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Impact Statements Orchestras embrace new directions onstage and offâ€”from diversity, equity, and inclusion to touring, early music, pops, and the board room
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VO LU M E 69, N U M B E R 4
symphony FA L L 2 0 1 8
t’s that time of year again. Summer winds to a close, an invigorating chill hits the air, musicians tune up, orchestra seasons kick into gear. New faces, new works, canonic rep, elaborate galas for a jolt of glamour, concert halls surging back to life—the familiar excitement as seasons start anew. Something else is happening, too. Orchestras are changing, adapting, opening doors as seldom before. More women are stepping up to orchestra podiums, many as guest artists, too few as music directors themselves. (You have to wonder: when will it not be news that the person appointed as an orchestra’s music director is female?) Increasing numbers of women composers are being heard, too, as initiatives by the League of American Orchestras and others bring women’s voices forward. Composers and musicians of color are represented in ways that were virtually unheard of just a few years ago. Progress may feel slow, but diversity, equity, and inclusion—onstage and among audiences, administrators, and boards—are expected mandates, no longer wellintentioned slogans but central actions. When the Juilliard School recently announced new strategies and programs, the aims of diversity, equity, and inclusion were joined by the word “belonging.” At the League Conference in June, a big theme was how orchestras can create the greatest impact in society today. That’s a tall order, and might feel far afield from organizations that exist, first, last, and always, to make music. But just as community engagement has become an expected component of orchestras’ missions, social justice as well as sometimes surprising new roles for musicians are increasingly integrated into the work of orchestras.
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symphony FA L L 2 0 1 8
THE MAGAZINE OF THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
2 Prelude by Robert Sandla
6 William T. Armstrong
6 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events 16 Board Room Why do community members volunteer to serve as orchestra trustees? Members of orchestra boards across the country disclose the motivations and rewards. by Chester Lane
22 Seen and Heard: Conference 2018 Highlights from compelling addresses by Vijay Gupta, Jennifer Koh, and Charlie Wade at the League’s 2018 Conference in Chicago.
Tuning Up for Diversity Four musician participants in the National Alliance for Audition Support’s inaugural audition intensive in June share their stories.
Grand Tours Youth orchestras get into touring, with multiple benefits. by Steven Brown
Symphonic Storyteller John Williams just keeps composing, and his film scores are being programmed by more and more orchestras every year. by Jack Sullivan
Period Crossing Orchestras are embracing early music, Baroque, Classical, and modern sounds. Why? by Donald Rosenberg
69 Advertiser Index 70 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 72 Coda New York Giants rookie linebacker Lorenzo Carter talks about playing the cello—and tuba.
50 2018 Guide to Symphony Pops Advertisers
about the cover
At top: At Tanglewood, Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s August 25 concert celebrating Bernstein’s 100th birthday; photo by Chris Lee. Center left: Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma at a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert during the League’s 2018 Conference; photo by Todd Rosenberg. Center right: Members of the NYO-USA and NYO2 with young musicians from New York City at a July side-by-side rehearsal; photo by Fadi Kheir. Bottom left: Aisslinn Nosky, concertmaster of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society; photo courtesy of Handel and Haydn Society. Bottom center: At the League’s 2018 Conference, Mei-Ann Chen leads the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Ensemble; photo by Dan Rest. Bottom right: Vijay Gupta, Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist and social-justice advocate, at the League’s 2018 Conference; photo by Dan Rest.
Text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources.
SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry THE
Creating the Greatest Impact
“The work of orchestras takes place in the ever-changing public sphere, where we enjoy the benefits of public policy that affords us indispensable economic rewards, in exchange for providing public benefit. What is that public benefit, or impact, and how do we describe it? How do we achieve the greatest impact?” asked League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen at the opening session of the League’s 2018 National Conference. Rosen’s probing comments set the tone for Conference while expanding on the event’s overarching theme: “Creating the Greatest Impact.” Held in Chicago from June 13 to 15 and hosted by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the League’s 73rd Conference drew high praise for its timeliness and relevance. Issues of pressing concern were at the forefront, with sessions addressing the urgency of diversity, equity, and inclusion; the evolving roles of orchestras in shifting societal ecosystems; increasing the representation of women and people of color as composers; orchestras’ groundbreaking approaches to community engagement; confronting sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era; and much more. Musicians offered their perspectives in often deeply personal ways. Vijay Gupta, a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and an advocate for artistic voices in social justice, spoke about his work with communities experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and incarceration. Violinist Jennifer Koh movingly evoked her experiences as a young musician and challenged orchestras to work toward true representation of our diverse country. After performing the world premiere of a double concerto by Michael Abels with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Anthony McGill (principal clarinet, New York Philharmonic) Music Director Riccardo Muti and cellist Yo-Yo Ma acknowland Demarre McGill (principal flute, Seattle Symphony) discussed equity edge the audience at a concert with the Chicago Symphony and inclusion at orchestras with Jeri Lynne Johnson, founder and artistic Orchestra during the League’s 2018 Conference. director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. At the Conference’s closing session, Yo-Yo Ma advocated for the central value of culture during a period of sweeping social upheaval—and urged orchestras to help find new ways ahead. Ma also received the Gold Baton, the League’s highest honor, given annually for distinguished service to America’s orchestras. The League gave the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service to Jeffrey Barker, associate principal flute, Seattle Symphony; John R. Beck, principal percussionist, Winston-Salem Symphony; Jody Chaffee, community engagement director, flute, Firelands Symphony Orchestra; Erin Hannigan, principal oboe, Dallas Symphony Orchestra; and Juan R. Ramírez Hernández, violin, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Innovative thinking and essential information about highly specific topics were offered at sessions including Crisis Communications for Orchestras, Tactics for Building and Sustaining a Diverse Board, Project Inclusion: Leadership Pipelines on Stage and in Management, Trends in Arts Grantmaking, and The Post-Tax Reform Philanthropic Landscape. Music occupied pride of place at the Conference. Led by Music Director Riccardo Muti, the League of American Orchestras President Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed works of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, with Yo-Yo and CEO Jesse Rosen at the League’s Ma the soloist in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2. A perfect Midwestern summer night 2018 Conference was the backdrop when the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, led by Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, performed works by Sean Shepherd, Haydn, and Walton in Millennium Park. At the closing session, Music Director Mei-Ann Chen conducted Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Ensemble, a talent development program for musicians, conductors, and administrators of color, in scores by Jennifer Higdon and Vivian Fung. For more on the 2018 Conference, including highlights, videos, and handouts, visit americanorchestras.org/postconference18.
Bernstein Birthday Bash
MUSICAL CHAIRS Four new Diversity Fellows have been named at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. They are double bassist CAMELLIA AFTAHI and violinists YAN IZQUIERDO, ARMAN NASRINPAY, and ALEXIS SHAMBLEY. EMILY BARNHILL is the new senior director of development at the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. ALICIA BENOIST is the new vice president of development at the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City.
Vermont’s Marlboro Music School and Festival has named pianist and educator JONATHAN BISS co-artistic director with Mitsuko Uchida, Marlboro’s current artistic director.
High Notes for Kidznotes Who were those people rappelling down the fifteen-story Capital Bank Plaza Building in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina one sunny Saturday in June? They were part of a daylong public block party that was also a fundraiser for Kidznotes, an El Sistema-inspired music-education program that provides pre-K through 12th-grade students in Kidznotes cellist Marcus Gee and his Durham and Raleigh with instrumental instruction, father rappel down the Capital Bank Plaza Building in Raleigh, North Carolichoir, music theory, orchestra, and band. For the na to raise funds for the music-educarappelling event, dubbed #NewHeights, more than tion program. 60 people asked friends, colleagues, and corporate sponsors to support their physical efforts—to raise enough money to add 50 new kindergarten students in 2019. americanorchestras.org
is the Florida Orchestra’s new assistant conductor.
The Omaha Symphony in Nebraska has named president and CEO. At the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, where Boomgaarden was previously executive director, DAVID HYSLOP is serving as interim executive director. JENNIFER BOOMGAARDEN
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, based in Scranton, has named MÉLISSE BRUNET interim music director and conductor, effective with the 2018-19 season.
For a single day in August, hundreds of music organizations around the world celebrated what would have been Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, August 25. In Massachusetts, where Bernstein was born, Governor Charles D. Baker issued a proclamation declaring August 25 Leonard Bernstein Day, and the state’s House and Senate issued a joint resolution commemorating the Tanglewood Music Center and celebrating Bernstein’s one hundredth birthday. And in perhaps the ultimate modern-day popular tribute, he got his own Google doodle. Tanglewood—where Bernstein was a member of the Tanglewood Music Center’s first class in 1940, and conducted his final concert, in 1990— Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris pulled out all the stops for its Bernstein Nelsons leads the orchestra at Tanglewood, August Centennial Celebration. Musicians 25, 2018. included cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Midori, baritone Thomas Hampson, soprano Nadine Sierra, and many others, hosted by Audra McDonald. Conductors included Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams, and San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. The program’s first half focused on Bernstein as composer, while the second half spotlighted Mahler and Copland works associated with him, as well as a new piece by Backstage at Tanglewood on August 25, John Williams written to commemorate the 2018 (left to right): Boston Pops Conducoccasion. tor Keith Lockhart; Bernstein’s children, All three Bernstein children—Jamie Alexander Bernstein, Jamie Bernstein, and Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein, and Nina Nina Bernstein Simmons; Boston Symphony Bernstein Simmons—were in attendance. Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons; composer and Boston Pops Laureate Hollywood director Steven Spielberg was Conductor John Williams; director Steven there, and so was actor Bradley Cooper, who Spielberg; actor Bradley Cooper; and Boston earlier this year was announced as the star of Symphony Orchestra Managing Director one of two upcoming Lenny biopics. Mark Volpe
DARKO BUTORAC is the new music director of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina.
has been named the San Francisco Symphony’s chief revenue and advancement officer.
The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania has appointed MAUREEN CONLON-GUTIERREZ concertmaster. The Buffalo Philharmonic has appointed TODD CRAVEN assistant conductor. KIMBERLY DIMOND is the new executive director of Indiana’s Carmel Symphony Orchestra.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has named JOSÉ LUIS DOMÍNGUEZ artistic director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras.
Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra has named LESLIE B. DUNNER conductor. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has hired SUE to the new position of director of the Tanglewood Learning Institute, set to open in 2019.
will become music director and principal conductor of the Philly Pops in July 2019.
is the new assistant conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
The American Composers Orchestra has named AIDEN FELTKAMP to the newly created role of emerging composers and diversity director.
The Minnesota Orchestra has named AKIKO associate conductor. Fujimoto has served as the orchestra’s assistant conductor since 2017. FUJIMOTO
Oregon’s Rogue Valley Symphony has appointed JOELLE GRAVES executive director.
Minnesota Orchestra’s South Africa Tour
To mark the centenary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), the Minnesota Orchestra embarked on “Music for Mandela,” a five-city tour of South Africa this summer. A highlight of the tour—described as the first undertaken by a professional U.S. symphony orchestra to that country—was South African composer Bongani NdodanaBreen’s Harmonia Ubuntu, commissioned in tribute to Mandela by Classical Movements, the tour management company. In Soweto, where Mandela once lived, Harmonia Ubuntu was performed at Regina Mundi, a church that “was the heart of the people’s resistance against the apartheid regime,” as NdodanaLeft to right: soprano Goitsemang Lehobye, Minnesota Orchestra Breen explained in the Music Director Osmo Vänskä, and composer Bongani NdodanaMinneapolis Star Tribune. Breen after the orchestra’s performance of Harmonia Ubuntu at Beyond performances Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, South Africa. in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Soweto, the August 8-19 tour included a residency with the South African National Youth Orchestra and educational activities and exchanges with the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band and the Cape Town Youth Philharmonic, among others. The tour was presented in partnership with Classical Movements. The tour was subtitled “Bringing the World Together Through Music,” and League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen commented that, following the orchestra’s groundbreaking Cuba tour in 2015, “It speaks very well of the Minnesota Orchestra that it is, for the second time now, using touring as a way to put a stake in the ground, to say we have a special role to play in the wider world.”
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra has appointed KELLEN GRAY assistant conductor. The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra has named STACY BAUERLEIN HANDLER director of development and marketing.
The Oakland Symphony in California has appointed executive director.
The Santa Barbara Symphony has named BLAINE director of artistic administration.
North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Symphony has named MARY BETH JOHNSON chief philanthropy and patron engagement officer. J. TRAVIS CREED has been promoted from artistic operations director to general manager. is the new associate conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
William T. Armstrong
has been named the next president of the Boston-based New England Conservatory, effective in January 2019.
California’s Pacific Symphony has appointed DENNIS KIM concertmaster.
is the new director of concert and ensemble operations for the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, based in Madison, has named KYLE KNOX music director of the WYOSO and conductor of the Youth Orchestra. The Los Angeles Philharmonic has appointed vice president of marketing and communications.
JULIAN KUERTI is the new music director of Michigan’s Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. JUN-CHING LIN has been named the orchestra’s concertmaster.
Florida’s Charlotte Symphony Orchestra has appointed BRIAN LACZKO executive director.
Krishna Thiagarajan: Seattle Symphony’s New President and CEO
The Naples Philharmonic in Florida has appointed EMERSON MILLAR co-concertmaster, with Glenn Basham. has been appointed principal viola of the Lake Forest Symphony in Illinois.
NICHOLAS R. MOWRY
has been named music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, effective May 2019.
The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts has named TIANHUI NG music director. GREGORY W. BROWN is serving as interim chorus director.
GIANANDREA NOSEDA , music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., will add the post of general music director at Switzerland’s Zurich Opera beginning in 2021-22.
Indiana’s Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed BRIAN ONDERDONK assistant orchestra conductor and RYAN KNIGHT assistant choral conductor.
Virginia’s Richmond Symphony has appointed DANIEL MYSSYK to the new position of assistant conductor. CHIA-HSUAN LIN will remain an additional two years as associate conductor.
The Seattle Symphony has appointed Krishna Thiagarajan president and CEO. He succeeds Simon Woods, who became CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January. Thiagarajan was most recently chief executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, where accomplishments included increasing the number of performances, raising average attendance figures, and growth in earned and contributed income. Previously, Thiagarajan served as executive director of the New York-based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, where he was responsible for increasing audiences, including sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall; commissioning new work; touring the orchestra to Japan, Colombia, and Europe; and overseeing Orpheus’s first self-produced recording. Prior to that, Thiagarajan was president of New Jersey’s Symphony in C and senior director of artistic operations for the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in Germany, Thiagarajan trained as a pianist and performed widely. He graduated from Indiana University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, and received a doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park, studying with pianists Santiago Rodriguez and André Watts. symphony
This year is a special one for the Philly Pops: it’s turning 40. During the orchestra’s annual Fourth of July performances, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney honored the organization’s contributions to the community through its education programs and concert series saluting the military, veterans, and first responders. At each concert in 2018-19, the orchestra is performing music with ties to the Pops’ legacy and showcasing artists and songs with Philadelphia roots. In September, Hamilton’s Leslie Odom, Jr., who grew up in Philadelphia, performed with the Pops at the Kimmel Center, led by Music Director Michael Krajewski. Other Philadelphians in the coming season include jazz educator and performer Terell Stafford and Principal Guest Conductor David Charles Abell, who has Philadelphia roots of his own.
Philly Pops at 40
The Philly Pops’ July 3 concert in front of Independence Hall showcased music and artists connected with the Pops’ history or with Philadelphia roots.
Dallas Symphony Taps Fabio Luisi as Music Director
Fabio Luisi has been appointed music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He will serve as music director designate in the 2019-20 season, assuming the title of music director in the 2020-21 season. Luisi succeeds Jaap van Zweden, who ended his Dallas tenure in May 2018 to become music director of the New York Philharmonic. Perhaps best known in the U.S. for his time as principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and guest engagements with leading American orchestras, Luisi currently holds positions as prin- Fabio Luisi cipal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, general music director of the Zurich Opera, and music director of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Previous posts include artistic leadership roles at the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. In 2020-21, Luisi will conduct the DSO for seven weeks, expanding his time in Dallas during his five-year contract. Under Luisi’s supervision, the DSO will launch a ten-year program to commission 20 new works; the project will yield at least ten new works by female composers. The DSO plans international tours as well as an annual opera-in-concert during Luisi’s tenure.
Two Incredible Training Opportunities for Young Musicians AGES 16–19 APPLICATION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 15, 2018
AGES 14–17 APPLICATION DEADLINE: DECEMBER 13, 2018
The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America brings together the country’s brightest young musicians for an intensive summer of training, coaching, and an international tour. In 2019, the group will perform with esteemed conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
NYO2 aims to expand the pool of highly trained musicians, particularly those who will bring greater diversity to classical orchestral music. The selected instrumentalists play alongside exceptionally talented peers and learn from world-class faculty before concluding their residency with a performance on the famed Carnegie Hall stage.
181015_Symphony Magazine_Nyo/2_Recruitment.indd 1
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LA Phil at 100
MUSICAL CHAIRS has been named music director of Maine’s Portland Symphony, effective in 2019-20. His final season as music director of Washington’s Spokane Symphony will be 2018-19. He also holds positions as music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra in California and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
SIMON RIVARD has been named resident conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. EMILIE LEBEL has been appointed to a two-year residency as affiliate composer at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music has named STANLEY ROMANSTEIN dean.
is the San Diego Symphony’s new vice president for artistic administration and audience development. GERARD McBURNEY joins the orchestra as creative consultant. LEA SLUSHER
The Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival in Maine has named MARC THAYER executive director, following the retirement this summer of Ron Schwizer. TROY WEBDELL is the new director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestras.
has been named music director of the Garden State Philharmonic in Toms River, New Jersey. Webdell She will remain as music director of Pennsylvania’s Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
is the Cleveland Orchestra’s new director of choruses.
RANDY WONG , the Hawaii Youth Symphony’s executive director since 2012, has been promoted to president of the Honolulu-based group.
GARY A. PADMORE is the New York Philharmonic’s new director of education and community engagement.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic opened its centennial year by lighting the exterior of Walt Disney Concert Hall with an art installation.
It was pretty hard to miss the start of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 100th-anniversary season in September. Projected onto the outside of Walt Disney Concert Hall for a week beginning on opening night was Refik Anadol’s “WDCH Dreams” light installation, created using data points from images, audio, and video from the orchestra’s archives. Inside the hall, centenary celebrations will include an impressive 54 world premieres during the 2018-19 season. In September, a daylong eight-mile street party temporarily closed streets from Disney Concert Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. More than a thousand musicians, artists, and dancers performed at six hubs and along the route itself, and the day concluded with a free Hollywood Bowl concert featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Katy Perry, Herbie Hancock, Kali Uchis, and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA). Throughout the anniversary season, most of the orchestra’s former music directors will return to lead concerts, and the centennial year will mark a major expansion of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles program, created by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. The season concludes with—you guessed it—Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.”
League Speaks Up in Global ProtectedSpecies Discussions The League of American Orchestras is an official participant as delegates from around the globe gather to reshape policies that control how musical instruments may cross international borders under the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Working with worldwide music organizations and conservation leaders, the League is at the table this year in meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, and Sochi, Russia to ensure that rules related to rosewood, ivory, and other materials in orchestral instruments address urgent conservation concerns while also supporting international cultural activity by travelling musicians. The League provides essential assistance to orchestras as they navigate the permit requirements for international tours, and has been meeting regularly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to advance recommendations that will streamline the complicated permit process. Partnering with the National Association of Music Merchants, U.S. and international musicians’ unions, and woodwind, violin, and bowmakers, the League is seeking policy improvements as the terms of the treaty are negotiated in Sri Lanka in May 2019. For more information, visit the Endangered Species Material pages at americanorchestras.org/.
League of American Orchestras Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan speaks up on rules concerning international travel with musical instruments at a CITES meeting in Geneva in July 2018.
#MeToo and Classical Music
New allegations of sexual harassment in the classical music field generated headlines this summer. In a July Washington Post article, Anne Midgette and Peggy McGlone reported on their six-month investigation in which more than 50 musicians described widespread harassment and sexual assault. The article detailed descriptions by multiple female instrumentalists and vocalists of sexual harassment by William Preucil, the Cleveland Orchestra’s longtime concertmaster, as well as other figures in classical music. The Cleveland Orchestra placed Preucil on paid suspension in July, after opening its own inquiry, and Preucil has resigned from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was on faculty. In September, the Cleveland Orchestra also suspended Massimo La Rosa, its principal trombone, on unspecified charges. In the wake of the Post article, stage director and artist manager Bernard Uzan resigned as co-director of Florida Grand Opera’s young artist studio, and Daniele Gatti was dismissed as principal conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. In September, the New York Philharmonic placed Liang Wang, its principal oboe, and Matthew Muckey, associate principal trumpet, on unpaid leave after a five-month internal investigation into sexual harassment. Wang and Muckey both deny the charges. Katherine Needleman, principal oboe of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, has filed a complaint against the orchestra with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, following the orchestra’s independent review of her allegations of harassment and retaliation beginning in 2005 by concertmaster Jonathan Carney. Carney denies the charges. The investigation, as reported in the Washington Post, concluded that the orchestra did not have a hostile work environment, but recommended sensitivity training for Carney and anti-harassment training for all employees. In the U.K., the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Musicians’ Union released a Code of Practice “to tackle and prevent bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the music sector.” The League of American Orchestras encourages its members to follow best practices in preventing sexual harassment and in responding to claims, and has posted resources on how to do so at americanorchestras.org/shprevention.
Fellowship Program Takes Flight
This summer saw the launch of the latest program designed to increase diversity in American orchestras: the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship program. The first musician fellows have been chosen for the two-year postgraduate program, which is a partnership of Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), and USC Thornton School of Music. Beginning their fellowships this season are violinists Sydney Adedamola and Ayrton Pisco, violist Bradley P arrimore, and cellist Juan-Salvador Carrasco. They will receive performance and rehearsal experience; compensation, benefits, and housing; and support to prepare them for auditions in professional American orchestras through intensive mock auditions run by LACO. They will perform and rehearse as part of ICYOLA, USC Thornton Symphony, and in LACO’s string sections. In addition, the Fellows will perform as a string quartet throughout Los Angeles, especially in underserved communities. They will work with mentors who include LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and other LACO principal and section musicians, and receive weekly lessons with USC Thornton faculty, including Batjer, violinist Bing Wang, violist Karen Dreyfus, and cellist Ralph Kirshbaum. Los Angeles Orchestra Fellows (left to right) In turn, the Fellows will mentor, teach, and Ayrton Pisco, Sydney Adedamola, Bradley Parrimore, and Juan-Salvador Carrasco guide young ICYOLA musicians. americanorchestras.org
M E E TS
“A magical evening...unforgettable... THE BEST SHOW!!!!” — satisfied West Virginia Symphony patron
Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony is an unusual pops evening that begins with a hilarious parody of a classical concert (Dan as The Classical Clown) and ends with two restored Chaplin classics from 1917, with brilliant contemporary scores by Grant Cooper. Two full hours of comedy and music.
Catch the buzz at
Comecdeyrtos Con (412)563-0468 firstname.lastname@example.org
Abigail R. Collins
Books in Brief
Participants at the League’s 2018 Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar in Los Angeles.
Thirty-four orchestra executives, administrators, musicians, students, and career changers from across the country participated in the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management program in Los Angeles, July 16-26. The ten-day immersive seminar, taking place on the campus of the University of Southern California, develops the careers of orchestra managers, providing an in-depth overview of orchestra administration and offering participants the opportunity to learn from a faculty of orchestra executives, musicians, and leadership experts. The seminar was led by Essentials Director Simon Woods, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Associate Director Scott Faulkner, bassist at the Reno Philharmonic and former executive director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, along with other distinguished faculty. Topics in the newly updated curriculum included diversity, education and community engagement, audience building, finance and sustainability, operations, advocacy, governance, and negotiations and collective bargaining. Essentials is presented by the League of American Orchestras in association with the USC Arts Leadership Program. Find out more at https://americanorchestras.org/essentials.
Urgent Concerns About New U.S. Tax Rules Orchestras are joining other nonprofit organizations to speak up in opposition to an unprecedented federal tax on expenses at nonprofits. The tax reform provisions signed into law last December include a new requirement for nonprofits to pay Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) equal to 21 percent of the value of commuting and parking benefits provided to employees. Since many orchestras offer parking and transportation benefits for staff and musicians, the costs of this new tax on nonprofits could be considerable. The League of American Orchestras has partnered with the broader nonprofit sector in meetings with officials at the U.S. Treasury Department, contributed to a Politico article on this topic, and has filed comments on behalf of orchestras to Treasury and Internal Revenue Service leaders requesting a delay in implementation and immediate action to clarify the many outstanding questions about the new rules. While no guidance has been issued by the IRS to clarify which benefits are subject to the tax and how to value certain benefits, the new requirements took effect on January 1, 2018. For more information, visit the Visa, Tax, and Travel pages at americanorchestras.org/.
When New York City Opera filed for bankruptcy in 2013, the curtain fell on of one of the country’s foremost arts organizations, with a storied 70-year history, its own orchestra, a permanent home at Lincoln Center, and a reputation for emerging talent and unusual repertoire. In the new Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 304 pp.), author Heidi Waleson charts the rise and fall of City Opera—and examines what that means for the performing arts today. The book draws on extensive research and reporting about “The People’s Opera,” from its first season in 1944 to the years under directors Julius Rudel, Beverly Sills, Christopher Keene, Paul Kellogg, and George Steel. Waleson provides details about what led to the company’s financial and managerial crises and the role of its contentious board of directors, with commentary from insiders. Waleson also follows City Opera through its reemergence in 2016 as a smaller, itinerant company. Throughout the book are incisive discussions of the wider cultural and economic changes that affected this opera company—particularly relevant for orchestras and other performing arts organizations. Waleson is the Wall Street Journal’s opera critic and a longtime contributor to Symphony. Briefly noted: David Schiff’s Carter, a critical overview of composer Elliott Carter’s life and work, has been published by Oxford University Press. Jack Sullivan—a regular contributor to Symphony and author of books including Hitchcock’s Music and New World Symphonies—has published New Orleans Remix (University Press of Mississippi, 193 pp.), chronicling the music scene in New Orleans. symphony
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George Walker (June 27, 1922 – August 23, 2018) The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist, and educator George Walker, whose life marked many firsts for an African American classical musician, died on August 23 at age 96. Born in Washington, D.C., he was a gifted pianist who began performing in his early teens, and by age 18 he had completed his bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin College. He was the first black pianist to play at New York City’s Town Hall and the first African American graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied piano and composition. The original goal was to be a concert pianist—but his race, he felt, hindered his career in the U.S., and he turned to composition. In 1956, Walker became the first African American to receive a doctor of musical arts from George Walker at the piano with music for his Piano the Eastman School of Music. Sonata No. 2, composed in 1956. In 1996, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra, set to Walt Whitman’s lament for Abraham Lincoln and premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His works include sonatas, quartets, and numerous chamber works, one of the best known being his 1946 Lyric for Strings. His works for orchestra include Tangents for Chamber Orchestra, Poème for Violin and Orchestra, and a Mass for Soloists, Chorus, and Orchestra. From 1969 to 1992 he was on the faculty of the music department at Rutgers University, and he also taught widely. This fall, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performed Walker’s Lyric for Strings on its opening-weekend program in his memory.
When Harry and Meghan Got Married One of the most-watched music events of 2018 took place not on a concert stage, but in Windsor Castle. On May 19, Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle were married before 600 invited guests—with an estimated 29.2 million people worldwide tuning in. Presiding over the music was Charlotte (N.C.) Symphony Orchestra Music Director Christopher Warren-Green, who has previously conducted at the weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Also making a splash was nineteen-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who has begun touring as a soloist and appears with the Seattle Symphony in October. He had to postpone his debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in May after being invited to perform in the royal wedding. Nevertheless, LACO Executive Director Scott Harrison said, “This kind of visibility on a global Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave stage for classical music is St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after their wedding, May 19, 2018. great for all of us.” americanorchestras.org
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New Appointments to League’s Board
Four new members have been elected to the League of American Orchestras’ Board of Directors. In addition, five individuals have been elected to exofficio positions on the board. The four new board members are: Alan Mason, member of the Santa Rosa Symphony Board and president of the Board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras; Jennifer Mondie, violist with the National Symphony Orchestra and chair of the National Symphony Orchestra Committee; Trine Sorensen, member of the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors and other governing and advisory boards in the performing arts; and Alan D. Valentine, president and CEO of the Nashville Symphony. The new board members were elected to three-year terms by League members at the annual meeting in June. The five individuals elected to ex-officio roles are: Gary Ginstling, National Symphony Orchestra; Sara Mummey, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra; Heather Clarke, Idaho State-Civic Symphony; Megen Balda, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies; and Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall Symphony League. The Board’s current officers were reelected, with Helen Shaffer now serving as secretary.
Why We Serve Orchestral boards of directors draw widely from the community, bringing professionals with varied backgrounds together in the service of volunteer governance. Here, five board members talk about why they serve, what skills and talents they bring to their work, how their investment in time or financial resources has advanced the orchestra’s needs, and where their orchestra fits in their region’s cultural ecosystem.
Reveta Franklin Bowers On the board of: Los Angeles Philharmonic “I’ve been passionate about music my whole life,” says Reveta Franklin Bowers. “As a child I studied piano and cello, there were professional musicians in my family, I went Reveta Bowers to Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts at the Shrine Auditorium and the Hollywood Bowl. And as an educator, I have always understood the power of music to connect students and children and parents and families in ways that are sometimes not possible in other mediums.” Bowers recently stepped down, following a 40-year tenure, as Head of School at the Center for Early Education, an independent school in West Hollywood serving preschool through
Los Angeles Philharmonic
by Chester Lane sixth-grade students. She joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s board of directors in January 2018, having been recruited by the chair of its Governance Committee—her friend Jane Eisner, whom she had known since their days together on the board of the Walt Disney Company in the 1990s. Bowers brings to the Philharmonic board not only extensive background in school administration, but in identifying and launching the careers of other leaders: for sixteen years she was lead faculty member for a program of the National Association of Independent Schools called the New Heads Institute. “One of the things I taught was governance: the critically important need for executive directors to understand the partnership with the board, and the duality of leadership needed to advance the institution’s mission,” she says. Bowers has wide experience in board governance; in addition to her new duties at the LA Phil she currently chairs the Board of Councilors at USC’s Rossier School of Education and the National Board of Directors at Com-
mon Sense Media, and serves as a director at numerous educational nonprofits as well as the for-profit videogame company Activision Blizzard. “I came on the Los Angeles Philharmonic board at a time when the orchestra was thinking seriously about the place of music in a large urban center,” she recalls. “After a series of meetings with Board Chair Jay Rasulo and our wonderful new CEO, Simon Woods, I was asked to chair a task force on board engagement. How can we continue to engage with board members who represent differ-
“Board service is not a passive experience, it has to be activist. Each of us brings certain skills to the board, and we need to capitalize on them in the interest of serving the organization.” —Reveta Bowers ent generations, different backgrounds, different tastes? How do we engage in conversations not only about what the music should be, but what it could be in the future? As generations evolve and cultures expand, as access becomes in some instances less affordable, how do we bring this music into people’s lives? Music can connect cultures, connect races and classes, connect age groups. How do we use it to bring communities together?” Bowers, who now chairs the LA Phil’s Board Engagement Committee, says that symphony
League of American Orchestras
In July, Reveta Bowers co-led a session at the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar titled The Twin Roles of Governance at USC Thornton School of Music. Longtime orchestra executive Bruce Coppock, at left, co-led the session.
Debbie Hand On the board of: El Paso Symphony Orchestra Debbie Hand studied piano as a child growing up central Texas, but her appreciation for live orchestral music really began in Atlanta, where Debbie Hand she went to pursue studies in medical technology following a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and chemistry. americanorchestras.org
El Paso Symphony Orchestra
the orchestra’s centennial season, being celebrated in 2018-19, means that there will be “an unusually high level of activity for the board this year. Board service is not a passive experience, it has to be activist. We need to put on our fiduciary hats, our strategic hats, our generative hats. Each of us brings certain skills to the board, and we need to capitalize on them in the interest of serving the organization.”
Both she and her husband were avid fans of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she says, and “when we relocated to El Paso in 1994 one of the first questions we asked of people in the community was, ‘Do you have a symphony here?’ The answer, of course, was ‘Well, yes, we do!’ ” Hand’s active involvement in the El Paso Symphony Orchestra began not with the governing board but with the Symphony Guild, one of the orchestra’s affiliated support groups. “At that time the guild was sponsoring a debutante ball,” she says. “I got involved in the guild because my daughter was a debutante and the ball supported the symphony. Later I became president of the guild, and that gave me a place on the symphony’s board of directors. After two years, the board asked me to stay on as a full member.” Before long she was elected to a two-year term as board chair. Hand has been in and out of that post for the past eighteen years, and currently serves as secretary of the board’s Executive Committee. Her experience with other nonprofits
in El Paso—including service as president of the local YWCA, as a board member of the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, and as a volunteer at Children’s Hospital and the Center for Children, which assists foster children and teenage runaways—has taught Hand that it’s “so much easier to make the ‘ask’ when it’s children or the homeless; people will give to that. But the symphony is just as important to our city, because it supports our quality of life, it’s important in our lives and communities. I really feel that music helps a child grow up.” She’s especially proud of El Paso Symphony’s youth orchestra program, its in-school activities, and the El Paso Symphony-sponsored “Downtown Kidspalooza” that happens each spring, reaching thousands of kids
“One of the big areas I’m concerned about is having a varied musical program that can appeal to different parts of the community.” —Debbie Hand with symphony concerts, dance performances, rides, and art exhibits. As for the adult audience, Hand says, “One of the big areas I’m concerned about is having a varied musical program that can appeal to different parts of the community. There’s so much more to the symphony than ‘classical’ music, which does not fill the seats or pay the bills. We’ve added pops concerts—usually we have three a year—and they’ve helped us to survive financially.” Hand’s professional training led to work at the Centers for Disease Control and in research labs, and also to jobs in teaching and microbiology sales— people-oriented activities that resonate with her work at the symphony. “I really like being around people,” she says. “It throws me into other directions. And in El Paso it’s super easy to get involved in the community. People welcome you with open arms, for whatever your talents are. And that just makes you want to do more.”
“It’s about organizing, creating a strategic vision, getting people to align to that vision, and putting the plans in place to achieve it. The big challenge is always fundraising.” —Maurice Holloman management. The big challenge is always fundraising, and then to have those funds support the mission of the organization.” As Holloman sees it, the youth orchestra’s mission is “using classical music as an avenue to teach children life skills. It’s about teamwork, collaboration, perseverance, achievement. While the kids produce great music, they also have a lot of fun and get to travel. As they grow and develop and practice, they move up in the organization. In the top ensemble, the Symphony, they actually get to do some touring.” Though he’s a self-described music lover with a special affinity for classical music, Holloman—also a board member of the Minnesota Orchestra—came to
Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies El Paso Symphony Orchestra
Maurice Holloman On the board of: Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies As executive vice president of IMRIS, a Minnesotabased firm that designs and installs hybrid surgical suites for medical faciliMaurice ties, Maurice Holloman Holloman brings 30 years of business experience to his volunteer role at the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. How does Holloman’s background in for-profit operations and management relate to his board responsibilities at one of the largest youth orchestra organizations in the U.S, a nonprofit institution with nine orchestras serving more than 800 students in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area? “It’s about organizing, creating a strategic vision, getting people to align to that vision, and putting the plans in place to achieve it,” he says. “It’s also about financial
El Paso Symphony Orchestra board member Debbie Hand, at far right, with, from left, Kacy Spivack and Arlene Carroll. All three have served as board chair at the orchestra.
serve on the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies board two years ago not because of any experience as a performer, or even as a youth orchestra parent. “I was recruited specifically because my kids did not have that experience, or any affiliation with the organization,” he says. “It was to bring a different perspective.” As a member of the African American community, he represents a constituency that is underrepresented in youth orchestras, and in the orchestra world in general. “At this youth orchestra, we have a very directed and strategic effort to recruit people from diverse backgrounds,” he says, “and we’re looking at ways to do that—tuition assistance, scholarships, help with getting instruments, finding practice venues in different areas.” And with his specific responsibilities on the Governance Committee at GTCYS, Holloman aims to achieve diversity not only in the student population, but on the board as well.
Mary Carr Patton On the boards of: Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (honorary director), League of American Orchestras, New York Pops Though she was raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Mary Carr Patton first heard her hometown Jacksonville Mary Carr Patton Symphony Orchestra only as a young adult, “at the invitation of friends who thought I would appreciate the concert.” Four years later, she says, “I was a passionate member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s board.” She threw herself into activities serving two critical institutional needs: securing a proper concert venue for the orchestra and selecting a new music director. “At the symphony
“I understand the importance of continuing the canon of classical music, not allowing it to become an artifact of the past.” —Mary Carr Patton time, talent, and treasure to the organization, and the many bright, talented musicians who live in that world. When Skitch Henderson came to Jacksonville to guest conduct, it happened that I was sponsoring the JSO’s pops series. Skitch asked if he could have lunch with the sponsor; it was the beginning of a warm and wonderful friendship. And after I bought an apartment in New York City, he invited me to serve on the board of his own orchestra, the New York Pops. When Skitch passed away some five years later, I ended up chairing the Search Committee that resulted in bringing in Steven Reineke as music director of the New York Pops. But the key to that search was the tremendous leadership of James Johnson: as the orchestra’s executive director he was a americanorchestras.org
Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies
time I came on the board,” she recalls, “the orchestra was performing in three different venues in downtown Jacksonville, none of them ideal, and it was rehearsing in yet another space. After several other options had not materialized, the board took the lead in raising money for the design, engineering, and construction of a dedicated concert hall within the city’s existing Civic Auditorium. I served on the Steering Committee for that capital campaign.” The resulting venue, Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, opened in 1997 and has been the orchestra’s home ever since. Equally dedicated to the organization’s musical side, Patton served on the Music Director Search Committee that ultimately led to the appointment of Fabio Mechetti as artistic leader beginning in 1999. “I think the committee had twelve or fourteen members; four were musicians, the rest were board members,” she recalls. “In each of these jobs, I enjoyed meeting so many people who were giving their
Maurice Holloman, board member of Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, with a student in the organization’s El Sistema-inspired Harmony program. Harmony students gave board members mini-lessons on the violin during a GTCYS board meeting.
terrific thought partner, and supportive of me in every possible way.” Six years ago Patton was asked to take the lead once again, in finding a successor to Mechetti at the Jacksonville Symphony. “I agreed to chair the Search Committee with the understanding that there would four musicians, three active board members, one young member of the Jacksonville community not involved in the symphony, and myself. We had many energetic discussions, brought various viewpoints to light, and after 28 months we unanimously recommended Courtney
Lewis.” He began his tenure in 2014. Patton, now an honorary member of the JSO board as she continues to serve at the New York Pops, has recently taken on a new role in the cultural life of Jacksonville: as sponsor of a new artistic post at the orchestra called the Mary Carr Patton Composer-in-Residence. “I understand the importance of continuing the canon of classical music, not allowing it to become an artifact of the past,” she says. “Courtney Lewis told me he was looking for a resident composer, and I felt this was a vital thing for the orchestra. When
League Resources for Board Members The League of American Orchestras’ online Noteboom Governance Center offers a comprehensive range of support, strategies, and programs designed to strengthen governance practice in orchestras. Visit www.americanorchestras.org/noteboom for governance information and resources including the League’s Diversity and Inclusion Resource Center, case studies, guidelines, the Music Director Search Handbook, and more. Be sure to check out Orchestra Boardroom, the League’s quarterly newsletter filled with news, insights, best practices, and essays about nonprofit governance— essential reading for everyone on an orchestra board. If you’re serving on the board of an orchestra that is a member of the League, contact member@americanorchestras. org if you didn’t receive the August 2018 issue of Orchestra Boardroom.
Thank you to everyone who helped make our 2 nd Annual League
Giving Day a success.
We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors, who made contributions on League Giving Day:
Burton Z. Alter Amaranth Foundation Tiffany Ammerman Alberta Arthurs Caleb Bailey & Sara Baker-Bailey Megen Balda Elizabeth Baroody David Beauchesne Christopher Bell Aubrey & Ryan Bergauer Dr. Susan B. Betzer Beth Boleyn Leni Boorstin Steven Brosvik Sylvia J. Brush Sue Buck Benjamin Cadwallader Robert Campbell Rosina Cannizzaro Roberta Carpenter Elaine C. Carroll Elaine Cederquist-Stolpe David Chambers & Alex Steffler Judy Christl Amy Chung Melanie Clarke Jeff Collier Caitlin Daly Gloria dePasquale Pamella Der Carol Dunevant Daniel & David Els-Piercey Scott Faulkner & Andrea Lenz Sandy Feldman Leslie Fink David Fisk Drs. Aaron & Cristina Stanescu Flagg Rachel Ford Bridget Fraser Catherine French
Ms. Vanessa A. Gardner Andrew Giacobone Gary Ginstling & Marta Lederer Marian A. Godfrey Stanley M. & Luella G. Goldberg Family Foundation William A. Goldstein Raul Gomez Caroline Greenberg Daniel B. Grossman Craig Hall Debbie Halye Jennifer Harrell Byron Harrison Scott Harrison & Angela Detlor Iris A. Harvie Betsy Hatton Jennifer Hicks Yoo-Jin Hong Mary Kay Howard Benjamin Hoyer Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles James M. Johnson Alan & Karen Jordan Emma (Murley) Kail Carol Fuchs Kassoy Alyce Katayama Sarah E. Kelly Carolyn Keurajian Elizabeth M. Koester Eska Koester Arthur & Annelies Kull Alex Laing Jere Lantz Mark Larsen Joann Leatherby Andrew Leeson Tania Leon Marylin A. Leprich Kelly G. Levenstein Dr. Hugh W. Long Ginny Lundquist Elisabeth Madeja
Yvonne Marcuse Leslie Marks Alan Mason Ed Matthew Mattlin Foundation Maybell McCann Anthony McGill Robert & Heather McGrath Debbie McKinney D’Ante McNeal Paul Meecham Jo Frances Meyer Jack Millman Jean H. Moffitt Jennifer Mondie Bonnie Monhart Alfred P. Moore Amos Moore, Jr. Catherine & Peter Moye Sara Mummey Anne Catherine Murray Nailah Muttalib Robert Naparstek Joan Katz Napoli Mark Neville Kim C. Noltemy Heather Noonan Lowell & Sonja Noteboom Lorcan O’Connor Becky & Mark Odland Mary Palmer Steve Parrish Anne Parsons & Donald Dietz Mary Carr Patton Raymond & Tresa Radermacher Patricia A. Richards Jesse Rosen Peter Rubardt Phil & Sara Salsbury Rachel Salter Robert S. Sandla Mrs. Cynthia Sargent Michael & Jeanne Schmitz Susan M. Schwartz
David & Julie Scott Pratichi Shah Elizabeth Shribman Mrs. Priscilla Slaughter Mr. David Snead David R. Snyder Peggy Springer Natalia Staneva, in honor of Jesse Rosen Lourdes Starr-Demers Barrie Steinberg Dr. Amanda Stringer J. Annette Szulc Manley Thaler, Thaler/Howell Foundation, Inc. Marcia H. Thalhimer Matt Thueson Jack C. Tomascak Shirley & Carl Topilow Martin Ungar Samara Ungar Jacqueline Kerrod & Marc Uys Alan D. & Jan Valentine Penny & John Van Horn Jeffery R. Verney Charlie Wade Robert Wagner Kelly Waltrip Jason Bennett Ward James Weidner Sandra Weingarten Kathleen Weir Vale Linda & Craig Weisbruch Jeffery D. Williams Christopher Wingert Sonja Winkler Theodore Wiprud Elizabeth Wise Bernhard W. Witter Simon Woods & Karin Brookes Victoria Young Herman Zwirn Anonymous (2)
Thank you for supporting the League of American Orchestras’ commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the orchestral field. A special thanks to our League Giving Day Ambassadors who aided these efforts: Aubrey Bergauer • Caroline Greenberg • Marian Godfrey • Vijay Gupta • Scott Harrison • Erin Horan • Jennifer Koh Yo-Yo Ma • Leslie Marks • Jonathan Martin • Anthony McGill • Alfred (Fred) P. Moore • Sara Mummey • Heather Noonan Tresa Radermacher • Andrea Reinkemeyer • Jesse Rosen • Daniel Bernard Roumain • Helen Shaffer • Pratichi Shah Samara Ungar • Dina-Marie Weineck • Sonja Winkler
For more information regarding a gift to the League of American Orchestras, please visit us at americanorchestras.org/donate, call 212 262 5161, or write us at League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Mary Carr Patton, an honorary director of the Jacksonville Symphony’s board, shares a moment with Music Director Courtney Lewis (center) and John Shaw. Patton also serves on the boards of the New York Pops and the League of American Orchestras.
he identified the New Orleans-born composer and pianist Courtney Bryan, and commissioned her to write a piece for our 2018-19 season reflecting the many bridges and divides and connections in our diverse community, I immediately offered to sponsor the position.” Haruki Toyama On the board of: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Haruki Toyama, a resident of Milwaukee and a portfolio manager/financial analyst at Madison Investment Advisors in Madison, Wisconsin, says that when he Haruki Toyama was invited to join the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra board some eight years ago, it was “hard to say no.” He and his wife, Amy Blair, were both avid symphonygoers, and Toyama—who had studied piano as a child and gone on to Brown University to pursue a double major in music theory and economics— was keenly aware of both the power of americanorchestras.org
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra board member Haruki Toyama, center, with symphony supporter Elizabeth Meyer and, at right, Milwaukee Symphony cellist Peter Szczepanek.
music and the financial challenges facing nonprofit organizations. “Symphonies and other performing arts groups need a lot of help with things like fundraising, changing their business model, attracting younger audiences,” he says. “The Milwaukee Symphony is such a great orchestra. So I thought I’d love to do my part. This was something I could do for the community.”
“I have a full-time job, but I think my younger daughter thinks I work for the symphony.” —Haruki Toyama Toyama serves on the board’s Finance Committee, and he chairs the Steering Committee overseeing a major project: the purchase and renovation of downtown Milwaukee’s Warner Grand Theatre, an historic Art Deco movie palace that has lain dormant for two decades. The $139 million project will convert the theater into a concert hall for the Milwaukee Symphony, with rehearsal and gathering spaces in an adjoining office building. “We have a large fundraising campaign to go along with that and with the orchestra’s endowment,” says Toyama. “What we’re trying to do is secure the future of the orchestra.” The new facility is scheduled to replace Uihlein Hall as the MSO’s principal venue starting in the 2020-21 season.
The Milwaukee Symphony’s mission, he says, is to “bring great art to the community, sustain and enrich everyone’s lives, from the youngest to the eldest. It’s really a shame what’s happening to arts and music education in this country. I have two girls”—his fourteen-year-old plays violin, the ten-year-old has started on trumpet— “and I can see it in the local schools, where the amount of time and resources devoted to the arts, and certainly music education, has been cut and cut over the years. But the Milwaukee Symphony has this program called ACE that serves literally tens of thousands of kids each year. Before we bring them to the hall for a concert, our musicians go into a whole bunch of schools and work with teachers throughout the school year, do multiple classes based on the music the kids are going to hear. It’s a really great program.” Toyama says the amount of time he commits to board activities at the MSO “goes up and down quite a bit. Because I chair the Steering Committee for our hall project, it could be ten to twenty hours a week. I have a full-time job at Madison Investment Advisors, but I think my younger daughter thinks I work for the symphony.” CHESTER LANE is a classical music journalist, director of communications for Sciolino Artist Management, board president of New York City’s Canterbury Choral Society, and the longtime former senior editor of Symphony.
Seen and Heard: Conference 2018 The League of American Orchestras’ 2018 Conference explored how the artistry, art form, and artists of classical music can create a powerful impact. Here, excerpts from three addresses—by two musicians and one marketing guru—capture just some of the many voices and perspectives at the Conference. For more on the 2018 Conference, including highlights, videos, and presentations, visit americanorchestras.org/postconference18.
life, he started to sing “Jesus on the Main Line,” one of the freedom songs from the civil rights movement. I’ve had a couple of years to think about that experience. What I hear now in that man’s request and in that man’s song
Every person deserves access to a creative and expressive voice. And every person deserves access to the condition in which that voice is heard. wasn’t, “Do you know something that will entertain me?” but rather, “Do you see me? Do you know who I am? Do you know my history? Will you reflect who I am while you stand on that stage?” I spend most of my mornings and evenings with one of the greatest orchestras in the country. But most afternoons I’m in a community known as Skid Row. In walking distance of Walt Disney Concert Hall, Skid Row is the epicenter of the crisis of homelessness in America. LA County is home to over 60,000 people experiencing chronic homelessness, and Skid Row is a community of nearly 2,000 people living in tents or sleeping on the sidewalk, in and out of clinics and shelters. Folks in Skid Row, usually poor people of
THE CONFERENCE BEGAN WITH a keynote address and brief solo performance by Vijay Gupta, a violinist and advocate for having artistic voices at the center of social justice. Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007, and in 2011 founded Street Symphony, a group of professional musicians in Los Angeles who work with communities experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and incarceration. A couple of years ago as I was starting the work that would become Street Symphony, I was invited to perform at the Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino. Everyone incarcerated at Patton was there because they had committed a serious, often violent crime due to a severe mental illness. I had never engaged an audience like this before. Believing in the universal power of music, I picked the most universal and most powerful piece of music that a violinist could perform, which is the Chaconne from the Partita in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. I started performing, and it was one of those rare times where as a performer you begin to believe that things are going well. Instead, when I finished I got crickets—nothing. Then, an inmate who happened to be African-American stood up and said, “Son, after all of that, do you not know any songs we know?” In what turns out to be the greatest music lesson of my
color, often find themselves battling some form of mental illness or addiction. Many people living in Skid Row also face the revolving door of incarceration. The LA County jails and the Skid Row community are the heart of the work of Street Symphony, which serves to place social justice at the center of world-class musical engagement.
Vijay Gupta at the 2018 League Conference
As artists and arts leaders, we must reclaim the conversations about why we became artists in the first place. This Conference is a call to action, a time for us to reframe our conversations away from the double bottom line of fiscal growth and artistic excellence, beyond centennial celebrations and endowment campaigns, and to what really matters to our country today. I joined the LA Phil in 2007. Ten years later, what continues to take my breath away is that I joined not just a world-class orchestra but a world-class community of people. I also became part of another story, of a man named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, one of the first black men to study at the Juilliard School in the 1970s. Nathaniel in his junior year was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He dropped out of Juilliard and ended up living in the Second Street Tunnel in downtown Los Angeles. Many of the musicians in the LA symphony
Following a brief solo performance, violinist Jennifer Koh spoke about her lived experience as an Asian-American classical musician and invited Conference attendees to envision a future in which orchestras represent all members of the communities and cities in which we live. Each and every one of us in the music world has the capacity to create great impact on individual lives in our commuamericanorchestras.org
Philharmonic, plus myself and the LA’s Phil’s Adam Crane—now vice president of external affairs for the New York Philharmonic—became part of Nathaniel’s life. A couple of months later, Nathaniel wanted a violin lesson with me. After one of these lessons, I began to realize that this man had a savant-like knowledge of music. How was it that this man ended up living in the Second Street Tunnel? After one of our lessons with Nathaniel, Adam and I saw Nathaniel setting up his milk crates in the tunnel to begin practicing. We were asking a homeless, mentally ill man to push a shopping cart from Skid Row to Walt Disney Concert Hall, because that’s where we felt comfortable engaging him. From that time, we started to visit Nathaniel in the city. We started to ask, how many more Nathaniels are out here? I reached out to clinics and shelters in Skid Row. I would take LA Philharmonic musicians along. At Twin Towers Jail, where we would play music of Schumann for men in a mentally ill ward, one of the inmates said, “Schumann died in a place like this.” Our entire understanding of how we played Schumann changed. At Street Symphony, we have only one organizational best practice, and that’s to show up. We show up to be in relationship with our neighbors, wherever and whoever they are. We have to show up, because the Skid Row community matters. Their stories matter. Their neighborhoods matter. Their lives matter. Every person deserves access to a creative and expressive voice. And every person deserves access to the condition in which that voice is heard.
Jennifer Koh at the 2018 League Conference
nities, and each of us has the power to be an active and transformative participant in history. I am the daughter of Korean War refugees. My mother is from North Korea and spent her early childhood walking
If we believe that classical music can transcend boundaries of language, nationality, and religion, then let’s actively advocate for and build a community that transcends the categories of gender, sexual orientation, and race. down the entirety of the Korean Peninsula during the War. She came to the United States in 1965 on a student visa, and was able to apply for citizenship as a result of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965. I am standing here because despite having begun her life running from mortar fire and begging for food, she made her way to the United States, worked as a nanny, earned a PhD in library science, and taught at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois for over 30 years. My mom gave me every opportunity that she did not have as a child, including a consistent education, violin lessons, and tickets to concerts. My mother’s history—and by extension, mine—is a familiar one for immigrants
and specifically Asian-Americans. I’m a part of the first generation of children, born to the wave of immigrants who arrived after 1965, not of European descent. As a member of this group of Americans, I would like to tell you about my experiences as an Asian-American in classical music. I was born and raised outside Chicago. Chicago is where I first discovered how much I loved music and where I was lucky enough to attend concerts of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a child. The experience of hearing a great ensemble like the CSO gave me the tools to imagine an entire world of sonic expression. I had the honor to make my debut with the Chicago Symphony when I was eleven years old. I have been fortunate to have a career in music. American historian Grace Wang uses the term “innate capacity” to describe the belief that different types of music originate from, and therefore belong to, a certain group of people from a certain place. It means that an asset, or an inheritance, exists: an essence one is born into. The essence of music—its heart, its soul, and its spirit—is felt most palpably through blood lines. This means that when we say that a musician understands Mozart or Schubert because that person is Viennese, we are also saying that a person who is not Viennese, a person not born with European blood, can never truly understand or express the essence—the soul—of this music. What do we imagine when we think of German sound? French style? What do we imagine when we think of a Chinese pianist? Korean violinist? Japanese cellist? Chinese-American violinist? KoreanAmerican pianist? Indian-American cellist? Do we hold onto a racialized belief that Asian-Americans, non-white Americans, might have technique which is practiced, but have no soul and do not have the essence to be true artists? When I was coming of age, AsianAmericans, women, and other people of color in classical music were very scarce. I am grateful that I was mentored by many members of the classical music commu-
nity. I am especially grateful to one of my teachers, Felix Galimir, for actively advocating for my inclusion in classical music, and for sharing his own stories of being the victim of derision and racism when he was a young Jewish violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic. As I have become more empowered within this field, I am more mindful of our shared collective history of classical music, with its racial and gender-biased constructions. I ask myself what actions I can take to serve my artistic community, as well as the larger community. I ask myself what actions I take to build a world that I believe in and want to be a part of. My first action has been to be myself: a dedicated musician who is a true and complicated presence. I perform and advocate for both music that is considered core classical repertoire as well as new music. I find inspiration in Jewish musicians like Felix Galimir who, in the face
of a society that sought to exterminate his existence, understood that it was necessary for an artist who is a minority and an unwanted presence to exist as a true, complicated artistic presence. This kind of presence has the power to transform culture. Today, this kind of presence has the power to inspire the imaginations of others: girls, women, and people of color represented complexly and truthfully, giving them an opening to a life in classical music. If we believe that classical music can transcend all boundaries of language, nationality, and religion, then let’s actively advocate for and build a community that transcends the categories of gender, sexual orientation, and race. What I ask of you, and what I ask of myself, is that we question our complacency in our programming, our choices of performers, conductors, and composers. Will we create a new, inclusive form of classical music?
As downtown Seattle experienced rapid demographic change, the Seattle Symphony sought to connect with the newcomers by launching a market-research program with support from the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative. In the Connecting with New Audiences: Seattle Symphony Case Study session at the 2018 Conference, Charlie Wade, the Seattle Symphony’s senior vice president for marketing and business operations, discussed how the orchestra has learned to engage with new and seasoned audiences. For more on the Seattle Symphony’s market-research project, visit https://americanorchestras.org/marketresearchstudy. Downtown growth in Seattle has doubled that of the rest of the Seattle market, and is projected to grow even more. At the Seattle Symphony, we decided to investigate what sort of audience building we could do. We knew there is a
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Charlie Wade at the 2018 League Conference
growing downtown population, but what do they like? How do they respond to the things that we send them? This audience is in close proximity to us. We assumed that people moving into downtown were younger and that they were working in tech. We thought they would like lesstraditional concerts, and that they could
Improving customer experience became a really big deal for us. afford tickets. The Wallace Foundation funded research for us, including focus groups. That research gave us a lot of new insights. People think that millennials don’t respond to traditional media, but we found that they actually do respond to postcards, along with email. Those became our main drivers. We sent out something like 12,000 surveys, to people who bought single tickets and to those who didn’t. Then we did a lot of data analysis. We learned that 43 percent of the households have a millennial as primary decision maker. We learned that they haven’t lived downtown very long. They have high levels of interest in the arts but are not likely to donate. They are seeking unique cultural experiences, another common trait of millennials. We learned that downtown had a greater percentage of households with incomes of $25,000 or less—there are a number of buildings for fixed-income people. We also learned that empty-nesters and retirees are moving downtown. When we do little americanorchestras.org
musical events at an apartment building, almost half or more of the audience were retirees or empty-nesters, people who sold their home in the suburbs and moved downtown. It’s a really neat mix of potential audience members. We also realized that we are reaching a lot of people already without having done much—something like 12 percent, and higher for our Masterworks and special concerts. We learned that they weren’t coming as much to our offbeat, nontraditional series, they were actually coming to our primary series. When you think you’re creating something for a certain audience—well, no, that may not be the case. The wonder of data helps you understand that. One result of the research is that we hired [a specialist to connect with downtown audiences]. He makes huge efforts to meet all the condominium and apartment people, to connect with the hotels and corporate world downtown. We also made efforts with brochures and technology to basically say, “Hello, neighbor! We’re right here in the downtown area. Come over and visit us.” In his first full year with us, he sold 3,000 extra tickets that we hadn’t sold before, $105,000 in new money. It wasn’t some slick marketing effort; it was basically going and meeting people, saying hello, introducing ourselves, and having a few events. It was a very analog approach. We talk about millennials as a monolithic group, but there are lots of different kinds of millennials. One of our focus groups comprised traditionalists within millennials; most of them played an instrument as a child. We had thought that our Untuxed series was going to be a great on-ramp for newcomers. It has a witty host providing really good commentary, no intermission, and was a little less expensive. In fact, it drew our most conservative audience: they come only if we are playing really mainstream classical music. That was a big lesson for us, because it took away the pretense that we had about this series converting people. We’re happy that they’re buying tickets to whatever they are buying; if they convert
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and go to other things, great. It’s also about building frequency, which is why experience is so important. The experience that you have, not just in the hall itself but all along the way, is an important aspect of concertgoing. Wallace helped to fund customerexperience training. An expert has come twice to train our ushers, box-office staff, parking folks, food-and-beverage people. Anybody who is dealing with front of house does these training programs. I am a big believer in customer experience. How do we build customer experience into the nature of going to a concert—for new people in particular, which most of the downtown folks are? If they come to a concert for the first time and an usher doesn’t smile, or the parking or a food and beverage person gives them a hassle, it turns them off. Then it’s almost doesn’t matter what happened onstage because they are upset about something else. Improving customer experience became a really big deal for us. Often in our orchestra world, we think it’s just about what is onstage, but you have to see the whole arc of the experience.
Tuning Up for
Musicians in discussion at the National Alliance for Audition Support audition intensive workshop this June.
The National Alliance for Audition Support works to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at American orchestras by expanding the numbers of emerging Black and Latinx musicians. A partnership of the Sphinx Organization, the New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras, the Alliance offers support to Black and Latinx musicians to develop audition skills, increase participation in auditions, and increase their representation in professional orchestras. This June, NAAS presented its inaugural audition intensive, a threeday seminar with training, mock auditions, and performancepsychology sessions for musicians at the New World Symphonyâ€™s home in Miami Beach. The eighteen participants were selected from the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions in Detroit in early 2018. Here, four musicians who participated in the audition intensive share first-person narratives of the NAAS workshops, describe their lived experiences as musicians of color, and discuss their visions of how they see the orchestra field moving ahead. 26
Yan Izquierdo Violin
About the National Alliance for Audition Support The National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) is a national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras. It does so by offering Black and Latinx musicians a customized combination of mentoring, audition preparation, financial support, and audition previews. NAAS is made up of The Sphinx Organization, the lead program and fiscal administrator for the Alliance; the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; and the League of American Orchestras, representing 700 orchestras. A group of Black and Latinx professional musicians serves as thought leaders, guides, and advisors for the Alliance. NAAS is supported by a four-year grant of $1.8 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as well as contributions from orchestras across the U.S. Learn more at www.auditionalliance.org.
How did you find about the National Alliance for Audition Support? What attracted you to its programs? I was fortunate to be recommended to the National Alliance for Audition Support program by Ahmad Mayes, the director of education and community engagement at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. I was recently selected as one of this year’s winners of the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, a joint program between the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The fellowship allows students from underrepresented groups in American symphony orchestras to perform in the Cincinnati Symphony while pursuing graduate studies at CCM. The mission of NAAS is very much in line with the fellowship, so it was a perfect match. What do you feel this program can accomplish to bring more Black and Latinx musicians into classical music? This program is already raising aware-
ness on the issue of underrepresentation of Black and Latinx musicians in American symphony orchestras, which is an important first step. The musical and mental training that NAAS provides can help musicians of color perform better in auditions and increase their chances of winning positions. The ultimate goal is that their increased presence in symphony orchestras will inspire others to follow in their path. What was the most valuable aspect of this program for you? Receiving detailed, actionable feedback from professionals after a mock audition was the most valuable aspect of the program for me. Audition panels almost never give feedback after unsuccessful auditions, so musicians don’t get a clear picture of what went wrong. Objective self-assessment is critical to improving performance in future auditions. Some musicians of color have reported feeling isolated or even unwelcome as the only Black or Latinx musician in an orchestra. Is this something that you have encountered? How would you describe the experience of being part of a group of Black and Latinx musicians in the NAAS program, or in other ensembles?
As part of the National Alliance for Audition Support’s workshop at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach this June, a participant experiences the screened audition that is a regular feature for professional musicians seeking positions at orchestras. americanorchestras.org
Participants learned to cope with distractions—provided by a video of a noisily crying child—at the National Alliance for Audition Support’s summer 2018 audition intensive.
Honestly, I haven’t. I’ve always felt included and welcomed by all my colleagues in conservatories and professional orchestras. However, some of my Black and Latinx colleagues have told me stories of being made to feel unwelcome in orchestras or in conservatories. Being in the NAAS program was an inspiring experience, both musically and personally. All of the participants’ shared love of music and common cultural backgrounds gave us an immediate bond. Following the audition intensive at New World Symphony, do you feel more prepared for auditions—technically, psychologically, otherwise? Absolutely. The guest artists imparted extremely useful instruction and gave valuable insight into the process of auditioning for professional orchestras, including what audition panels look for in successful candidates. The mental preparation workshop given by Dr. Noa Kageyama was eye-opening and addressed an issue that is often neglected in conservatories. What event or experience was a real standout? Taking lessons from teachers of other instruments was interesting and valuable, because instead of focusing on technical minutiae specific to the instrument, they focused on broader musical concepts. What do you think would encourage young people of color to pursue a career in orchestras? How could the classical-music field—in early
exposure, musical training, and as a profession—be more welcoming? Affordable access at an early age is critical to expanding the inclusion of young musicians of color in the classical music world. I was fortunate to receive free, high-quality government-subsidized music training from an early age in Spain. There, every child is entitled to enrollment in private lessons, solfège, music theory, ear training, choir, piano lessons, orchestra, and chamber music. There are many won-
Affordable access at an early age is critical to expanding the inclusion of young musicians of color in the classical music world. —Yan Izquierdo derful privately funded programs of this nature in the United States, however their scope is much more limited. If the United States had federally funded programs like in Spain, more students of color would reach top-tier conservatories, and in turn join major professional orchestras. Yan Izquierdo, violin Orchestra Experience: Chamber Orchestra of New York (NYC; 2014–present); Symphony in C (Camden, NJ; 2008–13); Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (NYC; 2007–08); Aspen Festival Or-
chestra (Aspen, CO; 2006); substitute with Charleston Symphony Orchestra (Charleston, SC; 2005–06) Education: Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance, College of Charleston (Charleston, SC; 2006); workshop at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University (Summer 2016) ♦
Carmen Johnson-Pájaro Violin How did you find about the National Alliance for Audition Support? What attracted you to its programs? I found out about the NAAS programs through my affiliation with the Sphinx Organization, specifically through my participation in the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Audition this past February. Put simply, I was attracted to this program because it was an opportunity to learn, and a free opportunity at that! It’s rare to come across fully funded programs that offer participants what NAAS provides: a complete perspective of the orchestral musician’s audition process, musical and otherwise. This program seems to fill an educational void for many young professionals who no longer have the support of an institution. As a recent consersymphony
vatory graduate, the chance to expand my skillset for my craft is never an opportunity I want to pass up. What do you feel this program can accomplish to bring more Black and Latinx musicians into classical music? I imagine that this program, and others like it, might have a butterfly effect— rigorous training programs for Black and Latinx musicians lead to their winning jobs, transforming our orchestras into more accurate reflections of our communities, ultimately inspiring a new generation of young Black and Latinx musicians. What was the most valuable aspect of this program for you? That’s actually a pretty tough question for me. I got so much out of the program, not only musically, but also through personal connections with the other participants. If I have to pick, I’d say the most valuable aspects of this program were the sessions discussing performance anxiety with Noa Kageyama, and my private lesson with [Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster] Alex Kerr. Performance anxiety is a difficult obstacle for most musicians to overcome. In fact, I can’t think of a single colleague who hasn’t struggled with it at some point or another. I can’t overstate the value of learning strategies to manage performance anxiety and being able to speak one on one with a specialist in that field. And of course, I had a fantastic lesson with Alex Kerr, who won every audition he ever took! This is certainly an aspect of the program that would’ve been too costly to undertake myself, so I’m very grateful to have gotten such keen insight into my playing from that opportunity. Following the audition intensive at New World Symphony, do you feel more prepared for auditions—technically, psychologically, otherwise? I definitely feel that I’m better able to prepare for auditions, and I think I’m able to approach the audition experience in a more holistic way after the audition intensive. I had great private lessons that exposed key areas of work going forward with my playing. The performance anxiety sessions with Noa Kageyama were invaluable and gave me many ideas for mental preparation and practice going into an audition. Lastly, I can’t say enough how valuable it is to have the support system americanorchestras.org
of Black and Latinx musicians provided by opportunities like this. Some musicians of color have reported feeling isolated or even unwelcome as the only Black or Latinx musician in an orchestra. Is this something that you have encountered? How would you describe the experience of being part of a group of Black and Latinx musicians in the NAAS program, or in other ensembles?
This program, and others like it, might have a butterfly effect—rigorous training programs for Black and Latinx musicians lead to their winning jobs, transforming our orchestras into more accurate reflections of our communities, ultimately inspiring a new generation of young Black and Latinx musicians. —Carmen Johnson-Pájaro I’ve definitely felt isolated in ensembles where I’ve been one of few or the only minority musician. For me, the sense of isolation partly comes from feeling like “the other” or the token Black/Latin musician. That’s not to say people deliberately make me feel this way, but negative thoughts can easily creep in when you realize you’re in the minority. There was a time when this feeling of “otherness” made me wonder, “Am I here because I deserve it, or because there is a diversity quota to meet?” and, “Are my peers thinking the same thing?” For impressionable young musicians, this type of thinking can be very damaging to the psyche! In the end, it’s an exercise in self-affirmation and I’m happy to say I was able to kick those thoughts. It’s difficult to put these experiences and feelings into words, and of course there are many more complexities and reasons for feelings of isolation, but I hope this sheds a bit of light on what one’s experience might be. Being part of a group of Black and Latinx musicians has been one of the most heartwarming experiences of my life. I grew up in Alabama, where confronting our country’s history was, and still is, trau-
matizing and inevitable. I performed many times at the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four young Black girls were killed by a KKK bombing in the ’60s. I regularly passed Kelly Ingram Park, where police and firemen infamously released dogs and sprayed firehoses on student protesters fighting for civil rights. And just down the street, along the Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail, was my high school. From an early age, I had a deep understanding of the injustices and horrors Black people endured. I never cease to be amazed by what my people have overcome. It’s humbling and inspiring beyond words to be in a room full of talented, accomplished musicians of color, succeeding in a field with an overt history of exclusion. Carmen Johnson-Pájaro, violin Orchestra Experience: Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra (Cambridge, MA; 2017–present); New England Conservatory Philharmonia (Boston, MA; 2016– present); substitute with Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (Boston, MA; 2017); Chautauqua Festival Orchestra (Chautauqua, NY; 2017); Eastman Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra and Eastman Philharmonia (Rochester, NY; 2012–16); Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, principal second violin and concertmaster (2013) Education: Master of Music in Violin Performance, New England Conservatory (Boston, MA; anticipated 2018); Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY; 2016) ♦
Meredith Riley Violin How did you find about the National Alliance for Audition Support? What attracted you to its programs? I found out about NAAS through my connection with the Sphinx Organization. I was interested in applying for the program because I believe in their mission of increasing minority representation in the classical music industry. Until NAAS, Sphinx has been the pioneer organization to focus on acknowledging and immersing
the talented musicians who either compete in the Sphinx Competition, or play in the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, into the country’s finest orchestras. I was particularly interested in applying for this program because of the financial bundle it offered—this is the first audition preparation seminar offered that took care of travel and accommodations. From instruments, auditions, lessons, and concerts, I believe that many people have a very skewed perception of the actual cost and investment in being a classical musician. What do you feel this program can accomplish as far as bringing more Black and Latinx musicians into classical music? Programs like NAAS are unique because they are generously sponsored by organizations (or individuals) that believe in the cause, and understand the individual investment and/or deficit a musician is willing to risk to potentially win a job. By offering more rigorous programs like this, it gives a person like me an opportunity to learn (I am not in school anymore) and to do so without being out $1,000 or more. What was the most valuable aspect of this program for you?
The visual presentation of any sort of ensemble, company, or business should reflect the diversity of the population. You tend to attract what you promote. That being said, to inspire today’s young people of color, it is imperative to have more minority participation within orchestras. –Meredith Riley Musicians are never done learning, and therefore, it is essential to immerse yourself in a musical community or setting with other musicians to work with and learn from. The same goes for teachers! Having completed my graduate degree two years ago, I can tell you that the most exciting thing for me was having the luxury of going back into lessons with such brilliant pedagogues. It was the most invigorating feeling. Unlike many other
professions, there is no “boss” to tell you whether you are doing it right or wrong once you leave school or private lessons. When you leave many other schools of study, you may go into a field where someone can help you learn the ropes, or learn right from wrong: “Do this, not that.” Musicians do not get the luxury of having a coach five days a week to steer them in the right direction or tell them if this career choice will work out for them, or if they are wasting their time. That is why an opportunity for a seminar like this is vital for those who may not be able to afford to take lessons once their schooling/scholarships run out. The cost of education is high. The investment in a musical career and musical education can be even higher because it didn’t start in college. It started long before then. The time commitment is long. And the payout is uncertain. Following the audition intensive at New World Symphony, do you feel more prepared for auditions—technically, psychologically, otherwise? I think that this audition intensive is a financial gift to its recipients, among
Bass players at this summer’s audition intensive at the National Alliance for Audition Support.
all of its other benefits. Because of the generous support for this program, I am able to feel more technically and psychologically prepared for auditions. I bet attending this seminar (if finances were not covered) would have cost close to $1,500. Some people are blissfully unaware of the financial burden when pursuing a musical career. I’ve heard people ask or tell me to “get my teacher to call” or “you know someone that could help you there, right?” to which I generally smile and politely say, “Unfortunately, no. It just doesn’t work that way.” The classical music industry is anything but phone calls to former colleagues and a guaranteed “instant in.” Sure, someone can call and advocate for an individual, or recommend someone they think would be great for a gig, but much like any other business, that is a reference. Ultimately, the musician still has to show up and prove their worth. With as few jobs as there are in this industry, I know I wouldn’t want to hire someone based on word of mouth only. What event or experience was a real standout? The most stand-out experience at this seminar was where we got to work on mental preparedness for an audition. Besides self-help books on taming the mind, or sports psychology books, the list of tips and tricks to stay calm before and during an audition is limited. For me, it was really beneficial to be able to have someone work with us individually, and as a group, to understand how to get grounded before a ten-minute audition that can change your life. After all, you invest several hundred dollars in each audition, so it is important to recognize that the mental preparation and control is equally as important as the actual preparation for an audition. You ask any professional musician, and I bet they will tell you they felt ready for the audition when they traveled for it, but just couldn’t tame the nerves. What do you think would encourage young people of color to pursue a career in orchestras? How could the classical-music field—in early exposure, musical training, and as a profession—be more welcoming? I strongly believe that visual presentation of any sort of ensemble, company, business, etc., should reflect the diversity of the population. You tend to attract what you promote. That being said, I feel that americanorchestras.org
in order to inspire today’s young people of color, it is imperative to have more minority participation within the orchestras. I believe that this integration should be more than just the cover photo of an orchestra or a page in the program that displays that there are people of color in the ensemble. I also believe that this could be achieved by increasing attention to the education and outreach departments to make sure that they are reaching the kids and students who don’t normally have access to this specific genre of music. Meredith Riley, violin Orchestra Experience: Erie Philharmonic Orchestra (Erie, PA; 2013–present; acting principal second violin, 2015– present); Canton Symphony Orchestra (Canton, OH; 2014–present); substitute with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (Ithaca, NY; 2013–present); Sphinx Virtuosi Tour (2016); substitute with Austin Lyric Opera (Austin, TX; 2013); substitute with Austin Symphony Orchestra (Austin, TX; 2012–13)
Education: Advanced Music Studies Certificate, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA; 2013–16); Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, University of Texas (Austin, TX; 2013), candidate for Artist Diploma (2012–13) ♦
Kamyron Williams Cello How did you find about the National Alliance for Audition Support? What attracted you to its programs? I was a participant in the 2018 Sphinx Orchestral Partner Auditions in Detroit. Taking part in that audition experience and receiving feedback from a panel representing eighteen major orchestras was a big step forward for me in pursuing the career path of a professional orchestral musician. As soon as the NAAS program was established in April 2018, I
imagine. imagine is a new space within Intermusica dedicated to exploring diverse artistry, distinctive performance formats and ever-wider and more inclusive audiences. Film with Live Music The Age of Innocence Live Aliens Live Amadeus Live The English Patient Live Titanic Live Peter & the Wolf Live We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Live Magic Piano & The Chopin Shorts
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Introducing the inaugural class of the League of American Orchestras’ Emeritus Board* William Blair Malcolm McDougal Brown Dick Cisek Bruce Clinton Peter Cummings Henry Fogel Peter Pastreich Cynthia Sargent Connie Steensma Nick Webster The League’s Emeritus Board was established in 2018 to acknowledge the leadership, dedication, and support of outstanding members of its board of directors.
Over the course of the League’s 75-year history, dozens of men and women have served on the League’s board of directors. Your service to the League’s members and mission has been integral to the success of the past 75 years and allows us to advance the orchestral experience into the future.
Thank you for all of your support! *This list of emeritus members is as of July 31, 2018
String players get in tune at the audition intensive at the National Alliance for Audition Support this June.
knew I had to immediately take advantage of this unique opportunity. What do you feel this program can accomplish to bring more Black and Latinx musicians into classical music? Through the NAAS program I believe we will not only accomplish the ultimate goal of increasing job placement for musicians of color in American orchestras, but also create a change in the “white stereotype” of classical music. Art and diversity are undoubtedly interchangeable; they both exist in all cultures, they challenge us to see others and ourselves in new ways; they provoke, inspire, teach, create something new, and bring down barriers. What was the most valuable aspect of this program for you? The most valuable aspect for me was the mock audition, with the critical-comment feedback from the audition panel, followed by our individual private lessons with the faculty. Rarely do you ever receive direct feedback from the panel about your audition. Though there is always something to improve on, those few details or nuances can make the difference between you advancing or winning an audition. Some musicians of color have reported feeling isolated or even unwelcome as the only Black or Latinx musician in an orchestra. Is this something that you have encountered? How would you describe the experience of being part of a group of Black and Latinx americanorchestras.org
musicians in the NAAS program, or in other ensembles?
Through the NAAS program I believe we will not only accomplish the ultimate goal of increasing job placement for musicians of color in American orchestras, but also create a change in the “white stereotype” of classical music. —Kamyron Williams Yes, when I began cello in middle school it didn’t take long for me to recognize that there were few other people who look like me playing classical music. When I was younger I kind of just accepted it as the “norm.” Since then I’ve really picked up on it—it is usually the first thing that comes to mind when walking into a rehearsal or even attending a concert. I try to find ways to encourage other people to get involved and find ways for Black and Latinx musician to be exposed to the music. Following the audition intensive at New World Symphony, do you feel more prepared for auditions—technically, psychologically, otherwise? Yes! I feel more confident in the process of preparing for professional audi-
tions. It’s like preparing for a final exam or test: you’ve gone class to class, done your homework and readings, and then the teacher offers a last exam review session so you can address those problems or concerns that can make a difference between the final grade of a B or an A. What event or experience was a real standout? This collaboration between the Sphinx Organization, League of American Orchestras, and New World Symphony, plus the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for creating NAAS! Being at the New World Symphony Center in Miami Beach and for them to host the NAAS for the week, having access to the campus’s state-of-the art performance facilities, practice and ensemble rooms, and the readily available resources and staff. Having individual lessons with multiple faculty from major orchestras and working with performance psychologist Noa Kageyama. I could really envision myself as a future fellow of the New World Symphony. What do you think would encourage young people of color to pursue a career in orchestras? How could the classical-music field—in early exposure, musical training, and as a profession—be more welcoming? Role models—seeing other musicians of color in professional orchestras. For early exposure in the classical-music field and musical training, I personally believe you have to know the community beyond the surface level and be open to new ideas or methods and adapt to reflect your community and orchestras’ vision as a whole. Kamyron Williams, cello Orchestra Experience: University of Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra (Ann Arbor, MI; 2016–17); Indiana University Orchestra (Bloomington, IN; 2013–16); Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra (2012–15); substitute with Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Symphony Education: Master of Music, University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance (Ann Arbor, MI; 2018; Bachelor of Music, Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington, IN; 2016)
More and more youth orchestras are touring, taking their message of youthful music-making to audiences everywhere. Why are they doing it, what do they hope these tours will accomplish for their young musicians, and what might these tours represent as cultural diplomacy? And what’s life like on the road with an orchestra of young musicians, anyway?
by Steven Brown
The smiles say it all: Musicians of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras take to the skies for their summer 2018 visit to Germany.
hen the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra flew to Europe this June, its ranks included some veteran travelers. But for a few members of the Pittsburgh-based ensemble, the journey to Vienna, Budapest, and Prague marked their first trip outside the United States—or even their first airplane flights. In Vienna, some of the budding musicians visited Schönbrunn Palace, onetime home of Empress Maria Theresa. Lindsey Nova, the youth orchestra’s executive director, shepherded one group as they reached the Mirrors Room—the glittering chamber where the young Mozart once played for the court. The story goes that when the six-year-old prodigy finished, he jumped onto the empress’s lap and gave her a kiss. As the young Pittsburgh musicians listened to this tale on their audio guides, Nova stood near one of the firsttime world travelers. “I’m watching her as she hears this story, and her eyes get bigger and bigger,” Nova says. “And then she looks down at the ground. I asked her symphony
about it later. She said, ‘I couldn’t believe I was standing where Mozart stood. I was there, and he was there!’ She was making a connection with a composer whose music she has studied for years and years. She was talking about it for the rest of the tour. She’ll never forget that.” The Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra experienced a similar revelation in Prague. The group played Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall—performing on the same stage where the composer once conducted. “That hall is magnificent. It’s stunning,” Nova says. “You couldn’t have faked the looks on our musicians’ faces when they walked in. It was just The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra performed at the Mozarteum in Salzburg this June. awe. And they have never time goes on,” says Elisabeth Christensen, sounded like they did in Dvořák Hall.” centennial of World War I’s end: The promanaging director of the Boston PhilharWhile the trip was that orchestra’s first gram included The Banks of Green Willow monic Youth Orchestra. Even instruments overseas tour, some ensembles have been by Britain’s George Butterworth, one of can cause a logistical headache. “When I globe-trotting for decades. This summer, the millions killed on the battlefield. The a large number of youth orchestras hit the tour also was a “musical pilgrimage” helpMotivations for tours road. In addition to hoping to inspire their ing the young musicians bond with the young musicians with the a-ha moments work and life of composer Gustav Mahler, include cultural enrichment, that touched the Three Rivers group, moChristensen says. Mahler’s Ninth Symimprovement from playing a tivations for tours include artistic enrichphony capped off all the concerts. The stulot of music in a concentrated ment, improvement from playing a lot of dents visited Mahler’s birthplace and the music in a concentrated period, cultivattown where he spent his youth; Prague, period, building a sense of ing a sense of musical ensemble, cultural where he led the city’s opera house; Vimusical ensemble—and diplomacy—and sampling food you won’t enna, setting of his greatest successes and sampling food you won’t find find at Safeway. Like their adult counterheartbreaks; and Amsterdam, one of the parts, tours for today’s youth orchestras go first places his music was esteemed. The at Safeway. beyond the former play-and-move-on fororchestra performed in Vienna’s Musik started, we took everything—all the harps, mat. Young musicians meet their foreign verein and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, all the timpani, all the basses,” she says. peers, do side-by-side rehearsals or perlegendary concert halls where Mahler “Today, the airlines just won’t take such formances with local ensembles, interact himself conducted. large and heavy items. But the experiences with residents in community engagement “It was very powerful for the kids to are life-changing for the kids. So we keep events, and get coached by leading profesactually be there where he had worked,” pressing forward and doing it.” sional musicians. Christensen says. And the young musiSo the leaders of youth orchestras willcians absorbed one of Mahler’s most eloingly take on the challenges of planning quent works. “To take a piece like Mahler’s Experience and Excitement itineraries, preparing the young musicians Ninth, which is such a behemoth, and play An offshoot of the Boston Philharmonic, and raising money. “I started touring with it nine times for different audiences in difthe youth orchestra has traveled nearly evyouth orchestras in 1995, and it has gotten ferent halls—that’s an enormous growing ery year since its founding in 2012. June’s more difficult and much more expensive as experience for the musicians,” Christensen European tour in part commemorated the
DC Youth Orchestra at Lake Garda in northern Italy near the Musica Riva Festival, where the orchestra was a resident ensemble this summer.
Koncz rehearsed the orchestra in Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture and works by Liszt and Johann Strauss. “In the first few
In Prague, the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra played Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in the Rudolfinum’s Dvorák Hall—on the same stage where the composer once conducted. minutes, he put the orchestra on an entirely different level,” says Wendy Cilman, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s education direc-
says. “By the final concert, when we were sitting in the Concertgebouw, it was just a different orchestra. It was partly that they had played the program a lot. But also, they had lived together for two weeks. They had become more aware of other people in the orchestra—and more aware musically of other people in the orchestra.” California’s Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra not only performed this June in cities rich with history—Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest—but it tasted Europe’s present-day musical culture. During its Vienna stop, the members of the youth orchestra were coached by the Vienna Philharmonic’s principal second violin, Christoph Koncz. Taking to the podium,
Before their concert in Prague this summer, members of Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra took a moment to perform outdoors.
tor. “He made a few comments, and they understood. They were hungry for it, and they responded. It was pretty dramatic.” The National Youth Orchestra of the USA, one of Carnegie Hall’s education projects through its Weill Music Institute, ups the ante when it comes to podium guidance. Each summer, the group brings young musicians from across the U.S. to New York for intensive rehearsals and a subsequent tour headlined by an internationally known conductor. Michael Tilson Thomas led this summer’s trip to China and Korea. Many of the musicians had never played for a conductor of his stature. “All of us were pretty scared, just to see what he would think of us,” says Alyssa Tinsley, a flutist from Kingswood, Texas. “But right when he walked onstage, he was like a gentle giant. He would look at you, and you’d feel comfort.” Tinsley came to the group after two years in the Houston Youth Symphony Orchestra. That organization’s main ensemble and woodwind quintet cultivated her intonation, ability to blend with her section, and other skills, she says. Tilson Thomas then added an extra excitement. Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, in which Tinsley played principal flute, “was like a new piece each time. He liked to change it up,” says Tinsley, now a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. “He would try to get new musical ideas out of us—colors or feelings. It was refreshing. We always had to be on the looksymphony
Making It Happen
Aleana Smiley and Kayla Gilmore, flutists in the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra, share the excitement before their concert this June in Vienna at the MuTh, the concert hall of the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra’s leaders met to plan tour fundraising one night in October 2017. “Sitting outside, we were all commenting how hot and windy it was,” Cilman recalls. A few hours later, area residents had to flee as wildfires swept in. The inferno consumed thousands of homes. “Some of the folks who were there lost their homes that night,” Cilman says. “I couldn’t imagine people figuring out how to get back on track when so much happened. I was concerned that the whole
wanted the kids to have something wonderful in their lives after all this.” When it comes to raising money, each youth orchestra harnesses the motivations and resources at hand. Like most groups, the DC Youth Orchestra Program typically asks members’ families help cover tour costs by paying a fee—typically $2,000$2,500 per tour, Executive Director Elizabeth Schurgin says—but it also offers financial aid to those who can’t afford that much. That’s where DCYOP calls on its tens of thousands of alumni. Many of them nurture their own memories of foreign travel, thanks to the orchestra’s long history of touring: 23 international trips, reaching back to 1960.
out for what was going to be new. It kept us intrigued and connected with him.”
At the Musikverein in Vienna, Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Music Director Benjamin Zander works with members of the youth orchestra before a concert on June 24, 2018.
tour would fall apart. I was completely astounded when we had the next meeting, and the same people showed up—more people showed up.” Now the group had to not only raise money for the trip, but to replace instruments destroyed by the fires. Thanks to a fundraising auction, an appeal from the stage during one of the professional Santa Rosa Symphony’s concerts, and fees paid by parents, money came in. The tour stayed on track. “Everybody wanted to make it happen,” Cilman says. “I think because everyone had been so traumatized, they americanorchestras.org
“Tours resonate very strongly with our alumni community,” Schurgin says, “so we almost entirely crowdfund our tours. It’s an opportunity for alumni of various giving capacities to support a project they feel very strongly about. That’s something we hear about from alumni all the time. ‘I remember when we were in Switzerland,’ or ‘I remember going to China.’ It’s exciting for them to give back, and to ensure that this generation of students has the same opportunities.” Being based in the national’s capital can yield opportunities for touring and fund-
ing alike, Schurgin says. After hearing the orchestra, Chile’s ambassador to the United States—Juan Gabriel Valdés, brother of Puerto Rico Symphony Music Director Maximiano Valdés—invited the group to tour his homeland in 2017. The orchestra partnered with musical and government institutions in Chile, and a performance with young Chilean musicians in the country’s Presidential Palace marked one of the high points. The U.S. Department of State helped with funding. “Each tour is a law unto itself in terms of planning,” Schurgin says. “When opportunity presents itself, you need to jump on it.” The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is a rare group that requires no fee from the musicians. “We solicit the families to contribute, but there’s no mandatory fee. There’s no giving expectation,” Christensen says. “Some of them give generously, and some don’t have the resources to do so. We don’t want that to be a barrier to participation.” So the orchestra’s leaders have to raise $400,000 to $1 million for each tour, Christensen says. That’s on top of being tuition-free during the regular season. “We’re constantly fundraising,” Christensen admits. Some donors to the professional Boston Philharmonic help with the youth side, too. Other sources include Kickstarter, which brought in $45,000 for the June tour. “Fortunately, we have a very unusual situation,” Christensen says. Benjamin Zander, music director of both the pro and youth orchestras, has turned his experience
Members of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra share their excitement before giving a performance at the Rudolfinum in Prague this summer.
on the podium into a sideline as a motivational speaker for business groups. That introduces him to corporate leaders he can enlist to support the youth orchestra. “What we do wouldn’t be possible otherwise,” Christensen says. New Approaches
After twenty-plus multi-city tours over the years, the DC Youth Orchestra gave its top ensemble a fresh experience this July. An invitation from northern Italy’s Musica Riva Festival enabled the group to spend its entire trip in one place—and a spectacular place at that, tucked between mountains and the rippling waters of Lake Garda. As a resident ensemble, the group shared the spotlight with participants in programs for aspiring opera singers and for entry-level professional conductors. The schedule included four concerts: one of Russian music; one of Beethoven; one devoted to music of the Americas; and one featuring excerpts from Verdi’s La Travia-
ta. All that came within eleven days. “That’s a big leap for any orchestra, not to mention a high-school-age orchestra,” Schurgin says. By negotiating repertoire with the festival, the group was able to include a few pieces it had played in recent seasons. In preparation for the Russian night, it changed its regular-season finale at home to include Rachmaninoff ’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Eight full days of rehearsal came right before the trip. “Four programs was a lot,” Schurgin says, “but now we know what our kids can do.” She notes another challenge: The Verdi evening marked not only the orchestra’s first foray into opera, but its first exposure to vocalists at all. Singers, Schurgin notes, inject their own liberties into the musical mix. The players have to focus on a conductor who’s trying to lead them and meld with the singers at the same time. “I think the orchestra members were a little surprised at first,” Schurgin says with a laugh. “There was a moment of, ‘Oh! This is how
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it’s going to be.’ They matured over the next couple of days. You have to learn to follow the conductor and anticipate what’s going to happen—and be flexible and in the moment. That can be hard for student musicians. But they did it.” After nearly 30 international tours, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) also wanted a new ingredient. “It’s a constant challenge to make the tours more relevant to the orchestra and to the changing times,” Executive Director Catherine Weiskel says. Music Director Federico Cortese zeroed in on the way to aim June’s trip to Germany toward a longer-term goal: The orchestra would make its first foray into Baroque music. “Young American musicians are extraordinarily good, whether music is their professional goal or not,” Cortese says. But he notices a gap: “The string players play Bach’s solo sonatas or partitas for violin or his suites for cellos. But they have no idea about
Even when musicians don’t speak a common language, sharing a music stand with a musician in a foreign country can forge a connection. the St. Matthew Passion. I’m not blaming them. They’re wonderful, but they’re young. And these are some of the pillars of Western music.” So the BYSO partnered with Bachfest in the Baroque master’s longtime home of Leipzig. Though the organization is separate from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, it drew on the latter’s links to Leipzig: its Gewandhaus Orchestra is led by Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons. The linchpin of the youth orchestra’s week in Leipzig was a performance of Bach’s exuberant Magnificat. “At the first rehearsal, they didn’t sound very good,” Cortese says. “They could play the notes, but they had no idea how to shape Baroque music. At the beginning, there was even some resistance. Not everyone loved it. That’s why I think it’s important to do this—to broaden their musical experience.” The orchestra gradually got more of a grip on Bach’s style. “It’s always good for young people to explore something that their teacher or symphony
Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra played a mini-concert while flying between the cities of its recent European tour. In foreground: Three Rivers Executive Director Lindsey Nova conducts.
On tour with the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra this summer, French horn player Nick Hidy tries out the organ Haydn once played in Eisenstadt, just outside Vienna.
Photo by Pistacchio, courtesy of Musica Riva
and enamel, woodwinds without any flaws, and an almost scary professionalism and sophistication.” The reviewer ended by saying that the “frenetically acclaimed concert … should give reason to broaden the trans-Atlantic musical bridge.” Back and Forth
The DC Youth Orchestra was a resident ensemble at Italy’s Musica Riva this summer. In foreground from left: Zahra Edwards and Hannah Reiser.
conductor loves,” says Cortese, who had previously added opera to the group’s musical diet. “I’m not saying that doing opera or Bach is a must. But it’s what I love. I think they sensed that. And they responded to that.” The orchestra tipped its hat to another Leipzig icon, onetime Gewandhaus Orchestra leader Felix Mendelssohn, by performing his “Scottish” Symphony. Meanwhile, spending a week in Leipzig let the students immerse themselves in the historic city, Weiskel says. They stayed with local families. They visited the Bach Museum, the St. Thomas Church (where Bach was Kapellmeister), the Museum of Musical Instruments, and Mendelssohn’s home. As the young musicians flew home, the americanorchestras.org
Leipziger Volkszeitung published a review declaring the orchestra “a damn good one.” The paper hailed “strings full of shine
For the BYSO, that bridge had already been traveled in both directions. The two Leipzig choirs that sang the Magnificat— the Gewandhaus Youth Choir and Leipzig Opera Youth Choir—went to Boston in April 2018. They joined the orchestra in a concert that included Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, in honor of the Boston-area native’s centennial. Some orchestra members who got to know choristers during that
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visit went on to meet the singers’ families in Leipzig. “It was a really wonderful combination of things,” Weiskel says. Other American youth orchestras have invited young musicians from other countries to experience the United States. In June, the San Diego Youth Symphony hosted its fourteenth annual International Youth Symphony Program, inviting seventeen musicians from ten countries to
perform within its ranks. The Houston Symphony in 2015 hosted the Colombian Youth Philharmonic—a pet project of Houston Music Director Andrés OrozcoEstrada, a Colombia native—in a side-byside concert and other Texas events. Even when musicians don’t speak a common language, sharing a music stand can forge a connection, according to the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s
Christensen. “They have a great time, figuring out how to communicate,” she says. “Having something to do together, even if they can’t communicate verbally, is a really powerful experience for them.” Christensen recalls taking another youth orchestra to Venezuela in 2005. “There were extreme tensions between our countries at the time,” she says. “I was watching a side-by-side between the American kids and the local kids. You realize how much we really have in common, whatever is going on between our countries. To me, that’s one of the most important aspects of touring: being aware of other people and other ways of life, and becoming more at home with them.” STEVEN BROWN, a Houston-based writer specializing in classical music, is the former classical music critic of the Orlando Sentinel, Charlotte Observer, and Houston Chronicle.
Behind the Scenes
In Berlin, cellist Eric Zacks of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra visits the city’s Holocaust Memorial.
The Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras gave a free outdoor concert at the Leipzig Market Place during its June trip to Germany, led by Music Director Federico Cortese.
Managing an orchestra tour takes experience, know-how, and savvy. That’s where the professionals step in. Companies like Classical Movements, Classix Tours, Concept Tours, and TravTours Inc. understand what it takes to move entire orchestras—and their instruments—around the world. They provide services ranging from relatively straightforward matters like booking ground and air travel and selecting hotels to arranging for a youth orchestra to perform in an historic hall in a foreign capital. They can leverage their contacts at global partners, governmental agencies, and cultural presenters, and they know the regulations concerning international travel with instruments. Touring youth orchestras need many of the same of the specialized services that touring adult orchestras require concerning instruments, visas, passports, figuring out foreign currency. But with youth orchestras, there’s the additional responsibility of arranging free time and sightseeing for young people who are eager not only to share their own artistry but to learn about other cultures as well. symphony
Four decades ago, Hollywood seemed on the verge of eliminating symphonic film scores in favor of pop tunes and synthesizers. In fact, just the opposite happened, and the key may be John Williams.
by Jack Sullivan
he Mozart of our day.” That’s what conductor Gustavo Dudamel calls Hollywood composer John Williams. Dudamel has idolized Williams since his childhood infatuation with Star Wars, E.T., and Indiana Jones. “He has a special creativity,” Dudamel recently told me backstage after a concert, “and he works with incredible speed. He created an Adagio based on the score for the new Star Wars film in one night, and we played it the next day. I love working with him.” The extent to which John Williams’s music has entered our bloodstream is
Craig Mathew / Los Angeles Philharmonic
Above and opposite: In 2014, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s opening-night concert paid tribute to John Williams (on podium, opposite). Music Director Gustavo Dudamel conducted at the gala, which also featured violinist Itzhak Perlman, trumpets from the U.S. Army, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and members of the Los Angeles Chorale. The festivities included characters from Star Wars.
mindboggling. His career in film and television music began half a century ago with titles like Wagon Train, The Guns of Navarone, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Long Goodbye. It encompasses franchises such as Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Home Alone, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park, and spans 46 years of partnership with Steven Spielberg, from Sugarland Express to The Post, the longest director-composer collaboration in history, with iconic scores like Jaws, E.T., and Schindler’s List. Williams’s concert pieces, written for everyone from Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra to Barack Obama, for his presidential inauguration in 2009, include works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo
instruments. Williams just keeps writing, and his music seems to get programmed more and more often by orchestras every year. Orchestras play lots of Williams scores, and of course they also play scores by many other film composers. The big difference: usually the latter are identified by film name or brand franchise, while concerts by orchestras featuring Williams scores are typically just billed as “John Williams” events. In 2006, the League of American Orchestras awarded Williams its highest honor, the Gold Baton, for “inspiring millions of listeners worldwide” with his orchestral music for film, television, and concert hall.” Orchestra galas themed around symphony
Craig Mathew / Los Angeles Philharmonic
Kitsopoulos, who is currently conducting the scores to four different Star Wars films with various orchestras, saw the first one in 1977, “and I thought, ‘Who wrote this music?’ I went out and bought the soundtrack and proceeded to buy anything by John Williams I could get my hands on.” Many
Williams’s music tend to be successful fundraisers, often with the composer on hand to conduct the orchestra. His music is notably popular with young listeners and families. Dudamel can now take his own child to a Star Wars film, part of a remarkable multigenerational cycle. Constantine
John Williams just keeps writing, and his music seems to get programmed more and more often by orchestras every year.
Eugene Symphony/Amanda L Smith Photography
Eugene Symphony Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, a Star Wars fan himself, conducts John Williams’s “Throne Room” from Star Wars at an outdoor concert in 2017, where he debuted his popular “lightsaber” baton. americanorchestras.org
took a tape recorder into the theater, went home, and listened under my pillow at night with tiny speakers, incessantly. Then came Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. If it hadn’t been for John Williams, I wouldn’t have become a composer. I would have missed out.”
musicians Kitsopoulos now conducts had a similar experience, he says: “Those films the players experienced when they were kids are becoming new again because they are playing this music—which is so well written.” The multigenerational aspect is also true for composers of scores to sequels to Star Wars and other films. Composer Michael Giacchino, who has written music for the TV series Lost and films including Up and The Incredibles, scored the sequel films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Jurassic World. He saw the original Star Wars when he was nine: “It made me wonder, ‘How do they actually make this stuff ?’ There were no DVDs or video, so I had to use the music to re-imagine the film. I
Star Wars is only a small part of Williams’s huge career, which includes multiple Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards for his film scores, but his work has a special historical importance in the evolution of movie music. In the mid-’70s, Hollywood producers were talking of eliminating expensive symphonic music and replacing it with pop tunes and synthesizers. The death in 1975 of Bernard Herrmann—composer of landmark scores for Psycho, Vertigo, and many other films—an important mentor to Williams, seemed to signify the end of a sonic tradition. Producer Lou Wasserman had warned director Alfred Hitchcock in 1965 that Herrmann was a dinosaur and that
“Here’s a guy who can write in any style, any style at all,” says conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos. “Just when I think I’ve got him, that I get his shorthand, he throws me a curve.” the symphonic tradition he represented was about to become extinct. Williams’s charming Poulencian score for Family Plot (1976), the Master’s last film, might be the coda for more than just Hitchcock. Then Star Wars blazed into theaters, winning an Oscar in 1975 for best score, and the gloomy talk stopped. “We used the London Symphony playing in a grand, sweeping style,” Williams recalled to me, “which seemed to all of us working on the film to be the right approach to the film.” He used the same approach with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Superman, and Indiana Jones, which erupted during the same period, all huge successes, all powered by large orchestras. Now it’s a given that scale and scope equals orchestra in film. Themes and Variations
The magic is still there. When I saw The Last Jedi in the theater with my own kids, I remained in my seat, raptly listening to the end-credits music, as I always do in a Williams-scored film. At once delicate and densely layered, it is a typical Star Wars score, offering new motifs for story lines and characters—a sprightly one for the character Rose Tico (portrayed by Kelly Marie Tran), a beatific one for Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia (Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher)—along with variations on themes fans have had in their heads through four decades, the closest thing in modern culture to a Ring cycle. Like Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, and other film composers, Williams uses Wagnerian methods that incorporate lush chromaticism and the use of leitmotifs. It’s safe to say that The Last Jedi score has been heard by more people than any new symphonic work, which is what happens when a popular film composer writes
Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in a film-with-concert version of John Williams’s score to E.T. The ExtraTerrestrial, June 2018.
he worked on the score before he saw for a hit film. We can deplore this state of any of Stone’s footage. The issue of how affairs, as many purists do, or we can remuch a composer needs to see before he joice that Williams has kept symphonic can work on a film stretches back to the culture alive for a large audience, one that early days of talkies. Traditionally, music listens as well as watches when they see a to a film is written to fit existing footWilliams-scored movie. age. When Franz Waxman was composWilliams wishes they could simply lising his score for Hitchcock’s 1939 Rebecca ten: “As musicians, we don’t like to think that we need visual aids to projComposer Michael ect music,” he told me wistfully. Giacchino says the “It should be able to engage us soaring crescendos intellectually and aurally without in his Up and Coco a visual distraction. I’m painfully scores are “no accident. John aware of that problem.” But he Williams and Steve realized long ago that the means Spielberg were my of reaching people “more than teachers; they taught anything is film, more than reme how to use cords now, and much more than music and pictures together.” one can achieve with concert appearances.” Ironically, Williams rarely goes to movies. He grew up listening to radio, which he preferred because he could conjure (the first movie score to be made into a his own images. This may be one reason concert suite), producer David Selznick, his music has such a strong sense of narwho was also making Gone With the Wind rative. As Kitsopoulos puts it, Williams across the street, was frustrated with Max has the uncanny ability to “musicalize the Steiner’s slow progress on scoring that film human experience. That’s what moves the and with Waxman’s pace with Rebecca. “I story forward.” Steven Spielberg claims have maintained for years,” Selznick statthat with Williams’s scores, “You don’t reed in a grumpy memo, “that the idea that ally need the images to have the story told music cannot be written until a picture is to you. He is the greatest musical storyfinally cut is so much nonsense. It is my teller of all time.” conviction that as time goes on, the score Director Oliver Stone told me that of a picture will be written from the script Williams is “a brilliant conceptualizer,” esso that by the time a picture has finished pecially in cases like the 1991 JFK, where symphony
Williams’s partnership with Spielberg began with the director’s obsession with The Reivers (1969, starring Steve McQueen). Spielberg says he had “worn out the LP” of Williams’s score and fantasized about hiring Williams if he ever made a movie, which turned out to be Sugarland Express (1974). Jaws was the first hit for both of them, though it began disastrously, illustrating the perils of the process. Before Williams composed the music, Spielberg americanorchestras.org
John Williams, the Boston Pops’ conductor laureate, conducts the Pops’ “John Williams Film Night,” May 2018. This and other Williams-led performances at orchestras typically sell out.
way the production was going so much temped the footage—creating a temporary that he contemplated cutting the movie placeholder score used while the full score up for television, decided to trust Beris being written that has the right mood nard Herrmann and go with the shower and ambiance—with Williams’s score cue, though he had forbidden Herrmann for Robert Altman’s psychological horto write any music for what he insisted ror film Images, which he thought had the should be a silent scene. In both cases, the right sound. To Williams, it was all wrong: composers were right, the directors wrong: “Oh, darling boy, no no no no,” Williams the films were spectacular hits, in no small remembers saying to Spielberg. “Images is part because of the music, and the direcnot the right sound. Let me work sometors later gave their composers the credit thing up, and I’ll present it to you.” Wilthey deserved. liams came back with the terrifying shark The word Williams uses to describe ostinato, which he wrote by “envisioning the shark in the water,” but when he played it for Spielberg with two fingers on the piano, like “Chopsticks,” the director thought it was a joke: “This was a horrible production, making Jaws, to begin with,” Spielberg recalls. “You don’t know what it was like to make that movie, and now I’m hearing a sound that is nothing like the film in my mind that I’ve made. I said ‘really?’ And John said, ‘Oh no, trust me, that is Jaws.’ ” This incident bears an uncanny resemblance to another risky movie with another fa- Gustavo Dudamel and John Williams at the Los Angeles mous motif: Psycho, where Philharmonic’s 2014 opening-night concert, which was a Hitchcock, who hated the tribute to John Williams. Craig Mathew / Los Angeles Philharmonic
Spielberg, Jaws, and Beyond
shooting, the score is complete. I think this ought to be hammered into Waxman.” When I shared the Selznick memo with Williams, he told me excitedly that with JFK, he actually “did record several sequences before I saw any film. And Oliver cut some of the film to the music.” Williams calls Selznick’s statement “a marvelous idea in theory, but I think it’s hard to imagine it could work for every scene in every film. People photograph—randomly, if I may use that word—and we don’t have the editorial rhythm of the film until much, much later in the process, way past the photography, and directors mostly find their rhythm in the editing room. In the broad sense of the term, tempo or rhythm in film music is of the essence, and until one has the scenes—not only for inspiration but also for the whole sense of the organic movement of the film—it would be hard to imagine getting all that completely until the editing has been done.” Williams solved the JFK problem by writing music that doesn’t speed up, slow down, or stop for specific moments of action, as music so often does in a film. Whether chorales with long lines or sinister slitherings and glissandos, the music is often continuous through the scene and sustains the same stasis or momentum according to its own internal logic. JFK is not the only instance in which Williams composed a score before he had seen all of the film. “You know, a lot of the fivenote exchange between the orchestra and synthesizer in Close Encounters was pre-recorded,” Williams told me. And War of the Worlds, a symphony of dread, was written after Williams saw only six reels. According to Spielberg, Williams “had enough of an experience in those sixty minutes that he knew exactly how to write it.” That’s all he could stand to watch.
Eugene Symphony/Amanda L Smith Photography
The audience gets into the action at a Eugene Symphony park concert in 2018, which featured Music Director Francesco-Lecce Chong leading a program including Williams’s Suite from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
himself is “eclecticism.” Indeed, there seems to be a new style for each film: the Korngoldian swagger of Indiana Jones, the hip syncopation of Munich and Amistad, the melancholy grandeur of Born on the
Fourth of July, the icy modernism of A.I. (Williams’s most underrated score), the moody asperity of Minority Report (an homage to Hitchcock-Herrmann), the attenuated Americana of Saving Private
Ryan and Lincoln. “Here’s a guy who can write in any style, any style at all,” says Kitsopoulos. “Just when I think I’ve got him, that I get his shorthand, he throws me a curve. It makes learning a new score very satisfying. Right now I’m learning the third Harry Potter movie. There’s Renaissance music, big band music, big romantic themes, and with each film in the series he’s developed new themes to go along.” “Emotion Without Shame”
Despite the dizzying variety, there is an identifiable sound, a certain lift that catapults the narratives upward, over the forest in E.T., over floating money in Catch Me If You Can, over apocalypse and Holocaust in Empire of the Sun and Schindler’s List. “I think that’s who he is,” says Kitsopoulos. “When there’s a moment that requires a lift, often what happens right before it is a harmonic tension that leads to a resolution. It’s not a dominant-tonic resolution that says ‘here’s the cadence.’ It lands on a harmony, and you wonder where it could
Craig Mathew / Los Angeles Philharmonic
John Williams (left), Music Director Gustavo Dudamel (center), and violinist Itzhak Perlman (right) at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2014 opening-night concert, paying tribute to Williams.
go, and then there’s a resolution.” With resolution comes euphoria, something rare in modern cinema. Kitsopoulos compares the technique to Beethoven: “I get my students to look at the opening of the Beethoven Seventh; we’re used to it, but you always have to look at it in the context
pseudo-Carmina Burana bombast in superhero movies, the boilerplate pizzicato in comedies—all sound the same. As a conductor, Williams strives for “emotion without shame” in his performances as well: “We try to get everybody to lose gravity, get everybody off the floor,” he said
after recording War Horse, “Steven and all 90 musicians, get everybody flying.” Williams says he initially took up conducting “out of self-defense. It was assumed that the music director who hired the composer would conduct the score. Almost always I felt I could represent the music better. I wanted to bring what I had written to the fore in the most representative way that I thought it could be given. And that was my sole motivation. It had nothing to do with interpreting other people’s work. That came to me later.” In addition to serving as conductor of the Boston Pops from 1980 to 1993, he has conducted orchestras from the New York Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Even flops like Always and Hook soar as long as the music is playing. In masterpieces like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which Williams told me is his favorite score, the music defines the film, becoming, in Spielberg’s conception, “the central character.” The three-note motif
“The orchestra is a fabulous tool,” says Williams, “and always has been. There is nothing yet invented that is a better instrument to deliver emotional impact.” of surprise at the premiere. The first time you see those bicycles take off in E.T., it’s mind-blowing.” Michael Giacchino’s music has a similar lift, from “The Constant” and “Exodus” in Lost (television’s most epic score) to the soaring crescendos in Up and Coco: “It’s no accident,” says Giacchino. “John and Steve were my teachers; they taught me how to use music and pictures together. They are the gold standard. My favorite lift-off scenes are the boat chase in Jaws and the taking off of the plane and opening of the Ark in Raiders. It’s a massive melodic experience—emotion without shame. Movies today are afraid of that emotional connection. Composers are told to listen to the temp score and write music ‘just like that.’ ” This lack of emotional connection is why the scores of so many films—the americanorchestras.org
In September 2017, John Williams conducted the Seattle Symphony in music from Star Wars, E.T., Indiana Jones, and Schindler’s List, among other of his film scores. Director Steven Spielberg was on hand to narrate the performance.
trying to write something that suited the film as I was trying to create a particular idiom in the Eastern European Jewish style for Itzhak to play—a wonderful combination of opportunities.”
Amanda L. Smith
climbing over trembling strings as Roy and Jillian approach the fateful mountain and gaze upward is a moment of transcendence Williams would reinvent in E.T., Jurassic Park, Empire of the Sun, and others, a skyward gaze that became Spielberg’s fundamental gesture, impossible without Williams’s music. As for the extra-terrestrials’ famous five-note greeting, Williams told me that he wrote some 350 versions: “I still have them. Steven and I kept coming back to that one [that ended up in the finished film]. We had a couple of other contenders, but for whatever reason that seemed to be the thing that grabbed us both. But I wrote them out on pieces of paper—just five notes without any rhythmic variations, just five pitches in random order.” This is a method Williams has perfected: the painstaking construction of something large from small, seemingly insignificant motifs, written with pencil and paper. He can also write spontaneously, a gift cultivated during his stint as a jazz pianist in the 1950s. The most famous instance is the sublime violin melody for Schindler’s List, which emerged as Williams was improvising with Itzhak Perlman: “I’m sitting at the piano and just creating those themes, and I was as much
The famous two-note shark theme from Jaws was once hotly debated by director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams. After more than 40 years, the music to Jaws is widely popular on orchestra concert programs like the ones in 2018 by (top) the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and (above) the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Lightsabers were popular at “Eugene Symphony in the Park” in July 2018, where the program featured Williams’s Suite from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Above, Eugene Symphony Principal Trombone Henry Henninger (right) battles with Maddie Diaz as a bystander looks on.
Haydn, we probably wouldn’t have Mozart or Beethoven.” One wonders if there is a more personal resonance, perhaps unconscious: like Haydn, Williams is a household name straddling two centuries, a populist and a meticulous artist, astonishingly prolific even in his later years. Now 86, he is completing new concertos for Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yo-Yo Ma and planning another Star Wars score. According to Giacchino, Williams lives for composition: “He has to write every day.” To questions about when he plans to retire, Williams expresses happy bewilderment: “Retire from music? You might as well retire from breathing.” John Williams’s music to the Harry Potter films is just as familiar as its plot and characters. Above: a scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Like the Schindler theme, the melodies that stick in our heads are often solos: the bluesy flute in Sugarland Express, the bebop saxophone in Catch Me If You Can, the lonely trumpet in Born on the Fourth of July, the playful clarinet in The Terminal. Many of the film scores resemble concertos, a form Williams has emphasized in his career as a concert composer. He values “the association with the soloists, the wonderful inspiration from players… an antidote to the monastic life style of a composer.” Among others, he has written a spiky concerto for Judith LeClair, principal bassoon of the New York Philharmonic; two cello concertos for Yo-Yo Ma, who also spins the intricate textures in Memoirs of a Geisha; a concerto for Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra; a concerto for Dale Clevenger, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s former principal horn; and a concerto for former Boston Symphony Orchestra tubist Chester Schmitz, as a 100th-anniversary commission from the Boston Pops. Symphonic film music continues to be threatened by the lure of samples and synthesizers, a siren call that never quite stops. Nonetheless, the success of the newest Star Wars scores demonstrates that the force is strong with this one. “The orchestra is a fabulous tool,” says Williams, “and always has been, and still is very much with us. It isn’t applicable to every film that comes along, but when it’s needed there is nothing yet invented that is a better instrument to deliver emotional impact.” americanorchestras.org
Williams told me that the composer he admires most is Haydn, whose C Major String Quartet, Op. 64, No. 1, plays serenely through the sinister greenhouse scene in Minority Report. Haydn is “one of the all-time great musical talents. Without
JACK SULLIVAN has written about music, film, and culture for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Opera, among other publications. He is chair of the English Department at Rider University, where he teaches literature and music. He is author of Hitchcock’s Music; New World Symphonies: How American Culture Changed European Music (1999); and New Orleans Remix (2017).
Marilyn Rosen Presents In the SpotlIght
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MariLyn roSen PreSentS teL: 617-901-9580 MariLyn@MariLynroSenPreSentS.CoM
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 orchestras charged with pops programming.
Americana /Country The Blind Boys of Alabama Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Kathy Mattea International Music Network firstname.lastname@example.org mattea.com
Music City Hit-Makers email@example.com musiccityhitmakers.com A Nashville-style “songwriters-in-the-round” with a symphonic twist! Hear the stories behind Nashville’s biggest hits plus symphonically re-imagined acoustic performances by the songwriters who penned them for today’s biggest stars!
Big Band/Swing Dancing With The Dukes Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org dukesofdixieland.com Performing New Orleans Swinging Jazz, for over 45 years, with orchestras around the world, including Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Guatemala, San Diego and Seattle.
Steve Lippia – The Life and Times of Sinatra; Simply Swingin’ – Great American Crooners; and Simply Sinatra Andersen Arts Group email@example.com andersenreps.com Byron Stripling
Greenberg Artists firstname.lastname@example.org greenbergartists.com
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Cirque de la Symphonie email@example.com cirquedelasymphonie.com Disney Broadway Hits Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
Fascinating Gershwin Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
Behind the Mask: The Music of Webber, Hamlisch, Schwartz & More! Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
Richard Glazier – Gershwin – Remembrance and Discovery; He’s Playing Our Song – Great Music from Stage and Screen; Broadway to Hollywood; and A Salute to Judy Garland and Friends Andersen Arts Group email@example.com andersenreps.com
Bohème to Broadway! Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Broadway A–Z: ABBA to Les Miz! Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com Broadway by Request: Your Audience Picks the Show! Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Broadway Gentlemen Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway – Broadway with The Callaways Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org marilynrosenpresents.com The Tony-nominated Callaways sing showstoppers from West Side Story, Chicago, Funny Girl, Cats, Carousel, Wicked, more. Ann and Liz provide an evening of wit, humor, and the soaring sounds of Broadway’s greatest songs.
Get Happy! Hollywood Hits of Harold Arlen UIA Presents email@example.com uiapresents.com
The Golden Age of Broadway! Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Kern Tribute Featuring Show Boat in Concert! Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com Doug LaBrecque
Greenberg Artists firstname.lastname@example.org greenbergartists.com Live from Broadway UIA Presents email@example.com uiapresents.com Rebecca Luker Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com My Fair Broadway! The Hits of Lerner and Loewe, featuring My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, and Camelot! Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
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My Fair Lady: In Concert UIA Presents firstname.lastname@example.org uiapresents.com Penning and Langford – My Favorite Things – A Salute to Julie Andrews; Off the Charts; and Lights! Camera! Action! Andersen Arts Group email@example.com andersenreps.com Porgy and Bess: In Concert UIA Presents firstname.lastname@example.org uiapresents.com Shalom Broadway! Celebrating the Heritage of Broadway Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com Something Wonderful: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, with Oscar Andy Hammerstein III as Your Host! Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Ted Sperling’s “A Broadway Romance” Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com The Unreachable Stars UIA Presents firstname.lastname@example.org uiapresents.com Tony Vincent Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Lisa Vroman
Greenberg Artists firstname.lastname@example.org greenbergartists.com
Conductors, Pops Tim Berens email@example.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.
Rob Fisher Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Sarah Hicks Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Michael Kosarin Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Keith Lockhart Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com John Mauceri Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Ted Sperling Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Thiago Tiberio Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
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Victor Vanacore email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org victorvanacore.com Celebrating 35 years in the music buisness, Grammy Award winner Victor Vanacore is redefining symphony pops with his arrangements, personality, and pre-packaged concerts enjoyed by audiences and orchestras alike!
Ludwig Wicki Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Dance/Movement Cirque de la Symphonie email@example.com cirquedelasymphonie.com
Cirque de la Symphonie firstname.lastname@example.org cirquedelasymphonie.com
Classical Kids LIVE! Classical Kids Music Education email@example.com classicalkidslive.com Classical Kids are far and away the best for introducing children to classical music! Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Gershwin’s Magic Key, Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, Tchaikovsky Discovers America.
Equus: Story of the Horse: In Concert The Arts Firm Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org theartsfirm.com/projects Equus: Story of the Horse is an intelligent celebration of the deep evolutionary fellowship between horses and humans. Film for performance with orchestra and choir. Narrator: Dr. Niobe Thompson, filmmaker. Conductor: Darren Fung, film composer.
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Amadeus Live Intermusica email@example.com intermusica.co.uk/imagine/Amadeus-Live
Family Concerts (continued)
Cirque de la Symphonie firstname.lastname@example.org cirquedelasymphonie.com
The Great Human Odyssey: In Concert The Arts Firm Inc. email@example.com theartsfirm.com/projects The award-winning “story of us” is now an unforgettable concert film for orchestra and choir. Take your audience on a journey of discovery and unlock the mystery of our unlikely emergence as the world’s only global species. From the mini-series broadcast on PBS, CBC, and internationally. Narrator: Dr. Niobe Thompson, filmmaker. Conductor: Darren Fung, film composer.
Frank Oden: Poetry in Concert SAGE Artists firstname.lastname@example.org sageartists.com
Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Disney Fantasia – Live in Concert Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Disney in Concert: A Silly Symphony Celebration Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Disney in Concert: Alice in Wonderland Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
Peter & the Wolf Live Intermusica email@example.com intermusica.co.uk/imagine/PWLive
Disney in Concert: Beauty and the Beast (1991) Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Disney in Concert: Beauty and the Beast (2017) Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
Film with Orchestra The Age of Innocence Live Intermusica firstname.lastname@example.org intermusica.co.uk/imagine/Age-of-Innocence Aliens Live Intermusica email@example.com intermusica.co.uk/imagine/Aliens-Live
Disney in Concert: Mary Poppins Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Disney in Concert: Pirates of the Caribbean, Films 1-4 Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Disney in Concert: The Jungle Book Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Disney in Concert: The Little Mermaid Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
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Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
James Horner: A Life in Music Intermusica email@example.com intermusica.co.uk/imagine/James-Horner-A-Life-In-Music
Disney Pixar Ratatouille in Concert Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
Martial Arts Trilogy Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
The English Patient Live Intermusica firstname.lastname@example.org intermusica.co.uk/imagine/English-Patient-Live
Jason Moran: Selma International Music Network email@example.com jasonmoran.com New Score: Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid Chaplin’s The Kid firstname.lastname@example.org craigsafan.com
Equus: In Concert The Arts Firm Inc. email@example.com theartsfirm.com/projects Equus: Story of the Horse is an intelligent celebration of the deep evolutionary fellowship between horses and humans. Film for performance with orchestra and choir. Narrator: Dr. Niobe Thompson, filmmaker. Conductor: Darren Fung, film composer.
The Pink Panther in Concert Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Pixar in Concert Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Sinfonia Antarctica Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
The Great Human Odyssey: In Concert The Arts Firm Inc. email@example.com theartsfirm.com/projects The award-winning “story of us” is now an unforgettable concert film for orchestra and choir. Take your audience on a journey of discovery and unlock the mystery of our unlikely emergence as the world’s only global species. From the mini-series broadcast on PBS, CBC, and internationally. Narrator: Dr. Niobe Thompson, filmmaker. Conductor: Darren Fung, film composer.
Star Wars Live in Concert, Episodes IV-VII Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Symphonic Cinema – Live Synchonization of New Films to Orchestra Intermusica email@example.com intermusica.co.uk/imagine/symphonic-cinema Titanic Live Intermusica firstname.lastname@example.org intermusica.co.uk/imagine/Titanic-Live
Greenberg Artists email@example.com greenbergartists.com
Visitors (Philip Glass) Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Film with Orchestra (continued)
Walt Disney Animation Studios: A Decade in Concert Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Warner Bros. Pictures Presents: Batman (1989) Live in Concert Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
Craig A Meyer Harmony Artists Inc. email@example.com almosteltonjohn.com Craig A Meyer brings the electricity of Sir Elton John’s amazing catalog to life with his spectacular concert Remember When Rock Was Young – The Elton John Tribute.
Play It Again, Marvin! Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com Will & Anthony: The Great New American Songbook Marilyn Rosen Presents email@example.com marilynrosenpresents.com
Great American Songbook Ann Hampton Callaway – The Streisand Songbook Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org marilynrosenpresents.com Hilary Kole Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com Steve Lippia – 100 Years and Beyond – The Life and Times of Sinatra; Simply Sinatra; Simply Swingin’ – Great American Crooners Andersen Arts Group firstname.lastname@example.org andersenreps.com Monica Mancini: Mancini at the Movies Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
Holiday Pops Julie Budd’s Christmas with Sinatra Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org marilynrosenpresents.com Cherish The Ladies International Music Network email@example.com cherishtheladies.com/symphony Cirque de la Symphonie firstname.lastname@example.org cirquedelasymphonie.com Steve Lippia – A Swingin’ Holiday Affair Andersen Arts Group email@example.com andersenreps.com New York Voices “Swingin’ Christmas” Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org marilynrosenpresents.com
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Penning & Langford – A Penning & Langford Holiday Andersen Arts Group email@example.com andersenreps.com
Dianne Reeves International Music Network firstname.lastname@example.org diannereeves.com
Dizzy Gillespie: The Symphony Sessions Columbia Artists email@example.com columbia-artists.com
Will & Anthony: A Broadway Holiday Pops! Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org marilynrosenpresents.com
Joe Lovano International Music Network email@example.com joelovano.com
Greenberg Artists firstname.lastname@example.org greenbergartists.com
Brad Mehldau International Music Network email@example.com bradmehldau.com Danilo Pérez International Music Network firstname.lastname@example.org daniloperez.com
Dianne Reeves International Music Network email@example.com diannereeves.com
Terence Blanchard International Music Network firstname.lastname@example.org terenceblanchard.com
Regina Carter International Music Network email@example.com reginacarter.com
Chucho Valdés International Music Network firstname.lastname@example.org valdeschucho.com
Greenberg Artists email@example.com greenbergartists.com
Anat Cohen International Music Network firstname.lastname@example.org anatcohen.com
Dancing With The Dukes Marilyn Rosen Presents email@example.com dukesofdixieland.com Performing New Orleans Swinging Jazz, for over 45 years, with orchestras around the world, including Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Guatemala, San Diego and Seattle.
Light Classics Cirque de la Symphonie firstname.lastname@example.org cirquedelasymphonie.com
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Light Classics (continued)
Richard Glazier – Gershwin – Remembrance and Discovery; He’s Playing Our Song – Great Music from Stage and Screen; Broadway to Hollywood; and A Salute to Judy Garland and Friends Andersen Arts Group email@example.com andersenreps.com
Other Cirque de la Symphonie firstname.lastname@example.org cirquedelasymphonie.com
Thomas Pandolfi Classics Alive Artists email@example.com classicsaliveartists.org “Thomas Pandolfi: Passionately charismatic, stylishly engaging—the warm lyricism of his piano will deeply touch you, and leave you with a song in your heart.” 2018/19 Season Repertoire: thomaspandolfi.com/popsconcertos.
Rainer Hersch (Comedy) Rainer Hersch Comedy & Classical Music firstname.lastname@example.org rainerhersch.com Rainer Hersch will make your orchestra funny. A brilliant standup comedian who conducts his own hilarious arrangements of the classics—30 million views on YouTube. Ideal for holiday, pops, and fundraisers.
Music City Hit-Makers
Opera/Operetta The Merry Widow in Concert Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
firstname.lastname@example.org musiccityhitmakers.com A Nashville-style “songwriters-in-the-round” with a symphonic twist! Hear the stories behind Nashville’s biggest hits plus symphonically re-imagined acoustic performances by the songwriters who penned them for today’s biggest stars!
Greenberg Artists email@example.com greenbergartists.com
The Second City Guide to the Symphony (Comedy) Columbia Artists firstname.lastname@example.org columbia-artists.com
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Symphonic Arrangement: Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano (Score Rental) Steve Barta (Arranger) email@example.com stevebartamusic.com/index.php/rent-a-score
Brass Transit ... The Musical Legacy of Chicago Marilyn Rosen Presents firstname.lastname@example.org marilynrosenpresents.com Brass Transit “nails” the Music of Chicago with Grand Rapids Symphony. “A high energy, hit-filled, crowd-pleasing, studio-tight powerhouse with incredible orchestrations.” “Fantastic!” “Spellbinding!”
Now available for rental: Claude Bolling’s chart-busting classic, Symphonic Arrangement:Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano. “A thousand Bravos! A true and modern arrangement!” —Claude Bolling
Ann Hampton Callaway – The Linda Ronstadt Songbook Marilyn Rosen Presents email@example.com marilynrosenpresents.com This show celebrates Ronstadt’s songs from her pop/rock period as well as classics from her Nelson Riddle CDs.
Classical Night Fever – The Ultimate Symphonic Best of ’70s Disco
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Bernard Labadie (seated) conducts a performance by the period string ensemble Les Violons du Roy, which he founded in 1984. He begins as principal conductor of New York’s modern-instrument Orchestra of St. Luke’s this season.
by Donald Rosenberg
Musicians and orchestras are bridging formerly exclusive worlds, as they increasingly embrace early music, Baroque, Classical, and modern sounds.
Steve J. Sherman
Bernard Labadie conducts the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, where he begins as principal conductor this season. For many years, Labadie was music director of the Canadian period ensemble Les Violons du Roy.
ntil recent decades, modern players tended to view period instruments with suspicion: the equipment was widely considered unreliable. And specialized period players weren’t too sure about the stylistic accuracy of modern orchestras. But the borders between these camps have opened to healthy effect. More and more professional musicians juggle dissimilar instruments as they perform with both types of ensembles. Conductors who previously devoted themselves to period orchestras are now welcome presences with modern symphony and opera orchestras, which in turn have become increasingly amenable to the stylistic wisdom of playing Baroque and Classical repertoire differently from music of later eras. These changes reflect, more broadly, the fact that an entire generation of musicians has grown up with technically superb and musically exciting early-music performances. Acceptance of historically informed performance (HIP) at orchestras and conservatories around the country is a triumph for the movement, which symphony
began in the late nineteenth century and, especially since the 1950s, has championed performance practices of the periods when the music was written. Opposition to HIP ideas has ebbed as musicians have made more journeys between the period and modern worlds. British conductor Jonathan Cohen, founder and artistic director of the early-music ensemble Arcangelo and music director of Canada’s Les Violons du Roy period string ensemble, is an artistic partner at the St.
ized. Medieval music is very specialized— I don’t understand it, and so I don’t do it.” In the best hands and embouchures, historically informed artistry once perceived as out of tune or thin or even ungainly today stands on par with the most sophisticated modern-orchestra virtuosity. “When I was playing flute in modern orchestras in the 1970s,” McGegan recalls, “we played more or less everything in the same way. Obviously, things like string vibrato didn’t change very much whether it was the B minor Mass or modern music. It was like buying gloves: one size fits all. As a result, the period-instrument people, when they came along, were fixated on style, because modern orchestras didn’t really care about period style to the same degree.”
An entire generation of musicians has grown up with technically superb and musically exciting early-music performances, with musicians today making more journeys between the period and modern worlds.
McGegan has conducted many of America’s major symphony orchestras, and he doesn’t find rehearsing them too different from working with his own band, Philharmonia Baroque—for a specific reason. “If I’m with, say, the Cleveland Orchestra, a modern orchestra, as far as possible I’m bringing my own materials for them to
play on so that it comes with all the dynamics, articulations, and bowings,” he says. “Particularly for a modern orchestra, say I come in on a Tuesday. On the preceding Saturday night they might have just played a Mahler symphony or Tchaikovsky or Shostakovich. They’ve got a stylistic gear change which is pretty big, so it’s good if I’ve got camera-ready music. They don’t have to wonder if a note is long or short or a downbow. For period-instrument orchestras, I’m less organized, partly because the musicians don’t always want it. They want some help, but a periodinstrument orchestra is sort of like a jazz orchestra. They pride themselves on their ability to jam.”
Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. Québécois conductor Bernard Labadie, who founded Les Violons du Roy and was its music director for three decades, begins this fall as principal conductor of New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Even the Juilliard School, whose orchestral program traditionally focused on the meat-andpotatoes Classical and Romantic periods, established a graduate-level historical performance program in 2008. British conductor Nicholas McGegan, music director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, has been playing with or conducting period and modern orchestras for nearly half a century, and he believes things have changed enormously. “Modern and period-instrument musicians have learned from each other,” he observes. “Modern orchestras now have a good way of playing Classical music—they’ve moderated their vibrato. Period orchestras have stopped being fixated about style and become more interested in making music. “People no longer talk about the ‘hazardous instruments’ in period-instrument orchestras. That sort of ‘we’re playing it on period instruments, so we can’t do it very well,’ doesn’t go anymore. Both sets of musicians play to very high levels, and they are influenced by each other. That’s not to say there isn’t early music that isn’t special-
Miho Hashizume has played violin in the Cleveland Orchestra since 1995 and performs from time to time on Baroque violin with Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra.
In 2017, San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale staged Rameau’s opera La Temple de la Gloire. Pictured with the cast are Music Director Nicholas McGegan (center) and Catherine Turocy (next to McGegan) of New York Baroque Dance, who directed the production.
Members of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Music Director Nicholas McGegan
McGegan’s point about period musicians not always wanting everything spelled out defines how much players and conductors must contribute when facing music from distant eras that might contain little more information than instrumentation, key signatures, time signatures, and notes—with few tempo markings, articulations, or expressive guidance. In many respects, these works require a kind of interpretive imagination that period musicians find liberating. Miho Hashizume, a violinist in the Cleveland Orchestra since 1995, has savored the chance to return occasionally to the baroque violin and play—sometimes as
soloist—with Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, whose music director, Jeannette Sorrell, is admired for her ability to lead modern orchestras with HIP panache. Hashizume started on modern violin in her native Japan and discovered its predecessor in college, when she became enamored of French Baroque composers Jean-Philippe Rameau and Marin Marais—“precious music that you could only be able to express by baroque instruments. I thought that was my thing,” she recalls. Her journey took her to Wyoming and then to Cleveland, where she studied modern violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music before winning a position in the
Toronto Symphony Orchestra. While in Toronto, Hashizume discussed playing in Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra with then-music director Jeanne Lamon but opted to join the Cleveland Orchestra. Although Hashizume doesn’t play baroque violin much these days, she still has “to make the adjustment to that modern idea, which is very much sound-oriented as op-
“Modern and periodinstrument musicians have learned from each other,” says Nicholas McGegan, music director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale. posed to harmony-oriented,” she points out. “In Baroque, you don’t have to force your sound, and you play with delicate nuances rather than projection. Modern is more about sound and projection. I feel modern to be more physical, almost like a sporting event. Baroque is more about the emotion of the music.”
Miho Hashizume (pictured center in the violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra), also performs occasionally on Baroque violin with Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra.
British horn player Andrew Clark spent more than two decades taking the train back and forth between Sussex and London, where his professional life was a sprint of performances with the city’s leading period-instrument and modern orchestras. He played with a great variety of prominent period and modern ensembles: from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, English Concert, and English Baroque Soloists to the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, and Engsymphony
British conductor Nicholas McGegan, music director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, has been playing with or conducting period and modern orchestras for nearly half a century.
spend significant time on the road. Indiana-born, Austrian- and German-raised cellist Paul Dwyer, who holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, University of Michigan, and Juilliard Historical Performance, makes most of his living as assistant principal cello of Chicago’s Lyric Opera Orchestra. But since the company’s season runs essentially September through March, he has the rest of the year to perform, on baroque cello, with the Diderot String Quartet, the string ensemble ACRONYM, and at music festivals. His mailing address is Brooklyn, New York, where he lives with his wife, baroque violinist Adriane Post, when they have the rare privilege of being at home. Like all musicians who alternate between historical and modern instruments, Dwyer says switching gears can be a challenge, both physically and artistically: “Often it depends on the repertoire. Just from a technical standpoint, I’m lucky that my two cellos have quite similar spacing so it doesn’t take a large adjustment time. You have to be quick on your feet and flexible, not only
lish Chamber Orchestra. Today, based in the Pacific Northwest, he crosses from historical to modern horns and back again to play with such ensembles as the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Baroque Players, Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks. He sees significant differences in the way they operate. “Your typical modern instrument in a symphony orchestra is rather like offering the conductor the blank slate for him to shape according to his inspiration,” says Clark, who lives about 60 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia, where he makes and repairs horns and trumpets when he’s not leading his double musical life. “With period ensembles, there tends to be a more recognized way of playing you start with, which is making an interpretation and then the director will modify to their will. This is only a question of degree. Many modern-instrument performers are imaginative in their interpretations. But you wait for the conductor to tell you how to do it, where that’s not the way with period-instrument performers. They play the music the way they’ve been trained to do it and researched through historically informed practice.” For musicians rooted in the HIP movement, crossing over to mainstream performance often is a matter of practicality: North America possesses fewer than two dozen full-time professional period orchestras, requiring many musicians to americanorchestras.org
New Music for Old Instruments
Players and conductors aren’t the only ones crossing over from period to modern orchestras, or vice versa; so are administrators. David Snead was vice president of marketing for the New York Philharmonic until he became president and chief executive Cellist Paul Dwyer alternates between historical and modern instruments.
British horn player Andrew Clark is currently based in the Pacific Northwest, where he crosses from historical to modern horns and back again with multiple ensembles.
chestra, but he’s gratified when conductors experienced in period performance team up with the ensemble’s modern players. “People are very much open to it, and they really like it when [Baroque and Classical specialist] Harry Bicket comes in. He’s amazing at addressing stylistic ideas without making it be about historical performance or some kind of dogma. He gets people to want to play with him musically. People are on board with him.”
Above: Paul Dwyer (second from left) performs with fellow members of the period-instrument Diderot String Quartet (left to right) Johanna Novom, Kyle Miller, and Adriane Post, January 2018.
in playing different instruments but also the style. It certainly takes compromise.” In other words, musicians versed in performance practice often find themselves collaborating with colleagues familiar mostly with the nineteenth- and twentieth-century proclivities of most music schools. Dwyer says he has ideas about Mozart style he wouldn’t think of imposing as a member of the Lyric Opera Or-
of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society in 2015, joining forces with Baroque expert and artistic director Harry Christophers. One of the oldest music ensembles in the country—founded in 1815—the Handel and Haydn Society embraces historically informed performance; after all, it was organized when the ink wasn’t dry on what are now canonic works. Snead had been introduced to HIP insights when the New
Gretjen Helene Chris Lee
Artistic Director Harry Christophers conducts Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society orchestra and chorus. The Handel and Haydn Society is one of the oldest ensembles in the country, established in 1815.
Straddling both worlds: David Snead, president and chief executive of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society since 2015, was previously vice president of marketing for the New York Philharmonic.
to put the modern instrument away for a couple of years.” He took up modern bassoon again while in Toronto and has spent summers performing on both modern and period instruments—including dulcian, a predecessor of the bassoon—at the Carmel Bach Festival in California. The festival’s 2018 season contained such varied fare as the opening program’s pairing of Bach’s First Orchestral Suite and Orff ’s Carmina Burana, prompting Teresi to switch stylistic gears while only playing modern bassoon. “That was challenging,” he says, “because when I play Baroque music using the modern bassoon, I come to it with a different approach that suits the music. I’m blowing in a different way, not vibrating, and those things are very linked on the baroque bassoon. When switching over to the Orff, it requires almost a complete rejig of the way you play. Your air is more focused, and there’s more intensity in the support.” There are crossing-over pluses, too. Mc-
ence,” says Teresi. “But I really loved the York Philharmonic performed Handel’s things he was telling me to do. I was natuMessiah led by period conductors McGerally attracted to earlier music. It made a gan, Labadie, and Andrew Manz. “Those lot of sense to me, and I enjoyed the rhetoguys were really showing me something ric and the approach to music he was adin the music I hadn’t heard before,” Snead says, noting how “light and effervescent” vocating.” The experience inspired Teresi to purhe found these interpretations. sue a doctorate in early music at Indiana Now that he is overseeing the Handel University. During those studies, he abanand Haydn Society in a city that is also doned his modern bassoon for two years home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and won the principal post with TafelSnead is more convinced than ever that musik—and realized something he tells there’s ample room for both approaches. his baroque bassoon students: “It’s very “Obviously, we have another band in town difficult to not only learn the instrument, here,” he says. “They are world-famous and but to unlearn things that are so habitual formidable. We have to create our own to you on a modern instrument. I needed niche in this marketplace. What we’re all trying to promote is the experience of hearing the music performed the way we do it, not better or worse, just a different take from a symphony orchestra. Otherwise, we wouldn’t survive.” Dominic Teresi, principal bassoon of Tafelmusik and a faculty member in the Juilliard Historical Performance Program and at the University of Toronto, was a modern bassoonist at Yale University when he met the eminent Dutch baroque violinist and conductor Jaap Schröder, a visiting professor. “I didn’t Bassoonist Dominic Teresi performs at the Juilliard School of Music’s Paul Hall with violinist Robert Mealy, director know who he was, and I had of the Juilliard Historical Performance Program. Teresi is principal bassoon of Tafelmusik and a faculty member at no Baroque-music experi- the Juilliard Historical Performance Program and the University of Toronto. symphony
Dominic Teresi (back row, third from right) is principal bassoon of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, pictured above.
Gegan, in addition to animating Baroque and Classical repertoire, relishes mixing old and the new with his Philharmonia Baroque: He commissions such composers as Jake Heggie, Caroline Shaw, and Matthew Aucoin to write works featuring period instruments. “If you must play Telemann concertos all day, you’re not challenging the musicians to get any better or the audience to hear things that have never been played before,” says McGegan. “So for us here particularly—we’re leaders on this, doing new music for old instruments—I find it tremendously exciting.” Period Bows, Modern Instruments
Bernard Labadie is another conductor who has developed a thriving musical life with both period and modern orchestras. The founder and former music director of Les Violons du Roy makes his debut as principal conductor of New York’s moderninstrument Orchestra of St. Luke’s during the 2018-19 season, starting with an October program at Carnegie Hall “mixing my two families,” he says, referring to St. Luke’s and the choir he created more than three americanorchestras.org
decades ago, La Chapelle de Québec. The concert will pair Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Mozart’s Requiem, in the completion by musicologist and composer Robert Levin. A self-described “very ordinary recorder player turned horrible singer,” Labadie
Dominic Teresi, principal bassoon of Tafelmusik and a faculty member in the Juilliard Historical Performance Program and at the University of Toronto, says he was “naturally attracted to earlier music. It made a lot of sense to me.” realized early in his career that, as he recalls with a laugh, he “was better making other people play and sing than doing it myself.” In college, he created La Chapelle de Québec and then, in 1984, Les Violons du Roy. But he didn’t go whole-hog HIP with the latter, whose musicians have al-
ways played modern instruments, but with period bows since 1989. “At that time, using period bows was still seen as a bridge to switching to period instruments,” he says. “However, that combination of period bows and modern instruments created a distinctive sound. Les Violons stands out as an example really of building bridges between the modern orchestra and the period orchestra. Because of that experience of the 30-some years I spent working with these people, I kind of turned into a specialist helping modern orchestras speak the language of performance practice. I’ve been walking that thin line between those two for my whole career. I’m still a fan of period instruments. But they’re not the only ones.” Labadie flexed his artistic muscles by appearing as a guest with symphony orchestras and serving as artistic director of Opéra de Québec and Opéra de Montréal. Not that the road was easy at first. “I remember a few gigs with an orchestra that will remain nameless where there was actually a lot of resistance to my interpretive ideas,” he recalls. “The first years were pretty rocky.
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Carnegie Hall.......................................... 9 Cherish the Ladies................................ 61 Columbia Artists..................................... 5 Comedy Concertos................................ 11 Chris Lee
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In recent years, the New York Philharmonic has performed Handel’s Messiah using a smaller-than-usual orchestra playing modern instruments and incorporating historically informed performance practices. Left: a 2007 Messiah performance led by Nicholas McGegan; above: a 2010 performance led by Bernard Labadie; top: a 2013 performance led by Andrew Manze.
Of course, I did not have the experience I have now. I often say in conducting, it’s 25 percent competence and 75 percent psychology. When you’re in your 20s and 30s, the psychology side is not very developed. So I had to learn.” Bassoonist Teresi observes that antagonism toward period instruments and style has diminished greatly as new generations of performers have emerged. Young musicians “are kind of growing up with it and not even questioning it,” he says. “Students in music schools now understand that historical performance is something you need to know about beamericanorchestras.org
cause the conductors—even those who don’t have a background in HIP—are interested in this and want these orchestras to do it. People are still perfectly capable of hearing Bach in a completely modern style. But I think musicians are coming around.” DONALD ROSENBERG is editor of EMAg, the magazine of Early Music America, and author of The Cleveland Orchestra Story: “Second to None” and a novel, Maestro Murders. He holds degrees from the Mannes College of Music in New York and the Yale School of Music in French Horn performance—modern style.
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John and Regina Mangum Yvonne Marcuse Jonathan Martin Steve & Lou Mason † Shirley D. McCrary † Judy and Scott McCue Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation Debbie McKinney † Paul Meecham † Zarin Mehta † Julie Meredith David Alan Miller Evans Mirageas and Thomas Dreeze Jennifer Mondie Michael Morgan † Becky and Mark Odland † Michael Pastreich Mark D. Peacock, M.D. Peter M. Perez Ms. Cindy Pritzker Raymond and Tresa Radermacher Barbara S. Robinson Susan L. Robinson Jesse Rosen Pratichi Shah Dee & Tom Stegman Linda S. Stevens David Strickland Elizabeth & Joseph Taft Revocable Trust Joseph Tashjian Manley Thaler President, Thaler/Howell Foundation, Inc. Marylou and John D.* Turner Matthew VanBesien & Rosie Jowitt • Gus M. Vratsinas Robert Wagner Linda and Craig Weisbruch † Terry Ann White Camille Williams Donna M. Williams Paul Winberg and Bruce Czuchna James H. Winston Revocable Trust
Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb David R. Bornemann Vice Chair, Phoenix Symphony Drs. Misook Yun and James William Boyd • Doris & Michael Bronson Elaine Buxbaum Cousins Scott Faulkner and Andrea Lenz † Jack and Marsha Firestone Ryan Fleur and Laura Banchero † • GE Foundation Gehret Charitable Fund Edward Gill † Richard and Mary L. Gray Scott Harrison and Angela Detlor Daniel & Barbara Hart • Betsy Hatton H.T. and Laura Hyde Charitable Fund at East Texas Communities Foundation †
HELEN M. THOMPSON HERITAGE SOCIETY 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 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)
Russell Jones and Aaron Gillies Jill Kidwell Anna Kuwabara & Craig Edwards • Joann Leatherby David Loebel Ginny Lundquist Anne W. Miller † Phyllis Mills † Donald F. Roth † Mr. David Snead Joan Squires • Gabriel van Aalst Kathleen Weir Vale Melinda Whiting Burrows and John Burrows † Directors Council (former League Board) ✧ Emeritus Board • Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni + Includes Corporate Matching Gift * Deceased
Tackling Music—and Football At age 22, pro football player Lorenzo Carter is having a dream year: it’s his rookie season as a linebacker for the New York Giants. The Norcross, Georgia native also studied cello—and plays the tuba. Here, he talks about his love of classical music, his wish to bring his cello to New York, and why you should always listen to your mother.
y parents always told me and my sisters that we have to be well-rounded. My mom was in a marching band, so she made sure that we knew how to read music. She knew that you start with recorder—and she taught us how to play it. We could play sports, but we had to pick up something besides sports. We all ended up picking up instruments—string instruments. My older sisters played the violin and viola. I picked up the cello. I really didn’t have a choice. I was the youngest, so I just kind of got strong-armed into doing the orchestra. But I loved it. I just liked the sound of the cello. In sixth grade, I think we spent a day trying out each instrument, and the cello sounded the best to me. Around the same time I started playing cello, I started playing football. When I got really busy with sports in eleventh grade, I had to stop cello. I transferred high schools my sophomore year, to a school that had a better basketball program and academics. The school I transferred to didn’t have an orchestra, so I ended up joining the band. Before then, I was never really a brass instrument kind of guy. I was like, ‘Since I can’t do orchestra, I might as well not do music.’ But one of the teachers at the school convinced me to join the band, and I started playing the tuba. I was so happy I did, because when you’re together with other people in music, as one, in a band, it’s a great experience. College was tough to stay connected
Off the football field, New York Giants rookie Lorenzo Carter plays the cello.
to cello—at the University of Georgia I played four seasons of football, while majoring in psychology. But I always liked listening to classical music. I download classical music onto my phone. I listen to Yo-Yo Ma. I also listen to some of everything. In college, I used to go out to hear bands all the time, whenever I could. I loved it. Athens, Georgia has a great livemusic scene. I like pop and country music. Rap and hip-hop are the latest style in my life! But I always liked classical music, anything from church organ to clarinet music and violin music. Some of the skills you learn studying music and playing football are the same. I didn’t expect that. In football, you see the players running around, and you think that
they make it look easy. It’s the same with music. Great musicians make it look effortless. Once you sit down and start playing, or you’re on the field and start moving around, you realize that it isn’t easy. But it comes with time, and as long as you keep practicing, you can get there. If I had a son or a daughter I would encourage them to take up an instrument. It’s just a great skill to have. You get a lot out of yourself by joining the band or orchestra. Like being on a sports team, you have to sacrifice, you can’t just go off chart, off the script. You have to realize everything is lined up for a reason. Music is something that everybody can do. Everybody can make a beautiful sound—sad music, upbeat music. Music makes the world go round. I’ve heard the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. It was amazing. When I came to my first New York Giants pre-season training camp this summer, I didn’t bring my cello. But I am trying to find a way to get my cello up here. And I hope to hear some great music in New York City. This summer I didn’t have much free time, but this fall, I’m going to be looking forward to everything that I can get in New York City. So much art—so many possibilities! And the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall…. Everything! symphony
Mid-Winter Managers Meeting
Save the Dates January 26-27 – Pre-meeting Seminar January 27-28 – Meeting
Marriott East Side Hotel New York City
The League of American Orchestras invites executive directors and administrators of youth orchestras to attend the 2019 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 www.americanorchestras.org/conferences-meetings/ for more information and to learn about our Pre-Meeting Seminar. The League has established a group rate of $159/night + tax for the period of January 24-28, 2019 at the Marriott East Side Hotel, 525 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017, www.marriott.com/nycea. Room reservations can be made by calling 800 228 9290 and referencing the “League of American Orchestras” room block. NOTE: Rooms must be booked by Friday, January 11, to secure the League discount.
33 West 60th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10023-7905