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IT MUST BE LOVE
MELINDA DOOLITTLE She was Simon Cowell’s favorite on Season 6 of American Idol. Since then, Melinda Doolittle has gone on to wow audiences from the White House to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, from Palm Springs’ Copa Room to New York’s Carnegie Hall. In addition, she has performed with orchestras as diverse as the Boston Pops and the Panama City Pops as both a featured vocalist and as the headliner of her own soulful show, It Must Be Love. Now it’s time to let Melinda light up your stage this coming season.
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n April 29, in a city roiled by protests and unrest following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra gave its hometown a gift: the solace of music. Led by Music Director Marin Alsop, orchestra musicians performed a brief free concert in front of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, not far from where some of the worst riots had taken place. “With so much need alongside so much possibility, I hope we can use any opportunities we get to set an example and inspire others to join us in trying to change the world,” Alsop had tweeted the day before the concert, and the warm reactions from neighborhood residents, onlookers, and people on the street revealed the often transcendent power of orchestral music. It wasn’t the first time that an orchestra has used music to respond to a tragedy, and, unfortunately, it won’t be the last. But the speed with which the Baltimore Symphony responded to the crisis, the swiftness with which the musicians volunteered to perform, the fact that much of the orchestra’s communication happened in real time through social media, says much about where we are now, and how orchestras see themselves in their communities. This issue looks at some of the highly localized ways that orchestras are connecting with their hometowns. Composers have long evoked familiar scenes in sound, but several orchestras have recently commissioned scores that celebrate local history and civic landmarks. And it’s not just the usual suspects doing the commissioning: the orchestras range in size andAd-2015_Layout from coast to coast, and though works Akustiks Symphony 1 4/5/15 7:26 PMthe Page 1 are sparked by specifics, the best of them fire up the imaginations of anyone anywhere.
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THE MAGAZINE OF THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
4 Prelude by Robert Sandla
8 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events
18 Critical Questions National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu speaks about the agency’s changing role in today’s world. by Jesse Rosen 22 Board Room The Cleveland Orchestra has reevaluated its governance priorities to spur success in the 21st century. by Dennis W. LaBarre 26 At the League Introducing the League’s seven new board members.
Sounds of Home A spate of new musical works puts orchestras’ hometowns front and center. by Donald Rosenberg
A New East-West Polyphony Inspired by their Arabic, Turkish, and Iranian roots, composers are breaking down stereotypes. by Thomas May
London Rising London’s orchestras ride a wave of experimentation. by Oliver Condy 69 Advertiser Index 70 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 72 Coda Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, reports on a recent visit to Capitol Hill.
Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline l at symphony.org.
Mohammed Fairouz photo by Samantha West
Local Heroes Programs addressing gang violence, poverty, and juvenile offenders are just a few of the ways orchestras are improving the lives of people in their communities. by Michael Stugrin
40 72 about the cover
Large photo: To mark the 100th anniversary of the Cape Cod Canal last summer, the Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra, New Bedford Symphony Youth Orchestra, Bay Youth Orchestra, and musicians from the Conservatory Lab Charter School perform Brett Abigaña’s Through the Bent and Twisted Arm (photo credit: Jerome Karter). Top right: A string quartet from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs in a greenhouse at Michigan’s Planterra Conservatory (photo credit: Detroit Symphony Orchestra). Bottom right: Native flutist Paul “Che oke ten” Wagner and Seattle Symphony musicians perform on March 14, 2015 at the East Shore Unitarian Church (photo credit: Robert Wade). See story, page 30.
SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry THE
MUSICAL CHAIRS The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra (New London, Conn.) has appointed CALEB BAILEY executive director, effective July 1, 2015. will begin his tenure as music director of New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia in the 2016 season.
SoundBox, the San Francisco Symphony’s experimental new performance space, has been attracting just the kind of audience the orchestra had in mind when the venue opened in December: a fashionable crowd looking for an evening out on the town. Located in a former storage and rehearsal space of Davies Symphony Hall, the 500-seat SoundBox offers drinks and hors d’oeuvres and features Meyer Sound Constellation surround-sound and projection screens. SoundBox’s Friday and Saturday night series included one early-March program that featured the world premiere of Nicole Lizée’s Kool-Aid Acid Test #17: Blotterberry Bursst, led by Edwin Outwater and with clips from Vertigo, The Conversation, and The Graduate. Contemporary composers heard at SoundBox thus far include Samuel Adams, Mark Applebaum, Osvaldo Golijov, Guo Wenjing, Ted Hearne, Clara Iannotta, Lei Liang, Tristan Perich, Steve Reich, and Daniel Wohl. As League of American Orchestras President Jesse Rosen noted in March at radio station KQED, “It’s a recipe for a younger audience—a great emphasis on intimacy, being in smaller spaces, increased priority on being able to socialize.”
Los Angeles Philharmonic President and CEO DEBORAH BORDA will take a four-month sabbatical, beginning in September 2015, to pursue a residency at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership in Cambridge, Mass. During this time, GAIL SAMUEL will serve as acting president and chief executive at the LA Phil, and CHAD SMITH as chief operating officer. Memphis Symphony Orchestra Music Director MEI-ANN CHEN will step down from that post when her contract expires in 2016. KATY CLARK , executive
director of New York City’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s since 2009, has been named president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, effective June 30.
A two-million dollar gift from BRUCE AND MARTHA CLINTON and the Clinton Family Fund will endow the principal timpani position at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, currently held by David Herbert. FRANKLIN COHEN , principal
clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1976, will retire from the orchestra this summer, assuming the title principal clarinet emeritus. The North Carolina Symphony has appointed DYLAN COMMERET vice president of philanthropy.
The Minnesota Orchestra has announced the appointment of RODERICK COX as assistant conductor, effective in June 2015.
Philly Youth Turns 75
CHARLES DIMMICK , concertmaster
of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Portland (Me.) Symphony Orchestra, has assumed an additional concertmaster post at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.
Maine’s Portland Symphony Orchestra has announced that LISA DIXON will step down as executive director this fall. The Houston Symphony has appointed VICKY DOMINGUEZ general manager.
has been named dean at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, effective in July; succeeding him as president of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization will be AFA SADYKHLY DWORKIN . AARON P. DWORKIN
It’s been a season of celebration for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, an independent organization founded in 1939 that serves students aged 6-21 with two full orchestras, a youth strings program, and a brass ensemble. The PYO marked its 75th birthday with a gala concert on March 20, an occasion that brought Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, baton in hand, to the dress rehearsal. Another notable event was a March 7 side-by-side rehearsal with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin (right). It gave the young musicians a chance to work with the pros in such challenging repertoire as Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, as well as opportunities to connect one-on-one in mentoring and coaching sessions.
has been named principal pops conductor of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Symphony, effective with the 2015-16 season. BOB BERNHARDT
In the SoundBox
The Signature Symphony of Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma has appointed ANDRÉS FRANCO artistic director and conductor.
In November, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented “A Pierre Dream,” saluting Pierre Boulez, who turned 90 in March.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra held its first SOLUNA International Music and Arts Festival from May 7-24, exploring visual art and popular culture. The festival—encompassing audio, video, and art installations as well as performances, films, lectures, and discussions—was held at concert halls, museums, and galleries. On May 17, pop/alternative act St. Vincent performed with DSO musicians at the Meyerson Symphony Center’s outdoor venue, Annette Strauss Square. Also on the SOLUNA slate was pianist and DSO Artist-in-Residence Conrad Tao; a new video by Pipilotti Rist, commissioned for the festival; and Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, in concerts led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. In April the Dallas Symphony hosted a musical installation called definition/method listening to painting / looking at music, by French artist Claude Rutault, at Meyerson Symphony Center (shown below with DSO musicians).
Happy Birthday, Pierre Boulez
It’s hard to believe that the rebel modernist who once famously proposed blowing up the world’s opera houses has turned 90, but it’s true: composer, conductor, and new-music advocate Pierre Boulez reached that milestone on March 26, 2015. Boulez was the focus of multiple birthday celebrations this season marking his wide influence. Boulez served as music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1971 to 1977 and as music advisor at the Cleveland Orchestra from 1970 to 1972; the latter presented three Boulez 90th Birthday Celebration Concerts in January. At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra—where Boulez was principal guest conductor from 1995 to 2006 and currently is Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus—November saw the world premiere of “A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez,” a multimedia tribute to Boulez’s life and work as a composer, conductor, and mentor. “A Pierre Dream” incorporates stage elements by architect Frank Gehry, video projections by Mike Tutaj, and artistic supervision by Beyond the Score Creative Director Gerard McBurney and will be repeated in June at California’s Ojai Music Festival, where Boulez served several stints as music director.
Fashion Pops in Duluth
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has named MORITZ GNANN to a two-year term as assistant conductor beginning in the 2015-16 season.
will become associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September 2015. KEITARO HARADA
The New York Philharmonic has named FRANK HUANG concertmaster, effective in September 2015. has stepped down as music director of the Marshall (Tex.) Symphony Orchestra following a 39-year tenure. LEONARD KACENJAR
The Phoenix Symphony has appointed MATTHEW KASPER assistant conductor, effective in September. has been named director of the Nashville Symphony’s new Composer Lab & Workshop, whose first participants will be announced this summer. AARON JAY KERNIS
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has appointed ALEXANDER KINMONTH principal oboe, effective with the 2015-16 season. has been appointed executive director of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Sandusky, Ohio, effective June 1; she succeeds JAMIE STEINEMANN . LAURIE KOROBKIN
The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra has named MATTHEW KRAEMER music director.
will step down as music director of California’s Fresno Philharmonic at the end of the 2015-16 season. THEODORE KUCHAR
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has announced that JACQUES LACOMBE will step down as music director when his contract expires in 2016. WARREN E. MACK has succeeded GORDON M. SPRENGER as board chairman at the Minnesota
New Bedford (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra Music Director DAVID MACKENZIE will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. The Sudbury (Ontario) Symphony Orchestra has appointed JENNIFER MCGILLIVRAY executive director.
has been named vice president of marketing and patron engagement at ArtisNaples, parent organization of the Naples (Fla.) Philharmonic. ASHLEY MIRAKIAN
Georgia’s Symphony Orchestra Augusta has appointed ANNE CATHERINE MURRAY executive director. JOHN OLIVER , who
founded the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus in 1970, will step down Murray as conductor of the chorus at the end of this summer’s Tanglewood Music Festival.
The Savannah (Ga.) Philharmonic has named ROBERT RUND executive director. has been appointed principal pops conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, effective with the 2015-16 season. JOHN MORRIS RUSSELL
has stepped down as music director of Ontario’s Sudbury Symphony Orchestra following an eighteen-year tenure. VICTOR SAWA
For its March 21 pops concert, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota matched musical and visual styles through a partnership with the fashion agency Runway Manhattan. The DSSO’s concert hall at Duluth Entertainment Convention Center was outfitted with a V-shaped runway (below) that brought twenty local models through the orchestra; designer fashions from Milan, Paris, London, and New York were also displayed on video screens above the orchestra. Repertoire for the “Runway Duluth” concert, which was led by Music Director Dirk Meyer, ranged from Puccini and Offenbach to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Billy Joel, and Michael Jackson.
has been appointed assistant conductor at the New York Philharmonic, effective in September. JOSHUA GERSEN
SOLUNA in Dallas
Paul Crosby Chelsea Tischler
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians test out Ordway Concert Hall in January, shortly before its opening
New Hall for St. Paul
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has a new home. The 1,100-seat Ordway Concert Hall—part of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts complex—replaces the 306-seat McKnight Theatre, while freeing up the adjacent 1,900-seat Music Theater stage for the Minnesota Opera and locally produced musicals. The hall, built by a partnership among Ordway, the SPCO, Minnesota Opera, and Schubert Club, cost $42 million. Its architect is Tim Carl of the Minneapolis firm HGA; the acoustical designer is Paul Scarborough. The SPCO’s first public concerts in the new space were on March 5 and 6, and the hall has gotten high marks from audience members and SPCO musicians. Concertmaster Steven Copes commented in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Even warming up, you can tell right away the space is responsive to the sound. And it’s beautiful.” In other concert hall news, Hollywood billionaire David Geffen gave $100 million toward the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, which is expected to cost $500 million. The hall will be renamed David Geffen Hall in September, at the start of the Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season, and the hall closes for renovations in 2019.
Music for Fukushima
Comecdeyrtos Con 412-563-0468 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dankamin.com 10
Four years after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, orchestras from the U.S. took part in musical exchanges with young musicians from hard-hit Fukushima. Fifteen musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles traveled to Japan in March to work with Soma Children’s Orchestra, set up by El Sistema Japan in 2012. The visit culminated with YOLA and El Sistema Japan musicians performing a public workshop at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, led by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. In March, as part of an ongoing exchange with the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers project, nine children from Fukushima, aged 10 to 14, visited New York, where Philharmonic musicians and teaching artists performed their chamber pieces along with works by American children. In Japan, Fukushima University composition professor YOLA in Japan Takehito Shimazu helped coordinate the project, whose participants had not been previously schooled in composition. Japanese and American students composed works on the theme of rebirth, referencing a melody known in Japan as “chuocho” and in the U.S. as “Lightly Row.” Earlier this winter, during the New York Philharmonic’s Asia tour, the orchestra performed “Music for Fukushima”—the same children’s pieces—on a program at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, where Music Director Alan Gilbert (whose mother is Japanese) also narrated Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in Japanese. symphony
Donald Thulean June 24, 1929April 9, 2015 Donald Thulean, a conductor and arts administrator who served as music director of the Spokane Symphony in his home state of Washington from 1962 to 1984, and as vice president for artistic affairs at the League of American Orchestras from 1984 until his retirement in 1999, died April 9 in Seattle at the age of 85. He had suffered a stroke two days earlier. As the Spokane Symphony’s music director, Thulean led its transition from a community orchestra to a fully professional one, and his deep knowledge of the conducting profession was a key asset at the League. Thulean is survived by his wife, Meryl, and their three children. Commenting on Thulean’s accomplishments at the League, President and CEO Jesse Rosen said, “Don Thulean was a beloved member of the League family for nearly 20 years. He was the League’s first director of artistic programs, and under his leadership hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of American conductors and composers found a caring and wise counselor. Amid the often random and chaotic process of developing a conducting career, or searching for a music director, Don built programs that systematically identified and developed talent and helped it find its way into orchestras. His Conducting Continuum included conducting workshops, the National Conductor Preview, the Music Director Search Seminar, and the Young Composer Reading Sessions. He also spearheaded the League’s New Music for the New Millennium project and still found time to lead the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program and plan the annual Conference. Most of all, we remember Don for his gentle kindness, his deep feeling for people who make music, and his unflagging desire to help.” americanorchestras.org
Amadeus Plays in Fayetteville
In March, North Carolina’s Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra teamed up with Cape Fear Regional Theatre for a joint production of Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play Amadeus. Featured onstage with the actors were 50 orchestra musicians and a 45-member chorus, led by Fouad Fakhouri, Fayetteville’s music director. It was not the first time the orchestra and theater company joined forces: in 2013 they produced A Midsummer Night’s Dream together. For Amadeus, Cape Fear Regional Theatre Artistic Director Tom Quaintance kept the staging simple and the music front and center by adapting the script to allow room for additional music. “We don’t want the music to be incidental—it’s essential to the script,” Quaintance said. As far as we know, no complaints were registered about “too many notes.”
Accordion/Bandoneon Julien Labro
P R O U D LY R E P R E S E N T S
Conductors Martin MAJKUT Music Director,
Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra
Jorge MESTER Music Director,
Filarmónica de Boca del Río
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (FI)
Artistic Director & Conductor, Paducah Symphony Orchestra
andré RAPHEL Music Director,
Wheeling Symphony Orchestra
Peter RUBARDT Music Director,
Meridian Symphony Orchestra
Music Director, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
Andrew SEWELL Music Director,
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Principal Conductor, Piedmont Wind Symphony
Education Conductor, Oklahoma City Philharmonic
Soyeon Kate Lee John O’Conor Thomas Pandolfi Antonio Pompa-Baldi Alexander Schimpf Lisa Smirnova Bryan Wallick
Alexandre Da Costa Ilya Kaler Alexander Sitkovetsky Livia Sohn
Denise Djokic Hai-Ye Ni Wendy Warner
Ana Vidovic Fabio Zanon
Native American Flute R. Carlos Nakai
Nancy Allen Building Successful Relationships Between Artists and Presenters 225 E. 36th Street New York, NY 10016 Tel: (212) 213-3430
New Faces at the League The League of American Orchestras has announced four new staff appointments. As vice president for the League’s Knowledge Center, KAREN YAIR will oversee research initiatives, identifying current and future field needs, building and sustaining alliances with members and the research community, and managing the Knowledge Center staff. Yair worked most recently in the U.K as research and information manager and research consultant for the Crafts Council; she has consulted for such organizations as the U.K.’s National Foundation for Youth Music and Music for Youth and for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. In 2001 she earned her PhD in arts management in a joint program with Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield University Management School. Yair plays several instruments and has a longheld love of classical music. CELESTE WROBLEWSKI has been named vice president of strategic
Moon River Charade Ohio Riverboat Overture to a Pops Concert March with Mancini Lightly Latin Cameo for Violin Strings on Fire Portrait of the Beatles Chariots of Fire • Authentic Mancini concert versions • Fully engraved scores/parts • Publications to own, not rent • Additional scores available Order from your music retailer or musicdispatch.com For more information about Mancini releases, go to halleonard.com
MI RYUNG SONG is the League’s director of strategic initiatives, a
newly created senior position. Her responsibilities include managing the League’s strategic plan, artistic activities, and select Knowledge Center projects, as well as facilitating new organizational opportunities and strategic partnerships. Song also serves as the League’s constituent liaison for musicians, conductors, artistic administrators, and general managers/operations directors. A 2006 graduate of the League’s Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, she has held positions in fundraising and artistic administration at New York City Opera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. Song served most recently as interim director of the League’s Knowledge Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in flute performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Pink Panther Theme
JENNIFER KESSLER, the League’s new director of programs, is re-
sponsible for creating learning opportunities for orchestra staff, board members, musicians, conductors, and volunteers; managing the organization’s grant-making activity; and helping to program and produce the League’s National Conference. She serves as constituent liaison for the League’s youth orchestras, those in budget groups 5 and 6, and education and community-engagement directors. Kessler was most recently director of community and education at Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City. She has taught in Venezuela as a New England Conservatory Sistema Fellow and managed professional programs at the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. A graduate in music performance from Northwestern University and the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin, Kessler has performed internationally as a French horn player.
Peter Gunn Theme
communications. She is responsible for promoting the League brand and conveying field and League messages to stakeholders, including the media, members, donors, and the arts community. Wroblewski supervises the Communications Department; oversees the League’s digital communications platforms and Symphony magazine; and serves as the public relations constituency liaison. She was most recently vice president of public relations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has additional experience at Donors Forum, a membership association of Illinois funders, nonprofits, and philanthropic advisors; YMCA of the USA, and Burson-Marsteller Public Relations. Wroblewski holds a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and attended a program for international students at the Sorbonne in Paris.
D I S C O V E R I N G G R E AT P I A N I S T S S I N C E 1 9 6 2
Radu Lupu (1966 gold)
Olga Kern (2001 gold)
Joyce Yang (2005 silver)
Haochen Zhang (2009 gold)
Vadym Kholodenko (2013 gold)
FIFTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION May 25 – June 10, 2017 • Fort Worth, Texas USA • Leonard Slatkin, jury chairman —featuring— Fully produced HD webcast with over one million views Performances with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, and the Brentano String Quartet Extensive international media coverage
FOR INFO ON BOOKING 2017 WINNERS: SDOAN@CLIBURN.ORG • 817.738.6536 • WWW.CLIBURN.ORG
AIRING THIS SUMMER NATIONALLY ON PBS:
A NEW DOCUMENTARY directed by academy award nominated screenwriter CHRISTOPHER WILKINSON
friday, july 10, 2015 • 10:00 pm edt check local pbs listings
Wallace Foundation Gives $52 Million to Build Arts Audiences
New West Symphony Music Director Marcelo Lehninger conducts the “Neptune” movement from Holst’s The Planets, as artist Julia Pinkham’s painting is displayed onscreen.
New West “Paints” Holst
The stars were aligned this spring in southern California, when the New West Symphony commissioned seven local professional artists to paint works inspired by Holst’s The Planets. The images were displayed at New West’s concerts in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and Santa Monica, which in addition to the Holst also featured Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, with soloist Jennifer Frautschi. Each artist interpreted one movement from Holst’s seven-part suite, and the resulting images appeared onscreen behind the orchestra as it performed. The original artwork was on display at each concert venue and was available for silent auction as a fundraiser for the orchestra.
This spring, the Wallace Foundation announced Building Audiences for Sustainability, a major initiative designed to expand audiences for the performing arts. The six-year, $52 million program will fund 26 groups in the first round of grants, including five orchestras: the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (to launch a new concert series attracting younger, more diverse audiences), Los Angeles Philharmonic (to establish stronger relationships with infrequent attendees), New York Philharmonic (to expand its reach to younger audiences), Oakland East Bay Symphony (to deepen and sustain relationships with new audiences from the area’s increasingly diverse population), and Seattle Symphony (to build on programming that targets a growing young, urban population). Recipients—who also include opera, theater, and dance companies—receive financial and technical support, and Wallace will share information gathered from the initiative with the field at large. The initiative follows Wallace’s publication earlier this year of an ambitious new series of studies and reports on building audiences for the arts, covered in the Winter 2015 issue of Symphony.
Katie Wyatt, executive director, Kidznotes
Invest in one, invest in many Through our leadership programs, the League invested in Katie, who now invests in nearly 300 kids annually from Title-1 schools in Durham and Raleigh, N.C. Supporting the League means investing in people, their communities, and the future of classical music. Donate now at americanorchestras.org.
On the Road for Orchestras
The League of American Orchestras embraces orchestras nationwide, and that’s the range League President and CEO Jesse Rosen covers as he works on behalf of orchestras, advocates for government support for the arts, and salutes the exceptional work that orchestras do every day. In March, Rosen (at far right in photo) met with (from left) Boston Baroque Executive Director Miguel Rodriguez and Music Director Martin Pearlman at a Boston Baroque gala honoring Anne-Marie Soullière, former president of Fidelity Foundation and a champion of Boston’s cultural institutions. Also in March, Rosen headed to Washington, D.C. to advocate on Capitol Hill with other arts leaders in support of the National Endowment for the Arts (see Melia Tourangeau’s article on page 72 for more). Rosen headed back to D.C. in April for meetings at Independent Sector, the leadership network for the nonprofit and philanthropic community, and later that month met with the board of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and gave an address at the Association of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestras. This May, Rosen accompanied the Minnesota Orchestra on its historic visit to Cuba—the first U.S. orchestra to visit the country since the Obama administration lifted the 50-year embargo this winter.
All in the Family
As a spring fundraiser, Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra recently auctioned a custom-built violin by Principal Viola Jay Prior (below), who also runs a luthier business called Custom Strings in nearby Spokane Valley, Washington. The violin was made specifically to help raise money for the orchestra, and the winning bidder, fittingly enough, was Betsy Bullard of Coeur d’Alene, a violinist in the orchestra for 22 years. Bullard, whose husband who is a classical singer, said she was “thrilled. I made the bid just because I love the Symphony.” At press time, the orchestra was auctioning off a second instrument, a custom-built viola valued at $5,500, also by Jay Prior. All money from the winning bid goes to the orchestra.
Orchestras by the Numbers: Gender
The League of American Orchestras’ Knowledge Center recently confirmed what concertgoers can see for themselves: female musicians have nearly reached numerical parity with male musicians in U.S. orchestras, now representing 46 percent. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points from 1978, when the figure was 38 percent. The numbers come from the League’s 1978 and 2013 Orchestra Statistical Reports, which represent data collected annually from member orchestras. It’s just one of hundreds of statistics in the OSR, which is distributed to participating member orchestras and is the most comprehensive data set about North American orchestras. Also check out the Knowledge Center’s two-page Quick Orchestra Facts at americanorchestras.org for data about U.S. orchestras including total number of orchestras, musicians, and free concerts. 1978
80 70 60 50 40 30
20 10 0
Data provided by League of American Orchestras Knowledge Center
Male Orchestra Musicians
Female Orchestra Musicians
Mei-Ann Chen, music director, Chicago Sinfonietta
Invest in one, invest in many Through our leadership programs, the League invested in Mei-Ann, who now invests in connecting the diverse cultures of Chicago by expanding the boundaries of classical music. Supporting the League means investing in people and their communities. Donate now at americanorchestras.org.
The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed Jane Chu as its new chairman in 2014. Chu, a trained pianist and former president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, emphasizes the increasing importance of being proactive in championing the ways arts groups are contributing to their communities, as arts organizations adapt to broader shifts in how people participate in the arts. The NEA will mark its 50th year on September 29, and will hold a series of events throughout the year including a new leadership initiative and meetings to highlight the importance of the agency’s advocacy role and its widespread impact. by Jesse Rosen
esse Rosen: You’re no stranger to the world of classical music and orchestras. As you look out at music and music making, what are the things that really excite you and give you a good feeling about our musical life today? Jane Chu: I like all kinds of music, but specific to classical music, the two things that excited me about classical music 30 years ago really are still the same things that excite me personally about it today. One is the technical aspect—the inner workings—and the other one is the emotional aspect. When I’m thinking about the technical, I’m listening and just loving the themes, the inner works, the whole construct of the compositional format. And then with the overlay of emotions, I think music has such a power to produce the ebbs and flows of really strong emotions as well as subtle nuances. I laugh sometimes because so many people I know have classical music on in the back-
ground, as a way to relax. I can’t do that. I am so tempted to listen to everything intently, and it does not provide those soothing opportunities for me. It’s really front and center of my focus whenever I have it on. Jesse Rosen: The first time we met, you were making visits around the country to many different cities and hearing from folks about what they were experiencing. Could you share what you learned from conversations you had about orchestras? Jane Chu: Well, orchestras in any community are seen as a symbol of quality of life. And so people care about orchestras. I don’t know what level of participation every single person has, but I do know that the presence of orchestras in communities is really important to many people. Every community has distinctive characteristics, but when there are orchestras, that contributes to the community’s identity. Sometimes when I’m on the road people ask me about a specific orchestra.
How Will the NEA Reimagine Creativity in America?
Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras
And oftentimes it may have been some type of news story where an orchestra is having challenging times, usually financially. They’ll ask me, what do I think about that? A news story about a specific orchestra that is having financial challenges can dwarf and make us forget how the thousands of other orchestras in the United States are doing, and all the ways that they contribute to the community.
“Orchestras in any community are seen as a symbol of quality of life. People care about orchestras.” Those are things I want to highlight. Jesse Rosen: One of the NEA’s roles historically and currently is as a partner and a catalyst for private investment in the arts. There are a lot of changing trends in private philanthropy. I’m curious to know what you’re observing and what implications it may have for the NEA. Jane Chu: Regarding philanthropy in general, even though there are things like tax incentives to encourage giving, people have a need to give. Giving brings symphony
out their best. If philanthropy is changing, it’s probably because different people are looking for different ways of finding meaning in things that interest them. Philanthropy also is affected by the economy. One very positive finding is that National Endowment for the Arts grants spark additional giving as well as bringing more partners and participants to a project. And we like that because that is what the arts do as well. To me, that is at the heart of how the National Endowment for the Arts operates. Here are some examples. We require a one-to-one funding match when applying for a grant. After analyzing a lot of our grants, we find matching funds for a specific National Endowment for the Arts project can go as high as seven to nine times the amount that the NEA puts in. Over just the last 30 years alone the NEA has awarded more than $3.2 billion in grants. But it has sparked $22 billion dollars in other giving. And most of the time that’s private philanthropy. There’s a little bit of local municipality, plus corporate giving, individual donors. That’s kind of a “both/and” approach to giving, and it speaks about the way the NEA operates. Jesse Rosen: Roughly a hundred orchestras receive grants from the NEA. As you look forward, do you see anything changing, any shifts, around grants to organizations? Jane Chu: The NEA awards grants based on excellence and merit. It is all about the philosophy of fostering value and connections and innovation and creativity. One of the things that we can all pay attention to is a shift in the ways people participate in the arts. While the NEA for decades has measured participation in traditional ways—and will continue to do so—the ways people participate in the arts are expanding. We at the NEA want to make sure that we pay attention to the relevancy—how we are reaching out to communities through the arts, to have people understand the power and the meaning of the arts. That’s the philosophy behind the operations of the NEA. And that’s how we’re thinking about the grants awarded. americanorchestras.org
Jesse Rosen: We know from the Department of Education that there is a big gap in access to arts education, with students in high-poverty schools having way less access than others. I’m interested to know how the NEA is thinking about its role in arts education, and in particular this equity gap. Jane Chu: It’s an ongoing concern for the National Endowment for the Arts because—even above income or education levels or any of the other characteristics that we had considered before—the number-one relationship for participation in the arts as an adult is whether someone was able to participate in the arts as
Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
a child. How do we all pay attention to that? We’re also helping the economy. The most recent reports show that the artsand-culture sector represents 4.32 percent of the nation’s GDP. That is significant— it’s more than the construction industry or a number of other industries. So how do we make sure—especially if there are cuts in schools—that we can reach the youth who are our arts participants of tomorrow? Plus, you’re building the infrastructure for creativity, which is certainly one of the top five characteristics that businesses look for when hiring. How do we help cultivate that right from the get-go? There are a number of orchestras who are doing
a great job in that, because they’re thinking out of the box. That’s the beauty of the arts: get out of the box and get creative and think of ways that we can reach the youth. We’re looking at the collective impact of a grant to, say, a school system when it’s reaching out and connecting to
“The NEA awards grants based on excellence and merit. It is all about fostering value and connections and innovation and creativity.” community organizations. That is helping cover more of the community being involved, as well as getting children engaged in their own environment. Jesse Rosen: Let’s talk about the NEA’s recent report, “When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance.” The report is a great help to all of us wrestling with questions of what’s getting in the way of arts participation, and how can we make everything we do more accessible? That report identified barriers such as location, times, lack of somebody to go with. We know from the League’s own research that other issues include pricing and even logistical issues like parking. As you reflect on some of these barriers, where does this lead the NEA as it thinks about what its role will be in supporting the arts? Jane Chu: We are mindful of these barriers because that’s about 31 million lost participants in America who said, yes, they like the arts and yes, they want to go, but these barriers come up. On some level I’m heartened because it wasn’t about disliking the arts—it was about the barriers and motivations for attending. So this is an opportunity for us as cultural providers to get really creative. It may be that we go out to them, and that’s an opportunity to be in their presence as well as them coming to us. I think about examples like the Utah Symphony, which performed in the Utah National Parks, and the Des Moines Symphony, with their State Fair project. People really celebrate the State Fair in Iowa, and the orchestra’s playing
National Endowment for the Arts
Jane Chu with dancers from Axis Dance Company, an Oakland, California-based group that includes dancers with and without disabilities in its public performances and community-engagement work.
compositions related to that means so much to Iowans. Those approaches make people say, “Wait a minute—this is kind of fun and it’s meaningful.” It’s a way to have them realize how close the arts are to them. At the same time there may be different approaches to the same barriers in different communities. Jesse Rosen: President Obama recently said, “Artists have the unique power to change minds and attitudes and get us thinking and talking about what matters.” In the classical music world over the past year or two, many of us have been thinking about the controversy surrounding The Death of Klinghoffer, the demonstration that took place in Powell Hall in connection with the grand-jury deliberations about the shooting of Michael Brown, and the protests surrounding Valery Gergiev and his relationship to Putin. We are coming to grips with the reality that what we do matters to people and that we are part of the public discourse. How can the arts be engaged in some of this work? Should we be more proactive? Should we hope these controversies pass and everything will quiet down? Jane Chu: I like what you said about being more proactive. We do the arts and ourselves a disservice if we have a mindset that says, “If you build it they will come”—as if all we have to do is do our thing and everybody will love it. I think we have an opportunity to do exactly what you said, Jesse: be proactive. Orchestras can be community leaders in their own
right through the nature of what they do. You have provided examples about how the arts can spark conversations. But there are many times that we want to highlight how the arts bring people together. The arts have a power in many cases to enter into a conversation that needs to be discussed, but in a way that is not threatening. The NEA’s Healing Arts program with the Department of Defense is for service members and veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological conditions. It’s so transformational that the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is now making it part of their standard of care. Those are other, equally meaningful opportunities for arts to be in
“The arts touch so many aspects of our lives, from economic to intrinsic value to a role in healing and generating conversations. I am an advocate for embracing all of those aspects.”
the conversation and to be transformative and to discuss hard topics. So, yes—go out there and be a proactive community leader. That is a great opportunity to show people that orchestras are community leaders and are not off by themselves—they’re really in the community helping it thrive. Jesse Rosen: Anne Parsons, who runs the Detroit Symphony, was telling me they’d just done a Tchaikovsky performance preceded by a forum on homosexuality, at which leaders of the gay community talked about being gay. Music Director Leonard Slatkin was on the panel with them, talking about how that figured in Tchaikovsky’s life and in his music. Anne told me that the response from the participants was amazing— they said that they never thought that the orchestra could be the place where conversations like this happen. And it was completely organic, related to the music they were playing. Jane Chu: That’s what we want to celebrate—having orchestras be community
leaders. In that particular case the Detroit Symphony was a community leader by bringing people into the process, and having it unfold organically in a conversation that led to a beautiful piece of music that the orchestra was playing and set the context that was far greater than just a piece of music. Jesse Rosen: In a very short amount of time at the NEA, you’ve demonstrated a tremendous advocacy role and been a real champion for the arts. You’ve been incredibly encouraging and optimistic and positive and really out there speaking to important audiences and constituencies. Everyone who works in the arts has an advocacy role to play. Over the years we’ve had different ways of making the case, going from economic impact to art for art’s sake to art for instrumental purposes and intrinsic purposes. What counsel might you give about articulating why the arts matter? Jane Chu: The main thing we would want to get across is that we want to have a “both/and” mindset. While it’s very tempting to have an “either/or” mindset— a zero-sum “you win, I lose” game—when it comes to the arts we benefit by having a “both/and” mindset. Sometimes, art for art’s sake stands alone—it is so beautiful and transformative. It is also true that there is an economic impact for the arts, and that does make a case for it. We are in a sector that touches so many parts of our lives, and we have undersold that. We need to celebrate that the arts touch so many aspects of our lives, from economic to intrinsic value to a role in healing and generating conversations. I am an advocate for embracing all of those aspects, as opposed to only one of them. We celebrate all of them when we realize the transformative power that the arts have on individuals and communities. That’s the power of the arts. Jesse Rosen: Let’s talk a little bit about 50th anniversary of the NEA’s founding. Jane Chu: We’re going to have a yearlong celebration that kicks off this fall. The actual date we’re using as the beginning celebration date is September 29, 2015—that’s 50 years to the day that symphony
President Johnson signed into enactment the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As part of the yearlong celebration, we will look at the first 50 years of the National Endowment for the Arts: Where has it made an impact? How has it sparked more arts participation and involvement? There are many activities we can celebrate that I’m not sure the general public remembers, but will have an opportunity to remember more. People are already saying, “I didn’t remember that the NEA started that.” But there are so many of those projects. We’ll do something called “Fifty States, Fifty Stories” or “Fifty States, Five-Hundred Stories,” in which we ask people to think about the ways that the National Endowment for the Arts had an impact on your project or helped you cultivate the arts. We certainly want to engage orchestras in that. We will have all kinds of stories in a story bank. The League has a story bank, don’t you? Jesse Rosen: Yes, we do. Jane Chu: It’ll be the same concept, in which anyone will be able to tell their stories. We’ll have them archived and be able to use these for years to come. People can tell their stories, and other people can see and hear the stories—everybody wins. We’ll have a number of different events throughout the year, and we’ll also look at what the next 50 years of the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts might be. You will see projects as well as a leadership initiative. Jesse Rosen: Fifty years ago, we were in a huge growth mode—everything was getting bigger. The next 50 years and the moment we are in now—does that signal any shift in role or direction as you think about being responsive to circumstances in the arts today, which are so different than 50 years ago? Jane Chu: One of the things that the National Endowment for the Arts has an opportunity to do is to convene people— we’ve done it for all 50 years, but now we have an opportunity to deepen it. You’ll see a number of convenings in the 50-year celebration on topics that we think we need to be mindful of. In terms of evoking americanorchestras.org
creativity and encouraging it, we’re seeing that creativity has shifted from this perception of a single musician or a composer or a visual artist in her or his studio alone, creating. I was trained in that way—you shut yourself off so you would not be tainted, and evoke the purity within you to pull out the most creative aspects—the authenticity. Authenticity is number one for me. So I appreciate that. But the studios of the future may encourage creativity in a different way. Instead of being completely by yourself and distanced from your surroundings, it seems that it’s more like an artist, a musician, a composer are sitting around a table in a studio. And five or six other people are with them, and they may not be musicians. They may not even be in the arts sector. But they’re all talking with each other, with feedback, insights, bouncing ideas off of each other, and out of that someone garners the creative ideas. So we will look at that and ask, “What is the studio of the future? What does that look like?” That will guide some of our 50th-anniversary convenings and leadership initiatives. Jesse Rosen: We’re certainly seeing that a bit in our field, where young musicians today are forming their own ensembles and directing their own artistic identities and activities. Very often they are developing mixed and multimedia work from the ground up with dancers and videographers, and there’s a much less siloed approach to art-making. The Cincinnati Symphony’s Lumenocity project was fascinating. They identified a videography studio to develop the videos with the music, and they also tested their visual imagery with local members of the community. They asked, “What images come up for you when you hear this music?” It’s very iterative process. But right from the get-go the orchestra was working with videographers in a creative way. This is happening with increasing frequency, and I think it’s a really good thing. It’s moving more toward the center as opposed to on the periphery. The LA Phil had a huge success with The Tristan Project, with videographer Bill Viola creating new video art to go with each act of
Tristan. This kind of approach is a way of refreshing and rethinking, reinterpreting a body of repertoire to bring it home to today’s realities and sensibilities. Jane Chu: To build on what you said, it’s that the creative process becomes equally as important as the final product. There’s something very satisfying about that. Through all of art’s creation, people have collaborated and bounced ideas off each other. But what seems to be happening today is not only that sitting down together, building out that creativity, and having it be an iterative process is an accepted idea, but now we’re going beyond having a musical composition and we’re going toward multimedia works that can’t exist without all of the facets together. It’s hard to tease apart or you lose the whole artistic creation. To be able to collaborate at our finest is not to give ourselves up. The new piece is really stronger for all of us working on it—and it makes us all stronger.
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Mapping the Road Ahead
he orchestra industry has seen its share of trying times in recent years, from financial crises and work stoppages to budget deficits and the decline of subscriptions. Cultural change and a “new normal” in our economic environment will continue to pose challenges for the future of classical music. Although serving the musical arts has perhaps never been more challenging, at the same time there have been many successes, and much diligent and difficult work. Each orchestra must approach its aspirations and objectives in the context of its unique circumstances, including the nature of its home market and community, its financial needs, and its business model. The approach of the Cleveland Orchestra to its future, while suited to our individual circumstance, may provide some general guidance for other orchestras. The Cleveland Orchestra, which has long enjoyed an international reputation for the highest standards of musical quality, has certainly faced its share of challenges during this period of uncertainty for our industry. But these challenges also helped us rethink and reaffirm what the Cleveland Orchestra is and how it fits into our regional community and the global classical music scene with new and aligned focus on our priorities. We believe that what has emerged is an orchestra that is stronger and more capable than ever of serving its hometown community, through
innovation and collaboration, and with a commitment to nurture new and younger audiences for classical music. The Cleveland Orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018. As we approach this milestone, we have a vantage point from which to assess the lessons of the past and chart a clear course for the future. And I’d like to share a three-point governance philosophy that has helped shape a period of growth and success in Cleveland in hopes that it may shine a light on opportunities for other arts organizations. 1. The Music Comes First. We are dedicated, above all else, to sustaining the Cleveland Orchestra’s musical excellence in everything we do. As with most orchestras, this priority underscores every other
Although we have achieved a balanced budget in recent years, we are mindful that financial strength is something planned for and built, and there is more work to be done. success we can claim. Excellence draws audiences to our performances at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center, during our residencies in Miami, New York, and Vienna, and on tour around the world. Excellence attracts those who love classical music and those who have never experienced a live orchestra performance. Excellence earns acclaim for our home-
How did the Cleveland Orchestra reevaluate its governance priorities to help ensure success in the 21st century? Dennis W. LaBarre, president of the Musical Arts Association, which operates the Cleveland Orchestra, explains.
Dennis W. LaBarre, president of Cleveland’s Musical Arts Association
town. Excellence fuels the passion of our devoted community. Franz Welser-Möst, now in his thirteenth season as music director, has led a comprehensive set of new initiatives for the orchestra. He is a driver of innovation, both artistic and programmatic. He has spotlighted the orchestra’s role as a leader in music education, and led us toward greater community engagement. In the fall of 2014, we announced the extension of Franz’s tenure to 2022. This ensures continuity and creativity to help sustain our artistic strength. Under Franz’s leadership, we are performing more music for more people. We are playing to new audiences in new venues. We are presenting an enlarged variety of musical forms—from the usual symphonic masterpieces to commissions and important modern works, from Hollywood and Broadway to world music. We have introduced ballet as a regular part of what we do, returned fully staged opera to Severance Hall, and have begun pioneering new ways of presenting opera using digital technology in hybrid productions, such as The Cunning Little Vixen’s mixture of live singers and projected animation in 2014. All of this has helped us attract consymphony
2. True Excellence Requires True Financial Strength. Economic downturns in 2001 and 2008 gave many of us pause, and caused great upheaval across the arts and commerce. In reacting to these challenges, the Cleveland Orchestra chose to re-evaluate its business model and to clarify its institutional priorities to succeed best in the 21st century. We began with a holistic commitment to identifying our financial challenges and mapping out a disciplined path to financial security. Short-term solutions and funding stopgaps might result in balanced budgets for the moment, but only with a long-term financial plan can we gain the strength necessary to sustain our artistic excellence over the long haul, while also providing room for innovation and growth. Although we have achieved a balanced budget in recent years, we are ever mindamericanorchestras.org
certgoers without sacrificing the quality of the product we offer. Going beyond the concert hall, in 2013 we launched “The Cleveland Orchestra at Home,” an annual neighborhood residency program in collaboration with local business and community leaders designed expressly to bring musical performances to porches and bars, schools and churches, bowling alleys and coffee shops, and all around town. This program builds upon our longstanding free community concerts—for the Fourth of July and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—and creates a new layer of relationships with people throughout our community. Among the Cleveland Orchestra’s most visible successes in the past few years is the dynamic expansion of audiences under age 30. Since the launch of a variety of audience development programs in 2011, more than 130,000 young people have attended Cleveland Orchestra concerts. From this, we are well on our way to our goal of building the youngest audience of any orchestra. And, not coincidentally, by simultaneously developing lasting ties with other music capitals—including Miami, Vienna, and New York—we have built a larger, committed worldwide audience.
Music Director Franz Welser-Möst leads the Cleveland Orchestra in a performance at John Adams High School, September 2010.
ful that financial strength is something planned for and built, and there is more work to be done. In recent years, the orchestra’s endowment has reached approximately $175 million, with the annual draw from that
We have adopted a mindset of transparency, sharing our plans and our progress, our challenges and successes, openly across all constituencies.
covering 15 percent of annual operating costs. But, as other orchestras have also realized, this is not enough. In Cleveland, we believe that the endowment must expand, through cash gifts and deferred commitments, to soon provide in excess of 20 percent and, ultimately, 30 percent of the orchestra’s annual operating budget, based on a limited and prudent 5 percent endowment draw. Our fundraising strategy includes establishing 1,000 new legacy commitments by 2018, to secure a pipeline of support that ensures a continual expansion of the endowment well into the future; and a robust annual fund that grows year over year, to address the day-to-day needs of the organization. At the same time, donors are demanding that any special fundraising focuses on new ways to add more value—through efforts such as community programming, education, opera, and
ballet—instead of being called upon to eliminate recurring annual operating deficits. This approach has particular appeal to corporate and foundation donors, who are focused on funding specific projects rather than giving general support. We believe that pairing a growing annual fund with an enhanced endowment, along with clear project-centered opportunities and healthy ticket sales, provides the basis for a sustainable funding strategy. We are committed to making this our reality by the orchestra’s centennial in 2018, when we will complete a ten-year, comprehensive fundraising campaign. 3. We’re All in This Together. Achieving long-term financial strength requires us not only to say but to firmly believe that we are all working toward a set of shared goals. The orchestra’s artistic achievements, audience growth, engagement with community, and a solid plan for financial strength are possible only because musicians, staff, board members, and volunteers have banded together in service of the institutional goals that will build a bright future. To do so, we have adopted a mindset of transparency, sharing our plans and our progress, our challenges and successes, openly across all constituencies. In recent years, the Cleveland Orchestra’s musicians have taken on the goals of the institution as their own, actively partnering with staff and trustees to ac-
Boards, musicians, and management must work together to sustain artistic excellence while making our art form ever more relevant to our communities. Roger Mastorianni
complish our objectives. Musicians serve as members of specialized task forces to explore new methods of serving audiences in better ways—from enhancing the experience of attending Cleveland Orchestra concerts, to investigating improvements in communicating with patrons, to enabling digital access to our rich store of recordings and history. They volunteer for varied projects within the orchestra’s many music education programs. They participate in fundraising. Also vital in this mix are the dedicated and hardworking members of the orchestra’s staff, who carry out the institution’s goals each and every day, and its volun-
A young crowd dances during a world-music post-concert performance at a Cleveland Orchestra Fridays@7 concert.
teers, who bring community enthusiasm, caring, and insight. These groups work not only to support the great music the orchestra is performing, but to answer the needs of our concertgoers and donors, plan and implement existing projects alongside new initiatives, and serve their hometown orchestra. As board members, it is essential that we tell staff and volun-
New works for orchestra from
Andrew Norman | PLAY for orchestra May 17, 2013; Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose, cond.
Thomas Adès | Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra July 17, 2013; BBC Proms; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Adès, cond.ond.
Bernard Rands | Concerto for Piano and Orchestra April 3, 2014; Boston Symphony Orchestra; Jonathan Biss, piano; Robert Spano, cond.
Tobias Picker | Concerto for Orchestra 2016; National Symphony Orchestra; Christoph Eschenbach, cond.
Julian Anderson | In lieblicher Bläue for violin and orchestra March 14, 2015; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Carolin Widmann, violin; Vladimir Jurowski, cond. SCHOTT MUSIC CORPORATION & EUROPEAN AMERICAN MUSIC DISTRIBUTORS COMPANY 254 West 31st Street | 15th �l | New York NY 10001 USA | scho�-music.com | eamdc.com | psnymusic.com
teers how much we appreciate their work, to publicly recognize their contributions, and, most importantly, to give them the resources they need to succeed. The orchestra’s board of trustees, as representative of the community we serve, helps ensure that we continue to find innovative ways to share the orchestra’s musical excellence in ways that are relevant to everyone across Northeast Ohio. The board, with ultimate responsibility for the mission of the institution, must be guided by a clear, overarching philosophy of governance. Only by serving all can we fulfill our promise to inspire future generations. Tomorrow is already here in this fast-moving modern world. But the way forward is clear. Boards, musicians, and management must work together effectively to sustain artistic excellence while making our art form ever more relevant to our communities and to more diverse and younger audiences. We must become more effective in our common mission. We must improve the flow of communication and step up the pace of our strategic planning to avert problems where possible, rather than deal with those that surely will descend upon us if we do not. In doing so, we will ensure that our hopes and plans for the future are achievable. DENNIS W. LABARRE was elected president of the Board of the Musical Arts Association in 2009, after having served as trustee since 1987 and as vice president since 2000. He retired in 2015 after 40 years as a partner in the international law firm Jones Day.
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New on the Board The League of American Orchestras has always been governed by a board of directors representing geographical diversity and a mix of talents and backgrounds. Here are sketches of its seven newest members, and some thoughts from each on how they plan to serve orchestras through participation on the board. Kjristine Lund Kjristine Lund is a member of the Seattle Symphony Board, where she chairs the Marketing Committee and recently served as co-chair of the orchestra’s Strategic Plan. She owns Lund Consulting, a Seattle-based firm she founded in 1990 that develops strategies and provides management and communication services for clients whose projects are typically community-focused. Examples include securing public funding to build cultural facilities and infrastructure, preserve historic sites, and improve urban design and amenities. Lund is also an avid amateur classical pianist. Her career in the Northwest started with documentary film production on public affairs issues, and she went on to establish the King County Cultural Resources agency—known today as 4-Culture—which funds arts and historic preservation. Her work was instrumental in establishing a King County hotel-motel tax that has provided funding to arts projects since 1990. Lund holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in urban affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She traces her passion for the work of the League of American Orchestras to her participation in the League’s Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar in 2002.
Why I serve: I became aware of the League after 9/11 when, like many others, I decided it was time to do what I truly love. I loved symphonic music and decided to apply my arts administration background to that field. In January 2002, as a participant in the Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar, I was blown away by the League’s ability to harness the talent in the industry and put together a first-rate curriculum. The League is a wonderful reflection of its members—small and large orchestras, volunteers, part-time administrators, and full-time CEOs; it plays an important role in advancing research, sharing best practices, and advocating for orchestras. What’s relevant in each community needs to be found through an understanding of who makes up the community, what its values are, and where authentic partnerships can be forged. As the League pursues its new strategic plan, I expect my experience in community engagement and coalition-building to be beneficial.
Anthony McGill Anthony McGill has served as principal clarinet in the New York Philharmonic since September 2014, and prior to that held the principal clarinet post for a decade in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall with the Metro-
politan Opera Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the New York String Orchestra. Other recent engagements have been with the Baltimore, New Jersey, San Diego, and Memphis symphonies, Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician McGill has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His collaborators have included cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Gabriela Montero—with whom he performed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009—as well as Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang. McGill serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School, the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Bard College Conservatory of Music, and Manhattan School of Music. He has given master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa. Why I serve: The League provides support to orchestras large and small, raising awareness for causes related to the health and stamina of the field as a whole. I believe that orchestras can remain relevant by performing music of living composers, connecting those pieces with the masterpieces of the past, and moving audiences emotionally by giving them a place to socialize and feel part of something fresh and exciting. As a child, I was one of the kids orchestras were trying to reach—and need to reach—in order to diversify their audiences. Different backgrounds enrich orchestral organizations and further the cause of symphonic music in this country. My fifteen years as a professional musician have given me a unique perspective on how the League can serve not only orchestras as a whole, but the musicians who spend their lives performing in them.
Alan McIntyre Alan McIntyre has been managing partner for North America at the management consulting symphony
firm Oliver Wyman since January 2013. He also serves as chairperson of Oliver Wyman Group’s Inclusion and Diversity Council. McIntyre previously served as chief operating officer of Oliver Wyman Group, where he was responsible for information technology, human resources, and marketing. From 2005 to 2008 he was head of North American Financial Services at Oliver Wyman, consulting in retail and wholesale banking, capital markets, and insurance sectors. Prior to this role, McIntyre was chief operating officer of Mercer Oliver Wyman, with specific responsibility for the integration of Oliver, Wyman & Company and Mercer following Mercer’s acquisition of Oliver Wyman & Company. McIntyre, who holds dual U.S. and U.K. citizenship, is vice chairman of the Stamford (Conn.) Symphony Orchestra; patron of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland; a deacon of Noroton (Conn.) Presbyterian Church; and “Global Scot” business ambassador for the Scottish Government. He holds an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland; an M. Phil in finance from Pembroke College, Cambridge; and an MA in economics and philosophy from Glasgow University. Why I serve: As a senior partner at Oliver Wyman, I have led many pro bono engagements in the arts world, including work for symphony orchestras and for the League itself. I love working at the intersection of the arts and business, where I can combine my passion for classical music with 25 years of experience as a management consultant to some of the world’s leading financial institutions. I hope that by serving on the League board I can ensure that America’s orchestras have access to the best possible thinking around how to run the business of classical music.
Alan Pierson The New York Times has hailed Alan Pierson as a “dynamic conductor and musical visionary,” and americanorchestras.org
his ensemble Alarm Will Sound as “the future of classical music.” In addition to serving as Alarm Will Sound’s artistic director and conductor, Pierson is principal conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble. He was formerly artistic director and conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Pierson has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Steve Reich Ensemble, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Silk Road Project, and he has been a visiting faculty conductor at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Eastman School of Music. He regularly collaborates with major performers, composers, and choreographers, including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Steve Reich, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Donnacha Dennehy, La Monte Young, Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan, and Eliot Feld. Pierson has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD. Why I serve: It seems to me that the League is both a resource for orchestras and an agent for the field as a whole. What I really admire about the board is that it’s actively questioning and investigating what the League can and should be, rather than recycling old answers. That’s an exciting conversation to be a part of. Despite all of the changes in how people consume the arts, live performance and its power to bring people together remain very special and magical. I see lots of opportunities for orchestras that are game to take risks and experiment, to connect more deeply with local communities. The Brooklyn Philharmonic was engaged in just this sort of exploration in my time with them, and it’s heartening to see other orchestras looking in similar directions. Most of my career has taken place outside of orchestral institutions—in the world of musical startups like Alarm Will Sound, Crash Ensemble, and the Steve Reich Ensemble. That orientation gives me a perspective somewhat
different from that of other board members. I think there are all sorts of interesting questions about how this startup scene will relate to the more institutionalized orchestral sphere, and I’m interested to be a part of figuring that out.
David M. Roth David M. Roth is a principal and managing director of WLD Enterprises, Inc., a private investment company that invests in real estate, venture capital, and public and private markets, both internationally and in the United States. He was formerly a partner in the Farmington, Connecticut law firm of Levy & Droney, P.C., where he specialized in litigation, investment banking, and public finance law. Roth’s board affiliations include the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (chair 2005-2008 and 2010-2011); Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts; the Greater Hartford Arts Council; Genomas Inc.; CMC Inc.; RIMEDIO Inc.; the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; and Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. He also sits on the investment committees of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Jewish Community Foundation. Roth has been a member of the Investment Advisory Council of the State of Connecticut Office of the Treasurer, the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., the Hartford Jewish Community Center, the Hartford Jewish Federation, and the Mark Twain House. A 1970 graduate of Lafayette College, Roth holds an MA from the University of Virginia and a JD from the University of Connecticut. Why I serve: One of the major roles of the League is to help orchestras of all sizes, full-time or part-time, to understand their particular relevance in their own community. The League should be an institution that compiles and aggregates data, best practices, and innovative ideas, and then helps orchestras apply that information to their
own circumstances. Orchestras can remain relevant only when they understand who their audience is and how to engage the larger potential audience that exists within their domain and in the world at large. With tools such as streaming services, the web, and music sites, the ability to communicate verbally and musically is an essential component of an orchestra’s toolkit. Orchestras must not only promise, but actually deliver, an engrossing musical experience. They need to be artistically excellent and distinctive; organizationally dynamic and innovative; financially stable and growing; and recognized as cultural leaders.
Matthew VanBesien Matthew VanBesien joined the New York Philharmonic as executive director in September 2012 and was named president in June 2014. Since arriving at the Philharmonic he has expanded the orchestra’s role in its hometown, across the country, and globally through such projects as the NY Phil Biennial, launched in 2014, and the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, which includes four-year collaborations with Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Prior to the Philharmonic VanBesien served for two years as managing director of Australia’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. From 2005 to 2010 he was executive director and chief executive officer at the Houston Symphony, having served as its general manager from 2003 to 2005. He is a member of the Curtis Institute of Music Board of Overseers and the Executive Committee for the Avery Fisher Career Grants, which provide professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists. A native of St. Louis, VanBesien earned a bachelor of music degree in French horn performance from Indiana University. He was second horn in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra from 1992 to 2000. In the
2001-02 season VanBesien completed the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, working at a variety of American orchestras. In May 2014 he received an honorary Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music. Why I serve: I have benefited directly from the League’s programs, and believe that developing the next generation of leaders is of the utmost importance. As orchestras face crucial challenges of audience development and engagement, attracting the brightest and the best to our field is paramount. I’m proud to be able to share with others the work I’ve done in communities as diverse as Houston, Melbourne, and now New York—to give back through serving on the board. New York presents a particularly interesting set of challenges: finding ways to make the city feel smaller, leveraging the orchestra to reach different audience segments in an extremely varied city. Orchestras need to adapt to their communities, to find points of intersection that are specific to those communities. The League is in a unique position to encourage dialogue about what it means to be an orchestra in the 21st century, to both lead and support this ongoing conversation.
Jonathan Weedman Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jonathan Weedman has served as senior vice president for the Wells Fargo Foundation since September 1996. He began his career with Wells Fargo in 1989 as a business banking officer and later joined the Premier Banking Division, where he developed business for nonprofit organizations in Southern California. Weedman currently chairs the Los Angeles County Grand Park Foundation Board of Directors and serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Getty House Foundation, The Colburn School, the Inner City Youth
Orchestra of Los Angeles, the Antaeus Theatre Company, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Past board affiliations include Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, the American Heart Association, and the California Heritage Museum. Weedman has received community-service awards from such organizations as the American Heart Association, Shakespeare Festival LA, Para Los Niños, AIDS Service Center, Aid for AIDS, Project New Hope, Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, Operation Hope, and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. For the past six years he and his partner have chaired the Los Angeles Philharmonic Hollywood Bowl Opening Gala to raise funds for music education. Weedman attended the University of Southern California and the University of California-Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Why I serve: The League is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in all things symphonic. It is an advocate, a convener, a subject-matter expert, a resource, and a voice for the art form—for the artists, the audiences, and the businesses that support them. Symphonic music is one of the greatest cornerstones of our culture, bringing joy, relevance, and beauty to our lives. And it is incumbent upon all of us who love this art form to ensure its continuity. We must share the magnificence of this art form with diverse communities. I did not want to be a banker; I wanted to be a concert pianist and conductor. I fell in love with classical music at a young age, and it has nourished my soul ever since. Having now run the largest corporate foundation in Los Angeles for almost 20 years, I’ve been fortunate to work with many arts organizations. I hope that my perspective and background will be helpful to my work on the League board. And you can “YouTube” me conducting the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall last July—the biggest thrill of my adult life! symphony
The Seattle Symphony’s three-year Native Lands Project aims to build cultural understanding through the creation of new music by the Seattle Symphony and tribal nations in the Puget Sound region. In photo: Native flutist Paul “Che oke ten” Wagner and Seattle Symphony musicians perform on March 14, 2015 at the East Shore Unitarian Church.
Many U.S. orchestras are named for their hometowns— but how often does their music reflect the spirit of their homes? Many new works evoke the histories, geographies, and life stories of the places where orchestras and their communities live.
Home Robert Wade
by Donald Rosenberg
During celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Cape Cod Canal on July 29, 2014, the Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra, New Bedford Symphony Youth Orchestra, Bay Youth Orchestra, and musicians from the Conservatory Lab Charter School performed Brett Abigaña’s Through the Bent and Twisted Arm, led by Joan Landry.
ant to keep track of climatic and environmental conditions in your neck of the woods? Never mind the Weather Channel. Head to the nearest concert hall, or wherever your symphony orchestra may be performing. New music that evokes atmospheres, histories, and people of specific regions has been all the rage recently, with one work—John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean—as the most prominent example. The Seattle Symphony commissioned Become Ocean, introduced it at home in June 2013, recorded it, and gave the New York premiere last year during the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall just three weeks after the piece won the Pulitzer Prize. Meanwhile, four other American orchestras have inamericanorchestras.org
troduced or will soon premiere works reflecting local aspects of place: the Flint River (Georgia’s Albany Symphony, with Steven Landis’s Thronateeska); the Cape Cod Canal (three Massachusetts youth orchestras, with Brett Abigaña’s Through the Bent and Twisted Arm); Miami Beach (the New World Symphony, with Michael Gordon’s El Sol Caliente); and the city of Detroit (the Detroit Symphony, which gives the first performances of Tod Machover’s crowdsourced Symphony in D in November). These pieces embrace orchestral tradition by painting sonic pictures of natural phenomena, as are famously embedded in Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony (countryside, brook, thunderstorm) and Debussy’s La Mer. For the latter, the French composer relied mostly on childhood memories: he
began writing the score not near the sea but amid the vines of Burgundy, and completed it in a British hotel on the English Channel. Conversely, Gershwin was inspired to compose An American in Paris—a piece that is enjoying new popularity in a Broadway version of the 1951 film—while visiting the French capital, but applied the finishing touches in New York. Other examples of such tonal scene-painting include Smetana’s Má vlast, Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony, Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Varèse’s Amériques and Déserts (the last was part of the Seattle Symphony’s Spring for Music program, along with La Mer and Become Ocean). Although you can savor the chirps and cooing of birds and flinch at the thunderbolts in the “Pastoral,” Beethoven didn’t merely set out to describe what he saw
As part of the Seattle Symphony’s Native Lands initiative, Seattle Symphony musician Wesley Dyring (above right) performs with young Native musicians from the Shooting Stars Performance Ensemble at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center on June 21, 2013. At right: John Luther Adams, whose Become Ocean, commissioned and premiered by the Seattle Symphony in 2013, evokes the expansive seas of the Pacific Northwest.
around him. He also conjured the sense of place and the emotions he experienced. At the top of the first movement, he writes: “Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside.” Psychological implications are also woven into the scores the five aforementioned American composers have written—or, in Machover’s case, will write— for orchestras in the second decade of the 21st century. Of his Through the Bent and Twisted Arm, Abigaña says: “Rather than trying to portray the physical geographical characteristic of the actual place, I found it more interesting to portray what it meant.” In commissioning portraits of their regions, the orchestras profiled here have gone beyond the crucial goal of expanding the repertoire. They’re also exploring topics vital to their communities, and in doing so are engaging listeners who may have had little inclination to attend a classical-music concert. Hearing the Sea in Seattle
Ludovic Morlot and Simon Woods arrived at the Seattle Symphony at the same time in 2011 as music director and executive director, respectively, eager to signal a new era. “How might we do that with a commissioning project?” Woods recalls think-
on the stage.” It turned out to be Become Ocean, with three ensembles within the orchestra (strings, winds, brasses, with percussion in each) playing undulating waves of material. Morlot knew the orchestra was taking a chance performing a work made of harmonic and rhythmic patterns that repeat and evolve over 42 minutes, at one point “creating a tsunami of sound,” he says. “Usually when you start to introduce a piece of music actively, you try to find the form, you look for melodies, look for a rhythmic pattern or some sense of comfort in what you can recognize. I think it was clear for the first five or seven minutes that the audience was very lost and found it hard to listen to, but finally the magic happened when they gave up trying to make sense of it and they started hearing the music.” For many people, Morlot says, the piece “was about being in the middle of nowhere and not being in control of what’s happening to you. ing. “We were wanting to make a statement I think when we go a concert, we all aspire about something, more than commissionto hear something that’s bigger than us. This ing a new work and forgetting about it. We piece kind of swallows your whole self.” wanted to make it meaningful for the orgaAudience members at the first perfornization and the community.” Along with mances of Become Ocean in Seattle weren’t Elena Dubinets, the orchestra’s vice presi- so engulfed that they could respond only dent of artistic planning, they discussed with ovations. On glass walls in the main the possibility of a new work by Adams, a lobby in Benaroya Hall, listeners were inlongtime Alaska resident admired for his vited to record their impressions of the munature-inspired music. They thought a piece sic at what the orchestra called the Reflectapping into the environment would be a tion Station. “You can hear the journey of good fit for the Pacific Northwest, “a part the soul, enormous footsteps downward in of America where people a freezing earth,” wrote one conIn commissioning care very deeply about certgoer. “We were IN the ocean. portraits of those issues,” Woods says. So restful and then wild! And Originally, the Seattle restful and wild!” wrote another. their regions, team considered asking Even composer Adams got in on orchestras are Adams for a work along the act, writing: “My hope is that going beyond the lines of Dark Waves, the music creates a strange, beauthe crucial goal his 2007 score for orchestiful, overwhelming—sometimes of expanding tra and electronic sounds even frightening—landscape, the repertoire. that includes spatial eleand invites people to get lost They’re exploring ments around the hall. in it.” The strange beauty of the topics vital to their But since the orchestra piece wasn’t lost on the Pulitzer communities. was already considering committee or New York critics, applying for an appearwho raved about the work. ance at Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music Whether Become Ocean actually conveys festival, it became clear that “something a sense of place is up to each listener. “I’m spatial there would be a nightmare,” says not sure if this piece is about geography,” Woods. “So he kept this a piece that stayed says Woods, comparing it to La Mer. “John symphony
Of Beaches and Elephants
Officials of the New World Symphony had just the right composer in mind when they agreed to take part in festivities marking the 100th anniversary of Miami Beach, the professional training academy’s hometown. They chose Michael Gordon, a graduate of Miami Beach High who went on to become a co-founder of Bang on a Can, the celebrated New York new-music festival and ensemble. With filmmaker Bill Morrison, Gordon has created more than a dozen works, including the city portraits Dystopia (about Los Angeles, for the Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Gotham (about New York City, for the American Composers Orchestra). For Miami Beach, the duo col-
happens throughout the piece. So there’s this crescendo and decrescendo of a wave coming in and crashing on the shore and the withdrawal of water. It’s almost a 21stcentury La Mer. That’s the inspiration.” Howard Herring, the New World Symphony’s president and CEO, hears the work neither as narrative nor as documentary. “If there is a story,” he says, “it’s a story viewers create in their imagination in a way that would be similar to taking a long walk on a Miami beach or sitting and watching the ocean or letting the Art Deco architecture evoke another space and time. Music is inherently abstract, and Michael created an evocation or elaboration on these visuals.” One of the work’s biggest champions is Jimmy Morales, city manager for the City of Miami Beach, who asked New World Symphony to take part in the centennial
At right: Free WallCasts at the New World Symphony bring live concerts to audiences in the orchestra’s hometown of Miami Beach. Below: The New World Symphony and conductor Christian Reif perform the world premiere of El Sol Caliente, commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of Miami Beach, with music by Michael Gordon and visuals by Bill Morrison, January 30, 2015.
laborated on El Sol Caliente (The Hot Sun), a piece ideal for the New World Center, home of the New World Symphony, with its multimedia performance hall and adjacent park, Miami Beach SoundScape, which shows concerts on a 7,000-squarefoot projection wall. In writing El Sol Caliente, Gordon says he set out to portray the natural wonders of Miami Beach, a tiny strip of land surrounded by water and exposed to the ocean and rapid changes in weather and environment. Morrison shot footage of the area and did historical research, finding films from the 1920s and beyond of bathing beauties, hurricanes, and luxury hotels. The main inspiration for the music, says Gordon, was “the sound of the waves of the ocean and the wind and the storms. There are so many conglomerations of musical influences here—Cuban, Haitian, Jewish culture. I wanted to find a way to connect with the place without referencing any of those cultures specifically. The sound almost undulates through the orchestra and
New World Symphony
Luther Adams might have been thinking about the oceans in the Pacific Northwest, but in reality not about those oceans. What’s great about it is that both of these pieces transcend that. They’re about the idea of an ocean, the interplay of light and waves and the eternal power of the oceans. I think that’s very universal.”
The Albany Symphony in Georgia celebrated its 50th anniversary by commissioning Steven Landis’s Thronateesaka, based on the Flint River (at right), which runs through Albany. Above: The orchestra and its ensemble in residence, enhake, perform the world premiere, February 2015.
celebration. He says audiences were enthralled with the music and the video, especially scenes featuring Rosie the Elephant, a major promotional element for the city in the 1930s. The project demonstrated the public’s strong appreciation for New World Symphony’s relationship with its hometown, and it “highlighted for a lot of folks the role of arts and culture in Miami Beach,” says Morales.
Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau
Flint in the Orchestra
Miami Beach native Gordon was touched by the positive response to El Sol Caliente at its premiere. “Having this subject matter is a way to draw people in and still allow us to have the freedom to be artistic and make our creation and follow our dreams and visions,” he says. You have this sense that people are drawn in. They feel it’s special. They want to be involved. They want to follow what’s going on.”
Commissioning a work was one of the ways Music Director Claire Fox Hillard and colleagues chose to add something special to the 50th-anniversary season of the Albany Symphony in Georgia. They didn’t have to look far for a composer: Steven Landis, a former principal double bass player in the orchestra, had written a piece for the ensemble several years earlier that audiences had enjoyed. As he does whenever he commissions a piece, Hillard left the content up to Landis, who this year has been working on his doctorate in composition with Chen Yi at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Since Landis had gotten to know the region around Albany well during his tenure with the orchestra, he decided to create a work based on the local Flint River. The result, first heard in February, was Thronateeska, the river’s name in the Native American Creek language. Hillard’s only request was that Landis write a piece featuring Albany Symphony
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members Wonkak Kim (clarinet), M. Brent Williams (violin), Katherine Geeseman (cello), and Eun-Hee Park (piano). Landis came up with a three-movement score that summons imagery of the rock found on the banks of the river, the spider lilies that grow nearby, and the motion of the river itself. Hillard and Landis “talked about making sure it’s a piece that couldn’t only be performed at one location because in a generic sense it’s the history of a specific river,” the conductor says. The first movement calls upon members of the percussion and bass sections to use actual flint to achieve novel effects. “The idea is that over time these big pieces of flint are chiseled into something a person can use as a tool,” Landis told the Albany Herald. “I tried to capture that in the music with the rhythm, and with the idea that slowly over time the notes are taken away until you’re left with the core of this very large chord from the beginning of the piece.” Violin and clarinet soloists, placed in boxes on each side of the stage, suggest the lilies in the second movement. The work was part of a water-themed
concert that included Beethoven’s “Pastoral” and Smetana’s Vltava (Moldau). A crowd turned out, “and it may have been because of the river in our town,” says Hillard. “They said, ‘We loved the Beethoven, we loved the Smetana, but, boy, we really liked that new piece.’ Plus having [Steven] here, now a former member of the orchestra, I think helped sell the piece.” Inspired by a Canal
Richard Gurnon, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, needed all kinds of events to fill a festival devoted to the 100th anniversary of the Cape Cod Canal. One was a concert, so he asked Stephanie Weaver, managing director at the Cape Cod Conservatory, to devise a program and engage an orchestra. The Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra wouldn’t be big enough for an outdoor event, so Weaver partnered with the nearby New Bedford Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Bay Youth Orchestra (BaYS), and musicians from the Conservatory Lab Charter School to add sonic oomph. Among the works the 85 members
of the newly dubbed Cape Festival Youth Orchestra would play was a commissioned work about the canal: Brett Abigaña’s Through the Bent and Twisted Arm. Abigaña, who teaches at Boston University Academy, a high school associated with the university, responded to the commission by researching the circumstances surrounding the canal’s construction and grasping its importance as a crucial point of arrival to and departure from the Cape. “The first thing I did was find six sea shanties all in some way attributed to or with references to Cape Cod,” says Abigaña. He wove the shanties contrapuntally with original themes representing the construction of the canal and people who built it. The work’s narration includes quotes from financier August Belmont II, Woodrow Wilson, and Richard Gurnon. Through the Bent and Twisted Arm, premiered last July under the baton of Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra Conductor Joan Landry, shared a water- and patrioticthemed program with such selections as Victory at Sea, Handel’s Water Music, St. Lou-
Conductors Daniel Boico Christoph Campestrini Steven Fox Nir Kabaretti Bernard Labadie Richard Lee Mathieu Lussier Dirk Meyer James Paul Gregory Vajda Pianists Anderson & Roe Piano Duo Katherine Chi David Kadouch Alexander Korsantia Benedetto Lupo Dubravka Tomsic Gilles Vonsattel Violinists Nikki Chooi Yossif Ivanov Mayuko Kamio Elina Vähälä French horn David Jolley Ensembles I Musici di Roma Jasper String Quartet Kelemen Quartet New York Brass Arts Trio Signum Quartet Trio Cavatina Trio Valtorna Special Projects Cirque de la Symphonie+ Festival Pablo Casals Prades Collective Ute Lemper Sopranos Tracy Dahl Karina Gauvin Jonita Lattimore Christy Lombardozzi Shannon Mercer Courtney A. Mills Christina Pier Katherine Whyte Mezzo-Sopranos Margaret Lattimore Abigail Nims Barbara Rearick Claire Shackleton Counter-Tenor José Lemos Tenors Frank Kelley Jesús León Tilman Lichdi Christopher Pfund Steven Tharp Daniel Weeks Lawrence Wiliford Baritones Anton Belov Jochen Kupfer+ Richard Zeller Bass-Baritones Stephen Bryant Michael Dean Kevin Deas Basses Nikita Storojev Chorus La Chapelle de Québec
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While researching a new work depicting Detroit, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony, composer Tod Machover (at right in both photos) visited the legendary Motown Hit Factory and the Henry Ford Museum.
were thrilled with the experience, says Weaver: “To celebrate history and be part of history at the same time was really exciting for the students.”
is Blues, El Capitan, and songs performed by American Idol finalist Siobhan Magnus, a native of the Cape. Abigaña, who wound up narrating his creation, was delighted with its reception. “I had lots of people coming up to me saying very kind things about how the music made them feel proud of the canal and made them think of it differently,” he says. “One lady said she was a descendant of August Belmont, who made the canal happen. She said it made her particularly proud to hear her great grandfather referred to for the good things he did. Other people
Sounds of a City
said things not as connected to the canal but connected to the music, like ‘I didn’t know contemporary music could sound like that.’ ” Members of the youth orchestra also
To call Tod Machover the composer of Symphony in D is to tell only part of the story. When the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leonard Slatkin premiere the work in November, the score will resound with ideas submitted by dozens and possibly hundreds of people who love their city. Detroit is the fifth metropolis—after Toronto, Edinburgh, Perth, and Lucerne—and the first in the United States to be the subject of a crowdsourced symphony masterminded by the endlessly inventive Machover, professor of music and media at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. The idea for a Machover work for Detroit was hatched at the Edinburgh International Festival. Dennis Scholl, vice president for
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arts at the Knight Foundation, had met Machover while serving as a fellow at Harvard in 2002. “I found myself spending a lot of time at the MIT Media Lab,” Scholl says, “because it’s one of the coolest places on earth.” Scholl then followed Machover to Edinburgh to check out his crowdsourced symphony Festival Music, for the Royal Scottish Orchestra. Scholl was bowled over by the piece—including bagpipe sounds played not by bagpipers but simu-
lated through orchestral instruments—and quickly began to think of an American city for a similar project. Detroit was chosen, Scholl says, because of the excellence and experimental enthusiasm of its orchestra. The Knight Foundation gave the orchestra a grant of $315,000 for the endeavor. The city has taken Machover and the project into its arms. The composer has made numerous trips to Detroit to meet with community groups, attend Tigers
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games, and see how the town is pulling itself out of turbulent times. “It’s a place that’s proud and has an incredible industrial and social and cultural history,” he says. “It felt the decay of American industry before anybody else. It had a pretty big fall and now is reinventing itself.” One day in April, Machover met with a group of senior citizens at the Detroit Historical Museum, where they showed him relevant material and put on a presentation. “You couldn’t make it up. It was just so moving,” he recalls. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of these people. We’ve had conversations about what life was like on assembly lines or in this department store or being unemployed when the auto industry Several Cape Cod youth went away or when a orchestras whole neighborhood disappeared. Detroit banded was a perfect storm of together for overzealous urban re- the premiere newal that cleared out a of Brett lot of the city.” Abigaña’s Many of the converThrough sations Machover has the Bent had in the community and Twisted promise to bear fruit Arm, which for Symphony in D, celebrates which will incorporate the 100th contributed sounds of anniversary baseball games, factories, and a potpourri of the Cape of local musical genres Cod Canal. (Motown, techno, hiphop, jazz, classical) into the sonic fabric. Scholl sees the project as weaving together multiple strands: “This is one of the moments where the piece will be artistically excellent but the journey is as important, if not more important. That’s not something you’d say about a work of art very often.” The composer is as curious as anyone to hear how it turns out. “There’s something about the rhythm and propulsion and energy that comes from the factories and the music that’s come out of there,” he says. “There’s a certain individuality. I find it really powerful. It’s the imagination and unbridled energy in Detroit which are going to tie this particular piece together.” DONALD ROSENBERG is editor of EMAg, the magazine of Early Music America; author of The Cleveland Orchestra Story: “Second to None”; and former president of the Music Critics Association of North America.
OPUS 3 artists
Emanuel ax * sergei Babayan Daniel Barenboim inon Barnatan Elena Bashkirova Jonathan Biss Yefim Bronfman Jeremy Denk Christoph Eschenbach * Gavin George Gary Graffman andreas Haefliger Nicolas Hodges Joseph Kalichstein Zoltán Kocsis Denis Kozhukhin Kuok-Wai Lio Nikolai Lugansky radu Lupu anne-Marie McDermott Garrick Ohlsson * Makoto Ozone Jon Kimura Parker Orli shaham * Conrad tao alexandre tharaud Daniil trifonov ^ * Llyr Williams shai Wosner Haochen Zhang Krystian Zimerman
Katia & Marielle Labèque
adele anthony Beilman renaud Capuçon alexis Cárdenas sarah Chang Chee-Yun Kyung-Wha Chung James Ehnes Vilde Frang Pamela Frank Miriam Fried ryu Goto Caroline Goulding Daniel Hope stefan Jackiw Leonidas Kavakos Jennifer Koh Gidon Kremer Cho-Liang Lin * simone Porter Nadja salerno-sonnenberg Gil shaham
Yuri Bashmet antoine tamestit
Gautier Capuçon Narek Hakhnazaryan Yo-Yo Ma * Johannes Moser Joshua roman alisa Weilerstein
sérgio & Odair assad Odair assad
Jordan Bisch samuel ramey John relyea Morris robinson arthur Woodley
PErCUSSION stewart Copeland Colin Currie
Deanna Breiwick andriana Chuchman sabina Cvilak Elizabeth De trejo Julianna Di Giacomo Jacqueline Echols Christine Goerke Wendy Bryn Harmer irini Kyriakidou Elisabete Matos Patricia racette
mEzzO-SOPrANOS stephanie Blythe Michelle DeYoung Katarina Karnéus Kate Lindsey irina Mishura tamara Mumford irene roberts
COUNTErTENOr anthony roth Costanzo
Colin ainsworth ian Bostridge William Burden richard Cox anthony Dean Griffey Paul Groves Bryan Hymel Brian Jagde Nicholas Phan Matthew Plenk taylor stayton
sir thomas allen
Concerts & recitals only
Chioldi Nathan Gunn thomas Hampson
Concerts & recitals only
Weston Hurt alexey Lavrov Lucas Meachem Michael todd simpson
bASS-bArITONES andrew Craig Brown John Del Carlo Oren Gradus alan Held Keith Miller Luca Pisaroni
teddy abrams Marin alsop Philippe auguin * timothy Brock * Karina Canellakis Frederic Chaslin Mei-ann Chen James Conlon sir andrew Davis, CBE Johannes Debus tan Dun Christoph Eschenbach * Joann Falletta John Fiore asher Fisch * rob Fisher Lawrence Foster Fabien Gabel Giancarlo Guerrero * Miguel Harth-Bedoya Eric Jacobsen Mariss Jansons richard Kaufman Leonidas Kavakos Christian Knapp * sebastian Lang-Lessing Marcelo Lehninger Courtney Lewis Jahja Ling Jesús López-Cobos Zdenek Macal ingo Metzmacher David alan Miller robert Moody Ludovic Morlot tito Muñoz Erik Nielsen Matthias Pintscher Jérémie rhorer Helmuth rilling David robertson Evan rogister * Christopher rountree Corrado rovaris Donald runnicles Christopher seaman steven sloane robert spano Ward stare Patrick summers Bramwell tovey Eugene tzigane Emmanuel Villaume Julian Wachner Joshua Weilerstein
Jamie Bernstein Claire Bloom John Lithgow Christopher Plummer Patrick stewart
Luther adams Mason Bates stewart Copeland tan Dun Béla Fleck Osvaldo Golijov Wynton Marsalis Gene scheer adam schoenberg * Conrad tao
POPS & SPECIALS Maya Beiser
World to Come Concerto by David Lang
Ben Hur: A Tale of The Christ
Warner Brother’s 1925 Niblo Classic silent Film stewart Copeland: Composer, Drums & Percussion
Bernstein on Broadway The Bernstein Beat Cowboys, Caballeros and Copland! Mozart, You Kid You!
rosanne Cash the Chieftains Cirque Mechanics for the Orchestra the Earth–an HD Odyssey * rob Fisher The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein Bernstein’s New York Ira After George Cinema Italiano
The Music of John Williams Oscar Night on the Red Carpet
The Crazy Arc of Love Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins
La triste Historia
Juan trigos’s epic symphony No. 3, “Ofrenda a los muertos” with “Day of the Dead” animated film by ticktockrobot
Carnival of the Animals Farkle & Friends Bandshell Next to the Zoo
Far Away Places Coulda Woulda Shoulda
Patti LuPone & Mandy Patinkin One Very Enchanted Evening * the
Manhattan transfer Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Swing Symphony All Rise
Times and other Chaplin Films with Orchestra the Planets–an HD Odyssey Professor Kubínek Meets the symphony Peter schickele P.D.Q. Bach at 50: As Good as he Ever Was
roger Waters Ça Ira
Concerts & recitals only
Christian Van Horn
*NEw TO ThE rOSTEr
Composer and pianist Malek Jandali performs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
by Thomas May
A New East-West
Composers inspired by their Arabic, Turkish, and Iranian roots are enriching America’s orchestral life.
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Composer Mohammed Fairouz meets the Symphonic Choir of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at an early rehearsal for his oratorio Zabur, which premiered on April 24.
n April 24, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir unveiled Mohammed Fairouz’s ambitious new oratorio Zabur. The piece was commissioned by a consortium of performing arts groups, schools, universities, and houses of worship throughout Indianapolis. Taking its name from the Arabic title for the Psalms of David, Zabur was just one of an astonishing seven world premieres this season for the young ArabAmerican composer, a native of New York who spent time growing up in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Gulf. And that’s not counting the regional first performances of other major Fairouz compositions: February saw a new production of the chamber opera Sumeida’s Song at Pittsburgh Opera, while across the continent the Reno Philharmonic programmed his Violin Concerto. Not yet 30, Fairouz is working simultaneously on two largescale opera commissions, as well as another orchestral work, Pax Universalis, to be premiered in October by California’s Santa Rosa Symphony. With the recent release of his debut recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Follow, Poet—including the new song cycle Audenesque and Sadat, a ballet—he’s the youngest composer in the label’s history to release an entire album focused on his music. Fairouz is one among a remarkable wave of composers working today in America whose music incorporates Middle Eastern idioms that up until very recently were routinely pigeonholed as “exotic.” This wave includes such names as Fawzi Haimor, Mariam Adam, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, Kinan Azmeh, Kareem Roustom, Karim Al-Zand, Malek Jandali, and Reza Vali—to mention just the figures discussed in this story. They encompass not only Arabic traditions but the intricate musical legacies of Turkey and Iran as well, representing the genuine diversity of approaches and commitments that interest these artists. Overall, these composers are subverting the clichés by which the Islamic world has so often been represented symphony
in the Western canon—from the “janissary” military bands “alla Turca” in Mozart or in Beethoven’s Ninth to the enticing, luxurious “Orientalism” of Rimsky-Korsakov. According to the literary critic Edward Said’s formulation of the concept of Orientalism, the Western world’s colonialist objectification of (primarily) Arab peoples and cultures depicted the latter as not only different but inferior. These blinders, Said famously stated, reinforced the Western prejudice that “the one thing the Orient could not do was to represent itself.” Far from simply offering an updated version of musical tourism—a 21st-century spicing of Western ingredients with “the Other”—Fairouz’s compositions, for example, integrate his Eastern and Western models into complex, original wholes. A profound understanding of and admiration for Bach, Schubert, and Britten underlies his incorporation of Arabic maqamat (modes) and their melody-centered, microtonal inflections. “We can do wonderful things if we apply our collective effort and break down walls,” observes Fairouz. “That is what a renaissance is defined by: the breaking down of walls.”
And this trend isn’t happening only in the large pluricultural centers of New York and Los Angeles, as you might expect, but across the country.
es and enable reconciliation pervade such works as his Third and Fourth Symphonies. The Third (“Poems and Prayers”) sets the Kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer often used when mourning, along with texts by Breaking Down Stereotypes modern Arabic and Israeli poets, while the Merely being identified as an Arab-AmerFourth draws inspiration from Art Spieican composer in the post-9/11 world triggelman’s graphic novel In the Shadow of No gers expectations of a political dimension Towers, an anguished response to 9/11. “We beyond whatever specific piece of music is need to turn down the volume on the matter being discussed. “There’s no doubt that we’re of misunderstanding,” Fairouz emphasizes. in a moment of vital transition between the “Music is a key to forging the bridge of unso-called Arab world and derstanding. I don’t mean “Symphony orchestras Europe and the U.S.,” says in a kumbaya way, because understand that their Fairouz. “I think we need it’s much more rigorous programming needs to to work hard toward unthan that.” derstanding one another Why, then, has it taken draw on the influences and appreciating each so long for these voices to of how the world other’s cultures. You have emerge as a critical mass actually looks,” to dehumanize someone in the American music says composer to be able to go to war with scene? Mohammed Fairouz. them, and that is almost The 32-year-old Arabimpossible when you apAmerican conductor Fawpreciate the others’s culture and poetry. It zi Haimor points to reasons within Arabic was dehumanizing of the Jews in Europe culture itself: “Although our musical tradithat enabled the Holocaust.” tions date back for centuries, in the past Fairouz’s convictions about the power of 100 years or so, music was not necessarily art to subvert our worst destructive impulsembraced in the Middle East or in Middle
Composer and musician Kinan Azmeh in performance with the Silk Road Ensemble, Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman americanorchestras.org
Khalid Al Busaidi
Eastern households. But now people in the Middle East and those who have moved to the West want to express themselves musically. I was Western-trained and grew up in an environment where I heard Arabic folk music, but at the same time was playing violin in Western orchestras.” Regarding the issue of music in Islamic theology, Haimor argues that the naysayers have it wrong: “I’m a Muslim musician and obviously believe music is compatible with the religion. The call to prayer itself is inherently musical in nature.” Israel, by contrast, has had a robust infrastructure in place to promote the institutions of Western classical music since its founding. The Israel Philharmonic, after all, was founded in 1936 by the Polish-born Bronisław Huberman as the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, and Leonard Bernstein maintained a lifelong commitment to the ensemble starting in 1947. There has been a tradition of touring to the U.S., with advocacy of contemporary Israeli composers like Shulamit Ran and Avner Dorman. The gatekeepers of what we call classical music are realizing that “we need to debunk the perception that it’s an elitist art form,” Fairouz remarks. “But we have a long way to go before the concert hall becomes a truly inclusive place. Symphony orchestras understand that their programming needs to draw on the influences of how the world actually looks.” Among the ensembles determined to do that is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,
which has commissioned a new concerto from Fairouz for the Israeli-born American cellist Maya Beiser. Erik Rönmark, the DSO’s general manager and artistic administrator, observes that the fusion of Western forms and orchestral sonorities with influences indigenous to non-Western or nonmainstream cultures “is not a new concept. Bartók used folk music influences. But the Arabic part of the world has not often been represented in a way that doesn’t make it into an ‘exotic’ other. Like any composer,” continues Rönmark, “Mohammed draws on his experiences, but being as talented as he is, he’s able to create something interesting and unique from this. He writes in what we refer to as Western form, for symphony orchestra, but he’s melding two separate traditions in a way that asks questions and stimulates dialogue. Orchestras are trying to find points for people to relate to music today.” Pierre Ruhe, director of artistic planning for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra— which premiered Fairouz’s Violin Concerto (titled Al-Andalus) last year to acclaim—says that while Fairouz’s Arab heritage is a significant influence, it shouldn’t pigeonhole him. “He has so much depth as a person, and such an enormous range of technical skills as a composer—you hear it all in his music,” Ruhe says. “He’s trying to say serious things, but he’s doing it with freshness and simplicity. Part of what makes Fairouz’s voice so compelling is how he uses folk elements in his music, often in a raw or unstylized way. He’s not removing it from a meaningful context. In his Violin ConcerFawzi Haimor, seen here conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony to, the result was both timeless Orchestra during a free community concert in November 2013, and hip, which is surely a great recently completed a three-year tenure as the orchestra’s resident conductor. path for a classical composer to follow.”
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
A Surge in New Voices
Another busy, in-demand composer, the Syrian-born, U.S.-based Kareem Roustom, came into the international spotlight last summer when Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra—the pathbreaking youth ensemble comprising Israeli, Palestinian, and other Middle Eastern musicians—took his work Ramal on tour. Currently Roustom is working on a commission shared by the
As to why there
Michigan Philharmon- are not more ic and the MichiganArab-American based National Arab women Orchestra that will combine the Western composers, orchestra with the takht Imani Winds (the chamber ensemble clarinetist of Arabic music). The Mariam Adam world premiere will says that “over take place in September the next decade with Michigan Philharmonic Music Di- there will be rector Nan Washburn more women conducting. “One of graduating with our brands is to present the degrees and music that introduces competition our audiences to new accolades cultures,” explains Beth Stewart, the orchestra’s needed to launch executive director. “For a composing our collaboration with career.” the National Arab Orchestra, we wanted a piece that would combine both ensembles. We did a lot of research and chose Kareem because the orchestra loved his music. It has just what we were looking for: a lot of Middle Eastern flavor while still being very classical in format. For this project, he’s using the concerto grosso model to create a dialogue between the two cultures.” “I’m anticipating that in the next decade or two, we will see a surge in musicians from the Arab world—and in the classical music scene in particular,” says Haimor, who has just completed a three-year tenure as resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Born in Chicago of Lebanese heritage and raised in the Middle East and in the San Francisco Bay Area, Haimor has emerged as a persuasive champion of composers like Fairouz and Roustom—composers who, through their Arabic cultural background, are contributing to the American new-music scene. “As one of the few Arab-American conductors out there,” Haimor continues, “one thing I hope to do as I build my career is to educate the Middle Eastern world about these talented Arab-American composers and artists who are expressing themselves through music and giving a voice to their culture. What’s so great about someone like Momo’s [Fairouz] success is that he undersymphony
Composer Kareem Roustom (near right) takes a bow following the premiere of his Ramal by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra led by Daniel Barenboim (right) at the 2014 Salzburg Festival.
stands how to bring music from that region to the Western world in a way that’s accessible for Western-trained audiences and orchestras.” Regarding current composers whose works straddle cultures, clarinetist Mariam Adam remarks, “A good comparison would be to Villa-Lobos and Astor Piazzolla, who went to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Her message was to write within your heart, to write what is native to you. In that way it becomes profound. If she hadn’t said that to so many composers, we wouldn’t have many great gems from the past century.” A native of Monterey, California, and from a mixed Lebanese-Mexican background herself, Adam is clarinetist of the Imani Winds chamber ensemble, a solo performer, and the cofounder of the AdZel Duo with fellow clarinetist Stephanie Zelnick. In 2011 AdZel commissioned a piece from Fairouz called Adzel. “I encouraged him to write more in the chamber-music arena since he was doing lots of vocal writing at the time,” Adam explains. “It worked beautifully.” As to why there are not more female Arab-American composers, Adam points out that “in general, in the cultures we’re speaking about in the Middle East, women will more likely grow up making music as singers and storytellers than as instrumentalists. It also has to do with the female role in the household, which allows less room to pursue that kind of career path. Everything comes at its own time through exposure, and this trend is still very new. Many of these musicians come from families of immigrant parents who are concerned about their children being able to make a living. Musicians are highly revered, but there’s still pressure to become a doctor or lawyer or merchant. Unlike, say, in Korean families, where girls are encouraged to go to the conservatory, there aren’t many role models. And there’s a barrier when women consider having a family: if there are two musician parents, the woman will usually end up making the career sacrifice and defer to the husband.” Nonetheless, Adam has “no doubt over the next decade there will be more women graduating with the degrees and competition accolades needed to launch a composing career. Someone like Simon Shaheen [a prominent Palestinian-American oud and violin virtuoso and composer] has been making sure there are more female
musicians at the Arabic Music Retreat he holds every summer [at Mount Holyoke College].” Female musicians drawing on their Middle Eastern heritage are “no longer the exotic dish on the menu,” Adam notes. “Their music doesn’t have to be presented as a meal of hummus but as the meat and potatoes. What I see happening in the concert hall translates into the chamber music scene and affects the climate of what gets programmed there as well.”
Choice list for 2014 by Jazziz magazine. Next year includes the premiere at Carnegie Hall of a commission from the American Composers Orchestra. This attention comes more than a decade since Sanlıkol attracted notice for his cantata Ergenekon: An Ancient Turkish Legend, premiered by the PALS Children’s Chorus in Boston in 2002. Yet for all the favorable reception, Sanlıkol didn’t see the “classical” side of his composing career take off—nor did he feel he had sufficiently absorbed the Turkish elements. He points out, somewhat ironicalLiving in the U.S.A. ly, that his understanding of his Turkish muHaimor’s prediction about an influx of new sical roots was limited when he resettled in Middle East-inspired voices already seems the U.S. (His Turkish-Cypriot mother had to be coming true: not just for Americantaught him Western piano.) “I was a bit of based composers who draw on their Arabic an ‘Orientalist’ when I started out!” he jokes. cultural background, but for “It was almost as if I were a those with roots in other Isnative speaker who had no Contemporary lamic cultures of the Mididea of the grammar of my composers with Middle dle East, especially Turkey native language.” Sanlıkol Eastern backgrounds and Iran. disappeared from composare subverting the The past year brought ing and jazz for seven years clichés by which the breakthroughs for Mehmto study Middle Eastern et Ali Sanlıkol, who moved musics intensively—and Islamic world has so from Istanbul to settle in often been represented then “slowly I started comthe Boston area two deing back. I’m confident in the Western cades ago. Sanlıkol is on that the long stretch of musical canon. the faculties of Emerson Turkish music study really College and the College contributes to a genuine of the Holy Cross and leads a multifacetvoice in my case, to internalizing the laned musical life as a composer, jazz pianist, guage.” scholar, and director of the DÜNYA enThat immersion sharpened the urge to semble (a musicians’ collective that presents compose for Sanlıkol, who is known for Turkish music with other world-music trahis subtle incorporation of the large-scale ditions). His piece Vecd was commissioned rhythmic cycles of Turkish music, along with by the Boston-based string ensemble A Far its modes and instrumental timbres. “I had Cry and included on its recording Dreams so much stored up inside me—a lot of musiand Prayers, a finalist in the chamber mucal potential that was wanting to speak,” he sic category of this year’s Grammy Awards. says. His piece Vecd “refers to a state of ecSanlıkol’s recording of jazz compositions, stasy among Sufi dervishes,” the composer Whatsnext, was included in the top Critics explains, “and uses the mostly rhythmical
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Karim Al-Zand, a Canadian-American, part-Iraqi composer whose City Scenes was performed by the Houston Symphony at the beginning of this season, alongside works by Copland and Barber.
Escaping the Niche
compass composers from “Middle Eastern” backgrounds—points to the absurdity of attempting to lump widely divergent creative voices together. “When you think of a composer from ‘the Arab world,’ this person might be drawing influences from Kurdish or Armenian traditions or might be inspired by Islamic theology,” Azmeh points out. “There’s so much variety, even when it comes to Syrian composers. I started doing my dissertation with the idea that I’d write about contemporary composers in the Middle East, but I discovered the topic is so vast I had to narrow it down. “Now there is a bigger wave of performers who are of Arab descent,” Azmeh says. “They feel the need to support each other, and might mention an Arab composer who would have been overlooked in the past.” Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol recalls that when he moved to Boston in the 1990s, “there were maybe one or two other Turkish students at the conservatories. Now there must be at least 100 Turks and Arabs. The number of composers has been increasing dramatically.”
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Archives
Syria is also the country of origin of Kinan Azmeh, a composer, solo clarinetist, and member of the Silk Road Ensemble. Established in 2000 by Yo-Yo Ma as a collective of composers and performers who represent global musical traditions—and with a focus on those traditions found along the trade routes of the legendary Silk Road— the SRE puts a new spin on the “world music” genre. When not on tour, the Juilliard-trained Azmeh is based in New York. “There used to be two niches for presenting works by composers from Arabic cultures,” he says. “One was as an ‘exotic’ concept, and the other has been to juxtapose Arab and Israeli composers, like in Daniel Baren boim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. But in the last few years, Western orchestras have started realizing there are composers of substance who have a real voice and deserve to be programmed on their own terms.” A 2013 commission from the Osnabrück Symphony in Germany resulted in his Ibn Arabi Suite, an orchestral work inspired by the medieval Sufi mystic Right: Composer Reza Vali. and philosopher. “Now Above: The Alex Theater there is more genuine in(Glendale, California) terest in the sounds that in 2007, when the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra these composers are bringperformed Vali’s Toward That ing into the concert hall,” Endless Plain, a concerto for Azmeh says. He adds that Persian ney and orchestra cothe confusion over termicommissioned with Boston nology—the lack of an Modern Orchestra Project. all-purpose phrase to enLos Angeles Chamber Orchestra Archives
ostinatos and structures of Sufism in Turkish culture to create a contemporary composition.” The Sufi tradition ideally suited A Far Cry’s Dreams and Prayers CD project: Vecd is the Islamic counterpart to the Jewish and Christian mystical traditions represented by Osvaldo Golijov and Hildegard of Bingen. The Syrian-American pianist and composer Malek Jandali is another musician who says that living in the U.S. helped him rediscover his native musical roots. Raised in Homs—the city now largely devastated by Bashar al-Assad’s bombing campaign in Syria’s ongoing civil war—Jandali states that his training at the Arab Institute of Music in Damascus largely ignored the country’s own treasures and placed so much stress on rote memory work that he came away with only a superficial understanding of Western musical forms. A scholarship to continue piano studies in North Carolina in the mid-1990s initiated Jandali’s path toward a deeper appreciation of how music works and ignited a desire to change his focus to composition. His Echoes from Ugarit for piano and orchestra fuses this ambition with a newfound interest in Syria’s heritage by reanimating a hymn melody recovered from an ancient clay tablet fragment. Jandali plays the solo piano part on the recording he has made with the Russian Philharmonic. Jandali writes in a largely neo-Romantic style. So far he has not gained the interest of many American orchestras, but he’s cultivating a robust online following. Jandali has had his compositions recorded by metro Atlanta’s Ludwig Symphony Orchestra and
by Russian- and London-based ensembles, releasing them directly on CD—such as his recent Syrian Symphony, which was recorded by London’s Royal Philharmonic. Now based in Atlanta, Jandali is an outspoken critic of the Assad regime. “Prior to all the oppression that came with the current dictatorship,” he says, “there was a real tradition, which is now in danger of being forgotten. For example, there were some amazing composers writing complex music in Syria in the nineteenth century.” A central part of Jandali’s message as a composer is that of the activist humanitarian: “The meaning of sym-phonia is literally to bring voices together in song, and that’s what I decided I need to do for the children of Syria.”
Composer Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol has written for Western orchestra, world-music ensembles, and jazz groups. Above, he leads a 17-piece jazz orchestra.
According to Reza Vali, a composer and professor of composition at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie-Mellon School of Music, “There is no one answer to the recent emergence of these composers on the American scene, because the issues are too complex.” As a composer, Vali draws on the traditions of his native Iran. “Persian music poses special challenges, since it involves a combination of two systems—folk music and Persian traditional music—and in this way differs from Turkish and Arabic musical tradition,” he says. “This can be very challenging for West-
ern orchestras, and so I’ve had to find a way to answer this challenge.” Vali’s Toward that Endless Plain, a concerto for ney (Persian reed flute) commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, has been widely performed, and led to recent projects with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and even to the invention of a “microtonal trumpet” for Neal Brentsen, who will premiere a new concerto for that instrument this summer at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. The interaction of Persian musical ideas with Western orchestras has shaped Vali’s evolution as a composer. “Since about 2000 I stopped basing my work on the European system of equal temperament and Western forms and turned to the dual Persian system,” he says. “This is one of the most complex and advanced systems in the world, with its own tuning, form, and aesthetics. It satisfies my aesthetic to be more adventurous.” Not everyone is willing to make the effort to emerge from their comfort zone—even if the effort is no more burdensome than letting down the armament of stereotypes that
seem, if anything, to be making a resurgence. When Yahoo published a short profile of Mohammed Fairouz in February (“Rising Arab American composer seeks more poetic era”), an online commenter responded by telling Fairouz to “feel free to go back home.” Fairouz was born in New York City. Such knee-jerk bigotry likely didn’t come from someone interested in new musical developments. For his part, Fairouz expresses an optimistic outlook that audiences are by nature curious and want to encounter more than the familiar stories. “The whole idea behind the symphony is polyphony and counterpoint: bringing many voices together to make music. The qualification is that you always program music on the basis of merit, never only to diversify for its own sake, in a tokenistic way,” he says. “That’s the wrong way to approach pluralism. But I do think that the face of music needs to more adequately represent the face of human existence, of life and the world.” THOMAS MAY is an internationally published essayist and arts writer. He blogs at memeteria.com.
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Students in El Paso Symphony’s Tocando program perform at their school, Hart Elementary, on December 17, 2014.
Heroes T by Michael Stugrin
Programs addressing gang violence, poverty, and juvenile offenders are just a few of the ways orchestras are improving the lives of people in their communities.
his March, the Central Ohio Symphony performed a concert at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio that went beyond the standard definition of what orchestras do. Music Director Jaime Morales-Matos led the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, featuring soloist Amy Oshiro-Morales; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor; and the world premiere of Reconnecting, by 39-year-old composer Ben Goldberg. Reconnecting is a 20-minute programmatic work for orchestra and drum circle. The 65-member orchestra was augmented by five additional percussionists and a fifteen-person drum circle, most of whom are participants in a rehabilitation program run by the Delaware County
Juvenile Court for juvenile and adult offenders with mental illness or substance-abuse issues. The drum circle members received a sustained standing ovation. That March concert was the latest event in an innovative initiative started by the Central Ohio Symphony in 2013 and supported, in part, through three consecutive grants under a program of the League of American Orchestras, the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants. The grants fund long-term in-school partnership programs; after-school educational programs with social-development components; health and wellness programs in hospitals, nursing homes, and treatment centers; and orchestra artistic programming with a focus on social issues and community dialogue. Twenty-two orchestras from across the country were sesymphony
At a Central Ohio Symphony concert with drumming circle this spring, Juvenile Court Magistrate Lynne Schoenling, who supervises Delaware County’s treatment program for youth, lends her support.
lected for the latest round of Getty Grants, announced in January. “This year’s Getty Grants give orchestras a significant opportunity to offer communities greater access to the orchestral experience,” says League President and CEO Jesse Rosen, “and we are grateful to the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for their forward-thinking support. These programs demonstrate the remarkably wide assortment of populations that orchestra musicians serve, from multi-generational Native musicians, student songwriters, and elementary school children, to babies in neonatal intensive-care units, teens and adults in the criminal justice system, and the developmentally challenged.” This year’s grants to orchestras totaled $425,000, part of the League’s three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. The grants, which ranged from $13,000 to $27,500, were awarded to orchestras in a full range of budget sizes; they support programs based on working partnerships between orchestras and their communities or social service organizations. Many of the grants have funded programs in which individual orchestra musicians, ensembles, and full orchestras work with community healthcare institutions—hospitals, nursing homes, and treatment centers—on americanorchestras.org
Yakima Symphony Orchestra Teaching Artist Joshua Gianola conducts the Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA) Chamber Orchestra.
At a Spokane Symphony Orchestra event with the Spokane Tribe, Assistant Principal Cello Helen Byrne meets with a tribe member.
wellness (see Symphony’s Spring 2013 article “Sound of Healing”). Orchestras are also being recognized for programs that reach into neighborhoods and schools to encourage community dialogue and bring the power of music and the lasting value of music education and music-making to bear on deeprooted social issues. Almost three quarters of the Getty Grants support after-school educational programs and in-school partnership programs. Many of them have been inspired by El Sistema, the renowned education program in Venezuela. El Sistema and other such programs involve young people, many of whom would not otherwise have access, with orchestral music, music training, and the transformative power of music on individuals, families, and communities. Four of the recent Getty Grant recipients illustrate such approaches, each adapted to immediate, sharply defined local needs. Central Ohio Symphony: Power of positive energy
The Central Ohio Symphony’s “Reconnecting” program was initiated three years ago by Executive Director Warren Hyer, a longtime professional percussionist. Delaware, Ohio, where the orchestra is based, is a prosperous community of 36,000, about 30 miles north of Columbus. “We do not have a huge amount of crime here,” Hyer says, “but there
are plenty of teens and young adults who get into trouble—from substance abuse to shoplifting—and others who have emotional problems and difficult family situations.”
wenty-two orchestras will receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grants from the League of American Orchestras for innovative educational, health and wellness, and artistic programs. The 2014-15 recipients are: Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony, DC Youth Orchestra Program, El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Kidznotes, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Phoenix Symphony, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, Spokane Symphony, Stockton Symphony, and Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Visit americanorchestras.org for complete information.
Hyer thought drum circles and drumming therapy could be useful tools in the Delaware County Juvenile Treatment Court; however, there was no money to buy drums or pay for the training of facilitators. Hyer and a few community supporters started to raise funds and write proposals. The first Getty Grant enabled Hyer to pay for drums and training; the second, in 2013, allowed them to launch the program. Today, Reconnecting has 30 big drums,
Central Ohio Symphony
Hyer and his wife, April Nelson, a retired attorney and mediator in the Delaware County Probate/Juvenile Court, discovered therapeutic drum circles at a meeting of the Percussive Arts Society. “We learned there is a robust methodology and protocol for drum circles,” Hyer recalls, “and there is encouraging evidence that drumming can be a way for many troubled individuals to open up, express their emotions, and help with their healing process.”
Reconnecting at the Central Ohio Symphony: Warren Hyer, program co-facilitator and the orchestra’s executive director; Rhonda Milner, therapist at Maryhaven, a mentalhealth service provider; and Caitie Thompson, program co-facilitator and symphony musician.
mostly African and Caribbean style, as well as shakers, tambourines, and small hand drums. Hyer and a Central Ohio Symphony percussionist, along with several mental health specialists, run the year-round drum circles, which thus far have involved more than 100 participants. A drum circle session runs for about 50 minutes and involves from four to as many as two dozen young men and women, along with a facilitator and a supervising mental health professional. Participants typically attend two sessions each month, one for the participants and the other for them and family members. The Reconnecting program involves a robust partnership among the orchestra, Maryhaven (a Columbus-based provider of mental health services specializing in treatment for people with addictive illness), and the Delaware County Juvenile Court. “We measure progress in small steps,” says Hyer. “Improving school attendance and graduating is huge progress; getting a driver’s license and a job is progress; repairing a relationship with family is progress.” According to David Hejmanowski, a judge of the Delaware County Probate/Juvenile Delaware Court and vice president of the Central Ohio Symphony board of directors, Reconnecting is a key element of his county’s Juvenile Treatment Court Docket. “We believe this therapeutic drumming program reconnects youth to their community, gives them an outlet for their creativity, and facilitates their recovery,” he says. “It opens a new avenue of therapeutic opportunity and provides the chance for the young men and women to display their progress and their talents.” Reconnecting was the 2014 recipient of the Director’s Award from the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Hyer is particularly proud of the March concert that featured the drum circle as ensemble soloists in Ben Goldberg’s new work. “Central Ohio Symphony is probably
the first orchestra to crowd-fund this kind of musical composition,” he says. “We used Kickstarter to tell the story behind Reconnecting and invite people to help fund the commission as well as some aspects of the concert. We set a goal to raise $7,700 and within a few weeks reached $8,500. “This program provides alternative treatment options unlike anything else the courts have been using. Best of all, it is a pure gift to the community,” Hyer adds. “The symphony is able to provide the program at no cost to either the courts or Maryhaven.”
a violist with Yakima Symphony Orchestra. The YAMA Orchestra currently consists of 56 third-through-seventh graders from eight different schools in the Yakima School District. The YAMA Orchestra, which rehearses at Garfield Elementary School five days a week, is organized into two groups of student musicians: the Chamber Orchestra consists of advanced players, some of whom serve as peer teachers to newer YAMA students. The Preludio Orchestra is the starting
point into the YAMA program; here the youngest students focus on music basics and group social skills. Four times a year, outstanding Preludio students have an opportunity to join the Chamber Orchestra. In the style of El Sistema, the YAMA orchestras and smaller groups of young musicians perform at least once every month at local civic and fund-raising events. Positive audience feedback is critical to building the young musicians’ confidence and self-esteem.
Yakima Symphony: An alternative to gangs
David Rogers, executive director of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington, is quick to point out, with perhaps a hint of amazement in his voice, that the Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA) program is “the most functional collaboration I have ever seen involving three distinct and different organizations.” Launched in 2013, YAMA is an El Sistema-inspired daily after-school and summer music program that is hosted by the Yakima School District and Garfield Elementary School, a Title 1 elementary school; the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Washington (OIC of WA); and the Yakima Symphony. Yakima is a city of 93,000 in the lush agricultural area of Yakima Valley, almost at the foot of Mount Rainier. The Yakima Valley’s population is nearly half Hispanic. Unemployment there increased dramatically during the recent recession and has not returned to former levels. Perhaps most troubling is that the county has the most gangs per capita in the state. So both gang violence and crime as well as the vulnerability of at-risk kids are major issues. Garfield Elementary School is located at the border of the territories of two of Yakima’s largest gangs. “YAMA is driven by the community’s recognition of the need for an enduring alternative to the violence and negativity of gangs,” says Rogers. “Our orchestra saw that after four decades of providing orchestral music to Yakima residents, we could leverage our social and artistic capital to address the city’s youth issues. YAMA’s vision is to create ‘positive gangs’ that stand on street corners talking about going to college, choosing a profession—and talking about music.” The YAMA program is led by Stephanie Hsu, an employee of OIC of WA and also americanorchestras.org
YAMA is committed to the win-win proposition of helping Yakima’s youth and their families as well as strengthening the Yakima Symphony. “None of our musicians can make a living solely as orchestra musicians,” Rogers notes. “About a third of the orchestra musicians drive from as far away as Seattle and Boise. Others drive in from Ellensburg, where they teach at Central Washington University.” The YAMA program includes eight musicians who function as teaching artists, three of whom are orchestra members and one of whom is a volunteer, Yakima Symphony founding Music Director Brooke Creswell. The teaching artists and YSO musicians provide one-on-one coaching and workshops, serve as mentors
Yakima Symphony Orchestra violist Barb Riley leads a sectional workshop at the Yakima Music en Acción program.
and coaches, and play side-by-side with the student musicians. “The YAMA program is young, but we know that both the kids and our orchestra musicians love it—and our musicians love the kids,” says Rogers. “Over time, we also believe YAMA will be an important tool for YSO to recruit and retain musicians. There’s no reason why some day a YAMA student musician could not become a professional musician and join our orchestra.” El Paso Symphony—Orchestras in the barrio
Hart Elementary School, with 600 students and 75 staff, is located in El Paso’s El Segundo Barrio neighborhood, which sits in the shadow of the César Chávez Border Highway along the Rio Grande. Across the river and border with Mexico is the city of Juarez. A few years ago, Hart Elementary and other schools in the barrio were locked down after a woman in downtown El Paso was wounded by a stray gunshot fired from Juarez. El Paso Symphony Executive Director Ruth Ellen Jacobson says the orchestra’s Tocando program was inspired in 2008 after
Sixty Minutes aired a story about El Sistema. Over 80 percent of El Paso’s population is Hispanic, and in El Segundo Barrio 60% of households live below the poverty level, and 70% have not completed high school. A historic entry point into the U.S. from Mexico, El Segundo Barrio has been the starting point for immigrant families, many fleeing from violence in Juarez due to the drug war. “At the time we learned about El Sistema, here in El Paso there was a lot of traffic of people and drugs across the border, which is literally across the street,” Jacobson recalls. “Looking at who El Sistema serves, we saw so many similar needs of El Paso kids: deep poverty, families strained to the limit economically and emotionally, lots of bad influences. Many of our kids had nothing to do after school, and the schools were struggling just to provide the basics.” After several years of visualizing and planning, Tocando was born—a partnership of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and the IGNITE Initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. Tocando (the Spanish word for “playing”) is an after-school program currently serving 60 students in
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class. More advanced students play violins, cellos, trumpets, trombones, and clarinets. “As Tocando grows,” says Jacobson, “expanding into more El Paso schools and ‘graduating’ elementary school students, we see a path for many of those students to join the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras, the largest component of the orchestra’s educational mission, and a great source of pride for us.” Started in 2005, El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras serve over 350
grades one to five with free immersive music instruction, field trips, academic tutoring, mentoring, and after-school snacks four days per week, as well as summer classes. “Tocando uses the orchestra as a learning tool,” says Program Director Karen Peters, “to help kids learn how to play together, to learn leadership skills, to learn perseverance and critical thinking.” New Tocando students study rhythm and the basics of violin playing and care through the “Paper Violin”
Karen Peters, director of El Paso Symphony’s Tocando program, with young Tocando musicians during ArtBeats, an interactive program at the El Paso Museum of Art.
students annually. It is open to musicians ages 7-23, with over 50% of its members receiving financial assistance. No student is turned away. The relationship with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra allows the young musicians access to the professional musicians through coaching, rehearsals, and an annual side-by-side concert. Jacobson says that since the youth orchestra’s inception, 100% of all high school seniors in the youth orchestra have gone on to attend college. Spokane Symphony Orchestra— Singing in Salish
The Spokane Symphony’s Music Heals program is sort of El Sistema-plus. Some 360 students in grades one through 12 on the Spokane Indian Reservation, in the Wellpinit School District, participate in a comprehensive music-education and culturalrenewal initiative. They are learning to read music and play instruments, with instruction provided by Spokane Symphony musicians. Taught by educators from the Spokane Tribe’s Culture Department and long-time tribal members, the students have built drums and flutes using traditional Native American methods. They are also learning the Salish language, which is in danger of extinction. At a May concert at the Spokane Tribal grounds, the Spokane Symphony and the students performed together. “This partnership has allowed the Wellpinit School District and the Reservation to come together to introduce our students to the world of classical music,” says Kris Herda, principal of Wellpinit Middle and High School. “At the same time, we are helping them learn more about their own culture. With a concert performed by the symphony and our children, we are expressing our culture, learning from each other, and celebrating the Spokane Tribe’s future.” “I first visited the Spokane Tribe eleven years ago,” says Spokane Symphony Music Director Eckart Preu, “for a wonderful
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Spokane Symphony Orchcestra Music Director Eckart Preu (center) at an event with the Spokane Tribe
evening in which almost 600 people shared a meal and both tribal and classical music. Our orchestra played Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and tribe members performed traditional drum music and intertribal dances for us. I and members of our orchestra and a few of our board members danced with tribal members to the Native drumming at the Wellpinit School gymnasium.” Wellpinit second-graders, accompanied by Spokane Symphony, sang the traditional Native story “Where is the Coyote?” in Salish, to the tune of “Frère Jacques.” This nearly lost language is being revived at the school, and the significance of children singing it on such a special occasion was not lost on the crowd. “This visit opened a new chapter in the relationship between Spokane Symphony and the Spokane Tribe,” explains symphony Executive Director Brenda Nienhouse. “It took much discussion and planning to build trust. In 2008, many of the Willpinit students and tribe members visited Spokane Symphony at our home, the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in downtown Spokane.” A pre-concert event featured exhibits of tribal art, culture, and history. The theme of the day, “The River is Calling,” captured the importance of the Spokane River to the Spokane Tribe and the entire region. The concert began with a grand entry of Willpinit students dressed in tribal regalia and the Spokane Tribe Drum Circle followed by a prayer blessing. Preu explains that the title of the program, “Music Heals,” was inspired by a quote from a Spokane tribal elder: “We won’t heal until we all remember to sing, drum, and dance.” “The intersection of ancient tribal music and customs and classical music is a very good place,” says Preu. “The school and tribe often use the word ‘perseverance’—and we all share that value. Preserving and performing great music and keeping culture alive requires perseverance, discipline, daily practice. Those are also the values that lead kids to getting better grades in school and building bright futures.”
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MICHAEL STUGRIN, Ph.D. is a retired marketing consultant and writer in Long Beach, CA. He writes about music, food, and travel. americanorchestras.org
A recent “Eclectica” concert by the London Symphony Orchestra featured Lang Lang performing a Bartók piano concerto with the LSO at the Barbican, then heading over to LSO St. Luke’s for a concert of traditional Chinese music.
Lond Britten Sinfonia challenges the traditional concert setup through programming and education. A new version of Schubert’s Winterreise directed by Netia Jones will take place in June 2016 in a theater rather than a concert hall.
Thierry Fischer leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra in music by Boulez as part of their “Total Immersion: Boulez at 90” at the Barbican on March 21, 2015.
In a city brimming with musical options, London’s orchestras are experimenting with everything from concert formats and start times to repertoire mash-ups and unexpected locations.
ondon is awash with orchestras. At last count, the English capital was able to boast five major symphony orchestras of international quality, a vast number of fine chamber ensembles, and dozens of excellent amateur and student groups. A staggering 50 orchestras or so. Londoners have never had so much choice, but then orchestras have never faced so much competition from each other, and their fight for audiences has become a stark fight for survival. It doesn’t help, either, that many of them rely for funding on Arts Council England, a body that is making it ever trickier for orchestras to secure a slice of public money. Its curt message: don’t count on our cash unless you can prove your successes. So it’s no wonsymphony
by Oliver Condy
Top: The Aurora Orchestra has presented several staged events at LSO St. Luke’s with Cordão de Ouro, a troupe that performs Brazilian capoeira, a blend of dance, music, acrobatics, and martial art. Below: A recent program in the London Symphony Orchestra’s innovative “Eclectica” series featured Indian classical violinist Kala Ramnath, who incorporates elements of jazz, flamenco, and traditional African music into traditional North Indian music.
der many orchestra managers and artistic directors are searching for new audiences. Scour the London listings magazines and websites, and it’s clear that the capital’s orchestral scene is still dominated by “regular” symphonic concerts that start at 7:30 p.m., the traditional curtain time here. But increasingly, many are supplementing their musical offerings with innovative and surprising activities that aim to attract an altogether different crowd. And if you can’t attract concertgoers to your venue, then why not go to your americanorchestras.org
concertgoers? In 2006, the enterprising Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment embarked on its Night Shift series. It was a bold step away from its usual performing spaces at London’s Southbank Centre, where audiences could expect the group’s customary peerless performances of classical masterpieces. This was a chance to attract a new breed of concertgoer—those who, according to Night Shift’s creative programming director, William Norris, “have never been, or would never even dream of going, to the Queen Elizabeth Hall.”
Night Shift concerts currently take place four or five times a year (although the OAE plans to make them monthly) in a variety of laid-back venues usually reserved for pop or jazz concerts—even pubs. A typical Night Shift kicks off at around 10 p.m. following a non-classical set in the foyer, with the OAE performing about an hour’s worth of classical music, including a whole work. The evening is then rounded off by a DJ set back in the foyer. You’ll find none of the usual concert-hall formalities here: the conduc-
The London Philharmonic’s LPO Soundworks education project offers instrumentalists and teenaged composers a chance to team up with young people from another discipline to devise their own collaborative performance work. Here, Soundworks participants work with the Rambert Dance Company.
Tim Walker, chief executive of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, says, “We’re semistaging operas. The performances are slightly more theatrical than they would normally be, and we’ve had fantastic feedback.”
tor dresses down, audiences can drink beer while listening to Bach, and ticket prices are a very reasonable £10, or £4 if you’re a student. You can come and go as you wish, even during the music. Mindful of its burgeoning fan base, Night Shift has banished the program booklets that concertgoers typically pay for in favor of free crib sheets explaining some of the terms classical music aficionados take for granted. “People have asked me, ‘What is a symphony, what is a concerto?,’ ” says Norris. “You can’t assume too much.” Night Shift’s approachability and adaptability translate, he adds, into some surprising statistics. “The Night Shift audience is around 80 percent under age 35 and a third of them are students, as opposed to our regular audience, which is more 65-plus. We also get a lot of firsttimers—around 15 to 20 percent haven’t been to a classical concert before.” Nipping at the heels of the OAE to grab those crucial first-timers is the Aurora Orchestra, a young group founded in 2005 by conductors Nicholas Collon and Robin Ticciati, made up of a core of
brilliant twenty-something musicians. Although Collon says that the orchestra didn’t originally set out to do things differently, he and his musicians quickly realized that to succeed, Aurora needed to have a unique angle. “London is a very congested place in terms of the amount of music going on,” says Collon, “and that coincided with a desire by me and the players to say something a little bit different and to figure out how an orchestral concert could be as exciting and thrilling as possible.” Early on, Aurora won a fellowship at the Royal Academy where they quickly started to collaborate with other art forms. “I remember the first one we did was a staged version of Birtwistle’s Secret Theatre. It was a theatrical performance that took everyone outside their comfort zone,” says Collon. They went on to partner with a magician and a school of animation for a concert of American music. And last year Aurora became resident orchestra at LSO St. Luke’s, the London Symphony Orchestra’s alternative venue and center for community and music-education symphony
ness and enthusiasm has drawn a very different audience to the ones gracing London’s regular concert halls. “Our audience is noticeably younger and probably more diverse, partly because we’re a young group, but when you start collaborating with other art forms, that brings people in who are interested in those art forms—whether it be capoeira or break dance—but who have never been a classical concert before.” 11:59 AM toPage 1 So what has been Aurora Orchestra’s
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biggest success? “Last “Whether we year we did a BBC Prom perform in which was quite a mile- a different stone for us,” says Col- venue or play lon. “We did the whole around with concert from memory, the concert including Mozart’s Sym- format, the phony No. 40 and a new music comes piece by Benedict Mason. absolutely Some critics wondered first,” says whether it was a gim- David mick, but it absolutely Butcher, chief wasn’t to us. It was in- executive credibly exciting and sat- of Britten isfying. Choirs learn mu- Sinfonia. “If sic by heart, opera singers you try to be of course, but I’m not different for aware of other orches- different’s tras having done it be- sake, you fore. The experience very might be much enhanced the mu- on a losing sic we were performing, wicket.” both for us and crucially for the audience.” It’s an enhancement that David Butcher, chief executive of Britten Sinfonia, is keen to emphasize. “The key is the music,” he says. “Whether we perform in a different venue or play around with the concert format, the music comes absolutely first. If you try to be different for different’s sake, you might be on a losing wicket.” Britten Sinfonia, an associate ensemble at the Barbican Centre in London with residencies in three English cities including Cambridge, challenges the traditional concert setup through the strength and spice of its programming and the education of its audiences. A brand-new version of Schubert’s Winterreise directed by Netia Jones will take place in June 2016 in a theater rather than a concert hall, simply because the experience demands it, not because the production is likely to attract a theater crowd to see Britten Sinfonia in action. The venue, insists Butcher, is secondary to the musical experience. Butcher says his audience is remarkably loyal, trusting Britten Sinfonia to stage high-quality, interesting concerts. “I’d like to think that if we just did six concerts a year,” he adds, “our loyal 300 subscribers would turn up, even if they didn’t know what we were playing. In other words, we’ve educated them. When they come to one of our concerts, Elizabeth Hunt
activities. For Collon, those early experiences were crucial in getting his players to adapt to changing performance environments—which today include imaginative programs, from their lively Prohibitioninspired “Jitterbug” evening to a colorful children’s concert, “Far, far away…” that featured reimaginings of Chopin preludes and waltzes accompanying a tale of “dancing and a very FSAdragonflies 1501 Symphony Ad sleepy 2015 tortoise.” 3/27/15 Collon says that their mix of inventive-
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there will be works they know in a really interesting context, but there will usually be a new piece, a surprise, in there. Whatever age they are, they seem to be up for that journey.” The BBC Symphony Orchestra, funded by the UK’s television licence fee, sees audience education, too, at the core of its “Total Immersion” days. These represent another way that a major London orchestra is challenging the status quo, in this case by devoting a whole day to the music of one composer, with intimate chamber concerts, films, discussions, and a climactic evening concert, all dedicated to one musical figure, whether it be Boulez, Birtwistle, or Rihm—with the composer present whenever possible. Paul Hughes, the BBCSO’s general manager, admits that a diverse approach to performance and programming is at the heart of their mission as a public broadcaster: his orchestra is more duty-bound than most to embark on alternative repertoire and concert formats simply because there is a surfeit of other
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The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Night Shift series of late-night concerts are held at casual London venues, and include an hour of classical music plus a DJ set.
orchestras already providing for a regular classical music audience. “ ‘Total Immersions’ are perhaps the most unusual thing we do,” Hughes says. But although the days are broken up into a series of events,
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something between a learning experience and a musical experience. A musical adventure, if you like.” For sheer diversity it’s difficult to match the London Symphony Orchestra, which has perhaps the widest range of extracurricular activities in the UK, let alone
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Britten Sinfonia has attracted loyal audiences for its concerts at London’s Barbican Centre as well as in three other English cities.
architect Nicholas Hawksmoor in the east end of the city, repurposed to provide an exciting rehearsal and performance space for the orchestra. Karen Cardy, center director of LSO St Luke’s, explains just one of their many innovative series: “We programmed something called ‘Eclectica’— over the course of five years 52 concerts that were all about extraordinary artists pushing their own boundaries, showing them doing something new in their own field.” A recent boundary-stretching event saw Lang Lang perform a Bartók piano concerto with the LSO at the Barbican, before venturing to St. Luke’s for a concert of traditional Chinese music. “That gives the LSO the opportunity to paint a real portrait of the artist. They come across as a much more rounded musician, rather than simply the concerto soloist,” adds Cardy. She reels off a list of the LSO’s diverse schemes, including its 25-year-old education arm, LSO Discovery; performances in hospitals by members of the orchestra; Soundhub Associate Concerts that bring composers and their own groups together with LSO players; family concerts; Musisymphony
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In addition to its concerts at Royal Festival Hall (above), the London Philharmonic Orchestra is getting theatrical with performances of semi-staged operas.
cians on Call, whereby LSO artists visit and we’ll even commission a piece, as we the homes of the elderly and infirm…. The did recently from Dario Marinelli and list goes on. Benjamin Wallfisch.” Does Walker think Tim Walker, chief executive of the that the LPO’s family concerts are develLondon Philharmonic Orchestra, which oping audiences of the future? “Yes,” he is based at London’s Royal Festival Hall, says, “but I don’t think that gets in the way might agree. “We’re doing things differof an hour’s sheer entertainment. That has ently, which is working well for us,” he to come first.” says. “We’re semi-staging Challenge and change operas, which we did with don’t always have to be Peter Grimes recently, overt. London Symphony Many orchestras and we coupled RachOrchestra Principal Flute in London are maninoff ’s Miserly Knight Gareth Davies describes supplementing their with excerpts from Wagwhat he believes to be a musical offerings ner’s Das Rheingold. The quiet revolution in the with innovative and performances were slightly supposedly safe haven of surprising activities more theatrical than they the traditional 7:30 p.m. that aim to attract would normally be, and concert. “Over the last few new audiences. we’ve had fantastic feedyears, the traditional overback.” One ambition that ture-concerto-symphony Walker harbors—as do many of his colmodel seems to have gone out of fashion,” leagues throughout the London scene—is he says. “We certainly seem to be dothe opportunity to put on one-hour coning them rarely. Conductors have a much certs at 6 p.m., and then again at 11 p.m., more open view of programming these catering to those who aren’t able to get days.” Audiences, he says, are more used to away from work on time to attend earlycontemporary music than they ever were. evening performances. Meanwhile, family And they’re willing to expect the unexconcerts, staged during the day on Sunpected. days, have been very popular. “We include great pieces of music at these, but we alOLIVER CONDY is editor of BBC Music ways include a story—sometimes we’ll Magazine, an organ recitalist, and a tenor with the have graphics produced by local schools Bristol-based chamber choir Exultate. americanorchestras.org
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LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS With the support of our valued donors, the League continues to have a positive impact on the future of orchestras in America by helping to develop the next generation of leaders, generating and disseminating critical knowledge and information, and advocating for the unique role of the orchestral experience in American life before an ever-widening group of stakeholders. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who contributed gifts of $600 and above in the last year as of March 31, 2015. For more information regarding a gift to the League, please visit us at americanorchestras.org/donate, call 212.262.5161, or write us at Annual Fund, League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023. $150,000 and above
Booth Ferris Foundation, New York, NY Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Coral Gables, FL Peter D. and Julie Fisher Cummings, Palm Beach Gardens, FL † The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation San Francisco, CA The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent, Chicago, IL
Patricia A. Richards, Salt Lake City, UT Barry Sanders, Beverly Hills, CA Drs. Helen S. and John P. Schaefer, Tucson, AZ † Mrs. Helen P. Shaffer, Houston, TX Penelope and John Van Horn, Chicago, IL Geraldine Warner, Cincinnati, OH Robert Wood Revocable Trust, Grover Beach, CA The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Conshohocken, PA
American Express Foundation, New York, NY Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York, NY Catherine and Peter Moye, Spokane, WA New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY Sakana Foundation, San Francisco, CA Connie Steensma and Rick Prins, New York, NY
Burton Alter, Woodbridge, CT Brent and Jan Assink, San Francisco, CA Mr. and Mrs. William G. Brown, Hobe Sound, FL Janet and John Canning, Westport, CT Ms. Nicky B. Carpenter, Wayzata, MN † The CHG Charitable Trust, Philadelphia, PA † Margarita and John Contreni, Lafayette, IN Phillip William Fisher Fund, Detroit, MI John and Paula Gambs, Tiburon, CA Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York, NY Jim Hasler, Oakland, CA Mr. John Hayes, Highlands Ranch, CO † The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Warren, NJ Stephen H. Judson, New York, NY Lori Julian, Chicago, IL Kjristine Lund, Seattle, WA Jim and Kay Mabie, Northfield, IL † Shirley D. McCrary, Mooresville, AL † John P. Murphy Foundation, Cleveland, OH Michael and Noemi Neidorff, Saint Louis, MO New York State Council on the Arts, New York, NY Richard P. Simmons, Sewickley, PA Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Houston, TX Steve Turner, Nashville, TN
$10,000 – $24,999
$50,000 – $149,999
Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Brown, Winston-Salem, NC John and Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund, San Francisco, CA Shirley Bush Helzberg, Kansas City, MO † Mrs. Martha R. Ingram, Nashville, TN Daniel R. Lewis, in honor of Lowell J. Noteboom and Bruce Clinton, Coral Gables, FL † National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC The Negaunee Foundation, Northbrook, IL Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust, Jersey City, NJ Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, New York, NY The Wallace Foundation, New York, NY
$25,000 – $49,000
Mr. David C. Bohnett, Beverly Hills, CA Hal and Diane Brierley, Plano, TX Mrs. Trish Bryan, Cincinnati, OH † Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, OH Cornell Family Foundation, New York, NY The Fatta Foundation, Buffalo, NY † Douglas and Jane Hagerman, Milwaukee, WI JPMorgan Chase Bank, Chicago, IL Mark Jung, Menlo Park, CA Camille and Dennis LaBarre, Cleveland Heights, OH Ellen and James S. Marcus, New York, NY Alan and Maria McIntyre, Darien, CT Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Minneapolis, MN Steve and Diane Parrish, Westport, CT Mary Carr Patton, Orange Park, FL Robert A. Peiser, Houston, TX David Rockefeller, in memory of Peggy Rockefeller, New York, NY
The Amphion Foundation, New York, NY Richard J. Bogomolny and Patricia M. Kozerefski, Gates Mills, OH The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, TX Laurie and Richard Brueckner, Bedminster, NJ NancyBell Coe and William Blake, Santa Barbara, CA Conn-Selmer, Elkhart, IN Martha and Herman Copen Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT Bruce Coppock, Mendota Heights, MN Gloria dePasquale, Narberth, PA D.M. Edwards, in honor of Laura Hyde, Helen Shaffer and Polly Kahn, Tyler, TX James M. Franklin, Inverness, IL † Marian A. Godfrey, Richmond, MA The George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, OH Lyndia and C.Y. Harvey, Denver, CO A.J. Huss, Jr., Saint Paul, MN IMN Solutions, Inc., Arlington, VA
THE LOWELL NOTEBOOM FUND Created in recognition of former League Board Chair Lowell Noteboom and his longstanding commitment to improving governance practice in American orchestras, the Noteboom Fund supports the work of the League’s Orchestra Governance Center. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who have made commitments to the Fund. Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Chicago, IL Marcia and John Goldman, San Francisco, CA Daniel R. Lewis, Coral Gables, FL The Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation, Westport, CT Mary Carr Patton, Orange Park, FL Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent, Chicago, IL Penelope and John Van Horn, Chicago, IL The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Conshohocken, PA Anonymous (2) James D. Ireland, Cleveland, OH * Paul R. Judy, Northfield, IL John A. and Catherine M. Koten Foundation, Hinsdale, IL † A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper, Summit, NJ Dr. Hugh W. Long, New Orleans, LA Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH Jesse Rosen, New York, NY The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation, New York, NY Ms. Deborah F. Rutter, Washington, DC † Mr. Alan D. Valentine, Nashville, TN Kathleen M. van Bergen, Naples, FL Doris and Clark Warden, Sausalito, CA † Sally and Nick Webster, New York, NY Anonymous (1)
Douglas W. Adams, Breckenridge, CO Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall, TX Alberta Arthurs, New York, NY Ms. Cathy Barbash, in memory of Seymour Rosen, Ardmore, PA • Beracha Family Charitable Gift Fund, Ladue, MO William P. Blair, III, Canton, OH † Deborah Borda, Los Angeles, CA † Elaine Amacker Bridges, San Angelo, TX Fred and Liz Bronstein, Baltimore, MD • Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee, Detroit, MI †
The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Chicago, IL Robert Conrad, Cleveland, OH Trayton M. Davis, in honor of Bob Wagner, Montclair, NJ Aaron Dworkin, Detroit, MI Susan Feder and Todd Gordon, Irvington, NY Drs. Aaron and Cristina Stanescu Flagg, Easton, CT The Fleischmann Foundation, Cincinnati, OH † Henry and Fran Fogel, River Forest, IL † Michele and John Forsyte, Long Beach, CA • David V. Foster, New York, NY † Catherine French, Washington, DC † Laurence Mills-Gahl and Karen Gahl-Mills, Cleveland Heights, OH Adele and Willard Gidwitz Family Foundation, New York, NY † Edward B. Gill, La Jolla, CA † Gary Ginstling and Marta Lederer, Carmel, IN Joseph B. Glossberg and Madeline Condit, Chicago, IL Gordon Family Philanthropic Fund, Laguna Beach, CA Paul Grangaard, Edina, MN Nancy Greenbach, Atherton, CA André Gremillet, Melbourne Victoria, Australia Patty Hall, Seattle, WA Mark and Christina Hanson, Houston, TX • Daniel and Barbara Hart, Amherst, NY • Ian Harwood, Milwaukee, WI • Howard Herring, Miami Beach, FL Dr. and Mrs. Claire Fox Hillard, Albany, GA Lauri and Paul Hogle, Grosse Pointe Park, MI Houston Symphony Society Board of Trustees, Houston, TX Laura Hyde, Tyler, TX † The Jurenko Foundation, Madison, AL Polly Kahn, New York, NY Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley Foundation, Shaker Heights, OH Mr. Michael Kerr, Corona Del Mar, CA Mr. R. Lawrence Kirkegaard, Chicago, IL Peter T. Kjome, Grand Rapids, MI Joseph H. Kluger, Gladwyne, PA Robert Kohl & Clark Pellett, Chicago, IL Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred J. Larson, Naples, FL † Robert Levine, Glendale, WI Stephen Lisner, New York, NY Sandi Macdonald, in honor of Polly Kahn, Raleigh, NC Alex Machaskee, Cleveland, OH Dr. Gordon and Carole Mallett, Zionsville, IN Stacy and Lee Margolis, Brooklyn, NY Jonathan Martin, Dallas, TX Steve and Lou Mason, Dayton, OH † Mattlin Foundation, Columbus, OH Debbie McKinney, Nichols Hills, OK Paul Meecham, Baltimore, MD Zarin Mehta, Chicago, IL † Mrs. LaDonna Meinders, Oklahoma City, OK David Alan Miller, Slingerlands, NY Steven Monder, Cincinnati, OH † Michael Morgan, Oakland, CA † Diane and Robert Moss, Key Biscayne, FL James Nicholson, Detroit, MI Aaron J. Nurick, Boston, MA John and Farah Palmer, Tucson, AZ † Anne Parsons and Donald Dietz, Detroit, MI • americanorchestras.org
Mr. Michael Pastreich, St. Petersburg, FL • Peter Pastreich, Sausalito, CA † Daniel Petersen, Seattle, WA Henry Peyrebrune and Tracy Rowell, Cleveland Heights, OH The Rice Family Fund, Rochester, NY Barbara S. Robinson, Cleveland, OH Susan L. Robinson, Sarasota, FL Stanley Romanstein, Atlanta, GA Barbara and Robert Rosoff, Queensbury, NY Don Roth, Davis, CA † Mary Jones Saathoff, Lubbock, TX Roger Saydack and Elaine Bernat, Eugene, OR † Ms. Jo Ellen Saylor, Edina, MN Fred and Gloria Sewell, Minneapolis, MN Rita Shapiro, Kensington, MD Thomas and Dee Stegman, Cincinnati, OH Linda S. Stevens, Seattle, WA + Susan Stucker, Mountainside, NJ Mr. David Tierno in honor of Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Rae Wade Trimmier, Mountain Brook, AL † Marylou and John D. Turner, Kansas City, MO Dr. Jane M. Van Dyk, Billings, MT † Matthew VanBesien and Rosie Jowitt, New York, NY • Allison Vulgamore, Philadelphia, PA •† Linda Weisbruch and Craig Weisbruch, Charlotte, NC Jane and Dobson West, Minneapolis, MN Paul R. Wiggin, Chicago, IL Camille Williams, Little Rock, AR Donna M. Williams, Oakland, CA Simon Woods and Karin Brookes, Seattle, WA Anonymous (1)
$600 – $999
Gene and Mary Arner, Boise, ID Sandra Sue Ashby, Jacksonville, FL Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb, Indianapolis, IN Mr. Robert A. Birman, Port Townsend, WA Nancy Blaugrund, Albuquerque, NM David R. Bornemann, Scottsdale, AZ Dr. Misook Yun and Mr. James William Boyd, New Orleans, LA • Mrs. Judy Christl, Bonita Springs, FL † Katy Clark, New York, NY • Scott Faulkner and Andrea Lenz, Reno, NV † Mrs. John Fazli, Indianapolis, IN David C. Ferner, Ponte Vedra, FL Courtney and David Filner, Naples, FL • Firelands Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Sandusky, OH Jack M. Firestone, Miami, FL Rachel and Terry Ford, Knoxville, TN + GE Foundation, Fairfield, CT Mr. Kareem A. George, Franklin, MI • Bill Gettys, Weaverville, NC Gary Good, in honor of Rick Lester, Santa Ana, CA Richard and Mary L. Gray, Chicago, IL Mr. André Gremillet, Melbourne, Australia Carrie Hammond, Farmington, CT Ms. Janice Hay, Philadelphia, PA Marilyn P. and Joseph W. Hirschhorn Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati, OH Patricia Howard, Cazenovia, NY + Marguerite Humphrey, Gates Mills, OH Helena Jackson and Doug Dunham, Duluth, MN
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. W. Curtis Livingston, co-chair, Nantucket, MA Nina C. Masek, co-chair, Sonoita, AZ Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb Family Foundation, Indianapolis, IN Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee, Detroit, MI John and Janet Canning, Westport, CT Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT Myra Janco Daniels, Naples, FL Samuel C. Dixon, Morrow, GA Henry and Frances Fogel, River Forest, IL Susan Harris, Ph.D., Ann Arbor, MI Louise W. Kahn Endowment Fund of The Dallas Foundation, Dallas, TX Steve and Lou Mason, Dayton, OH Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Minnetonka, MN Charles and Barbara Olton, New York, NY Peter Pastreich, San Francisco, CA Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust, Jersey City, NJ Rodger E. Pitcairn, Rockville, MD Robert and Barbara Rosoff, Glens Falls, NY Robert J. Wagner, Boonton, NJ Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO Mr. and Mrs. Albert K. Webster, New York, NY Robert Wood Revocable Trust, Grover Beach, CA Anonymous (1) Mrs. JoAnne A. Krause, Brookfield, WI † Andrea Laguni, Tujunga, CA David Loebel, Lebanon, NH Evans Mirageas and Thomas Dreeze, Cincinnati, OH J.L. Nave III and Paul Cook, Fort Wayne, IN • Ms. Brenda S. Nienhouse, Spokane, WA • Tresa Radermacher, Dyer, IN Jane B. Schwartz, Augusta, GA Richard L. Sias, Oklahoma City, OK † David Snead, New York, NY Barbara J. Smith-Soroca, Stamford, CT Mary Tunstall Staton, Charlotte, NC Laura Street, Amarillo, TX Melia and Mike Tourangeau, Salt Lake City, UT Jeff Tsai, Geneva, IL • Gus Vratsinas, Little Rock, AR Robert J. Wagner, Boonton, NJ Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO •† Mark and Terry White, Amarillo, TX Melinda Whiting Burrows and John Burrows, Riverton, NJ Paul Winberg and Bruce Czuchna, Chicago, IL † Directors Council (former League Board) • Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni + Includes Corporate Matching Gift * Deceased
There is a long tradition of advocacy at our organization, tracing back to former Music Director Maurice Abravanel, who sat on the NEA’s first music panel in 1970. Abravanel aligned the orchestra’s needs As president and CEO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, with the community, and made a case to Melia Tourangeau knows how vital the National Endowthe Utah State Legislature for funding for the orchestra in the 1950s. That first ment for the Arts is to nurturing creativity, expanding allocation to the Utah Symphony led to access to the arts, and providing citizens with lifelong learn- what is today the Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools, or POPS, which ing experiences. In March she laid out the case for federal ten professional arts organizaarts support in testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. supports tions and their statewide education efforts. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. Here, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s allocation from POPS, which is matched privately Tourangeau reports on her visit to Capitol Hill. 2:1, enables us to perform for more than 170,000 students annually. Public support for the arts does not come without n a sunny day serious relationship building, in March, I flew case-making, and advocacy to Washington, efforts. Through my experiD.C. to testify ence in Washington D.C., I before Congress was reminded that the arts are in favor of arts funding. I was bipartisan; regardless of which one of four witnesses appearing side of the aisle you stand on, before the U.S. House of no one can dispute the value Representatives Committee on of having the arts in our lives. Appropriations, Subcommittee My testimony was received on Interior, Environment and quite warmly by the commitRelated Agencies, to speak in tee members, who shared their favor of a $9 million increase to experiences with the Utah the National Endowment for Symphony and Utah Opera. As the Arts (NEA) for FY2016. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera President and CEO Melia Tourangeau I knew why my testimony was makes the case for increased funding for the NEA before a subcommittee I met with the legislative staff of the U.S. House of Representatives, March 18, 2015. from Utah’s federal represenvaluable on the national stage. tatives, it was gratifying to Our company is a dark horse: observe their knowledge about our organiwe are located in an interior western state I cited Utah’s Zoo Arts and Parks (ZAP) zation and their personal experiences with in a city that is a seven-hour drive from tax as an example of a generous publicmusic. The arts have a way of transcending any other major metropolitan area. But in support program that helped enrich the barriers and moving people in the most fact, we have a thriving cultural landscape, Salt Lake County community. While fundamental ways—and it’s through the and I was proud to share the depth of working at the Grand Rapids Symphony, support of our communities that we are performing-arts engagement we provide I learned that Grand Rapids was the able to succeed. for the people of our state. The experience second most philanthropic city per capita, triggered a profound revelation about with Salt Lake City being number one. A my own personal history, and about the huge reason I took on the role of president uniquely privileged climate we have in and CEO with Utah Symphony | Utah Utah for the level of public arts support Opera in 2008 was my understanding of we receive. the catalytic importance of government Even during the early stages of my support, and the value system that makes career, Utah was on my radar. In 2007 my arts a priority for Utah. We are fortunate Melia Tourangeau and League of American thesis for a master’s degree in public adthat Utahns deeply embrace the arts. Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen ministration examined public support of It is no accident that our government during a visit to the U.S. Capitol in support of the NEA. the performing arts in the United States. lends such strong support to the arts.
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