I (“Touché, Maestro, Touché”) competitive with ping-pong when I was a do like the show! I had a very good time kid at ping-pong tournaments. It was fun watching it—it’s excellent. “The second-season episode was filmed at playing ping-pong with Lang Lang. “Our scene was filmed in a kind of a a little bar in Brooklyn, a space that had “I’ve actually done a few other TV bar with games and so forth. They have a pool table and a ping-pong table and a shows this year. I did an episode of a sehundreds of people running around setdancing machine that Emanuel Ax was ries called Royal Pains—a little scene with Henry Winkler, the Fonz, who we grew up with. I think that’s coming out soon. A couple of weeks ago, I got to work with Julie Andrews. She’s got a Netflix series called Julie’s Greenroom, and each episode has a guest appearance of some artist. It’s geared towards kids, with Sesame Street-style puppets, about various art forms, and I was in a classical-music episode. I did some scenes with her— some acting, and some puppets. That was fun. “I think it’s always great when classical music can be in there as part of the popular culture, and not a fringe thing. It’s nice if the general audience of America or Actress Monica Bellucci, who plays a singer in the upcoming season of Mozart in the Jungle, in a scene of the wherever can see classical music show set in Venice. as being part of our popular culture. So I think Mozart in the Jungle is a ting everything up. It’s unbelievable how on. I didn’t really know what I was in for, great thing. I get a lot of people coming to many people are involved in any kind of but I enjoyed the pilot a lot, getting to do my concerts who say they saw me on Mofilming. Everyone was incredibly courtea little scene with Malcolm MacDowell, zart in the Jungle. They came to my concert ous and kind, and it was fun to see how who I always liked as an actor. For the secbecause of it. If I were asked to appear on a show was filmed. They told me where to ond scene I was in, I didn’t know who was another episode, I would be up for it.” go, they told me what to do, and I just did going to show up—there was talk about Schwartzman, a producer and actor on the show). As Michael Cooper reported in the New York Times in July, two names expected to make cameo appearances in the upcoming third season are the young firebrand composer Nico Muhly, who penned music for an imaginary Amy Fisher opera to be heard on the show, and tenor Plácido Domingo, filmed serenading Mozart in the Jungle actress Monica Bellucci in a scene on Venice’s Grand Canal. Recently, we caught up with Joshua Bell, Alan Gilbert, and Emanuel Ax, who shared their memories and backstage views about appearing on Mozart in the Jungle.



FALL 2016



Amazon Studios

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation

Bernadette Peters as Mozart in the Jungle’s Gloria Windsor, executive director of the fictional New York Symphony who happens to have a passion for nightclub singing.


Season 2, episode 4 (“Touché, Maestro, Touché”) “The episode of Mozart in the Jungle that I filmed featured a few of my closest musical friends and frequent collaborators: Joshua Bell and Manny Ax. So it was no surprise that we enjoyed time on the set taking a stab at ‘acting.’ Their styles of humor are real different, but they both make me laugh. I thought I was going to be more nervous than I ended up being. Maybe it was because I had already had the experience of being a guest on the final season of 30 Rock and on an episode of Sesame Street, as well as having a couple of spoken lines in the [2015] film 5 to 7. “Truth be told, between the demands of my job, and the travel that goes along with it, and raising three young children in Manhattan with my wife, Kajsa, I’ve been too busy to see more than a few scenes from Mozart in the Jungle. What’s been a positive surprise, though, is that a number of people have told me that they love the show, and some of them have taken their experience to the next level, buying recordings of music that they heard on it. Even if all the scenarios in the show aren’t completely realistic, it’s great to have classical music be visible on a popular show like this. The days of opera stars appearing regularly on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show are long behind us, so any time TV or film companies place classical music center stage, it’s a good thing.” JENNIFER MELICK is Symphony’s managing editor. americanorchestras.org

1. Publication Title: Symphony 2. Publication Number: 0271-2687 3. Filing Date: 9/20/16 4. Issue Frequency: Quarterly 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 4 6. Annual Subscription Price: $25 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023-7905 Contact Person: Mike Rush Telephone: 646-822-4017 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023-7905 9. Publisher: Jesse Rosen. Editor: Robert Sandla. Managing Editor: Jennifer Melick. 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023-7905 10. Owner: League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023-7905 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None 12. Tax Status: Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months 13. Publication Title: Symphony 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Summer 2016 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months

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Andersen & Associates, Inc.................. 63 Arts Consulting Group .......................... 5 Astral .................................................... 27 BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) ............... 33 Broadway Pops International ............... 38 Carnegie Hall ......................................... 3 Classical Movements ........................... C4 Tony DeSare......................................... 60 Educational Play Along Concerts ........ 39 Greenberg Artists ................................. 47 Jeans ’N Classics ................................... 43 JRA Fine Arts ...................................... 55 Dan Kamin Comedy Concertos ........... 11 League of American Orchestras Mid-Winter ...................................... 19 League of American Orchestras Emerging Leaders ............................ 67 League of American Orchestras Sponsor Thank You .......................... C3 OnStage Productions ........................... 12 RockMania Live! .................................... 1 Marilyn Rosen Presents.......................... 2 Schiedmayer Celesta GmbH ............... C2 Tango Caliente ..................................... 54



56 12,363

51 11,919

The Stander Group............................... 62 Throm Management Pops ...................... 8 Throm Management Symphonic Pops ............................... 53 Word Pros, Inc...................................... 12 Yamaha Corporation of America ......... 13









929 13,292

70 11,989

680 13,972 93

1,619 13,608 99

Young Concert Artists .......................... 61 CORRECTIONS: The correct title of the James Aikman work described on page 9 of the Summer issue of Symphony is Peacemakers (not Peacekeepers). The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra performed the world premiere on April 15, 2016. In the Summer issue of Symphony, the Benny Goodman concert at Carnegie Hall referenced in the feature article “We Belong Here” took place in 1938, not 1948.


LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS With the support of our valued donors, the League continues to have a positive impact on the future of orchestras in America by helping to develop the next generation of leaders, generating and disseminating critical knowledge and information, and advocating for the unique role of the orchestral experience in American life before an ever-widening group of stakeholders. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who contributed gifts of $600 and above in the last year, as of August 25, 2016. For more information regarding a gift to the League, please visit us at americanorchestras.org/donate, call 212.262.5161, or write us at Annual Fund, League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023. $150,000 and above

Booth Ferris Foundation Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent


Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm McDougal Brown The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation Ford Motor Company Fund John & Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund The Hearst Foundation, Inc. The Curtis and Pamela Livingston 2000 Charitable Remainder Unitrust National Endowment for the Arts The Negaunee Foundation Sakana Foundation Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation The Wallace Foundation


American Express Foundation Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek † The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Peter D. and Julie Fisher Cummings † Phillip William Fisher Fund The Edgemer Foundation, Inc. Ford Foundation New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation


The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Hal and Diane Brierley Mrs. Trish Bryan † Melanie Clarke The John & Marcia Goldman Foundation Douglas and Jane Hagerman Lori Julian, on behalf of the Julian Family Foundation Mark Jung Dennis and Camille LaBarre † Alan and Maria McIntyre New York State Council on the Arts Lowell and Sonja Noteboom Mary Carr Patton and John Shaw Robert A. Peiser † Patricia A. Richards Barry A. Sanders Drs. Helen S. and John P. Schaefer † Connie Steensma and Rick Prins † Penny and John Van Horn Wells Fargo Foundation



Bill Achtmeyer Burton Alter Mr. and Mrs. William G. Brown Nicky B. Carpenter † The CHG Charitable Trust † Margarita and John Contreni † John and Paula Gambs Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts Margot and Paul Grangaard, in honor of Lowell and Sonja Noteboom Jim Hasler The Hyde and Watson Foundation Kjristine Lund Jim and Kay Mabie † Catherine and Peter Moye Michael Neidorff and Noemi Neidorff M. David and Diane Paul Foundation David Rockefeller, in memory of Peggy Rockefeller Jesse Rosen Helen P. Shaffer Laura Street Phoebe and Bobby Tudor Judy and Steve Turner


The Amphion Foundation Alberta Arthurs Brent and Jan Assink Beracha Family Charitable Gift Fund Richard J. Bogomolny and Patricia M. Kozerefski Janet and John Canning † NancyBell Coe and William Burke Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Gloria dePasquale D.M. Edwards in honor of Pat Richards; Jesse Rosen; and Nancy Wrenn, former Executive Director of the East Texas Symphony Catherine French † Joseph B. Glossberg Marian A. Godfrey Lyndia and C.Y. Harvey IMN Solutions, Inc. John A. and Catherine M. Koten Foundation † Wilfred and Joan Larson Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo † Mr. and Mrs. A. Michael Lipper Hugh W. Long Anthony McGill Steven Monder † Bill Noonan Gayle S. Rose The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation Deborah F. Rutter † Enea and Dave Tierno Alan D. and Janet L. Valentine Kathleen van Bergen


The League of American Orchestras’ Noteboom Governance Center was created in recognition of former League Board Chair Lowell Noteboom, honoring his longstanding commitment to improving governance practice in American orchestras. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who have made commitments to support the Center. Alberta Arthurs Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Brown John and Janet Canning † Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek † Melanie Clarke Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund Gloria dePasquale Phillip Wm. Fisher Fund Marian A. Godfrey Marcia and John Goldman Margot and Paul Grangaard, in honor of Lowell and Sonja Noteboom Douglas and Jane Hagerman Daniel R. Lewis † Dr. Hugh W. Long Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation Mary Carr Patton and John Shaw Daniel Petersen Barry A. Sanders Sakana Foundation Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent Sewell Charitable Fund Penelope and John Van Horn Tina Ward •† The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation Anonymous (1) Doris and Clark Warden † Linda and Craig Weisbruch † Simon Woods and Karin Brookes Helen Zell


Lester Abberger and Amanda Stringer Jeff and Keiko Alexander Todd Allen Tiffany Ammerman Eugene and Mary Arner Jennifer Barlament and Ken Potsic • David Beauchesne, Rhode Island Philharmonic William P. Blair, III † Deborah Borda †


FALL 2016

Barbara M. Bozzuto Elaine Amacker Bridges Susan Bright Fred and Liz Bronstein • Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee † Charles Cagle † Leslie and Dale Chihuly Kenneth Cole Robert Conrad Bruce Coppock Aaron and Afa Dworkin † Dawn Fazli Susan Feder and Todd Gordon Courtney and David Filner • Drs. Aaron and Cristina Stanescu Flagg Henry and Fran Fogel † John and Michele Forsyte • James M. Franklin † Laurence Mills-Gahl and Karen Gahl-Mills Gary Ginstling and Marta Lederer Nancy Greenbach André and Ginette Gremillet Dietrich M. Gross Mark and Christina Hanson • Daniel and Barbara Hart • Ian Harwood • Sharon D. Hatchett John and Carolee Hayes Howard Herring Dr. and Mrs. Claire Fox Hillard Lauri and Paul Hogle Patricia Howard + Laura Hyde † Stephen H. Judson Paul Judy The Jurenko Foundation Kenneth and Judith Selsby Kamins Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley Foundation Cindy and Randy Kidwell Jill Kidwell Peter Kjome Joseph H. Kluger Robert Kohl & Clark Pellett Jennifer Leeds Emily and Robert Levine Stephen Lisner Sandi Macdonald and Henry Grzes Jonathan Martin Steve and Lou Mason † Mattlin Foundation Shirley D. McCrary † Debbie McKinney Paul Meecham † David Alan Miller Phyllis and Slade Mills † Michael Morgan † John C. Morley Margaret Fulton Mueller Charitable Fund Ann Mulally Dana Newman James B. Nicholson americanorchestras.org

Naomi Chaitkin Nimmo Andy Nunemaker Rebecca and Mark Odland James Palermo • John Palmer † Anne Parsons and Donald Dietz • Michael Pastreich • Peter Pastreich † Daniel Petersen Princeton Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees Barbara S. Robinson Susan L. Robinson Barbara and Robert Rosoff Richard Russell Mary Jones Saathoff Frederick and Gloria Sewell Rita Shapiro Mary Carr Patton and John Shaw Richard L. Sias † R. P. Simmons Family Foundation Mi Ryung Song • Tom and Dee Stegman Linda S. Stevens + Thomas Todd Melia and Michael Tourangeau Rae Wade Trimmier † Marylou and John D. Turner Matthew VanBesien • Jeff and Maria Vom Saal Allison Vulgamore •† Camille Williams Donna M. Williams


Lois H. Allen Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb David R. Bornemann, Board Member, Phoenix Symphony Drs. Misook Yun and James William Boyd • Doris and Michael Bronson Melinda Whiting Burrows and John Burrows Judy Christl † Gregory Pierre Cox • Scott Faulkner and Andrea Lenz † Jack Firestone June Furman Rachel and Terry Ford + GE Foundation Michael Gehret Bill Gettys Richard and Mary L. Gray HGA Architects and Engineers Dale Hedding Marilyn P. and Joseph W. Hirschhorn Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation Helena Jackson and Doug Dunham Joia M. Johnson Donald Krause and JoAnne Krause † Lafayette Symphony Foundation, Inc. David Loebel Terri McDowell Anne W. Miller †


The League of American Orchestras graciously recognizes those who have remembered the League in their estate plans as members of the Helen M. Thompson Heritage Society. Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb Family Foundation Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee † John and Janet Canning † Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek † Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Myra Janco Daniels Samuel C. Dixon • Henry and Frances Fogel † Susan Harris, Ph.D. Louise W. Kahn Endowment Fund of The Dallas Foundation The Curtis and Pamela Livingston 2000 Charitable Remainder Unitrust Nina C. Masek * Steve and Lou Mason † Lowell and Sonja Noteboom Charles and Barbara Olton † Peter Pastreich † Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust Rodger E. Pitcairn Robert and Barbara Rosoff Robert J. Wagner Tina Ward •† Mr. and Mrs. Albert K. Webster Robert Wood Revocable Trust Anonymous (1) Nathan Newbrough Gordon L. Petitt Pacific Symphony Board of Directors Raymond and Tresa Radermacher Jane B. Schwartz Pratichi Shah David Snead Trine Sorensen & Michael Jacobson Barbara J. Smith-Soroca Joan H. Squires • Gus Vratsinas Robert J. Wagner Eddie Walker and Tim Fields Jay Wallace, Jr. Terry White Paul Winberg and Bruce Czuchna Elizabeth M. Wise † Directors Council (former League Board) • Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni + Includes Corporate Matching Gift * Deceased



In the Band Diversity and inclusion are central to the missions of orchestras today, as the League’s 2016 Conference, “The Richness of Difference,” made clear. At the Conference, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke with passion and eloquence about his own journey, his connection with music, and why the arts matter. Here are excerpts from his remarks; watch Congressman Cummings’s complete address, as well as the entire Conference session, at americanorchestras.org/conferences-meetings.html.


Richard Lippenholz

than a third-grade education. My father and mother had come to Baltimore from South Carolina for one reason: they wanted to make sure that their children had a chance to get an education that they did not have a chance to get. I will never forget my father struggling to raise seven children. All I wanted to do

Richard Lippenholz

adies and gentlemen, I have come here to tell you that our diversity is not our problem, it is our promise. A few days ago I was at Marin Alsop’s house, where we were raising money for [the Baltimore Symphony’s] OrchKids. As I sat there and listened to the maestra and

U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, addresses delegates at the League’s 2016 Conference in Baltimore.

others I could not help but think about myself as a little boy in this city. A little boy some 50 years ago grew up not too far from here—you could walk to my house in five minutes from where we’re sitting— in a segregated city with two wonderful parents, neither one of whom had more


was be in the band—a street band that would go up and down the street on the Fourth of July and Memorial Day and major holidays. I would watch them from the side and when the time came, I just wanted to be in the band. But you had to rent your horn for 35 cents a year, and my

father didn’t have it. So I remember standing on the sidelines. And for all these years I’ve been wanting to be in the band. I was listening to people talk about raising money [for OrchKids] so that little children could have the opportunity that I did not have. So they would not have to mourn what could have been. OrchKids and many other types of programs are so important. The arts are so important. Over and over again I see young people who simply want to belong to something. And a lot of times, children don’t even know what normal is. Many of you take it for granted that your child will learn an instrument or have a music teacher or be able to visit the symphony. First time I ever went to a symphony I was 25 years old. I would come asking, but I come begging you to do what you are doing in this Conference: putting a spotlight on incorporating all of us in what you do and making sure that all folks—everybody—has an opportunity to be a part. You may not think what you’re doing is significant, but it is significant. A teacher in the eighth grade told me who Rudolf Nureyev was. In my neighborhood, it was “Rudolf who?” I came to appreciate ballet because somebody came to my school and introduced us to ballet. That became a part of who I am. It allowed me to appreciate the arts. As I march towards the twilight of my life, there’s nothing more important to me than seeing children have opportunities. Seeing them be exposed to the world. Giving them a chance to know what normal is. symphony

FALL 2016

Thank You

Many thanks to all our sponsors and funders for their support of our 71st National Conference in Baltimore, June 2016. Akustiks American Express Foundation The Amphion Foundation Arts Consulting Group, Inc. Artsmarketing Services, Inc. Asheville Symphony Boomerang Carnets l CIB Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) CCS Fundraising Cirque de la Symphonie Colbert Artists Management Columbia Artist Management Inc. (CAMI) The Aaron Copland Fund for Music DCM, Inc. Fisher Dachs Associates Ford Foundation Ford Motor Company Fund Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts

The Hearst Foundation, Inc. InstantEncore JRA Fine Arts The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation MSR Classics National Endowment for the Arts Opus 3 Artists Partners in Performance Patron Technology Robert Swaney Consulting, Inc. SD&A Teleservices, Inc. Shop the Symphony Symmetrica TALASKE I Sound Thinking TCG Entertainment Threshold Acoustics TRG Arts Uzan International Artists Video Ideas Productions / Film Score in Reverse The Wallace Foundation

We hope to see you all again at the 72nd National Conference in Detroit! June 6 – 8, 2017 | Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center To inquire about sponsorship opportunities at the 2017 Conference, please contact Steve Alter, Director of Advertising at 646 822 4051 | salter@americanorchestras.org

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Profile for League of American Orchestras

Symphony Fall 2016  

Symphony Fall 2016