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Orchestras are making an impact in their communities, on the Web, in hospitals and museums—and more.

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In the Board Room The Changing Roles of Orchestras How the Ivory Ban Will Affect You

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symphony SU M M E R 2 0 1 4


hen was the last time you used a pay phone? Scratch that. When was the last time you saw a pay phone? It’s nearly a given now that pretty much everyone has a cell phone, and technology like the phone booth that was once a ubiquitous necessity (and a good place for Superman to don his cape) has come to seem outmoded, almost quaint. Take a look at orchestra websites from just 20 years ago, and what once seemed daringly advanced looks decidedly old-school. Orchestras continue to take advantage of shifting technology, and now apps on phones let you connect with classical music. We have come to expect a seamless digital experience with orchestras across multiple platforms—an orchestra in your pocket, on your tablet, on your laptop, even in your ringtone, all unthinkable just a few years ago. So orchestras today are going boldly where few orchestras have gone before. And it’s not just online. They are performing at museums and art galleries, programming music that is thematically linked to the visual arts on display. American orchestras and conservatories are serving as cultural ambassadors to countries like China—going beyond concerts to create partnerships and collaborations that include community events, pop-up performances, and coaching sessions. And closer to home, as Polly Kahn points out in her wide-ranging article on page 26, orchestras are forging alliances with local, community-based organizations to bring live music to more people in more places. This issue introduces a new column, “Board Room,” which will focus on the crucial area of nonprofit governance from a variety of perspectives. The initial column is more practical than theoretical—it packs a punch at a time when governance is a major topic.


symphony®, the award-winning quarterly

magazine of the League of American Orchestras, discusses issues critical to the orchestra community and commun­icates to the American public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. EDITOR IN CHIEF Robert Sandla






PUBLISHER Jesse Rosen DESIGN/ART DIRECTION Jeff Kibler McMurry/TMG Washington, DC

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symphony SU M M E R 2 0 1 4


4 Prelude by Robert Sandla 8 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events


22 Board Room With this issue, we launch a new column focusing on nonprofit governance. Here, an excerpt from Susan Howlett’s new book.

Roger Mastroianni


18 Critical Questions The evolving orchestra scene, as viewed through the lens of Conference keynote speeches. by Jesse Rosen



Making a Difference From healthcare partnerships to free after-school music programs, orchestras are connecting with their communities. by Polly Kahn


Change of Course As e-learning proliferates, music classes join the trend. by Ian VanderMeulen


Off the Walls Museum-orchestra collaborations offer fresh ideas. by Madeline Rogers


The Digital Orchestra From computer screens to mobile-phone apps, orchestras are everywhere. by Andy Doe



69 Letter to the Editor 69 Advertiser Index 70 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 72 Coda Cellist Joshua Roman is bringing classical music to audiences in unexpected ways.

Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline l at

about the cover

Clockwise from top: Colorado Symphony Concertmaster Yumi-Hwang Williams; photo courtesy of Colorado Symphony. Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Principal Cello Charles Bernard and oboist Mary Lynch prepare for the orchestra’s residency in the Lakewood neighborhood with a visit to Mahall’s 20 Lanes; photo by Roger Mastroianni. Pianist Jonathan Biss discusses Beethoven in his online course for the Curtis Institute and Coursera; photo courtesy of Curtis Institute of Music. A young musician participates in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program; photo courtesy of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. At radio station WQXR’s Instrument Drive, Brooklyn-based flute duo Flutronix performed at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium for crowds donating instruments to public schools; photo by Janice Yi. San Francisco Symphony Principal Horn Robert Ward gives a masterclass at Shanghai Conservatory; photo by Oliver Theil.

Bret Hartman

Photo at right: Long Yu leads the New York Philharmonic and soloist Lang Lang in a 2010 concert in New York’s Central Park.

Chris Lee

Focus on China China’s flourishing orchestra scene means closer connections with Western arts institutions. by Susan Elliott

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

Andrés OrozcoEstrada leads the Houston Symphony.

MUSICAL CHAIRS The Georgia Symphony Orchestra (Marietta, Ga.) has announced that MICHAEL ALEXANDER will step down as music director at the end of the 2014-15 season. Meyer Sound Laboratories, an acoustics firm based in Berkeley, Calif., has appointed KAREN AMES vice president of marketing and communications. has been appointed president and CEO of the Mobile (Ala.) Symphony Orchestra, effective July 1. CELIA MANN BAEHR

Six months ahead of schedule, the Houston Symphony and its musicians announced in April that they have agreed to a new contract through the 2017-18 season; musicians will receive annual raises of 2.85 percent. In April, the Nashville Symphony reported that it had reduced its debt to less than $23 million and set a new box-office record of $8.1 million in ticket sales. The reduction in debt resulted from $10 million in trimmed expenses following a contract negotiated with the Nashville Musicians Union in August 2013, plus pay cuts for administrative and other employees. Preliminary talks in this year’s contract negotiations with musicians have begun in Nashville. The Memphis Symphony anticipates a major restructuring for next season, following a January announcement that with a depleted endowment and declining revenues it needed $400,000 to complete its 2013-14 season. By early May, the symphony stated that aggressive cost-cutting for musicians and staff coupled with successful fundraising meant that its 2014-15 season will occur. In Denver, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra reports that it hopes to lower its annual rental fees of $323,000 at Boettcher Concert Hall. The 2,600-seat space will close in June 2015 for a season-long renovation, and the CSO is currently negotiating with the city, which owns the hall, over rental fees. And at the Minnesota Orchestra, following the signing of a new three-year agreement between musicians and management in January, Osmo Vänskä was rehired as music director (see related article, p. 10). Just as this issue of the magazine was going to press, Wisconsin’s 100-year-old Green Bay Symphony Orchestra announced that the 2014-15 season would be its last, citing declining audiences and budget deficits of $30,000 to $50,000 a year for the past several years. The GBSO’s three youth orchestras are expected to continue. The spring’s biggest music-business headlines centered on opera companies, with the San Diego Opera’s abrupt announcement in March that its board had voted 33-1 to shut the company down because of low ticket sales and donor support. General and Artistic Director Ian Campbell was placed on paid leave and Keith Fisher was named chief operating officer. The board has met several times to discuss the possibility of continuing the company in some fashion. Any changes to the company would be felt by the members of the San Diego Symphony, which performs for all San Diego Opera productions at the Civic Theatre. At New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the musicians’ contract is due to expire in July, and labor negotiations are now underway. In February management proposed the first cuts in compensation for musicians in the company’s 134-year history.


will step down as president of the St. Louis Symphony in June to assume the post of dean at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. FRED BRONSTEIN

Musical Chairs

On the Financial Front

Wilson Parish

The New Haven (Conn.) Symphony Orchestra has named DONNA BELLANTONE development director.

Nevada’s Las Vegas Philharmonic has appointed DONATO CABRERA music director, effective with the 2014-15 season. has been named music director of the El Camino Youth Symphony in Palo Alto, Calif. JINDONG CAI


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has appointed KARINA CANELLAKIS assistant conductor, effective in September 2014.

has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Phoenix Symphony. JEFF HUNSINGER has been named general manager. KATIE COBB

The Philadelphia Orchestra has announced three additions to its conducting staff, effective with the 2014-15 season: STÉPHANE DENÈVE , principal guest conductor; CRISTIAN MACELARU, conductor-inresidence; and LIO KUOKMAN , assistant conductor. has been named to the Rawson Principal Trumpet Chair at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. MATTHEW ERNST

Virginia’s Fairfax Symphony has appointed LUKE FRAZIER principal pops conductor.

The Ann Arbor (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra has named EMILY FROMM marketing and public relations coordinator.

has been appointed vice president for development at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. ANDREA T. SANSEVERINO GALAN

The Kalamazoo (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra has named PETER GISTELINCK executive director.

has been named music director of the York (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra. LAWRENCE GOLAN


The Erie (Pa.) Chamber Orchestra has appointed MAUREEN CONLON GUTIERREZ concertmaster to succeed HOWARD LYON , who remains a member of its violin section.



Boston Magic

Burt Vanderveen

Carolina Confreres

In a joint effort rare in the world of professional orchestras, North Carolina’s Greensboro and Winston-Salem symphonies combined forces in April for a program of large-orchestra works that also employed choristers from both cities and two guest soloists. Greensboro Symphony Music Director Dmitry Sitkovetsky (at left in photo) and his Winston-Salem counterpart Robert Moody each led a pair of concerts by the mega-orchestra in each city. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Foley Davis was the soloist in Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky. Cellist Zuill Bailey was the instrumental protagonist in Strauss’s tone poem Don Quixote; taking turns as Sancho Panza, the Don’s peasant servant, were the two principal violists, Greensboro’s Scott Rawls and WinstonSalem’s Simon Ertz.

has been promoted from assistant conductor to resident conductor at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. FAWZI HAIMOR

The Wichita (Kan.) Symphony Society has appointed MICHAEL HANAWALT director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus; he succeeds the retiring CECIL J. RINEY. has stepped down as conductor and music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra following a 21-year tenure. DAVID HARMAN

Michael Bloch

Stu Rosner

The League of American Orchestras has been working tirelessly to remedy burdensome new policies that severely impact the ability of musicians to cross international borders with their instruments. A February 25 Obama Administration order, implemented to protect African elephants from poaching by combating illegal trade in ivory, placed immediate limitations on the ability of musicians to enter or re-enter the U.S. if their legally crafted and legally purchased instruments contain ivory from African elephants. Ivory is commonly found in bassoons, bows, and string instruments crafted decades ago. The Boston Symphony The ivory ban Orchestra has been performing has heightened Young People’s Concerts since awareness the 1880s, but it wasn’t until of a longthis spring that they presented established, but their first opera for children: unimplemented, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in requirement to an abridged 75-minute version obtain permits for audiences age six and up for travel with at Symphony Hall. Director/ narrator Bill Barclay (above with instruments that may contain other endangered species material, such as Brazilian rosewood and dragon) adapted the fairytale opera. Boston Youth Symphony tortoise shell. The League, in collaboration with other national music organizations, is meeting with Orchestra Music Director senior federal officials, generating support from Federico Cortese led the performance, featuring musicians Capitol Hill offices, and consulting with conservation groups to address conservation concerns while also from the BSO and BYSO. The performance was the first major protecting the ability of musicians to travel with the essential tools of their trade. The Advocacy section of collaboration by “BYSO/BSO: includes key information about Partnering for the Future,” which was launched in 2012 and current rules, and will be updated as new policies unfold. includes training programs and joint performance opportunities.


In a partnership program of the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Harman Symphony, and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, TED HEARNE has been appointed as the third annual New Voices composer. The Eureka (Calif.) Symphony has appointed JANE HILL as its first executive director. will step down as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at the end of the 2016-17 season. JEFFREY KAHANE

IMG Artists has announced the appointment of MICHAEL M. KAISER as co-chairman, effective September 1, 2014. He is to succeed ALEXANDER SHUSTOROVICH , whose title will change to president and CEO. LORNA AIZLEWOOD, the firm’s general counsel, will assume the title chief operating officer.

Musical Chairs

League Leads Efforts to Help Traveling Musicians under Ivory Ban

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that Concertmaster MICHAEL LUDWIG and Associate Conductor MATTHEW KRAEMER will step down at the end of this season. has been named president and chief executive officer of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, effective November 1. JEFF MELANSON

The San Francisco Symphony has appointed EDWIN OUTWATER to the newly created post of director of summer concerts.


has been named vice president of marketing and communications at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif. ANA PAPAKHIAN

The Jackson (Tenn.) Symphony has announced the appointment of PETER SHANNON as music director and conductor, effective July 1, 2014.

Composer ALEX SHAPIRO has been elected by the Board of Directors of ASCAP to fill the Symphony & Concert seat held by STEPHEN PAULUS , who is unable to serve the remainder of his term for health reasons. The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra has appointed JOE TACKETT president. has stepped down as associate conductor and education director of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Symphony. MATTHEW TROY


Australia’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has appointed ALICE WILKINSON director of marketing, and LEITH BROOKE director of development. will step down as music director of the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, effective in August 2014. JEAN-MARIE ZEITOUNI


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The League of American Orchestras has announced the appointment of Ken Cole as Vice President, Learning and Leadership Development, succeeding Polly Kahn, who steps down from the post in June after fourteen years. Cole’s responsibilities include overseeing the League’s National Conference; producing and managing its professional development, artistic, and regranting programs; and managing peer convenings among staff, trustees, volunteers, and conductors. He began his League position on June 2 while continuing to work at the National Guild for Community Arts Education, where he has served as associate director since 2008. He assumes full-time duties at the League on September 2. Prior to joining the National Guild in 2004, Cole was director of advancement at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. He has served as executive director of GALA Choruses; development director of the Fairfax (Va.) Symphony Orchestra; and development associate at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. For more than a decade he was a professional violist, performing in the Fairfax Symphony and the Baton Rouge (La.) Symphony Orchestra. Cole holds a bachelor’s degree in viola from Oberlin College Conservatory and a master’s in viola from Louisiana State University.

NJSO to Audience: Play With Us

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s postconcert event dubbed #OrchestraYou, held in the lobby of Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center on March 15, really had people buzzing. The orchestra invited members of the audience—concertgoers, students, music teachers, parents—to bring their instruments and perform with NJSO musicians in the “Toreadors” segment from Bizet’s Carmen. Anastasia Tsioulcas, an NPR arts reporter and self-described rusty musician who brought her violin and participated in the project, wrote, “Not only was it incredibly fun, but it served as a good reminder that music-making shouldn’t be divided into producers and consumers, with most people locked into a passive experience.” At #OrchestraYou, NJSO Education and Community Engagement Conductor Jeffrey Grogan said, “The energy in the room was indescribable.”

Vänskä Returns as Minnesota Orchestra Music Director

Osmo Vänskä

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Cole Joins League as VP for Learning and Leadership Development

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Osmo Vänskä resumed his music directorship of the Minnesota Orchestra on May 1, after signing a new two-year contract. He will conduct the orchestra for a minimum of ten weeks in each of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, and has accepted the same 15 percent reduction in pay that Minnesota Orchestra musicians agreed to in the January 2014 contract that ended a sixteenmonth lockout. The orchestra’s top artistic post had been vacant since last October, when Vänskä, music director since 2003, resigned during the labor dispute. “We are happy to be able to reunite Osmo and the orchestra to deliver outstanding musical performances for our community and to extend their celebrated musical partnership,” said Board Chair Gordon Sprenger.




47 Composers, 63 Ringtones


Doug Dolde

Does a set of contemporary classical ringtones for mobile phones count as a symphony? Maybe not, but a recent commissioning project by the Chicagobased Spektral Quartet resulted in ringtones, alerts, and wake-up alarms for mobile devices that included pieces by three composers associated with a major symphony orchestra. Chicago Symphony Orchestra composer-in-residence Mason Bates and former CSO composers-inresidence Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read Thomas have each written ringtones for the project, “Mobile Miniatures.” Other composers include Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang, Nico Muhly, Sarah Kirkland Snider (co-director of the New Amsterdam Records label), Chicago Modern Orchestra Project founder Reneé Baker, jazz trombonist George Lewis, and Olga Bell from the experimental rock group The Dirty Projectors.

Entrance to Zion National Park

Utah Symphony Heads for the (Red) Rocks The Utah Symphony is kicking off its 75th-anniversary season this August with five free concerts in Utah’s Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks. The “Mighty 5 Tour” concerts will feature Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, Bizet’s Suite from Carmen, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as well as vocal selections performed by soprano Celena Shafer, a Utah native. Additional free concerts and events will take place inside the national parks, including chamber music at visitor centers and outdoor amphitheaters. Music Director Thierry Fischer said when he first visited Utah’s national parks that he could “almost imagine an accompaniment of classical music echoing off the red rocks and canyons”—and now, he will. The National Park System itself is set for a big birthday in 2016, when it turns 100.

Kids Talk Pops

Through its Kids On Stage program, the New York Pops gave twenty instrumental students from nine New York City middle schools a chance to rub shoulders with the professionals this spring. In a March 28 “talkback” session at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Music Director Steven Reineke (far left in photo) rehearsed the students and discussed careers in music along with Broadway performers Julia Murney and Rob McClure—two of the orchestra’s eighteen “PopsEd Ambassadors”—and Principal Trumpet Neil Balm. Joining the Pops at Carnegie Hall for its 31st Birthday Gala on April 28, the kids performed Marc Shaiman’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical Hairspray. The PopsEd Ambassadors program, launched last fall, sponsors talks, master classes, and other educational activities by professional performers in city schools.






“A magical evening...unforgettable... THE BEST SHOW!!!!” — satisfied West Virginia Symphony patron

Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony is an unusual pops evening that begins with a hilarious parody of a classical concert (Dan as The Classical Clown) and ends with two restored Chaplin classics from 1917, with brilliant contemporary scores by Grant Cooper. Two full hours of comedy and music.

Catch the buzz at

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Gifts of Music

Janice Yi

Janice Yi

WQXR conducted its first musical-instrument drive this spring, netting 2,500 used musical instruments for public schools and community music programs.

Talk about getting more than you ask for: when classical radio station WQXR asked New Yorkers to donate “gently used” musical instruments, they netted more than 2,500 donations. The March 28-April 7 drive generated well above the initial goal of 1,000 instruments, which will go to students at Title I public schools and in community music programs. Held in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, Sam Ash Music Stores, and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the drive was conducted in all five city boroughs as well as Westchester County, Long Island, and northern New Jersey. “Having worked with New York City schools for many years, we’re very aware of the overwhelming need for instruments so that all students can learn to play,” said Felice Mancini, president and CEO of Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Graham Parker, WQXR’s general manager, said, “It becomes very real for people to think of their once-used instrument making its way into the hands of a student who can create new memories.”

Colorado High Notes It was perhaps inevitable that news of the Colorado Symphony’s “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series” would spark numerous tongue-in-cheek “highbrow” and “turning over a new leaf” headlines. In April, the CSO—responding to Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana—announced three bring-your-own-marijuana performances at a private art gallery and outdoor patio in Denver’s arts district. The concerts, restricted to adults 21 years of age and older, are fundraisers for the orchestra and are curated by Edible Events, which holds monthly music-and-marijuana happenings. At press time, Denver officials had raised concerns about the city’s laws regarding use of marijuana in public spaces, placing the concerts in jeopardy—and illustrating the challenges for various cities and states working to implement new legalization laws. Nevertheless, there have already been letters to the editor in newspapers in Washington State—where the retail sale of recreational marijuana was expected to begin in June—proposing that orchestras in that state offer similar events. Pot and Prokofiev, anyone?




On April 29, as the finale to its sophomore season, the Dallas Chamber Symphony led by Artistic Director Richard McKay performed three classic orchestral works in tandem with original films inspired by the music, each of them a finalist in the orchestra’s inaugural Sight of Sound International Film Competition. Pictured above is Daydreaming at Midnight, the winning entry by filmmaker Andrew Yorke, whose inspiration was Schumann’s Traumerei. Tosca Langbert, a thirteen-year-old student at Dallas’s Hockaday Academy, won the audience choice award for her debut film Pest Control, a visualization of Brahms’s Serenade No. 2. Third prize went to an untitled entry by Spanish filmmaker Montserrat Martinez inspired by Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

Following Hildegard

It’s not often that an order of nuns is the lead sponsor for an orchestra concert, but that was the case in April when Michigan’s Adrian Symphony Orchestra performed a new work based on the life of Hildegard von Bingen, the twelfth-century mystic and composer (below). During the month leading up to the ASO’s performance of Christopher Theofanidis’s Virtue, the Adrian Dominican Sisters sponsored Hildegardthemed events, including a “meditation service” with Tibetan singing bowls. Virtue, based upon Hildegard’s morality play Ordo Virtutum, is a co-commission by three orchestras, including Virginia’s Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, which gave the premiere in October. In November, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the third commissioning orchestra, will perform it.

Jeffry Chaffin Chester Lane

Picturing the Classics

For four days this spring the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra showcased violins from history’s most famous luthier with Strad Fest LA, a scholarly forum followed by performances and demonstrations at various city venues. Seen right at the March 29 concluding gala are Antonio Stradivari’s “Titian” (held by Cho-Liang Lin), “Kreisler” (Martin Chalifour), “Milstein” (Margaret Batjer), “Beechback” (Ray Ushikubo), “Leonora Jackson” (Chee-Yun), “Serdet” (Xiang Yu), and “Ruby” (Philippe Quint). Also making an appearance was the “Red Mendelssohn,” inspiration for the Hollywood film The Red Violin. Meanwhile, the “Macdonald Viola,” one of only ten extant Stradivari violas, was being readied for auction on June 25 by Sotheby’s, with a record-breaking $45 million as the expected selling price. Violist David Aaron Carpenter demonstrated the exquisitely preserved instrument on March 27 at Sotheby’s in New York (left) and again in Paris on April 15.

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PErCUSSION stewart Copeland Colin Currie

Jordan Bisch samuel ramey John relyea Morris robinson arthur Woodley



Maurice steger

Deanna Breiwick andriana Chuchman sabina Cvilak Elizabeth De trejo Julianna Di Giacomo *Jacqueline Echols Christine Goerke Wendy Bryn Harmer Kathleen Kim 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 Eric Cutler anthony Dean Griffey Paul Groves Bryan Hymel Brian Jagde Nicholas Phan Matthew Plenk taylor stayton


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Concerts & recitals only

Nathan Gunn thomas Hampson

Concerts & recitals only

Weston Hurt Lavrov Lucas Meachem Edward Parks Michael todd simpson Hyung Yun



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World to Come Concerto by David Lang

Jamie Bernstein

Bernstein on Broadway The Bernstein Beat Cowboys, Caballeros and Copland! Mozart, You Kid You!

rosanne Cash the Chieftains Cirque Mechanics for the Orchestra Barbara Cook stewart Copeland’s Ben Hur the 1925 Niblo silent Classic

The Earth–An HD Odyssey storm Large The Crazy Arc of Love * La

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animated film plus music (Juan trigos, symphony No. 3: “Ofrenda a los muertos”)

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Bard Madness

It’s been a big year for William Shakespeare, not just on Broadway but at orchestras from coast to coast. The Amarillo Symphony in Texas partnered with West Texas A&M University for a recent “Theatricality” program: portions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed by WTAMU theater students between movements of music from the Prokofiev ballet suite. The Seattle Youth Symphony’s Romeo and Juliet-themed performances featured the same Prokofiev suite, along with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy and Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet scenes. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra collaborated with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for a program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet Fantasy-Overture, featuring members of the theater company, during its own run of the play. Riccardo Muti and members of the Chicago Symphony

“The acoustics are terrific. Franz [Welser-Möst] and I both feel it’s the best new hall in the country in a long, long time… It’s a GREAT hall.” Orchestra visited 40 young women at an Illinois facility for juvenile offenders to talk about and perform excerpts from Verdi’s opera Macbeth, in collaboration with Chicago-based Storycatchers Theatre. The Delaware Symphony Orchestra’s performance this April of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream featured none other than Derek Jacobi as narrator. A recent collaboration between the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Washington, D.C.’s Folger Theatre resulted in four performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, also featuring Mendelssohn’s incidental music, this May and June. As part of a recent communitywide exploration of the theme of love and fate, Oregon’s Eugene Symphony performed a program featuring scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and music from the Prokofiev ballet score.

Gary Hanson, Executive Director, The Cleveland Orchestra about Reynolds Hall at the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas


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Arkansas Symphony Music Director Philip Mann congratulates Christopher Theofanidis following the April 12 premiere of his commissioned work The Wind and Petit Jean.

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The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra wound up its Masterworks series at Robinson Center Music Hall in Little Rock on April 12 with a world premiere of unusual provenance. Christopher Theofanidis’s The Wind and Petit Jean was commissioned by the musicians themselves as a gesture of gratitude to the Board of Directors, which had elected to give them a bonus following a difficult period in 2010 that included painful budget cuts; the musicians used their bonus to commission a new work dedicated to the board. Theofanidis, in residence with the orchestra last fall and designated 2013-2014 ASO Composer of the Year, titled his composition after a local legend: an 18th-century Frenchwoman, disguised as a cabin boy and calling herself Petit Jean, crossed the ocean in search of her fiancé, revealing her identity to him only on her deathbed. She was buried near Little Rock, atop what is now known as Petit Jean Mountain.

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Are Orchestras Making Progress? Conference keynote speakers point the way.


t its 2006 National Conference in Los Angeles, the League rolled out Supporting Orchestras in a New Era—A Strategic Direction for the American Symphony Orchestra League. The introduction by Lowell Noteboom and Robert Wagner, co-chairs of the board’s planning committee, included this observation: Orchestras, like other traditional icons of America’s performing arts, are experiencing a vast sea change, characterized by profound shifts in the public perception of culture and taste, in consumer patterns, and in uses of technology. Heightened competition for funding, leadership resources, and ticket sales has meant declining audiences and growing financial challenges for many orchestras. In many respects, this might have been written just yesterday. If anything, the changes described above have been gaining momentum and accelerating. Since 2006, the year Twitter was launched, Facebook has practically taken over the world, America elected its first black president, the first wave of the Baby Boom generation turned 60, and a widely circulated paper argued that foundations should give less money to orchestras, opera, theater, and dance companies and


more to artists and arts organizations that looked like America’s increasingly diverse communities. As the League gets ready to begin work on its next strategic plan, we naturally reflect on what’s happened over the last eight years, how orchestras have changed, and where opportunities lie. There are so many interesting ways to consider these questions, particularly in light of the volatility of the recent past. For now I’d

In orchestras’ mission statements, self-referential, inward-facing assertions of excellence are beginning to yield to statements of value and impact for the people in orchestras’ communities. like to look at this through just a single lens, and that is the new and evolving work of orchestras as expressed by six keynote speakers at League conferences since 2006. These perspectives anticipated, reinforced, and in many ways defined important progress in orchestras. Alberto Ibargüen is a good person to begin with. Former publisher of the Miami Herald and current president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ibargüen lived through the transformative impact of technology on the newspaper business. And he was no stranger to symphony orchestras, having chaired the

Chris Lee

by Jesse Rosen

Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

board of the Florida Philharmonic. At the League’s 2009 Conference, Ibargüen brought us a lesson and challenge from the newspaper business: don’t confuse mission with strategy. In his case this meant staying fixed on the importance of highquality journalism as a necessary condition for a successful democracy; i.e., mission. Newspapers were a strategy, a delivery system, and hence changeable. While finding causality is probably a fool’s errand, it’s hard not to notice a change in orchestras’ mission statements at around the time of Ibargüen’s speech. Self-referential, inwardfacing assertions of excellence began to yield to statements of value and impact for the people in orchestras’ communities. As a frame for addressing the future, the grounding of mission in the public value created by the orchestra experience seems far more likely to generate viable options for adaptation than the sustaining of current practices, roles, and structures that may no longer serve missions. Elizabeth Merritt, who heads the Center for the Future of Museums, told us at the Conference last year in St. Louis that we don’t have to try to predict the future—we can see it in emergent activity taking place right now, if we care to notice. In 2006, Bill Ivey and Steve Tepper from Vanderbilt University’s Curb Center symphony


José Antonio Abreu, founder and leader of the El Sistema movement in Venezuela, spoke at the League’s 2008 Conference in Denver.

of helping young people escape lives of poverty and violence. As Abreu says, “You can’t pick up a gun if you are holding a violin.” About sixty orchestras are currently running El Sistema-inspired programs. In addition to the intrinsic value these programs provide young people

Asher Kelman

Through El Sistema-inspired programs, orchestras are aligning themselves with civic needs, often partnering with other non-profits to meet pressing community challenges.

Alberto Ibargüen, former publisher of the Miami Herald and current president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, speaks about the need to differentiate mission from strategy at the League’s 2009 Conference in Chicago.

and more traditional audience remains a critical challenge. The education of young people has been a core commitment of American orchestras for decades. But José Antonio Abreu, the saint-like founder and leader of the El Sistema movement in Venezuela, has fundamentally altered our beliefs about the role of orchestras, young people, and communities. Abreu has linked the mastery of large-ensemble performance (with its requirements of listening, adapting, discipline, and balancing of the individual with the collective) with the social aims

and their families, they reflect a new role for orchestras. Through these programs orchestras are aligning themselves with civic needs, often partnering with other non-profits to meet widely acknowledged, pressing community challenges. (See Polly Kahn’s article elsewhere in this issue for a thorough report on this activity.) In 2012, an unlikely pair of Conference keynoters, Jimmy Settles, vice president of the United Auto Workers, and Marty Mulloy, vice president of labor affairs at Ford Motor Company, provided an inspirational model of successful labor relations through a period of dramatic change in the auto industry. Countless lessons emerged from their remarkable dialogue: “No matter how awful the data is, you face it, accept the reality, but you never give up.” “The enemy of collaboration is arrogance. The opposite is humility, the ability to accept the fact that your view of the world

is incomplete.” “Be soft on people, hard on issues.” And after a period marked by continual fighting when, as Settle said wryly, “The relationship between the union and the company worked…they kept things from us and we tried to take them,” both the UAW and Ford management realized the real enemy was global competition. Dealing with that was their shared challenge and common interest. Orchestra strikes and lockouts continued following this speech, underlining the failure of adversarial relationships. Some orchestras have a long way to go. But without diminishing the significance of recent high-profile work stoppages, the overwhelming majority of orchestras successfully negotiated their contracts in a period of severe economic scarcity. A promising development has been the partnership between the League and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). At our Conference last June, FMCS offered a three-day seminar on collective bargaining that was open to musicians, staff, and board members. The seminar was sold out, and as of this writing the 2014 installment in Seattle promises to be as well. The only thing more stimulating than reading business guru Jim Collins (Built

Asher Kelman

Glenn Ross

for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy were noticing. Their book, Engaging Art, The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life (introduced at our Conference in Nashville in 2007), captured the trends that were to give rise to now wellestablished patterns of cultural engagement: DIY (Do It Yourself ), on-demand, the “curatorial me,” cultural omnivores, pro-ams (professional-amateurs, suggesting a blending of the two roles), and the digitally engaged, connected, participatory, and creative. In orchestras today we now see widespread experimentation that is responsive to these new audiences and engagement preferences. Balancing these often high-cost/low-income experiments with the retention of the still far larger

Business guru Jim Collins discussed the importance of talent development at successful organizations in his keynote address at the League Conference in 2008 in Denver.


Vanderbilt University’s Steve Tepper and Bill Ivey discuss their book Engaging Art, The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life, which captured the trends that have become well-established patterns of cultural engagement, at the League’s 2007 Conference in Nashville.

to Last; Good to Great; Good to Great in the Social Sector) is hearing him speak, which League Conference delegates got to do in June 2008 in Denver. Collins’s themes are by now well known: “the right people on the bus in the right seats”; “big, hairy, audacious goals”; and “culture of discipline”; to name just a few. But his significance is greater than the sum of his research findings and insights. Collins reminds us of two things that really matter: the importance of 1) being highly reflective and intentional in how we run our organizations, becoming “learning organizations;” and

At the League Conference in 2012, Jimmy Settles (left), vice president of the United Auto Workers, and Marty Mulloy (right), vice president of labor affairs at Ford Motor Company, discussed successful labor relations during a period of dramatic change in the auto industry, with lessons applicable to orchestras.


Mathew Imaging

Mathew Imaging

• Becoming authentically engaged with communities • Achieving common cause within orchestras; and • Building organizations that learn and that value and support their talent

2) investing in talent development. He gave great weight to this latter point in his interview with me in the July-August 2008 issue of Symphony. I have been gratified to see the increased attention orchestras are giving to their own learning and talent development. One important indicator is the growing engagement of orchestras with the League’s professional development offerings: last year some 15,000 individuals from 574 orchestras and related organizations participated. And with increasing frequency, orchestra people are participating in courses from National Arts Strategies, the Center for Creative Leadership, executive-education programs at Harvard and Stanford, and young leaders are participating in local nonprofit leadership groups. These highly personal and somewhat impressionistic observations of changes in orchestras are admittedly just scratching the surface. There are additional questions to ask about the material changes in orchestras, the rate of change and is it fast enough, the impact of League programs, and whether or not any of the new activity in orchestras is “working”—however we define that. We will get to these in the months ahead. For now, though, I believe orchestras can claim important progress in these areas: • Clarifying mission, purpose and strategy • Adapting to changing audiences

I don’t for a minute mean to suggest we have achieved success. If anything, we need to press harder on the pedal. But lest we fall into the trap of cynics and naysayers, let’s stand back and notice the progress. Looking forward, I would quickly cite governance as a practice area in need of intensified attention. In my experience, it is axiomatic that strong boards lead to successful organizations. There are also great

Without diminishing the significance of recent highprofile work stoppages, the overwhelming majority of orchestras successfully negotiated their contracts in a period of severe economic scarcity. opportunities ahead in not only continuing the growing appetite for innovation but in capturing the learning through disciplined analysis and diffusion. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s just-announced program for an “embedded storyteller” who will generate online content and make the BSO’s own news, reminds us of the extraordinary opportunities digital media hold for engaging the public, which for the most part are yet to be seized. I’m especially looking forward to the two keynotes at the 2014 Conference, Claire Chase and Alan Brown. Claire exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of musicians and Alan, having now amassed arguably the most significant body of performing arts audience research, will reflect on what his findings mean for orchestras. I’m confident that their remarks, like those cited above, will be major contributions to the advancement of orchestras. symphony


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The Engaged Board Introducing a new Symphony column aimed at those charged with responsibility for orchestras: the members of the board of directors.

Our inaugural Board Room column is an excerpt from Susan Howlett’s Boards on Fire! Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully, a new manual that helps board members fulfill their responsibilities. The book has gotten people talking about the rewards—and challenges—of governance. At the League’s Conference in Seattle this June, Howlett, a leading consultant on nonprofit governance, conducts a session based on the book that helps trustees to meet their fiduciary obligations by raising money with confidence and enthusiasm. In this excerpt from Boards on Fire!, Howlett discusses how to get trustees more actively engaged in governance.


ost of the board meetings I attend as a consultant are disappointing. The main reason? The typical meeting structure offers little opportunity for board members to lead. Picture a conference room full of people with skills, talents, contacts, wisdom, experience, and passion for the mission—relegated to listening to a series of boring reports that aren’t tied to a common vision or strategic goals. Fundraising is always the last item on the agenda, and it gets abbreviated or postponed because the other items took too long. Instead of steering the meeting, leaders are leaning back in their chairs with their arms crossed, or furtively checking their messages. There are many reasons why board meetings have ended up looking like this. One might be that strong executives don’t really want their boards very engaged, because they’ve been burned by micromanagers in the past or they fear that a fired-up board might usurp some of their power. Mostly, though, I think boring meetings are the result of benign neglect: whoever wants time on the agenda gets it and


there’s no overarching rationale for what the board spends its precious time on across the arc of a year. One thing is for sure, though: no one wants to go out and raise money to fund committee reports.

Boring meetings are the result of benign neglect: whoever wants time on the agenda gets it and there’s no overarching rationale for what the board spends its precious time on. Overcoming the Governance Barrier

The antidote to this problem is easy: create an environment where board members get to lead. In their book Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards, authors Dick Chait, Bill Ryan, and Barbara Taylor distinguish three modes in which boards operate: the fiduciary mode, the strategic mode, and the generative mode. When they’re operating in the fiduciary mode, boards are discussing things like budgets and contracts and legal responsibilities. When they’re operating in the

strategic mode, they’re discussing things like goals and measurable outcomes, the relative merits of a collaboration, or what position to take on a legislative matter. When they’re operating in the generative mode, they’re temporarily suspending those other two modes, and thinking outside the box about how to address a systemic issue. When I see boards operating in the fiduciary mode, their heads are down, their pencils are out, and they’re looking at fine print, maybe even squinting. When I see boards operating in the strategic mode, they’re sitting upright in their chairs, looking at one another. And when they get to the generative mode, they’re leaning back in their chairs with their hands behind their heads, saying, “What would happen if we thought about it this way?” Their view is beyond the room’s walls, and the conversation is animated and engrossing. If we created more opportunities for boards to have generative conversations, they would find the strategic conversations more contextual and satisfying, and they would lean into the fiduciary conversations eagerly because the financial and legal topics would feel vital to accomplishing the big ideas they created up front. Fundraising then becomes a natural step in the process of achieving the vision they “birthed” in a generative conversation. Design Meetings People Look Forward To

Here’s how to shift the content of your board meetings so leadership can emerge naturally. Imagine a board meeting with symphony


an agenda that unfolds like this: 1. An opportunity to build community among the board members 2. An inspiring reminder of the organization’s mission 3. A vote on a “consent agenda” 4. An opportunity for education or training of board members 5. A generative conversation about a matter of consequence Let’s look at these steps in more detail. 1) First, building community increases accountability. When people don’t know or care about the others in the group, they don’t feel bad about dropping the ball on their assignments. But people who feel emotionally connected to one another follow through because they don’t want to disappoint their peers. Here are some ways to build community:

• Food: I think every board meeting

should have food, partly as a gesture of reciprocity because the leaders are volunteering their time, and partly to ensure that people’s biological needs are met so they can pay attention. I also think something visceral happens when people break bread together. Some groups rotate the food assignment among board members; others assign food to staff. Check my website for a list of ways to handle food so it isn’t a burden to anyone.

• Introductions: Begin your meet-

ings with each person restating their name (I’ve worked with boards where some people didn’t even know their fellow members) and sharing a simple fact about themselves: their favorite movie, their favorite book, their favorite ethnic restaurant, a memorable trip, where they went to high school, or something more mission-related, such as their favorite children’s book (literacy), their favorite historic building (preservation), their favorite park or trail, animal, boat, etc. This gives the others a little glimpse into each leader’s personal life without taking time out of the meeting.

2) Second, it’s important to remind people of the group’s mission at every meeting to keep their leadership inspired. Sometimes, board members who are deeply engaged in committee work forget to tie that work to the larger mission and vision. In some organizations, I’ve seen staff share a story about someone who has benefited from their work,

Engage in a deep, rich, satisfying conversation about something that matters, preferably something that relates to your orchestra’s strategic goals. but I think it’s more effective to have a board member responsible for the “mission moment.” Rotate who shares one of these moments each month (and be sure to make it easy for them to connect with an end user). By learning the story well enough to share it with their peers, it will sink into their hearts and guts and they’ll remember it for a long time. At the end of the year, they will have heard enough stories that they’ll feel really connected to your mission. 3) Third, with a consent agenda, the staff puts into one document all of the reports and routine items that normally take up meeting time yet don’t require board discussion (for example, the CEO’s report, finance report, committee reports, or perfunctory ratifications). This document is sent out ahead of time with the expectation that everyone reads it before coming to the meeting. Then all items are voted on at once, becoming the official record of the organization. A consent agenda eliminates from the agenda anything that already happened in the past and allows the board to spend

the meeting time looking forward and applying their wisdom to important matters. You can find more information about consent agendas at 4) Fourth, include 20 minutes of education or training so board members can anticipate learning something germane every time they attend a meeting. Knowing that the organization is investing in their ability to lead well will inspire them to use their newly acquired wisdom and skills. Here are a couple of points to remember:

• Think about education in terms

of your line of work. Have a staff member or local expert come in to talk about trends or best practices in the field. Invite a board member who knows a lot about something (the legislature, collaboration, a sister organization they used to lead) to share their expertise. Education helps put your work in a larger context so the board can see how your organization fits into the broader community.

• Think about training in terms of

Susan Howlett has been strengthening nonprofit organizations for 40 years as a board member, development director, executive director, and, for the last 25 years, as a consultant to over 1,000 nonprofits nationwide. Author of two acclaimed books (Getting Funded and Boards on Fire!), Howlett teaches at the University of Washington. She speaks, trains, and consults nationally, and is known for her liberal use of humor, stories, and practical tips.


how to be a more effective board member. If no one knows how to read the financial statements, train them on where their eyes should fall on the page and which strategic questions they should be asking. If they don’t know how to work a room on your behalf or ask unapologetically for money or auction items, have someone show them how to do it. We need to stop complaining about what leaders do badly and give them the tools to do it better.

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5) Now imagine that those first four agenda items take 30 minutes total. That leaves you a good 60 minutes to engage in a deep, rich, satisfying conversation about something that matters, preferably something that relates to your strategic goals. Perhaps a task force went away after the strategic planning retreat to hammer out a recommendation on some topic. Give them a few minutes to outline their ideas and then open it up to the whole board to discuss. (A list of topics other organizations have discussed during their generative conversation period, and a great conversation starter— Jan Masaoka’s insightful article “Governance and Support”—can be found on my website.) Good board meetings help leaders feel as if the organization has invested in them, and they’ve invested in the organization. As meetings engage board members in rich, satisfying conversations about topics that further the mission, vision, and strategic goals, trustees can see how their efforts to raise money affect the organization. When board members are engaged in authentic leadership, they’ll be eager to ask for financial support. This article is excerpted from Boards on Fire! Inspiring to Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully by Susan Howlett, and is reprinted by permission




of the author. Word and Raby Publishing, www. To purchase Boards on Fire! and to view other resources, visit www.




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The Madison (Wis.) Symphony’s Orchestra’s health-and-wellness program, “Heartstrings,” includes visits to such facilities as the Common Threads Family Resource Center, which serves children with autism.

Making a

Orchestras are embracing newly expanded opportunities to serve their communities.

Difference 26

The San Francisco Symphony presented this April 2012 orchestral workshop as part of its “Community of Music Makers” program.

Kristen Loken

Polly Kahn, who wrote the following article, is leaving the League after fourteen years of incredible service to orchestras as the League’s Vice President for Learning and Leadership Development. As you will read, she is an optimist and a champion of orchestras of the highest order! What she modestly omits in this rich and beautifully illustrated survey of the increasing breadth and depth of orchestras’ engagement with their communities is her own role in facilitating this remarkable change. Among her many efforts to help orchestras do better work in their communities are the MetLife Awards for Excellence in Community Engagement; the Your Orchestra, Your Community assessment tool; and the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program. She has also woven her commitment to the highestquality community engagement work into dozens of seminars, meetings, and conferences. This article stands as yet another example of Polly’s extraordinary impact on America’s orchestras. We are grateful, Polly, for the many gifts you have shared with our community. —Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

Greg Anderson

by Polly Kahn



Jim Atwood


Louisiana Philharmonic musicians helped to build a Musicians’ Village in November 2006, part of a post-Katrina effort through New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. The village provided dozens of single-family homes in the Upper Ninth Ward for musicians, artists, and other families who have defined the city’s culture.

Through the Chicago Symphony’s “Citizen Musician” initiative, members of the orchestra work with young people incarcerated at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and at the Illinois Youth Center. The Dallas Symphony’s premiere of The World is Very Different Now, by nineteen-year-old composer Conrad Tao, for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was enfolded into a citywide dialogue exploring how Dallas, and our country, have evolved since 1963. The Phoenix Symphony’s “B-Sharp Music Wellness” program provides services to the homeless population, and their caretakers, throughout the city. Over 1.3 million citizens of the Cincinnati area composed, rapped, danced, improvised, downloaded, attended listening parties, and otherwise joyfully participated in the Cincinnati Symphony’s “One City, One Symphony” project. More than 30 orchestras partner with healthcare providers to help relieve stress and suffering in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other venues. Over the last five years, more than 60 orchestras have started free afterschool programs with community partners, providing nutritional and academic support as well as intensive musical experiences. The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory has been engaged by the San Diego Public Schools system to help drive a strategy that will result in the restoration of full-time licensed music teachers to the system. The Central Ohio Symphony’s drumming circle program for juveniles in the mental health court system is now mandated by the court as a component of its treatment program. The program has grown to include family members as well.

o these snapshots of American orchestras seem familiar? Increasingly, the answer is yes. This article shines a light on American orchestras that have transcended the traditional role of orchestras in community life. These institutions, of course, stay true to their core purpose of sharing a great body of musical literature. But they are driven simultaneously by a growing sense of connectivity and responsibility to community, along with a desire to engage authentically with an ever-more-diverse populace. They contribute to civil dialogue and healthy communities, make a difference in the education of children, use music to ease suffering, and address the pressing issues that confront our communities. For many of us, the joyous image of Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in its Young People’s Concerts may be the image we carry when thinking of American orchestras in their community role. Indeed, that annual field trip to a concert may represent our strongest primary association with orchestras, much as it did with museums and with dance, opera, and theater companies. For most, these events were built on the quixotic hope that a single encounter with a powerful artistic experience would provide the thunderbolt that would predispose us toward an interest in the art form. But today, the context is dramatically different. We have experienced waves of economic upheaval and the diminution of in-school arts instruction, particularly in high-poverty areas. We have seen the pressures of a test-driven education system marginalize arts education. Despite these challenges, there are signs of hope. Changing demographics are prompting orchestras to consider fresh programs for populations, from newborns to seniors, who could benefit from arts participation. Although younger generations seem to be less attracted to traditional concerts, they have expressed a desire for symphonic music in other ways: increased online consumption; a hunger to engage with all kinds of music in new, less formal settings; a desire to compose and to play instruments; and an overall interest in new music, including orchestral music, that speaks to our multicultural national profile. Fresh approaches to community involvement in the musical offerings of or-


Fresh approaches to community involvement have paved the way as orchestras grow in their civic and social roles, increasing access and opportunity for all.

concert venues, and the use of social media and digital platforms to meet the needs of people who want to explore symphonic music, but on their own terms. People are coming together in ways that cut across differences in demographics, economic strata, race, ethnicity, education, and musical background. Here are a few examples:

chestras and in their in- and after-school work have paved the way as orchestras grow in their civic and social roles, increasing access and opportunity for all in the community, including those traditionally underserved. These areas set the stage for exploring the richly varied ways that orchestras are innovating and making a difference for their communities, and suggest ways that multiple approaches—artistic, educational, technological, and audiencecentric—are beginning to blend and overlay to create new pathways to relevance and public value for our orchestras. Engaging Community in New Ways

Experimentation is breaking out all over in the form of novel program formats, new

and performed by its citizens. The concerto put technology in the service of “a more democratic musical agenda,” as Machover put it. • Musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and other groups regularly play in bars and public squares, and share moments of humor and surprise on YouTube. The Cleveland Orchestra aims to have among the youngest audiences in the country for symphonic music, and it is adjusting time-honored practices to achieve this goal.

• The

Tucson Symphony conducts an annual residency program on Arizona-based Native American reservations. In 2013, this residency involved the Tohono O’odham Nation. • The Cincinnati’s Symphony’s 2012 celebration of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—based on the NEA’s “Big Read” model—reached more than 1.3 million people in ways that invited amateur performances, creative interpretations, digital remixing, and more. • Composer Tod Machover used the entire city of Toronto to create a soundscape, “Concerto for Composer and City,” composed

A multi-year study by the WolfBrown consulting group has tracked pilot programs at several orchestras as they reinvented their presentations and programming to provide resonant experiences to younger audiences. The WolfBrown study describes late-night musical and social events; short concerts based on contemporary themes; serendipitous mixes of composers and genres; and the use of animation, digital technology, and social media.



Welcome to the future of music publishing 28



April 3, 2014; Boston Symphony Orchestra; Jonathan Biss, piano; Robert Spano, cond.

Andrew Norman

RELEASE, for piano and orchestra

May 1, 2014; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Emanuel Ax, piano; Gustavo Dudamel, cond.

Hannah Lash

THIS EASE, for chamber orchestra

April 26, 2014; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Jeffrey Kahane, cond.

NYMPHS, for orchestra

May 2, 2014; Alabama Symphony Orchestra; Courtney Lewis, cond.

Thomas Adès

TOTENTANZ, for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra July 17, 2013; BBC Proms; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Adès, cond.

Georg Friedrich Haas DARK DREAMS, for orchestra

February 20, 2014; Berlin Philharmonic; Simon Rattle, cond.



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

And the study reveals that new approaches are connecting with younger audiences, just as hoped. In 2013, WolfBrown’s research study, Engaging Next Generation Audiences, focused on the engagement of college students with classical music. And new, young, hip, entrepreneurial orchestral ensembles—including, but in no way limited to, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Alarm Will Sound, and The Knights—challenge traditional views of orchestras every day. These examples may seem like audience development initiatives. But at their heart is a greater goal: to create environments in which more, and more diverse, people can engage with the music and musicians of our orchestras. Education, Inside and Outside Our Schools

Orchestras have long been at the forefront of arts education, working alongside music teachers and providing the unique resources that can only be offered by symphonic

musicians. Data supporting the value of arts education is provided through the Arts Education Partnership, the National Endowment for the Arts, Supportmusic. com, and national and local multi-arts coalitions.

Experimentation is breaking out with novel program formats, new concert venues, and social media and digital platforms. In-School Partnerships: There was a time when “fly-by” arts education—the fourthgrade concert repeated multiple times for all the fourth-graders in a school system—was common practice. The result was minimal authentic engagement by the orchestra with its public school partners. Now this model is less frequently used, as orchestras increasingly focus more resources on fewer schools and children, where evidence shows that they can have greater impact. While not new, this trend

toward sustained multi-year relationships as a critical dimension of orchestras’ commitment to their communities continues to grow. In a 2011-12 survey of 114 orchestras by the League of American Orchestras, 40 percent supported multi-year partnerships. And the work is centered for the most part in high-poverty Title I schools, which most need partnership and support. Programs involving skilled teaching artists have become ever more common. In this body of practice, first developed at the Lincoln Center Institute in the 1970s, the artists partner with classroom and music teachers multiple times per year in academic as well as music curriculum. They share in customized lesson planning and co-teaching, and they use small-ensemble performances, orchestra rehearsals, and concerts as “living textbooks” for the ongoing exploration of music, rather than as ends in themselves. The practice of engaging students as composers, performers, active listeners, and critics is increasing. Aligning the work with the National Arts

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Rachel Ford, executive director, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Invest in one, invest in many Through our leadership programs, the League invested in Rachel, who now invests in the healing power of music â&#x20AC;&#x201C; exactly when patients need it the most. Through live performances in healthcare facilities, the KSOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awardwinning Music & Wellness Program helps the healing process of more than 4,500 patients every year. Supporting the League means investing in people and their communities. Donate now at

Roger Mastroianni

An Expanded Programmatic Landscape

The Cleveland Orchestra’s May 2013 Gordon Square residency included this impromptu instrument demonstration at Stockyard Meats by orchestra cellist Paul Kushious. Among the venues visited in May of this year during the orchestra’s residency in the Lakewood neighborhood was Mahall’s 20 Lanes. The bowling alley got an advance visit from Assistant Principal Cello Charles Bernard and oboist Mary Lynch (above right).

Standards and Common Core goals (and earlier iterations of educational standards) has supported schools struggling to meet required academic and musical outcomes. While the in-school partnerships of the New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony have been in place for more than 20 years, they continue to grow and expand. The New York Philharmonic Young Composers Program, for example, grew into an afterschool option for children in the partnership program and now has an international dimension. After-School Programs: At its 2008 National Conference, the League of American Orchestras introduced to our field José Antonio Abreu, the founder of the El Sistema movement in Venezuela. Abreu knew that the creation of free childcare would benefit parents in high-poverty environments, helping them to find work. His passion for music led him to a system of music instruction that invited the participation of children without regard to musical ability. These two drivers came together to become a national system of after-school music education that provides family support and academic help; it has proven to be a powerful tool for creating stability and opportunity for children of poverty for almost 40 years. Almost concurrent with the League’s introduction of this work to our field, two major orchestras set programs in motion. Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, announced the start of “OrchKids,” an El Sistemainspired program at the BSO, with startup funding from her 2005 MacArthur Award.


In 2007, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced Gustavo Dudamel, an alumnus of the Venezuelan program, as its music director; shortly thereafter, the orchestra began its own El Sistema-inspired initiative, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA). The orchestra describes the goal of El Sistema-type work in the U.S. as “to

Just as Guernica, Picasso’s massive painting from 1937, stands as a metaphor for the atrocity of war, so do contemporary musical works reflect the moral conscience of our time. break the cycle of poverty and close the achievement gap, using music education as an agent of social change.” Many of these programs (now in place at more than 60 orchestras) include yearround programs, and we see the power of the after-school experience translating into a greater presence for music and for licensed music teachers in schools where they had previously been eliminated. Most of the El Sistema-inspired programs are tracking progress against musical, academic, and social progress goals. The data show that participating children outperform their peers in math and reading, and make significant musical progress. They also show evidence of better school attendance, greater parental involvement, and other measures of progress. In the programs that report on math and reading scores, for example, 100 percent of program participants outperform peers not involved in the orchestra-based programs.

The work of orchestras, as it aligns art with change and social impact, is evolving in exciting ways to meet the needs and opportunities of this changing context. Orchestras are crossing into other sectors such as health, juvenile justice, and the environment. Research confirms the benefits music can provide for the aging, those in healthcare settings, and other populations. In programs that report on health and wellness outcomes, 100 percent report positive patient outcomes. Research from the medical community, as set forth in Music & Healthcare by Lea Wolf and Dr. Thomas Wolf, suggests the therapeutic benefits of live music for those experiencing physical or psychological stress. This research has inspired more than 30 orchestras to work in partnership with hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing and group homes, and special-needs programs, including with the autism community. Music therapists have been key to this work, training musicians, providing support for hospital practitioners, and ensuring solid tracking of results. Some of these activities involve established medical protocols for assessing patient responsiveness, such as physical response to musical cues, reduction in blood pressure, and impact on length of hospital stays. With a baseline created by the pioneering work of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on this front, orchestras from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Madison, Wisconsin have adapted and created similar programs. In Knoxville, musicians play solo or in small ensembles in hospital wards, lobbies, and, at times, for the medical practitioners themselves. In the Madison Symphony’s “Heartstrings” program, a quartet of musicians performs in healthcare settings, including nursing homes and long-term medical care facilities. A typical comment came from a rehabilitation patient who said the experience “helped me forget where I was, and gave me hope.” The Madison Symphony published Heartstrings Toolkit, a workbook with guidelines for creating such a program. Creative Aging: At the League’s 2007 National Conference, William Ivey, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, and his colleague Steven Tepper symphony


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


tice system. Experiments with drumming circles and songwriting, in particular, are showing good early results in helping incarcerated youth (particularly teens) meet their therapeutic and academic goals. At the Central Ohio Symphony, a drumming circle founded by its executive director (and principal percussionist) has led to a doubling of the program and a formal relationship with the local court system. Carnegie Hall, through its “Musical Connections” program, has a contractual relationship with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, and with the New York State and NYC Departments of Correction, to deliver musical resources to prisoners at the Rikers Island and Sing Sing correctional facilities, among others. The work involves the participants in songwriting with teaching artists over a multi-week period. The results are shared, in public performances and/or via the use of video-conferencing technology, with the teens and the teaching artists collaborating as performers. This work has had a cathartic impact for incarcerated young people, many of whom are separated from their own young children. The Chicago Symphony Orchesta’s “Citizen Musicians” program takes CSO musicians to the Illinois Youth Center and Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Warren Hyer

of Vanderbilt University, presented a forum centered on their publication Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life. Their work made the case for the pro-am (professionalamateur) movement. They suggested ways in which Baby Boomers would remain engaged learners and active participants in civic life as they moved into retirement. Benefits of this activity include decreased social isolation, the opportunity to build new skills, and the gratification of meeting fellow community members through music making. Today we see increasing opportunities in creative aging, where avocational musicians play side-by-side with professional orchestras in artistic opportunities that are more about participation and access than about high artistic quality. In the Baltimore Symphony’s annual “Rusty Musicians” program, community members bring out their instruments and revel in

The Central Ohio Symphony sponsors RECONNECTING, a drumming circle for juvenile offenders. This event took place at Maryhaven Treatment Center in June 2013.

an intensive experience with musicians of the BSO. The San Francisco Symphony’s “Community of Music Makers” offers instrumental, choral, and chamber music workshops with coaching from orchestra members, and it partners with other local organizations to participate in community-wide musical celebrations. In the League’s 2011-12 survey, 40 percent of 114 responding orchestras reported support of creative-aging programs. Juvenile Justice: An emerging area of practice lies in musical engagement with teens and young adults in the juvenile jus-


Community Healing: Many might remember Leonard Bernstein’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. That momentous musical event focused a global community in an exultant celebration of freedom. More recently, in the U.S., we can look to the role that hundreds of orchestras played in communities after September 11, or to the Nashville Symphony or Louisiana Philharmonic after the catastrophic flooding of their hometowns, or to the Pensacola Symphony’s efforts after the hurricane that hit its city. Often, in times of crisis, orchestras have been among the first to offer the community a place to gather and heal. When the flood triggered by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 forced a diaspora for New Orleans residents, the musicians of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra came back from wherever they had relocated to—and they not only played for the com-

munity right after the flood but brought music to schools, churches, parks, and other venues. They did this for four years, as the orchestra itself was homeless, having lost the use of the Mahalia Jackson Theater. In an article in the September-October 2009 Symphony, LPO Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto recalls those days: “We needed to play music. The message we had to communicate was an essential one, and it was that the LPO is a vital part of this community and would be there for this community.” And, in November 2013, when a tornado ripped through the Midwest, the Peoria Symphony (three of whose members had lost their homes) pulled together nearly 200 musicians from 23 area orchestras and choruses to provide a free concert to bring solace to Central Illinois. Community Dialogue and Social Activism: The creation and presentation of music is, of course, the core of what orchestras are. It’s perhaps too easy to think of orchestras as solely inhabiting the world of Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, and Stravinsky. But just as these artists responded to and challenged the cultural and political assumptions of their times, orchestral music today increasingly crosses musical genres and addresses significant social issues of our time. Think of the powerful response to John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, a remembrance of the victims of September 11 that includes heart-wrenching cellphone messages of those trapped in the Twin Towers. Another Adams work, his opera The Death of Klinghoffer, powerfully challenges audiences to address the IsraelPalestinian conflict. Trumpeter/composer Hannibal’s tribute to Emmett Till, presented by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, brought together a huge cross-section of the community in discussions around racism and the progress our society has made in the decades that have followed the horrendous murder of this young teen in 1955. Michael Daugherty’s “Rosa Parks Boulevard,” from his 1999 orchestral work Motor City Triptych, is a powerful remembrance of the power and pain of the civil rights movement. Randall Wolff ’s recent Blues for Black Hoodies, written in the aftermath of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, was performed by the Brooklyn Philharsymphony


Michael Dick

The Knights, a New York-based orchestra with flexible instrumentation and a dedication to music making in non-traditional settings, performs at The Black Sparrow in Lafayette, Indiana, February 2013.

monic and singer/actresss Erykah Badu. The event brought together a broad swath of the diverse Brooklyn community in a concert that was performed twice to accommodate community demand. And, most recently, nineteen-year-old Chinese-American composer Conrad Tao’s The World Is Very Different Now was commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. The premiere performance, in November 2013, was enfolded in the citywide dialogue reflecting on the tragedy of November 22, 1963, and explored how Dallas and the country have evolved since then. Tao’s provocative work invited listeners to think about memory— both through lived experience and through memories handed down—to wrestle with its impact on contemporary experience. Just as Guernica, Picasso’s massive painting from 1937, stands as a metaphor for the atrocity of war, so do these contemporary musical works reflect the moral conscience of our time. The local partnerships that often accompany premieres, and the interest and dialogue that they trigger, are powerful contributors to raising awareness and understanding of issues—local, national, and global—in society. Summing Up

In the range of work being done by orchestras, we can observe a number of trends: • Creativity in symphonic life is expansive, crossing genres and often reflecting the ethos and issues of our time. • Orchestras are developing

ships with social service and health organizations with which they had no prior relationships. • Most of the in-school and afterschool programs started with a focus on the children and have expanded to include opportunities for families. • A number of orchestras have leveraged the accomplishments of their after-school programs into advocacy for the increased presence of licensed in-school music teachers. • The number of orchestral musicians engaged in community programs is growing; these musicians are participating in more, and more rigorous, professional development. • Orchestras are creating communities of practice with one another and with other organizations as they share research, teaching protocols, and programmatic experiences. • There is growing discipline around evaluation and assessment, and a realization that data must support claims and be aligned with programmatic goals. We challenge ourselves, today and as we look ahead, to address critical issues, including: • What is our core mission, and how can we make it more expansive while maintaining the excellence that characterizes our primary work of making music? • How do we better blend a dual focus on performance and community? • How do we continue to build the capacity and skills of musicians to work in and with the community? • How do we most effectively communicate about the work orchestras are doing to engage broad crosssections of the community so that we can better align public perception with our actions? • How do we accomplish all we must, given the constraints of limited staff and financial resources? • What leadership must our boards provide to ensure the sustainability of this work, and its alignment with our core mission?

• How do we continue to build, and resource, solid assessment of our work?

The work described here matters for orchestras because it is the right thing to do. Every day, orchestras are doing more work, doing better work, and growing their relationships with multiple communities far beyond what once they might have imagined. What is a driving vision for orchestras in the 21st century? Perhaps it is to create the real and metaphoric public square where everyone has access to, benefits from, and shares in the joy of orchestral music in ways that contribute to the collective vitality and health of our communities. This article was developed for Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, as part of the Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative. Copyright Americans for the Arts 2014. The full article may be found on Animating Democracy’s website.

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In September 2013, more than 50,000 people signed up for pianist Jonathan Biss’s Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, a series of weekly video-lectures and online discussions. The class is an outgrowth of a partnership between the Curtis Institute of Music and Coursera.

Change of Course by Ian VanderMeulen

Conservatories, music festivals, and other arts institutions are hopping on the e-learning bandwagon with everything from online classrooms to one-on-one video instruction.


magine taking an MIT engineering course, a Harvard Greek civilization class, or Princeton’s Buddhism/psychology class—from your living room. Now imagine you’re taking violin lessons from Pinchas Zukerman, learning about Beethoven sonatas from pianist Jonathan Biss, or catching up on music theory before your next college semester begins. It’s all out there now, as music conservatories and other classical-music institutions join one of the biggest education trends in the last decade: the burgeoning of online courses, led by such platforms as Coursera and Khan Academy, which offer interactive, often accredited courses from major institutions, at prices significantly below regular tuition. 36

Online learning carries certain obvious advantages, some stemming from the seemingly infinite reach of the internet. Making courses available online not only gives students around the world access to previously unavailable expertise, it potentially engages a more diverse student population as well. It can also be more time-effective for the teacher (more students means greater impact per instruction hour) and for the student (take the class anywhere, any time). For cash-strapped students hoping to avoid education debt, one benefit is that many courses are free, while others offer low-cost alternatives to the traditional classroom. symphony


ing using Skype and Internet2 capabilities, or Massive Open Online Courses—known as “MOOCs”—distance learning is altering traditional teaching models and opening up access to music education to vast new audiences. If there’s one unifying factor to making these ventures successful, it’s that the online-learning initiatives themselves are natural extensions of the organizations’ overall missions. “The wonderful thing about MOOCs is they kind of flip the learning model on its head,” says Doug McLennan, founder and editor of the arts-and-culture digest ArtsJournal and driving force behind several recent online courses, including ones at the Ojai and Spring for Music festivals. “The goal isn’t to get exposure to a great teacher so much as it is that a great teacher frames the issue or topic in an interesting way and puts a road map together. Then by virtue of the fact that you can have 100,000 people in the class, you start to identify all this hidden expertise in a mass number of people.” E-Classroom as Teaching Adjunct

Traditional institutions of higher learning like four-year colleges, universities, and even conservatories might be expected to have the most interest in distance learning, as well as the most to fear. Yet the Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, and the Juilliard School are all using distance-learning to supplement, not supplant, their core missions. According to Eastman’s Ricker, the first e-Theory course, in 2009—Music Theory Fundamentals, taught by Professor Steve Laitz—was i ntended to help incoming students shore up fundamentals. “We wanted to create something that would help

For musical institutions, online learning raises unique challenges, from achieving adequate audio fidelity on live-streamed lessons to evaluating thousands of students with vastly different levels of musical knowledge. “Education is changing and you can’t be afraid of technology,” says Ramon Ricker, professor emeritus of saxophone at the Eastman School of Music. In his role as director of Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership, Ricker is also instigator of many of the school’s


Bob McClenahan

Pete Checchia

Below, left to right: ArtistWorks co-founder and president David Butler; David Bilger, principal trumpet in the Philadelphia Orchestra and a teacher at ArtistWorks; and cofounder Patricia Butler

Courtesy of the Curtis Institute of Music

David Ludwig—dean of artistic programs and a member of the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music—co-teaches From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance through the school’s partnership with Coursera.

distance-learning offerings. “Students want these courses and they want to be able to take them in their bathrobes if they can.” “The opportunities for e-learning are clearly boundless,” says Polly Kahn, vice president for learning and leadership development at the League of American Orchestras. “It seems to me that this is a revolution, ultimately around access, that we should celebrate. If we approach the everexploding technologies as an opportunity to meet people where they are, provide entry points, and widen our communities—as defined through a 21st-century, not 20thcentury, lens—then there’s so much room for us to grow as contributors to an expanding world of consumers, interested in everything, but on their own terms.” Online learning trends hold significant potential for shaking up the education world, and raising questions about potential downsides. Will online courses and lessons negatively impact local teaching jobs? Can students learn as effectively through online materials? Does peer reviewing actually work? And what about those thousands of students—a majority, in many cases—who will never finish the course? While answers to some of these questions are still up for debate, one thing is clear: distance learning is here to stay. From storied conservatories like Curtis, Juilliard, and the Eastman School of Music to summer festivals like California’s Ojai, to multidisciplinary institutions like the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to nimble entrepreneurial ventures such as ArtistWorks—all are all getting in on the action. And whether it’s one-on-one video exchange, live-stream-­

Eastman School of Music

The Eastman School’s first e-Theory course, Music Theory Fundamentals, is taught by Professor Steve Laitz.

students come into the school with a little bit of a head start,” Ricker says. Soon Juilliard and other music schools throughout North America—just over 80 at the time of our interview—were recommending Eastman’s Fundamentals course to their own incoming freshmen. Based in part on the success of that course, Eastman is now branching out into other age brackets by introducing theory courses for incoming graduate students and high school students, both also taught by Steve Laitz. The graduate course, which went live in May 2014, is particularly helpful for performers who have taken time off to freelance before attending graduate school. “If you have to retake remedial theory, it’s not only your time, it’s your money,” Ricker says. “And guess what—it doesn’t count toward your degree.” At just under $100 each for a three-to-six-week course, both Fundamentals and the graduate review are bargains compared with tuition. The remedial theory course is intended to make up for cutbacks secondary schools have had to make in music education. The course, in beta testing at the time of our interview, was scheduled to launch with the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. The Juilliard School recently got into educating the pre-college set online in a big way, with a set of K-12 courses developed and distributed in partnership with Baltimore-based Connections Education, an accredited provider of online education for all subjects in grades K-12. Juilliard’s offerings, introduced in the 2012-13 school year, included four general music courses for high schoolers, middle schoolers, grades 3-5, and K-3. Content for the higher-level music courses mixes in par-


“You can’t be afraid of technology,” says Ramon Ricker, director of Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership, who is responsible for many of the school’s distancelearning offerings. “Students want these courses and they want to be able to take them in their bathrobes if they can.”

ticipatory elements using a virtual keyboard with sampled instrument sounds, allowing students to play through musical exercises or make short recordings, and all courses have demonstrations and performance videos featuring Juilliard students and faculty. In 2010, Eastman also began offering “Speed Lessons”—20-45 minute video lessons between Eastman faculty and students designed as introductions to some of the best-known orchestral excerpts for percussion, horn, clarinet, flute, and trombone. Priced at $2.99 a pop, the Speed Lessons have struggled to gain traction in part, Ricker believes, because students expect anything online to be free. But Speed Lessons and eTheory have both helped in spreading the Eastman name, acquainting incoming and prospective students with Eastman professors, and even setting an example for the students. “We have the Institute for Music Leadership and a whole bunch of courses that focus on entrepreneurship,” Ricker points out, “so doing this was sort of, ‘Let’s put our money where our mouth is, let’s be entrepreneurial ourselves.’ ” Interactivity and Peer Grading

Similar thinking was behind the Curtis Institute’s foray into Massive Open Online Courses or “MOOCs.” Discussions among Curtis leadership had revolved around get-

ting the school better known as an international institution. “For many decades this place was the best-kept secret among music conservatories, meaning that if you didn’t know about us, you probably didn’t need to know,” says Elizabeth Warshawer, the school’s executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer. “You don’t raise a lot of money with that kind of attitude”—a necessity for a school committed to remaining tuitionfree. Meanwhile, the high-profile pianist and Curtis faculty member Jonathan Biss had just finished recording a complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and “wanted there to be some kind of sharing experience beyond just playing the pieces and recording them,” he says. The two streams of thought collided, and a pair of Curtis MOOCs was born: Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, taught by Biss; and From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance, taught by Chair of Musical Studies Jonathan Coopersmith and David Ludwig, dean of artistic programs and a member of the composition faculty. Both courses are available for free through Coursera, a market leader in MOOCs with over 200 free courses all from accredited colleges and universities and 1.45 million enrollments per month. Like other Coursera offerings, each Curtis class features weekly lecture-videos, a robust online discussion forum, occasional real-time interaction with instructors, and assignments graded by one’s peers. While those at Curtis confirm the general effectiveness of the peer grading system, which Coursera has worked to improve over time, the interest of many older, “lifelong learners” has prompted a reconsideration of some of the finer points of the evaluation component. Performance is at the heart of both Curtis MOOCs. Biss says that when designing his lectures, he is always cognizant that as a performer, “The thing that I can bring to this course is that part of my knowledge of these pieces comes from playing them.” Check in to Biss’s course and you’ll be greeted by a feed of course-related announcements, from assignment due dates to archived video from Google Hangouts discussions. All other course materials are just a click away from the homepage: video lectures, syllabus, evaluations, discussion forums, quizzes, and other assignments. symphony


the conversation and “maintain a relationship with our constituencies beyond one week a year and across years,” says Morris. Meanwhile, McLennan and Morris were grappling with similar questions regarding the 2013 Spring For Music Festival at Carnegie Hall, and with the rising tide of online education, MOOC seemed like a viable experiment, but Coursera was not an option for either festival,Adsince they4/9/14 work FSA 1401 Symphony 2014

exclusively with accredited colleges and universities. So McLennan produced most of the video content himself and created a blog-style template for three courses, incorporating a discussion forum, quizzes, and other small assignments. The Ojai courses centered around three themes that fit the Ojai aesthetic: Ideas and the Power of Music; Music in its 3:42 PM Page 1 (continued on page 42)

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Biss includes ample demonstrations at the piano, and though he doesn’t reference his performing and recording experiences directly, he always tries to approach the pieces from “a tactile, emotional, lived-in place.” The video content on From the Repertoire, meanwhile, includes a mix of lecture and performance clips featuring Curtis alumni, faculty, and students; a separate website, “Curtis Performs,” offers full-length performances. Both courses debuted in September 2013, and no one at Curtis was quite prepared for the enormity of the response. “We were thinking, ‘What if 10,000 people sign up, how amazing would that be?’ ” Ludwig recalls. In fact, more than 50,000 people from 135 countries signed up for the two courses, 70 to 80 percent of whom had little to no previous knowledge of Curtis. But Curtis leaders were struck not just by the quantity but also the quality of response. “We got a wonderful video thank you note from some students in a women’s college in South Korea, who—and this surprised me—were so grateful that the class was interactive,” Ludwig recalls. “I thought, ‘This is interactive? You’re just watching videos online!’ And then I realized there’s a whole forum of discussion that rose around this on Coursera, so for them it felt incredibly interactive, like they could voice their opinions and really be a part of it.” Based on the courses’ initial success, Curtis offered Biss’s course again in the spring 2014 semester—with some minor tweaking to the content and assignments. And the emphasis remains on performance as they develop next year’s offerings: one course for 2014-15 will focus on the string quartet, Ludwig says, including strapping a pair of Google Glasses on one of the players so viewers can get a first-person view of playing in a quartet. While offering all of this for free may seem like a financial fool’s errand—Curtis doesn’t pay Coursera but pays instructors a stipend—MOOCs are clearly an effective way for Curtis to spread its brand. The California-based Ojai Music Festival’s recent MOOC experiment came out of its broader institutional vision as well. Both McLennan and Ojai Artistic Director Thomas Morris see Ojai as a platform for a broad conversation about art and music, rather than simply a four-day festival. The two wanted to include more people in

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(continued from page 39) Place; and Dance and Music, a Love Story. Those who completed all three courses received a signed certificate and admission to an OjaiU graduates event during festival weekend. McLennan said the level of discussion fell short of his expectations, but noted that about 30 percent of those who enrolled finished the course—high for a MOOC—while Morris adds that roughly

half of those who took the class were essentially new to Ojai. The Spring For Music online courses, offered under the heading S4MU, were more successful in generating discussion, McLennan reports. Carnegie Hall, meanwhile, is continuing to experiment with e-learning-related initiatives through its long-running Link-Up initiative, and its new Musical Exchange, a “free online community for music students,

created to connect them with other young musicians from around the world.” Flexible Private Lessons

While MOOCs may be the new educational frontier, the internet has also long provided a forum for quick-and-easy music instruction. Pioneers like the New World Symphony—the professional training orchestra based in Miami Beach—are well established in online music instruction, utilizing Internet2 technology for real-time instruction for its masterclasses, seminars, rehearsals, and symposia. But video lessons online have gone much more mainstream: type any instrument name and a word like “learn” or “lesson” into the YouTube search box and you’re bound to get smorgasbord of choices for nearly every skill level. The format comes with inherent limitations specific to instrumental instruction. “Players who are learning online are typically getting stuck when they need help the most, and that’s when they don’t know what to do next,” says Patricia Butler, founder of the online instrumental instruction provider ArtistWorks. “You need that two-way conversation.” ArtistWorks aims to provide that twoway exchange. For a monthly fee, students can log into the ArtistWorks site and peruse their library of existing video lessons, or upload a video of themselves playing and within days receive a video response from an ArtistWorks teacher. Most teachers are top-ranked players in the orchestral field, several of them principal players from the Philadelphia Orchestra. The video exchange is available for the rest of the ArtistWorks community to learn from, not unlike a real-world masterclass, and is supplemented by discussion forums. ArtistWorks began with jazz guitar and quickly moved into other genres. When Butler felt




“MOOCs flip the learning model on its head,” says Ojai’s Doug McLennan. “You can have 100,000 people in the class, so you start to identify all this hidden expertise it was time for the orga- in a mass nization to add a Classical number of Campus she turned to her people.”

tan School of Music and music director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. NAC New Media Producer Maurizio Ortolani notes that it was Zukerman who put distance learning on the table when he arrived in 2000, and incentive was provided by CEO Peter Herrndorf, who gave the NAC a new “national mandate” to serve greater Canada more. “We retrofitted the Arts Centre with a fiber-network

building so that all performance spaces, rehearsal halls, many of the public spaces, as well as the lobby areas were all within reach of fiber connectivity,” Ortolani recalls. “We built a control center and a small studio to be able to produce telepresence sessions and connected events. And we brought in additional staff to support this programming initiative.” NAC’s new media team has since worked

old mentor, Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Flute and Curtis professor Jeffrey Khaner, who wasted no time in recruiting peers like clarinetist Ricardo Morales and David Bilger, the orchestra’s principal clarinet and principal trumpet. “I really wanted to give the world access to this caliber of teacher,” Butler says. Bilger, who is also a professor at both Curtis and Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, was interested in ArtistWorks for some of the same reasons that motivated Butler: he struggles to find time in his schedule for the “one-off ” lessons he is asked to give. ArtistWorks’ video exchange offered a solution to both by setting up an HD studio in his house that allows Bilger to interact with students whenever his schedule allows. “It could be midnight after a concert when I’ll go through and do the video exchanges,” he says, “and then I’m always checking on the forums and chiming in where I should.” Teachers are compensated through a revenue-sharing agreement with ArtistWorks based on student subscriptions for their instrument. Butler observes that for some people, inaccessibility equals prestige. She is wary of lingering elitism in some corners of the classical world that prevents top players from taking on a large number of students. But it’s also clear that for those jet-set, indemand soloists who are willing to embrace distance learning, the potential gains are significant. This has certainly been the case for the legendary violinist and pedagogue Pinchas Zukerman, professor at


ing technology between them, or time or distance, then we’ve succeeded.” The primary vehicle for such experimentation is The Hexagon Project, described by Ortolani as the NAC’s research and development initiative. Ideas for the Centre’s online presence may be tested in a “closed circuit” setting—such as between NAC and MSM—and then spun off into larger NAC initiatives, such as its Arts Alive website, featuring resources for K-12

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tirelessly, collaborating with technicians at the Manhattan School of Music and other partners, to troubleshoot distance-learning technology to better suit the needs of realtime music instruction: “Bringing down the latency or delay, maximizing the audio fidelity, removing some of the ‘features’ in a typical ‘boardroom’ setup,” Ortolani explains. “Our goal is to make the technology completely disappear. If neither the mentor nor the student are cognizant of there be-

arts teachers or its brass quintet’s teaching residency at the Inuit community of Nunavut on the Hudson Bay, where lessons often take place virtually. Through it all, Zukerman has remained at the center. “If we have a visiting soloist—some superstar like Shlomo Mintz or Lynn Harrell or Jens Lindemann—Pinchas is always plopping them down in the studio and making them look at this technology,” Ortolani says. “He makes converts, he’s so passionate about it.” Whether done through live streaming or video exchange, instrumental instruction over distance has unique tradeoffs compared with live lessons. To a certain extent, the video-exchange format places more responsibility on the student. “The people who are going to get the most out of the interaction are the most open about what their issues are,” Bilger points out, rather than someone who submits a video on a good day, or only of repertoire that doesn’t expose weaknesses. Meanwhile, although the NAC’s goal is to make the technology “disappear,” Ortolani says Zukerman has noted that the medium elicits “a different type of focus” in live-streamed lessons, “a sort of distilling effect” that offers students a different perspective on their playing. Transformational Impact

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ArtistWorks and NAC each emphasize that distance learning isn’t intended to undermine or supplant local efforts. Distance learning is instead framed as a way to help preserve a genre beset by declining audiences and cuts in public school music instruction. Moreover, distance learning can be effective as a supplement to the live experience. “If Pinchas is going to have a masterclass with a number of students while we’re on tour—in Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City, or Chicago—he will often connect with those students for 20 minutes before they meet, two months down the line, in front of a live audience,” symphony


“Our goal is to make the technology completely disappear,” says the National Arts Centre’s Maurizio Ortolani. Ortolani explains. “And he’ll use it again as a follow-up. It’s one thing to blow in and out of a music school or conservatory, but there’s great value in following up with students. And that’s something the technology offers.” Bilger points out that many students who come for one-off lessons find the Classical Campus an affordable way to maintain contact. People in the music world are still getting used to online learning, as MOOCs and other online courses continue to challenge traditional assumptions and values. “The education community is baffled by the idea that you can get 150,000 people to take one class,” says McLennan. “And then they’re dismayed when they discover that 98 percent of those 150,000 people won’t finish the class. But to me, that’s not the definition of whether it’s a success or failure at all. You have 150,000 people who now have expressed an interest in whatever that topic was. So this collective dismay— ‘Oh, it’s a failure because it has such a high dropout rate’—I think is completely missing the point.” “There’s no question that this has created major disruption,” says Curtis’s Warshawer. “I’ve been to panels where the best and brightest have talked about the future of higher education and the transformational impact this many have. It will certainly give access to people who otherwise never had access to these courses, so in some sense the have-nots will have what they never had before. It may mean that not as many students spend four years on a college campus and graduate with as much debt as they graduate with now.” Warshawer also points to the rising popularity of “blended” learning: “Universities that many not have access to certain professors or expertise—like a university that doesn’t have a music program—might use a Coursera course or one of our courses as you would use a textbook, except it’s far more interactive and you blend it with a live professor.”

Meanwhile, the traditional classroom is not going away. “I don’t think there is a substitute for the classroom experience,” says Biss, “for being in a room with other students and a professor, seeing people in a human, unpolished situation. But at the same time you just can’t reach a large, self-selecting group of people like this. Or the person from the Philippines who asked a very good question that I got to

answer on Google Chat. We would not have had access to each other otherwise. And the same goes for the person from Greece, the person from Wisconsin. It opens doors in ways that are otherwise not possible.” IAN VANDERMEULEN is a New York-based freelance writer and former assistant editor of Symphony.


For five years, Florida’s Ocala Symphony has partnered with the Appleton Museum for its “SoundArt” series.

Members of the Los Angeles-based wild Up ensemble perform at the Grand Central Art Center at California State University/Fullerton, conducted by Christopher Rountree, wild Up’s founder and creative director, February 2014.

Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins leads a concert at the Joslyn Art Museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall, with Principal Cellist Paul Ledwon (pictured in foreground) as soloist in Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, one of the works on the program.

by Madeline Rogers

Orchestras are bringing live art to museums— where the art is usually on the walls.

Off the Wall

Orchestras have been described—sometimes admiringly, sometimes disparagingly—as “museums”: conservators of great masterworks and of a tradition that dates back centuries. It’s a rubric symphony orchestras increasingly chafe at as they seek new audiences, new repertoire, new concert formats, and unconventional performance venues to attract more diverse audiences. So where do creative administrators and music directors go in search of innovative ways to reach more deeply into their communities? In, of all places ... museums. Museums and orchestras make attractive bedfellows for many reasons, chief


among them the shared challenge of luring younger visitors and concertgoers. In a March 2014 New York Times article about museums, David Gelles wrote, “It is far from clear whether the children of baby boomers are prepared to replicate the efforts of their parents,” noting that the younger generation has a wealth of leisuretime options competing for their time and dollars, options that were undreamt of by their elders. These days museum-orchestra collaborations are blossoming in cities big and small, all around the country. In a collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine

Arts, musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) perform a chamber series at Bourgie Hall, a 444-seat venue in an 1894 church, which the museum acquired and converted to a concert hall. Connecticut’s Hartford Symphony presents a chamber series at the Wads­ worth Atheneum Museum of Art. New York’s peripatetic Orchestra of St. Luke’s presents concert series at two museums— the Brooklyn Museum and the Morgan Library & Museum—as well as at Carnegie Hall and Caramoor, a summer festival in Westchester County. Museums can offer an alternative experience for orchestras symphony


Steve Metcalf


that perform in a large hall, or serve as a primary performance venue for orchestras without a dedicated concert hall. Orchestra-museum affiliations provide a way for orchestras to reach new audiences, including millennials and others, such as underserved populations intimidated by the formality of the concert-hall setting, and adventure-seekers who may turn their noses up at what they consider staid orchestral programming, but who will jump at the chance to hear new music. That may partly explain why the New York Philharmonic chose to launch its new-music series CONTACT! in 2009, in venues

The Colorado Symphony has collaborated with several Denver-area museums, including the Clyfford Still Museum, pictured above.

side of Avery Fisher Hall, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year, CONTACT! is bringing one of its programs to the Museum of Modern Art. Some museums, like the Cleveland Museum of Art, have dedicated performance halls; the Cleveland Orchestra has already collaborated on programs there, with plans for more. More typically, museum spaces are the setting for chamber music concerts, for which many are ideally suited, given a creative approach to seating arrangements. When it comes to finding new audiences, orchestras are discovering that museumgoers complement, but don’t neces-

sarily overlap with, the symphony crowd. “A lot of the folks who are buying tickets for our museum concerts are new customers who are not in our existing database,” says Matthew Wardell, music director and conductor of Florida’s Ocala Symphony Orchestra, a per-service professional orchestra with a half-million-dollar budget located smack-dab in the middle of the state. The orchestra offers a regular series at Ocala’s Appleton Museum of Art. “The best part is that when people go to the Appleton and have fun, they also end up coming to our regular concerts.” Anthony Pierce, the Colorado Sym-


Roger Mastroianni

James Feddeck leads a Cleveland Orchestra concert at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium.

Roger Mastroianni

For Cleveland Orchestra Director of Strategy and Special Initiatives Carol Lee Iott, partnerships such as museum collaborations are a strategic imperative.

phony’s vice president of artistic administration, is strongly in favor of museums as a way to introduce the symphony to newcomers; the orchestra partners with three different museums, with plans to add a fourth underway. “Colorado’s museums are highly regarded, and have their own members who support them,” Pierce says. “It’s great for us to have the opportunity to leverage someone else’s membership and to make the symphony relevant to patrons who maybe not be part of our core.” There are also fundraising implications. When the Omaha Symphony partnered with the Joslyn Art Museum, “Neither the museum or the orchestra had been receiving significant support from one particular community foundation,” says Omaha Symphony Executive Director James Johnson, “so Jack Becker, director of the Joslyn, and I went to the funder and said, ‘Hey, would you consider supporting this collaboration?’ He jumped right in.” When the San Diego-based Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra became the orchestrain-residence at the city’s New Children’s Museum last year, the alliance allowed the two organizations to explore new funding streams, according to Julianne Markow, executive director and CEO of the museum, which partners with eight social service agencies serving children and families in need. “We did a joint grant application to a local foundation, and received funding to provide admission to children and


parents served by those organizations,” she says. “Those are people who might not ordinarily have an opportunity to come to this kind of performance.” Here’s a closer look at several orchestramuseum collaborations. Cleveland Orchestra

A short stroll will take you from Severance Hall, the landmark home of the Cleveland Orchestra, to the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). Musicians from the orchestra have performed at the museum’s Gartner Auditorium as part of CMA’s decades-old music program, yet despite their proximity it wasn’t until 2011 that a full creative partnership emerged. In May of that year, audiences were treated to a weeklong festival of cross-genre tours, talks, and concerts devoted to Italian art and music. Programs typically feature repertoire that falls far outside the standard orchestral canon. The result, according to the museum’s Tom Welsh, who oversees CMA’s music programming, is that “you get new audiences who are quite interested in new and different music. For me, it was satisfying to reach both those who think they know the museum and the orchestra, as well as people who had never taken advantage of either one.” “Italian Masterworks” presented music that complemented the museum’s extensive collection of Italian masterpieces. Two chamber-orchestra concerts were enriched by talks and curator-led tours. Programs,

devised by Welsh and the orchestra’s thenassistant conductor James Feddeck, brought together music from the 16th to the 20th centuries by composers from the somewhat familiar (Tartini, Corelli, Respighi, Frescobaldi, and Berio) to the obscure (Scelsi, Bottesini, Lavigna, Scodanibbio). The Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble was on hand to perform a 1985 work, Lo Spazio Inverso, by Salvatore Sciarrino. Thanks to tours and talks, says Welsh, “people had all of these concepts and artworks in their mind as they sat down in the concert. We could pull in one of the great curators in America, John Seydl, to talk to us about the rich tradition of Italian painting, and then have him and James Feddeck discuss how Caravaggio fits—or doesn’t fit in—with Boccherini and Berio, which was very illuminating.” “Italian Masterworks” was followed, in 2013, by “California Masterworks,” a celebration of art and music from the Golden State. Pre-concert talks placed music by some of the 20th century’s most innovative composers—Henry Cowell, John Adams, Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, James Tenney, and Dane Rudhyar—in the context of the art, in this case the photography of Edward Weston and Anne Brigman. Although concerts were in the museum, music took pride of place. “It was sort of the reverse of what would be normal,” says Welsh. “People usually come to the museum to experience the collections and symphony


then come to hear what we’re doing in the concert hall. This time, we thought ‘Let’s start with the music, then push people out into the collections with all of this music in their minds.’ ” “California Masterworks” was artistically successful, but it also solved a problem faced by many large orchestras: finding more efficient ways to use resources. “If we have a split orchestra in a certain week,” says Carol Lee Iott, director of strategy and special initiatives for the Cleveland Orchestra, “how can we use this other half of the orchestra?” The solution: While guest conductor Ton Koopman led a Baroquesized chamber orchestra at Severance Hall, the remaining musicians could be recruited for “California Masterworks,” which utilized a lot of low brass and percussion. “It’s never a perfect split,” says Iott, “but we sort through and weigh the variables to come up with the best program we can.” For Iott, partnerships—including collaboration with the museum—are a strategic imperative: “The Cleveland is one of many orchestras that has had to grapple with the challenges of a changing landscape, both in the industry and in the city as a whole. Part of our journey has been finding new ways to use our services to expand our offerings for the community.” The Cleveland collaboration inspired a $1 million gift from Joseph P. Keithley and his wife, Nancy, an orchestra trustee. The gift was used to establish the Keithley Fund for Artistic Collaboration, which supports the orchestra’s

collaborative efforts throughout northeast Ohio, including its partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art. Colorado Symphony

In Denver, four major cultural institutions—the Colorado Historical Society, Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum, and Clyfford Still Museum—are all within walking distance of each other. A short drive away is the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the multi-venue complex that is home of Colorado Symphony, which performs in the 2,700-seat Boettcher Concert Hall. The geographic closeness of these cultural institutions is mirrored by the city’s tight-knit cultural community, where, according to the CSO’s Anthony Pierce, “It’s important for us all to collaborate and play nice. Everybody wants everyone else to succeed.” Pierce ticks off a list of shared activity: chamber music by members of the orchestra at the Clyfford Still Museum; a lecture by Resident Conductor Scott O’Neil at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; and, currently in the planning stages, an educational collaboration with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. But the biggest of them all was a four-monthlong artistic partnership with the Denver Art Museum, “Passport to Paris,” inspired by a loan exhibition from the Wadsworth Atheneum of three centuries of French art, which took place from November 2013 to January 2014.

Roger Shimomura (American, born 1939), Untitled, 1985, acrylic on canvas, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, Museum purchase with funds provided by the friends of Jerome I. Cohn, 1999.35

Among the artworks to be featured in the Omaha Symphony’s 2014-15 series at the Joslyn Art Museum is Roger Shimomura’s Untitled (1985), whose humor is meant to mirror that in Haydn’s symphonies.

Events took place at the museum and at Boettcher, with the orchestra’s substantial involvement comprising solo concerts by its musicians; a multi-platform “Inside the Score” program of music—Wagner, Debussy, Rameau, and Ravel—accompanied by projections of French Impressionist paintings; an all-Ravel concert led by Colorado Symphony Music Director Andrew Litton; weekly Saturday afternoon chamber music at the museum; and an orchestracurated soundtrack for the exhibition’s four themed galleries. “Passport” had the whole city talking, according to Andrea Kalivas Fulton, the museum’s deputy director and chief marketing officer. “We probably did some of the most involved cross-marketing we’ve done in a partnership, everything from the production of collateral to direct mail to our full membership and ticket buyers. We really did invest in it, and it was a fantastic success.” The longer span of “Passport” created heightened awareness that paid off for the orchestra, says Pierce. Unlike an isolated concert, Pierce says, “If people miss the first program, they still have opportunities to come to later performances.” Ocala Symphony Orchestra

Matthew Wardell was just 26 years old when he was hired as music director of Florida’s Ocala Symphony Orchestra in 2009—unfortunately, just as the national economy was tanking. A partnership seemed like a good way to make the most of a bad situation: “Sometimes if you work with other people, you can bring in different audiences,” Wardell recalls thinking. “In town we have a civic theater, the symphony that’s been here since 1975, and this incredible museum, the Appleton Museum. We didn’t want to just give a concert in their auditorium—that’s not collaboration. We wanted to find some way to integrate the concert programming with the museum’s collections.” Although the orchestra re-

“In town we have this incredible museum, the Appleton. We didn’t want to just give a concert, we wanted to find some way to integrate the concert programming with the museum’s collections.” —Ocala Symphony Orchestra Music Director Matthew Wardell


cently broke ground for a new hall, it still plays larger works in local churches, and a chamber series at the Appleton, which has an auditorium better suited to smaller ensembles. Brainstorming sessions resulted in “SoundArt,” an ongoing alliance between the orchestra and the museum, now entering its fifth year. In the 2013–14 “SoundArt” series, there were four concerts at the museum, most of them themed to the art. In the beginning, Wardell dreamed up the programs himself and then recruited musicians from the ranks of the orchestra. That changed a couple of years ago: “Now, I just e-mail all of our musicians and say, ‘Here are the spots I’m looking to fill and here’s what the museum is doing.’ I get a lot more really vivid ideas from them.” Planning begins when Wardell sits down with museum staff to explore upcoming exhibits and programs. Programming ideas in hand, he returns to the museum for another sit-down. “I don’t want to force something if it doesn’t work. Sometimes the program doesn’t have a whole

lot to do with the art, but there’s usually a connection.” The Sunday afternoon concerts feature either original art or projections and a preconcert talk by a curator. The experience in the 275-seat hall is intimate and interactive: “We really encourage people to ask questions, and get involved,” says Wardell. “When you’re in the audience in a concert hall you might see a bassoon and wonder, ‘How does that thing that looks like a bazooka actually work?’ In these concerts you can ask.” The Appleton’s collections, which encompass everything from European old masters to pre-Columbian, African, and Islamic art, give Wardell and his musicians room to explore a wide range of musical genres. This season’s themed programs included one of 20th-century English music, another featuring “classical salsa,” including works by Astor Piazzolla and the Cuban composer Moises Simons, and a third program of Russian and Soviet-era music with OSO Principal Bassoon Arnold Irchai and his pianist son, Mark.

Omaha Symphony

The Omaha Symphony has just completed the second year of a collaboration with the Joslyn Art Museum. Like Ocala’s Matt Wardell, it was two newcomers to town who came up with the idea: Jack Becker, executive director at the Joslyn, and James Johnson, executive director of the orchestra. The alliance seemed almost preordained, as Sarah Joslyn, who founded the museum in 1931, loved both music and art. “She built a concert hall and then surrounded it with her art collection,” says Johnson. It is a completely immersive experience, he says. “People can spend time learning about the art, tour the collection, and then come hear some wonderful music and be inspired or elevated in some way by what they’ve learned that afternoon.” Musicians report that they find it stimulating, Johnson adds. “At the museum, there are people who are coming to experience art or create art in the classrooms. To go from there to a rehearsal, for our musicians, is just energizing. You’re part

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The Omaha Symphony and the Joslyn Art Museum provide a “completely immersive experience” with themed programs tied to the museum’s collections, according to James Johnson, the orchestra’s executive director.

of an artistic community.” That has translated into two, going on three, seasons of imaginative music-making all presented in the Joslyn’s Witherspoon Concert Hall. The first two seasons each featured

six themed programs tied to the museum’s collections,  either directly or indirectly. Some programs, like “The Neoclassic Stravinsky”—which paired six pieces by the Russian composer with the painting

Russian Beauty and the Cat by Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky—focused on one composer. Other programs started with a broader theme, such as the January 2014 concert entitled “Out of Control,” built around musical portrayals of madness and obsession, including Bernard Herr­ mann’s Psycho Suite and Samuel Barber’s Medea Suite. A pre-concert talk focused on Edouard Cibot’s 1833 painting Fallen Angels, which was inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Inspiration for the programs comes in different ways. For some programs Music Director Thomas Wilkins or conductor Ernest Richardson will walk through the galleries with a curator. Or, says Johnson, “The concert program may come first, in which case we send the museum the programs and then look for tie-ins.” Programming for the 2014-15 season was recently announced, and will again comprise six programs for chamber orchestra. Each program will reference one work of art in the museum’s collection, with the programs themselves built

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Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra

San Diego’s Mainly Mozart organization—comprising a summer festival, ensembles for adult amateur musicians, a chamber series, and ambitious educational programs—was established in 1988. Last year Mainly Mozart added a youth component when it Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra performs at San Diego’s New merged with the San Diego Young Artists Symphony Children’s Museum, led by Hernan Constantino, as part of a new collaboration between the two organizations. to form the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra (MMYO), now the official orchestra-in-residence at San Diego, which is where our festival the New Children’s Museum. The partorchestra performs, so it gave us a place nership with the museum was partly asto rehearse and perform.” This is the first pirational, partly practical: “We wanted time the youth symphony will have a perto collaborate with an institution that manent home. shares our values,” says Nancy Laturno The collaboration comprises three Bojanic, Mainly Mozart’s executive ditypes of activities: concerts by the Mainly rector. “The museum had a commitment Mozart Youth Orchestra, educational to serving families and children, as we programs by adult musicians recruited do. It is centrally located in downtown from the San Diego Symphony by Hernan Constantino, MMYO’s conductor, and short, educational performances by members of the MMYO. “Bringing another discipline, music, into the museum, is fantastic,” says Julianne Markow, executive director of the New Children’s Museum. “I’m a firm believer that you play to your strengths and if someone else is really good at something else, you lean on them.” The museum’s light, airy contemporary building, which opened in 2008, does not have a dedicated auditorium, but because it’s built of concrete the performance space—essentially the atrium that welcomes visitors—has excellent, reverberant acoustics, according to Constantino. Performing in such an unconventional space is a challenge, but one that brings special rewards, he says. On concert day, Sunday, the museum closes at 4 p.m. and the performers—as many as 43 players— arrive, along with stands, chairs, and instruments. “By 4:45 we’re pretty much set up for the sound check and by 5:30 the house opens and we perform.” With as many as 200 audience members crowded around the orchestra and seated upstairs, “some audience members are no more than ten feet away,” says Constantino. “I feel very exposed because Courtesy Mainly Mozart

around a single featured musical work, instrument group, or composer. “Bach: More Or Less,” a program of music by members of the Bach family, will feature Frank Stella’s 1982 mixed-media piece Nogaro; and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will be paired with work by digital video artist Jennifer Steinkamp. The Omaha Symphony also partners with Kaneko, a cultural institution established in 1998 by artist Jun Kaneko and his wife, Ree, and located in Omaha’s old warehouse district. With a broad mission of exploring creativity in all its forms, in 2012 Kaneko hosted the orchestra’s threeday New Music Symposium, which included a performance and exploration of new work with composer William Bolcom and Music Director Thomas Wilkins. Prior to the performance, Kaneko hosted two free open rehearsals. In addition, Kaneko has been home, for the past two years, to another of the orchestra’s new-music initiatives: “Fresh Ink,” a workshop-cummasterclass for emerging composers, overseen by composer John Corigliano.





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Michael Tammaro

concerts, when he was still music director-designate, Robertson was sold on the space because of its “spectacular acoustics,” “When we did and the orchestra’s series Charles Ives’s at the Pulitzer is now in Unanswered its tenth year. Question at Designed by the award- the Pulitzer winning Japanese architect Foundation Tadao Ando, the Pulitzer none of the Foundation is Robertson’s instrumentalists muse as he plans programs. were visible, “The building itself is actu- which really ally like a musical instru- brought out ment,” he says. “Of course, the piece’s when they were construct- transcendental ing it they weren’t think- qualities.” ing of how music would —St. Louis sound, but I thought, Symphony ‘Wow, what about pro- Music gramming a piece where Director David we’re actually making the Robertson building sound, with different groups in different places?” Two of his programs have taken that idea to the extreme. “When I first worked in the space we did Charles Ives’ Unanswered Question in the chamber version; I managed to do it in such a way that none of the instrumentalists were visible—they were all in different spots in the building—which really brought out the piece’s transcendental qualities.” In January of this year, the orchestra performed the U.S. premiere of John Cage’s Thirty Pieces for Orchestra. It was the first time the entire St. Louis Symphony performed at the Pulitzer, a feat made possible by Cage’s unique scoring, which calls for five small orchestras. Robertson deployed them in different rooms throughout the building. “I think the biggest, most wonderful thing we’ve been able to do with the Pulitzer,” says Robertson, “is completely utilize the space and have this wonderful sense of adventure, so that the public comes in and has complete trust that what is going to be there is something really fascinating and worthwhile.”

With David Scanavino’s floor sculpture Candy Crush as a backdrop, members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra perform music by Brett Dean and John Cage at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, January 22, 2014.

they can see everything, hear everything. But it’s a warming experience because you feel it’s your friends you’re playing for.” St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

David Robertson became music director of the St. Louis Symphony in 2005, fresh from a long stint in France, where he says he had “been involved with many differ-

ent arts organizations that combined music with the visual. When I arrived here, the Pulitizer Foundation for the Arts had recently opened its doors.” This non-traditional arts organization, which calls itself a non-collecting museum and is open only two days a week, features a program of rotating exhibitions, panel discussions, and performances. After two exploratory

A message to Jamie Steinemann

(Executive Director, Firelands Symphony Orchestra)


e are very proud and grateful for the last six years you spent representing Groups 7 & 8 orchestras as well as your two years of service on the League board. The Firelands Symphony Orchestra has benefited tremendously from your dedicated participation. Your commitment and hard work never ceases to amaze us, and we are honored to have such a visionary leader in the field guiding our beloved orchestra. Firelands Symphony Orchestra Board — Sandusky, Ohio


MADELINE ROGERS, former director of publications at the New York Philharmonic, is a writer, editor, and creative consultant serving New York’s cultural, non-profit, and educational communities.



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by Andy Doe


From computer screens to mobilephone apps, orchestras are using digital media to expand their reach and connect with audiences in ways unimaginable even 20 years ago.


Orchestras came early to the World Wide Web. The whole internet consisted of just a few thousand sites in September 1994, when the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra claimed to be the first orchestra on the Web. Their site, built by then-principal bass Dale Gold, contained a concert schedule, information about the orchestra, and a list of musician jokes. By 1996, the NZSO listed links to 119 American orchestras with their own homepages. The exponential growth of the symphony orchestra website had begun in earnest. Today, the world of technology is so relentlessly forward-look-

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s DSO to Go app puts the orchestra—and soloists like Yefim Bronfman— at your fingertips, offering ticket sales, musician bios, and access to the “Live From Orchestra Hall” webcasts.

ing that the 20th anniversary of the orchestra website might easily have slipped by unnoticed. There are adults who have lived their whole lives on a digitally connected planet. Internet connectivity has become such an integral part of our lives that for those who grew up with it, imagining a world without the Web isn’t easy. Looking back at early orchestra websites, we can recognize the emergence of the features familiar to us today. The design has grown more professional over the years, but there has always existed a fairly clear

consensus on what an orchestra’s website is actually for. Vince Ford, director of digital media for the New York Philharmonic, describes it this way: “Our site is at the center of the Philharmonic’s strategy to define a customer experience in the 21st century. It is more than just a website—it’s where most of our customers begin their relationship with the Philharmonic, and often, it determines whether they are satisfied enough to come back.” In the mid-1990s, the Philharmonic’s first website directed customers to call the box office if they wanted to buy tickets. Today, direct sales through the site are a major revenue source. “Approximately two-thirds of single tickets, one-third of renewals, and more than half of new subscriptions were sold online last year,” says Ford. “These numbers have shown steady increases year-over-year since nyphil. org was established more than a decade ago.” Single tickets also sell better online in Los Angeles, according to Shana Mathur, vice president for marketing and communications at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “For the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 95 orchestral concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall,” she says, “28 percent of all tickets are sold online, which breaks down to 20 percent of subscription tickets sold online and 45 percent of single tickets sold online. This percentage increases every year.” An online box office makes possible a symphony


Tune In

As production costs fall and delivery mechanisms improve for digital media, orchestras are increasingly looking to online video as a way to draw audiences in. For the Los Angeles Philharmonic, this has meant teaming up with a radio personality from classical station KUSC. “We have a new series launching in the 2014-15 season called ‘Inside the Music with Brian Lauritzen’ that is designed to be a guided journey through specific programs,” says Seidenwurm. “The experience will be multi-layered. First, ticketholders will receive a link to a video hosted by Brian that sets the thematic tone for the program. Then, there will be preand post-concert discussions with Brian and the artists. Finally, there will be ways to engage online for further discussion about the music.”

Cat Szalkowski

level of interactivity that is unimaginable using a brochure, order form, or customer service line. “One of our new initiatives this year is Concert Master, a fun online tool that helps classical newbies choose a concert,” said Amy Seidenwurm, director of digital initiatives at the LA Phil. “Our research tells us that what keeps potential customers from coming to an LA Phil concert is the process of choosing a concert—it can be intimidating if knowledge of classical music is limited. Our Concert Master Beta matches a person’s availability and cultural preferences to a few concerts.” A website might once have been the only thing an orchestra did on the internet. Today, it forms just part of a much broader digital strategy, as the New York Philharmonic’s Ford points out: “We reach approximately five million people online each year across our website, social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), and our key partner platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Medici.TV, radio broadcast streams). For reference, that’s more than the total number of people who purchased a ticket in the past ten years.” The Philharmonic’s online presence includes its extensive Digital Archives, a blog focusing on the orchestra’s musical and community activities, a customer-community panel that provides ongoing feedback from customer groups, and KidZone, its long-running games-andeducation site for kids. “We also have a new media platform under the Watch and Listen section of our site,” says Ford.

The Kansas City Symphony shared the musicians’ perspective in January when violinist Heidi Han, double bassist Evan Halloin, and horn player Elizabeth Schellhase Gray wore Google Glasses during a rehearsal of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Google Glass is a wearable computer that displays information in a hands-free format and allows users to record and post high-definition video.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra creates “Broadcasts in many forms are essential online videos featuring Music Director Jaap to the future of our industry,” the New York van Zweden. Director of Communications Philharmonic’s Ford asserts. “The opportuDenise McGovern says that the medium nity for classical music broadcasts on TV is provides the opportunity to create a level incredibly limited. There were fewer than of intimacy that’s simply impossible while ten across the U.S. last year. The televisionspeaking from the podium. “This season broadcast medium has contracted about as we started a new series of videos featurquickly as digital has expanded. There are a ing our music director, Jaap van Zweden. lot of layers to make webcasts successful and He was filmed by a producer he knew, and practical: production costs, media licensing the results were fantastic. The series, called fees, and to a lesser extent limited distribu‘The Maestro’s Choice,’ shows him in a cation. But the challenges are similar to what sual setting speaking about books, radio, and television A website pieces that he performed this faced when those technoloseason. Our audiences re- might once have been gies originally emerged.” ally responded to the personal The Berlin Philharmonic’s the only thing an stories and anecdotes that he Digital Concert Hall is perorchestra shared about the works— haps the best-known example did on the internet. such as the fact that Mahler of a concert streaming projToday, it forms 4 was the first piece he played ect, but U.S. orchestras are just part of a much also exploring this capability. as a concertmaster at ninebroader digital teen,” which McGovern says The Detroit Symphony Or“help us to build a real trust chestra’s series with Detroit strategy. and community with our auPublic TV, “Live from Ordience. They get to know him better, and chestra Hall,” attracts thousands of viewers. feel like he’s sharing these stories directly In February, the Detroit Symphony, Detroit with them. We play the videos in our lobPublic Television, and PBS launched “DSO by during the concerts, we share them on on Demand,” a multiplatform series of free, email, and we even premiered one with our on-demand HD webcasts of “Live From local NPR station on their arts website. The Orchestra Hall” shows through, content has so many uses and speaks to so the PBS mobile app, and the PBS apps for many people.” Apple TV, Roku, and Xbox. Last year, the Digital video can certainly help deliver Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented a background about a concert, but orchestras free live webcast of Riccardo Muti conductare increasingly looking at ways to use the ing the Verdi Requiem, which is still availinternet to deliver the concerts themselves. able at their website.


A site with links, information, video, and much more focuses on the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Biennial this spring.

Online, the Only Constant is Change

The technology we use to view a website has changed substantially in the last two decades, and these technological advances are driving changes in the way we interact online. According to a report published by the global technology company Cisco in February 2014, a Smart device generates 29 times as much traffic as a regular device, and a 4G connection generates 14.5 times as much

traffic as a non-4G connection. While mobile connections still account for a relatively small percentage of all Internet traffic in the U.S., mobile accounts for half the world’s internet users. Over time, different approaches to mobile accessibility have been seen as best practice. As the Dallas Symphony’s McGovern says, “Looking forward, mobile is really coming to the forefront. It’s how everyone is staying connected. But I don’t think that we have found the right way to use that quite yet.” Initially, creating a mobile site was the thing to do. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has one of these, and it works quite nicely. It doesn’t suffer from the maddening issue many mobile sites have, where every link to the main site takes you to the mobile homepage. The downsides of mobile sites are that many of them don’t make good use of the big screens now available on tablets, they’re glitchy, and they can seem like the poorer sibling of the main website. Today, the answer to a good mobile, tablet, and desktop experience seems to be something called responsive design. In effect, this means

creating a single website that expands and contracts according to the screen size of the device viewing it. The Austin Symphony Orchestra in Texas, the Colorado Symphony, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra all offer apps made by Instant Encore. Those apps are free to the user and to the orchestra. Instant Encore’s “At the Event” app, launched in March, is a module for Android and Apple mobile apps with up-to-date information, social-media posts, and merchandising. The San Francisco Symphony has an app and a mobile site, both powered by Cloudtix, which takes a lot of the frustration out of buying tickets online. The San Francisco Symphony mobile site also makes sensible concessions to the fact that users might be on their way to the show: the homepage features tonight’s concert and lists local restaurants and parking options. Where apps really come into their own is in accessing the other features of a mobile device—the camera, location services, and movement sensor. The LA Phil launched a fun accelerometer-based app in 2009: “Bravo Gustavo” lets you conduct the orchestra

Tony DeSare singer/pianist

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Los Angeles Philharmonic

Get Social

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s online Concert Master tool helps newcomers select concerts based on availability and cultural preferences.

with your iPhone. The Hollywood Bowl app is rather more useful, in that it uses the phone’s GPS capability to help users navigate a very large and complicated venue, directing people to parking, picnic areas, concessions, and bathrooms. The LA Phil is also using the GPS technology in mobile phones to identify photographs from their venues uploaded to social media sites, even when the venue or orchestra aren’t tagged in the photos.

Social platforms are becoming increasingly important to orchestra marketers. When Denise McGovern joined the Dallas Symphony after many years overseeing digital at Decca, she made shareable content a major focus of social strategy. “When I first came here, much of our social media effort was spent on promoting specific concerts or spotlighting certain artists,” she says. “Though that’s essential, it wasn’t resulting in the kind of engagement that we were looking for. We expanded the kinds of things we posted, looking for tie-ins to pop culture—Renée Fleming’s on the Super Bowl!, Downton Abbey’s Back On!— and sharing articles from other orchestras. We’ve seen our ‘likes’ increase and our organic reach increase as well. We want to be part of the conversation, and I believe that we are starting to do just that. One can’t point to a single tweet and say, ‘That’s what sold that show!’ You can point to social media overall and say that we’re building trust in our brand and we’re engaging our patrons online about music and culture and the activities of our orchestra.”

League Resources The League offers resources to help orchestras tackle technological shifts. At the Conference in Seattle this June, Robert Zimmermann, CEO of Berlin Philharmonic Media, discusses the orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall, which broadcasts all Berlin Philharmonic concerts live online; Doug McLennan, editor of ArtsJournal. com, talks about using social media and community data to help orchestras better understand their impact; McLennan also explores how storytelling and content can expand an orchestra’s digital presence. At, the Technology News of Note section under News and Publications covers developments that may affect orchestras’ electronic media activities.

As we look beyond current technology to the future of the orchestra website, it becomes clear that there are many possible directions. The LA Phil’s Amy Seidenwurm looks forward to exploring personalization. “We should be able to offer up a custom homepage to any user who has been to the site before, from any device, based on their behavior,” she says. “We know that technology will play an important role in improving onsite customer engagement—the concertgoing experience—and are looking at ways to move forward in that area.” While some members of the audience still think of technology as something that rings during concerts, Vince Ford at the New York Philharmonic sees it as the herald of a bright future. “I’m excited about the trend towards an integration of technology into every aspect of our customers’ lives,” he states. “Digital has the greatest potential of any of the Philharmonic’s activities to determine our success in the next 50 years. No other aspect of the organization has the distinct ability to define how we interact with customers, how far we reach around the globe, and how efficiently we run our business. The more comfortable people are with digital technologies, the more opportunities there will be for everyone.” ANDY DOE consults on music, media, and technology to artists, startups, nonprofits, and corporations. His blog about classical music, marketing, and the internet is




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On the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2012 China tour (left to right), violist Che-Hung Chen, Concertmaster David Kim, violinist Daniel Han, and Acting Associate Principal Cello Yumi Kendell give a pop-up performance in Beijing’s historic Temple of Heaven. The concert, along with two others, helped launch the orchestra’s residency week with the public.

Focus on by Susan Elliott

Chris Lee


China’s newfound passion for Western classical music is growing exponentially. Now U.S. orchestras and conservatories are not only performing there, but forging partnerships and collaborations. 62




field Story Litch

Chris Lee

f China is the next World Surecent survey states that nineteen Chinese per Power—Forbes predicts its orchestras are considered fully profeseconomy will surpass the U.S. sional, with fulltime musicians, a season, economy by 2020—it is also on a permanent venue, and a professional adthe fast track to being the world’s ministration. epicenter of Western classical This April and May, the National Cenmusic. One is hard-pressed to name a tre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, major Western symphony orchestra that which bills itself as “the supreme palace hasn’t toured there in the last two years: of performing arts in China,” presented the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symthe Fourth China Orchestra Festival, with phony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, fourteen concerts by thirteen orchestras Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, from throughout the country. Also part San Francisco Symphony, London Symof the festival was the Boston Symphony phony Orchestra, Boston Symphony OrOrchestra in its first visit to China since chestra, New York Philharmonic, Munich 1979; Charles Dutoit led the BSO’s 2014 Yan Wang performs at the New York Philharmonic—the list goes on and on. tour, which included concerts in Shanghai Philharmonic’s 2013 concert celebrating Russia’s Mariinsky Orchestra is going in and Guangzhou as well as in Tokyo. For Chinese New Year at Avery Fisher Hall December. its part, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2014 in New York City. And these are not just show-up-andChina residency included stops in five cities play tours. Each comes with a full comTo Western classical music presenters as well as Tokyo and Taipei. Among other plement of masterclasses, lectures, and and schools, the People’s Republic of Chiworks, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Sécoaching sessions. The Philadelphia Orna looks like the promised land, the perguin led Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs chestra’s two-week May-June 2013 tour, fect counterbalance to a shrinking, grayof Women, based on a language spoken in honoring the 40th anniversary of its hising pool of music consumers back home. Hunan, China, in the 13th century. toric 1973 visit, included masterclasses, (Doing business with “the promised land” Then there are the myriad performing hospital tours, lectures on best practices has its own challenges, but more on that arts centers rising in even smaller cities. in arts management, and coaching seslater.) Hong Kong is building a $2.8 bil“Every city is competing to build bigger sions in five cities (Hangzhou, Shanghai, lion, seventeen-venue cultural district in concert halls,” observes Joanna Lee, a Hong Tianjin, Beijing, and Macao) as part of a West Kowloon. In China, Western-style Kong- and New York-based consultant to new five-year partnership with Beijing’s symphony orchestras are popping up at an American orchestras touring China and National Centre for the Performing Arts. amazing rate: at last count, there were 58, vice-versa. Those performing arts centers The Philadelphians returned to China most of them government-supported in are hungry for content, and some struggle this spring for a two-week residency. The whole or part; twenty have to find programming due to the lack of New York Philharmonic’s joint venture a solid cultural infrastructure—another with the Shanghai Symphony reason for the plethora of Western orand Shanghai Conservatory chestra tours. launches this fall. The Juilliard “The Chinese build performing arts School is planning a campus in centers like we build stadiums,” says Tianjin, a city-in-the-making Juilliard Vice President for Global with a population of 7.5 milInitiatives Christopher Mossey. lion just 75 miles southeast of “They enroll their children in music Beijing. Lincoln Center has anlessons the same way we enroll our nounced its first international children in Little League baseball.” performing-arts consultancy, also Mossey is deeply involved with with Tianjin. The University of the Juilliard Institute in the YujiCincinnati College-Conservatory apu District of the city of Tianjin. of Music has a summer program at Still working its way through the Beijing’s Central Conservatory; the many-layered approval process a s e berg giv lph Gom San Francisco Conservatory and the in China, the Institute will be a d R e e rn o tu b re rincipal O he BSO hestra P Shanghai Conservatory have a five Juilliard’s only satellite campus, China. T f rc o O r y u n to o Symph ’s 1979 year chamber-music festival exchange; Boston lass during the BSO part recruiting tool for the main 4. sterc the Peabody Conservatory has a joint- ma hina in spring of 201 campus in New York—where the Chinese to C degree program with the Yong Siew emerged in the last decade, student population has burgeoned—and Toh Conservatory of Music in neighboring four in the last year. Beijing alone has fifpart “Western” arm of the Tianjin ConSingapore; faculty from many U.S. conserteen. There is some vagueness concerning servatory of Music, one of eleven conservatories make periodic visits to mainland whether these are professional orchestras vatories on the Chinese mainland, most of China’s comparable music schools. according to Western understanding: one which are bursting at the seams.


Chris Lee

It’s hard to imagine that 50 years ago, Western classical music was not only banned in the urban centers of China, but its practitioners were punished, often ruthlessly. Communism deemed the art form “decadent” and anti-proletariat. Madame Mao’s Cultural Revolution shut down China’s few conservatories, sending students and faculty to hard-labor farms in the countryside. The strictures had eased by 1976, but the country didn’t open its borders to foreign trade until about 30 years ago. That makes the Philadelphia’s Orchestra’s 1973 trip under then-Music Director Eugene Ormandy all the more remarkable, highly chaperoned though it was. “They didn’t let us out of their sight,” remembers violinist Herbert Light, still with the orchestra. The Boston Symphony Orchestra was the next U.S. band to visit, in 1979. Principal Bass Edwin Barker, who gave several masterclasses at the time, remembers muted, homogenous-looking audiences dressed in Mao suits. “They were just starting to liberalize,” he says. “They were starving for contact and information.” People came from all over China for the masterclasses, he says, and the level of playing was “not sophisticated, understandably.” Anyone who had been studying Western classical music had been removed from it for a very long time.” Barker is one of three Boston Symphony musicians to perform on both the 1979 and 2014 tours. In the 1980s, the influx of Western classical influences began to accelerate, at a rate roughly parallel to the government’s liberalized trade policies. By the turn of this century, as superstars like Lang Lang and Yundi Li returned home to perform for


Wang Xiaojing

A Little History

“Western culture in general is popular in East Asia, with China, Japan, and Korea in particular,” he says, adding that the presence of Western culture in the metropolises Ticketholders for of China is the result of forthe Philadelphia eign influence: China has abOrchestra’s May sorbed and adopted cultures 31, 2012 concert at from around the world. “The Beijing’s National first symphony orchestra was Centre for the Performing Arts formed in Shanghai at the foreign concessions in 1879, for example,” Tang points out. It’s hard to “Subsequently classical music imagine that has found a home in China, 50 years sell-out crowds, newly comfortjust as it does in Muscat, Bueable members of a burgeoning ago, Western nos Aires, and Kuala Lumpur.” middle class signed up their one classical music Small wonder that China child (by government decree) was not only is the world’s largest piano for music lessons. The Guardian banned in the manufacturer and consumer, newspaper reports today about 40 accounting for nearly 80 perurban centers million students of the piano, and cent of global piano sales in of China, but at least half as many of the violin. 2012, according to one study. “Chinese people are very com- its practitioners Then there’s the status issue: petitive,” says conductor Long Yu, were punished, a Steinway grand in your livthe undisputed current leader of often ruthlessly. ing room in China means as the Western classical music revomuch as a Jaguar in the drivelution in China. “Most children are pushed way in the U.S. by their parents to make something special of themselves. This is why a lot of young Long Yu as Pied Piper people are involved with music, plus chasLong Yu’s role in the Western classical ing stars like Lang Lang. It’s not a good music revolution owes much to his years reason, but it’s gotten good results.” of study at the Hochschule für Musik in Rudolph Tang, a journalist based in Berlin, which he attended after graduating Beijing who covers the arts for Western from the Shanghai Conservatory. Studying publications, offers a different perspective. at the Hochshule “was very good for me, both personally and careerJoanna Lee, a Hong Kong- and New York-based consultant to wise,” says the 49-year-old American orchestras touring China, meets in Beijing’s National conductor. “It was very disciCentre for the Performing Arts with NCPA staffers (from left) plined, very organized. When Cui Lei, Harry Zhang, and Lu Zhuye. I returned to China in 1997, there was no system [for presenting classical music], so I started the Beijing Music Festival and China Philharmonic.” (The latter was founded in 2000 and evolved from the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra.) Today, Long Yu is everywhere: He is artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic, music director of the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphonies, founding artistic director symphony


of the Beijing Music Festival, and artistic co-director with Charles Dutoit of the Music in the Summer Air (MISA) festival in Shanghai. He guest conducts major Western orchestras, including, the New York Philharmonic, and is that organization’s leading light in its partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory and Symphony. Call him China’s Valery Gergiev. I caught up with him in Montreal, where he was guest-conducting the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He hadn’t been home for nearly eight weeks, having taken the Shanghai Symphony on a European tour and conducted a number of North American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic’s Chinese New Year concert. At home, he gets credit for introducing Chinese audiences to Wagner’s Ring, to the Mahler symphonies, to Benjamin Britten and Richard Strauss. He commissions Western and Chinese composers with regularity—from Philip Glass and John Corigliano to Guo Wenjing and Ye Xiaogang. An Orchestral Institute in China

Despite the number of young people studying classical music in China, several observers note that few are equipped to be orchestral players, even when they graduate from its finest conservatories. “Kids from China have a great ear,” says Juilliard’s Mossey, “but they’re not good at tuning with other instruments. Ensemble training in conservatory is not emphasized at all, and it’s something students really want to learn.” He would know, having headed up the recently completed feasibility study for the Juilliard Tianjin project, in which both students and parents were canvassed. “Chinese students want different kinds of teaching than what they have been

Todd Rosenberg

Story Litchfield

Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Peking Central Philharmonic horn sections perform together during the BSO’s 1979 China tour. The BSO returned to China this spring.

tomed to,” Mossey says. “They want teachers who are very involved with their playing on a deep level and very involved with their lives, who have a very open way of communicating—almost in a mentoring way. They want teaching that moves beyond technique and helps unleash artistry.” Parents, too, want their children to have “an individual point of view regarding the music, something that’s not easy to achieve in the way music is taught in China. They are looking toward Western teachers to do something different.” Although teaching methods are evolving, especially in urban centers, teaching music in China means teaching technique. San Francisco Symphony Associate Principal Viola Yun Jie Liu, who works with students regularly in his native China, confirms this long-held stereotype. “These students are very smart; they have excellent technique,” he says. “They can play the Paganini Caprices fantastically, but not Brahms or Mozart. It is very difficult for them to find their inner, emotional core. They are used to practicing three, four hours a day. I encourage them to practice a little less and listen to all kinds of music—opera, orchestra, all kinds.”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra trombone Michael Mulcahy works with students in Hong Kong during the CSO’s 2013 Asia tour.

season and have one full orchestra residency, through 2017-18. Students enrolled in the program can earn an MFA and have the opportunity to serve as apprentices with the two professional orchestras. The Academy, like most of China’s fine-art endeavors, is largely paid for by the Chinese government, with the Philharmonic currently on the hunt for private sponsors. The Role of Government

All those interviewed for this article emphasized that working with China was about

The Shanghai Orchestra Academy

As Juilliard Tianjin tends to conservatorylevel students, the New York Philharmonic’s new academy will focus on the post-graduate level. The genesis of the Shanghai partnership can be traced back to 2010, when the Philharmonic invited the Shanghai Symphony—under Long Yu, of course—to perform at one of its summer concerts in Central Park. “From there came conversations about the full orchestra having an annual residency at Shanghai Conservatory,” says Philharmonic Executive Director Matthew VanBesien, “an ongoing relationship based around training young musicians, specifically orchestral training.” The Academy is open to students throughout the Pacific Rim, VanBesien says, hand-picked by an audition panel comprising Shanghai Conservatory faculty and members of the Shanghai Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. The first class will have about 30 students. Participating Philharmonic players all signed up on their own accord. The plan is for Philharmonic members to teach three week-long orchestra-training sessions at the Shanghai Conservatory per


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Oliver Theil

books. And by the sounds of the not-soSan Francisco Symphony Principal Cello Scott Pingel works with a student at the Shanghai Conservatory in 2012.

forming relationships slowly, not storming in and taking over. “That’s not the way it happens,” says San Francisco Symphony General Manager John Kieser, who oversees the orchestra’s tours. “You go a few times and build up a relationship, and then you tour. You have to walk before A Steinway you can run.” Joanna Lee, whom Kieser grand in your calls the orchestra’s “secret living room in weapon” in helping to set China means up China tours, is quick to as much as a point out, “A contract in Jaguar in the China is very different from driveway in a contract in the U.S. Westerners see a signed contract the U.S. as the end of negotiations. For the Chinese, it’s just the opposite. Westerners consider terms and conditions countersigned in a contract as ‘iron-clad,’ but Chinese parties are keenly aware of evolving situations and last-minute changes and always leave the window open.” Apart from the human element of doing business, there is the Communist government’s involvement—after all, it provides much of the funding for all these Western visits and partnerships. Says Juilliard’s Mossey, “There is a policy directive from the highest rungs of government to open up China to the best practices of foreign institutions in education and in culture. They want to show the world that they can compete on the world stage in this arena,” says Kieser. That said, Kieser reports genuine interest among the Chinese people. Juilliard East

Mossey travels to China frequently, especially since the invitation from Tianjin in 2011. After the completion of the feasibility study at the end of 2012, the joint-venture agreement wasn’t signed





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ADVERTISER until last November. Negotiations were long and complex. But there’s little question that “Juilliard East” will happen. Juilliard has a special cachet in China. In a brand-awareness study, the school discovered that the Juilliard “brand” is known to 68 percent of the Chinese population. “And that’s without any advertising,” says Mossey. (In Korea it is 85 percent; in the U.S., 88 percent.) As with the New York Philharmonic arrangement, the Chinese government is funding the Tianjin side, although in Juilliard’s case it is specified The Guardian as the Tianjin Innovative newspaper Finance Investment Company (TIFI), a state-conreports today about trolled commercial development concern founded 40 million in 2008. The consulting students of agreement that Lincoln the piano in Center announced, also in China, and at 2008, is being financed by least half as TIFI as well. It is not a coincidence many of the that many of China’s perviolin. forming arts leaders are high-ranking Party members. On his business card, National Centre for the Performing Arts head Chen Ping is identified first as Party secretary for cultural affairs. His NCPA affiliation is secondary. Long Yu is also connected to the Party, which, although he has been successful in convincing the government to accept outside sponsorship for his orchestras’ tours abroad, explains the generous amount of public funding his projects receive. Party directive (and government financing) aside, there are other, perhaps more organic, factors behind the Western classical music explosion in China. Kieser thinks the discipline required to master the art form appeals to the Chinese. Then there’s the competitive aspect, combined with the one-child rule, and a teaching style that de-emphasizes personal expression. Perhaps the Chinese see Western classical music for what it really is: an art form that reaches deep into the soul and touches you, no matter where, when, or what the circumstances. Perhaps they see it as an outlet for, finally, expressing themselves. SUSAN ELLIOTT writes frequently on the arts and is the editor of

LETTER TO THE EDITOR To the Editors, We at the Buffalo Philharmonic would like to add our voice in salute to Spring for Music. Donald Rosenberg’s spring 2014 story in Symphony brought to light the independent spirit of this incredible concert series and the amazing creativity among our fellow orchestras. But S4M is not only an artistic achievement; it can also be a galvanizing event for the communities it represents. The BPO’s 2013 S4M performance brought together a diverse set of area residents, businesses, and organizations in the name of civic pride and in support of our remarkable arts community. Almost $1 million was raised to support our performance, and over 1,500 area residents and expats made the trip with us to Carnegie Hall (a S4M festival record). Overall, nearly 2,500 concertgoers were captivated by JoAnn Falletta and the BPO’s performance of Glière’s rarely performed masterpiece, Symphony No. 3. Our critically acclaimed performance was later recorded by Naxos—it’s now a bestselling album. S4M was not only an artistic and financial success, but a marketing success for Western New York. Civic pride was on display everywhere we turned. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, JoAnn Falletta and the entire Orchestra, we remain deeply moved and forever grateful for this opportunity and for the outpouring of support. A year later, Buffalo is still talking about S4M. It was a stunning evening—one that will be remembered throughout Western New York. That’s the true power of Spring for Music. It gives North American orchestras a chance to take the world’s greatest stage and put entire communities in the spotlight. Sincerely, Cindy Abbott Letro Chair, On the Road to Carnegie Committee Peter Eliopoulos M&T Bank, Lead Sponsor

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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 April 28, 2014. For more information regarding a gift to the League, please visit us at, 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

Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Chicago, IL Julie F. and Peter D. Cummings, Palm Beach Gardens, FL † The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, San Francisco, CA MetLife Foundation, New York, NY The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY

$50,000 – $149,999

Patty and Malcolm Brown Fund, Winston-Salem, NC Mr. Richard W. Colburn, Northbrook, IL Fidelity Foundation, Merrimack, NH Marjorie S. Fisher Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit, MI Shirley Bush Helzberg, Kansas City, MO † National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC Mrs. Cynthia Sargent, Chicago, IL Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, New York, NY The Wallace Foundation, New York, NY

$25,000 – $49,999

American Express Foundation, New York, NY Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York, NY Sakurako and William Fisher, San Francisco, CA Catherine and Peter Moye, Spokane, WA Connie Steensma and Rick Prins, New York, NY

$10,000 – $24,999

Mr. David C. Bohnett, Beverly Hills, CA Mrs. Trish Bryan, Cincinnati, OH † Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, Winter Park, FL Ms. Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Cornell Family Foundation, New York, NY The Fatta Foundation, Buffalo, NY † John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, San Francisco, CA JPMorgan Chase Bank, Chicago, IL Mark Jung, San Francisco, CA Wendy and Asher Kelman, Beverly Hills, CA † Camille and Dennis LaBarre, New York, NY Jan and Daniel R. Lewis, Coral Gables, FL † Mr. James W. Mabie, Northfield, IL † Mr. James S. Marcus, New York, NY New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Minneapolis, MN Steve and Diane Parrish Founation, Westport, CT Mary Carr Patton, Orange Park, FL Mr. Robert A. Peiser, Houston, TX Ms. Patricia A. Richards, Salt Lake City, UT


Robert Wood Revocable Trust, Grover Beach, CA Mr. David Rockefeller in memory of Peggy Rockefeller, New York, NY Mr. Barry A. Sanders, Beverly Hills, CA Drs. Helen S. and John P. Schaefer, Tucson, AZ † Ms. Helen P. Shaffer, Houston, TX Penelope Van Horn, Chicago, IL The Simon Yates and Kevin Roon Foundation, New York, NY †

$5,000 – $9,999

Mr. Burton Z. Alter, Woodbridge, CT Brent and Jan Assink, San Francisco, CA The Hal and Diane Brierley Foundation, Plano, TX Mr. and Mrs. William G. Brown, Hobe Sound, FL Mr. Charles Cagle, Franklin, TN † Janet and John Canning, Westport, CT Ms. Nicky B. Carpenter, Wayzata, MN † Phillip William Fisher Fund, Southfield, MI Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York, NY The CHG Charitable Trust as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno, Philadelphia, PA † Mr. Jim Hasler, Oakland, CA Mr. John Hayes, Highlands Ranch, CO † The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Warren, NJ Mr. Stephen H. Judson, New York, NY Ms. Lori Julian, Chicago, IL The Lerner Foundation, Highland Heights, OH Dr. Hugh W. Long, New Orleans, LA Mrs. Shirley D. McCrary, Mooresville, AL † Mrs. Heather Moore, Dallas, TX † New York State Council on the Arts, New York, NY Mr. Charles S. Olton, New York, NY † John and Farah Palmer, Tucson, AZ † Mr. Peter Pastreich, Sausalito, CA † Mr. Jesse Rosen, New York, NY Mr. Richard P. Simmons, Sewickley, PA Mr. Robert B. Tudor, III, Houston, TX The J. Stephen Turner Foundation, Nashville, TN Miller-Worley Foundation, Conshohocken, PA

$2,500 – $4,999

Richard J. Bogomolny & Patricia M. Kozerefski, Gates Mills, OH The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, TX Ms. Mei-Ann Chen in honor of the leadership of Jesse Rosen and Polly Kahn, Memphis, TN Ms. NancyBell Coe, Santa Barbara, CA Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT Bruce Coppock, Mendota Heights, MN Mrs. Gloria dePasquale, Narbeth, PA Mr. D.M. Edwards, Tyler, TX Henry and Fran Fogel, River Forest, IL †

James M. Franklin, Inverness, IL † Edward B. Gill, San Diego, CA † Linda and Cannon Harvey, Denver, CO A.J. Huss, Jr., Saint Paul, MN Mr. Paul R. Judy, Naples, FL Mr. Brian Knapp, Arlington, VA John A. and Catherine M. Koten Foundation, Hinsdale, IL † Mr. and Mrs. Phillip N. Lyons, Newport Beach, CA Judith W. and Howard M. McCue III, Evanston, IL + The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation, New York, NY Rae Wade Trimmier, Mountain Brook, AL † Mr. Alan D. Valentine, Nashville, TN Sally and Nick Webster, New York, NY


Douglas W. Adams, Breckenridge, CO Ms. Elaine Amacker Bridges, San Angelo, TX Dr. Alberta Arthurs, New York, NY Ms. Cathy Barbash in honor of Seymour Rosen, Ardmore, PA • Mr. William P. Blair, III, Canton, OH † Ms. Nancy Blaugrund, Albuquerque, NM Ms. Deborah Borda, Los Angeles, CA † Fred and Liz Bronstein, Saint Louis, MO • Michelle Miller Burns and Gary W. Burns, Chicago, IL Dr. Roland M. Carter, Chattanooga, TN † The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Chicago, IL Leslie Jackson Chihuly, Seattle, WA Mr. Robert Conrad, Cleveland, OH Margarita and John Contreni, Lafayette, IN Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, Dallas, TX Mr. Patrick Dirk, Costa Mesa, CA Emma E. Dunch and Elizabeth W. Scott, New York, NY • Mr. Aaron Dworkin, Detroit, MI Susan Feder and Todd Gordon, Irvington, NY Aaron A. Flagg and Cristina Stanescu Flagg, West Harford, CT Michele and John Forsyte, Long Beach, CA • David V. Foster, New York, NY † Catherine French, Washington, DC † Karen Gahl-Mills and Laurence Mills-Gahl, Cleveland Heights, OH Mr. John Gidwitz, New York, NY † Gary Ginstling and Marta Lederer, Carmel, IN Joseph B. Glossberg and Madeline Condit, Chicago, IL Ms. Marian A. Godfrey, Richmond, MA Michael and Eleanor Gordon Fund, Laguna Beach, CA Ms. Nancy Greenbach, Atherton, CA Mark and Christina Hanson, Houston, TX •



Daniel and Barbara Hart, Amherst, NY • Ian Harwood, Tucson, AZ • Mr. Jay L. Henderson, Northfield, IL 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 Mrs. Laura Hyde, Tyler, TX The Jurenko Foundation, Madison, AL Ms. Polly Kahn, New York, NY Ms. Nancy F. Keithley, Shaker Heights, OH Mr. Michael Kerr, Irvine, CA Mr. R. Lawrence Kirkegaard, Chicago, IL Peter T. Kjome, Grand Rapids, MI Joseph H. Kluger, Gladwyne, PA Mr. Robert Kohl and Mr. Clark Pellett, Chicago, IL Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred J. Larson, Naples, FL † Mr. Robert Levine, Glendale, WI Mr. Stephen Lisner, New York, NY Ms. Helen Lodge, Charleston, WV Alex Machaskee, Cleveland, OH Dr. Gordon and Carole Mallett, Zionsville, IN Mrs. Lois Margolin, Denver, CO † Stacy and Lee Margolis, Brooklyn, NY Mr. Jonathan Martin, Dallas, TX Steve & Lou Mason, Dayton, OH † Mattlin Foundation, Columbus, OH Ms. Debbie McKinney, Nichols Hills, OK Mr. Paul Meecham, Baltimore, MD Zarin Mehta, Chicago, IL † Mrs. LaDonna Meinders, Oklahoma City, OK David Alan Miller, Albany, NY Mr. Steven Monder, Honolulu, HI † Michael Morgan, Oakland, CA † Diane and Robert Moss, Key Biscayne, FL Mrs. Patricia Moye, Evans, GA Mrs. Judi Newman, Englewood, CO James B. Nicholson, Detroit, MI Dr. Aaron J. Nurick, Boston, MA Ms. Christina Parker, Fort Myers, FL Anne H. Parsons, Detroit, MI • Mr. Michael Pastreich, St. Petersburg, FL • Mrs. Alfred M. Rankin, Gates Mills, OH Mr. and Mrs. Alfred M. Rankin, Jr., Mayfield Heights, OH The Rice Family Fund, Rochester, NY Robinson Family Philanthropic Fund, Cleveland, OH Susan L. Robinson, Sarasota, FL Barbara and Robert Rosoff, Queensbury, NY Don Roth, Davis, CA † Ms. Deborah F. Rutter, Chicago, IL † Roger Saydack and Elaine Bernat, Eugene, OR † Ms. Jo Ellen Saylor, Edina, MN Fred and Gloria Sewell, Minneapolis, MN Mr. Jay Shah, Chicago, IL Ms. Rita Shapiro, Kensington, MD Ms. Linda Stevens, Seattle, WA + Tom and Dee Stegman, Cincinnati, OH David Tierno in honor of Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Mary Lou and John D. Turner, Kansas City, MO

Matthew VanBesien and Rosie Jowitt, New York, NY • Allison Vullgamore, Philadelphia, PA •† Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO • Ms. Pam Weaver, Greer, SC † Linda Weisbruch, Charlotte, NC Franz Welser-Möst, Cleveland, OH Jane and Dobson West, Minneapolis, MN Paul R. Wiggin, Chicago, IL Sharon E. Wilson, President of the Women's Symphony League of Austin, Austin, TX Mrs. Doug Witte, Tyler, TX Simon Woods and Karin Brookes, Seattle, WA Anonymous (1)

$600 – $999

Ayden Adler, Miami Beach, FL Lois H. Allen, Columbus, OH Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall, TX Gene and Mary Arner, Boise, ID Sandra Sue Ashby, Jacksonville, FL Dr. Richard and Mrs. Janet Barb, Indianapolis, IN Ms. Jennifer B. Barlament, Cleveland, OH • Mr. Robert A. Birman, Port Townsend, WA Mr. David Bornemann, Scottsdale, AZ Dr. Misook Yun and Mr. James William Boyd, New Orleans, LA • Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee, Detroit, MI † Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Stevens Point, WI Mr. J. Scott Chotin, Lacombe, LA Mrs. Judy Christl, Bonita Springs, FL † Ms. Katy Clark, New York, NY • Scott Faulkner and Andrea Lenz, Reno, NV † Dawn Fazli, Indianapolis, IN Mr. David H. Filner, Naples, FL • Firelands Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Sandusky, OH Mrs. Charles Fleischmann, Cincinnati, OH † Mr. Ryan Fleur, Philadelphia, PA • Mr. Kareem A. George, Franklin, MI • Mr. Bill Gettys, Weaverville, NC Mr. Gary L. Good, Santa Ana, CA Mr. André Gremillet, Melbourne, Australia Carrie Hammond, Hartford, CT Ms. Iris Harvie, Hudson, OH Ms. Janice Hay, Philadelphia, PA Marilyn P. and Joseph W. Hirschhorn Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati, OH Mrs. Patricia Howard, Cazenovia, NY Holly H. Hudak, Miami, FL Helena Jackson, Duluth, MN Mrs. JoAnne A. Krause, Brookfield, WI † Mr. Andrea Laguni, Los Angeles, CA Carolyn and Wayne Landsverk, Portland, OR David Loebel, Lebanon, NH Mr. Alan McIntyre, Darien, CT Ken Meltzer, Decatur, GA Evans Mirageas and Thomas Dreeze, Cincinnati, OH Mr. Parker E. Monroe, San Francisco, CA J.L. Nave III and Paul Cook, Fort Wayne, IN • Ms. Brenda S. Nienhouse, Spokane, WA •

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 Steve and Lou Mason, Dayton, OH Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Minnetonka, MN Charles and Barbara Olton, New York, NY Peter Pastreich, San Francisco, CA Rodger E. Pitcairn, Rockville, MD Robert and Barbara Rosoff, Glens Falls, NY Robert J. Wagner, Maplewood, NJ Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO Mr. and Mrs. Albert K. Webster, New York, NY Robert Wood Revocable Trust, Grover Beach, CA Anonymous (1)

Ms. Becky Odland, Edina, MN Henry Peyrebrune, Cleveland Heights, OH Brian A. Ritter, Houston, TX Dr. Stanley E. Romanstein, Atlanta, GA Richard L. Sias, Oklahoma City, OK † David Snead, New York, NY Ms. Barbara J. Soroca, Stamford, CT Mary Tunstall Staton, Charlotte, NC Melia & Mike Tourangeau, Salt Lake City, UT Mr. Jeff Y. Tsai, Geneva, IL • Dr. Jane Van Dyk, Billings, MT † Mr. Gus Vratsinas, Little Rock, AR Mr. Robert J. Wagner, Boonton, NJ Edward Walker, Oklahoma City, OK Doris and Clark Warden, Sausalito, CA † Melinda Whiting Burrows and John Burrows, Riverton, NJ Ms. Camille Williams, Little Rock, AR Mr. Paul R. Winberg, Chicago, IL Rebecca and David Worters, Raleigh, NC •

† Directors Council (former League Board) • Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni + Includes Matching Gift



One-man Flashmob


in church, in living rooms, in schools, and spent countless hours jamming with people on guitars, keyboards, and djembes—I would often trade my cello for those. Now that I’m older, I add clubs and bars into the rotation, but it’s really just the places I like to be and interact with people. In this way the internet is quite similar: another space where we already connect. Why take the cello out of that Joshua Roman equation? I love concert halls. I adore playing for an audience that has gone out of its way to come listen to something they might already know very well. It has become a very refined and important part of what we as classical musicians do. But I believe that if we’re going to solve the problems we face right now, we need to realize that this amazingly nuanced experience is only a part of what the musical life of an individual, group, or closest to my goals—start a rock band. I large organization like an orchestra can be. didn’t have classical-music friends, and And in the life of classical music, the conwhile in some ways that left me wanting cert experience we cherish is a relatively for experiences with my cello inside an young phenomenon, one that still has the existing infrastructure, I’m now grateful possibility to evolve. that it gave me a sense of openness about When I look at an orchestra, I see what a musical life is, and where and how incredible potential in an ensemble of it should be shared. My friends loved that artists who have dedicated their lives to I played cello and would come to many of being the best they can be at something, my performances, and more often would together. Let’s challenge ourselves to ask me to play wherever we happened to refocus on the pure love of music and see be hanging out. I performed all the time, where that takes us. Growing up in Oklahoma City, I didn’t have many opportunities to perform, or even see performances, in “legitimate” classical music settings. My peer group was full of friends who wanted to join the Navy, be a rodeo star or a scientist, play soccer professionally, and—maybe

Jeremy Sawatzky


’ve been incredibly lucky to have a career that affords me opportunities to explore music in a variety of settings. Because of the range of activities I’ve pursued, I’m often asked about the myriad projects that encompass a typical month, or the online presence I’ve cultivated. When the questions come, I feel an expectation that my answer will be about breaking boundaries and expanding the role of a classical musician as I search for ways to keep up with the 21st century. I’m a bit conflicted by this basic conception of what a classical musician should be. When I look at the tradition of classical music, I see a tradition of innovation. Music has constantly been evolving. Every once in a while we stumble upon something deemed worth keeping in the mix, but the general trajectory has always been just that: a trajectory. Right now, especially in America, I see a lot of effort to create new outreach, and one of the questions on so many people’s lips goes something like this: “How can we bring more people into the concert hall?” It’s a valid question, but presupposes that we’ve found the only place we belong, and that “they” need to come to “us.” Perhaps we could start with a bigger question: “Where can we find more opportunities to share the music we love?”

Bret Hartman

Virtuoso cellist Joshua Roman is bringing music into unexpected spaces. As artistic director of Town Music in Seattle, he showcases eclectic scores and embraces social media to spread the word about classical music. Roman spent two seasons as principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, and then launched a successful solo career. He recently performed at the League Conference in Seattle.



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Monica J. Felkel, Director of Artist Management, Vicki Margulies, Artist Manager Susan Wadswor th, Director 250 West 57 Street, New York, New York 10107 Phone: (212) 307-6657 Email: Website:

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