Symphony Winter 2017

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Next Gen Emerging Artists, Millennial Audiences, and Orchestras

Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014

Shared Spaces, Shared Missions?

Marketing a Season: Mozart to Messiaen to Marhulets


Taking Out the Guesswork: Using Research to Build Arts Audiences Learn about three tasks key to successful audience building: understanding potential audiences, creating effective promotional materials, and tracking and assessing progress. The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences Based on case studies of 10 arts organizations that undertook audience-building projects as part of the Wallace Excellence Awards initiative, this guide and infographic pinpoint nine practices that successful efforts had in common.

Download these free reports and many more at

John Gingrich Management welcomes

JINJOO CHO 2014 Gold Medalist International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

“Ms. Cho has it all – brilliant technique, musicality, passion, intelligence, flair, and an engaging stage presence.” — New York Concert Review: Carnegie Hall Recital Debut


VO LU M E 6 8 , N U M B E R 1

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hen it comes to titles with poetic allure, Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 might not pack the punch of, say, The Rite of Spring or Ode to Joy. But the new report tells a fascinating story all the same. Commissioned by the League of American Orchestras and released in the fall, Orchestra Facts tracks orchestra finances and activities from the start of the Great Recession to recent years. It’s based on data from multiple sources (including the League’s Orchestra Statistical Report) and is rich with stats, charts, graphs, footnotes. The reality-based, just-the-facts approach of Orchestra Facts yields revelations: even during a period of economic crisis and rapid cultural change, the orchestra field as a whole was remarkably resilient, which may be a testament to the value society places on orchestras. The report captures the depth of orchestras’ commitment to their communities, the broad scope of their reach, the surprising size of their financial impact on the economy. One takeaway: every year, 25 million people experience 28,000 performances and other musical activities and events created by orchestras. Those aggregate numbers, as impressive as they are, only happen because musicians band together. Great music exists only when musicians make it, one note at a time. What do millennials want? As they come of age, it’s a question society at large is grappling with—and so are orchestras. In this issue, we look at the tactics and strategies some orchestras are using to connect with millennials and beyond. We hear from gifted emerging artists who are as invested in musical excellence as they are in social causes and the interpersonal aspects of making music.


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






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symphony symphonySWU IMNMT E R

2016 7

March 27–April 2, 2017

Experience a symphonic shift Concert Hall performances just $25— plus many free community events! Learn more at For tickets, call (800) 444-1324 or visit For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.

This spring, Washington Performing Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts join forces to launch a future-facing festival of symphonic innovation in the nation’s capital. Join boundary-breaking music makers from across the country for an eclectic re-invention of the orchestral experience for the 21st century—from concert hall performances and club shows to musical guided hikes and more. Wide-ranging in repertoire, the festival features classics in new contexts, new works by today’s most exciting composers, and multimedia immersive experiences perfect for audiences both seasoned and new.

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Christopher Theofanidis’s multimedia oratorio


“Nature and Music” program with aerial dance troupe


Brooklyn-based chamber orchestra with the San Francisco Girls Chorus


Works by contemporary composers Mason Bates and Caroline Shaw Generous support of the SHIFT Festival is provided through a matching grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather. Additional support is provided by Abramson Family Foundation, Betsy and Robert Feinberg, Morton and Norma Lee Funger, and Daniel R. Lewis.

Co-presented by Washington Performing Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts In cooperation with the League of American Orchestras

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2 Prelude by Robert Sandla 6 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events


14 Topics The League’s Heather Noonan reports from a recent conference with implications for international travel with musical instruments.

Antoine Saito

18 At the League Excerpts from the League’s new longitudinal study, Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014. With a preface by Jesse Rosen.



#Hashtag Orchestra How can orchestras attract millennial audiences? by Jeremy Reynolds


We, the Artists Today’s emerging musicians are deeply invested in the social and interpersonal aspects of making music. by Lucy Caplan


Guide to Emerging Artists


In With the New How marketers get audiences in the door to hear music by living composers. by Donald Rosenberg


Classic Approaches Marketing the standard symphonic repertoire. by Melinda Bargreen

72 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 74 Coda Excerpts from Gustavo Dudamel’s September speech at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline l at

74 Vern Evans

70 Advertiser Index



Double Identity Partnerships between orchestras and other local arts groups offer fiscal and cultural benefits. by Steven Brown

about the cover

Pictured: French cellist Edgar Moreau, 22, is just one of the emerging artists making his name on today’s orchestra stages (photo by Julien Mignot). Two stories survey the landscape for the millennial generation of audiences coming to hear these musicians (page 24) and reveal what the artists themselves have to say about social engagement and orchestras (page 32).

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The only manufacturer of the celesta. Worldwide. Learn more about the celesta. Watch our video: Origins: invention and patent The celesta action mechanism Manufacturing the celesta: a workshop tour

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

One of conductor Kent Nagano’s long-planned projects got underway this fall, with the official launch of La musique aux enfants (Music for Kids), a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten music program at the École St-Rémi Annexe in Montreal. Imagined by Nagano and developed by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Université de Montréal and the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île, the project aims to use music education to improve the children’s overall development. All 161 students in the program will receive at least one lesson in rhythm and choral singing per week and will have the opportunity to participate in activities with music and the musicians of the Montreal Symphony. A subgroup of sixteen children will receive close to three hours of piano, violin, rhythm and choral singing instruction each day, while a different group of sixteen will receive one and a quarter hours of daily music instruction. Researchers from the Université de Montréal will study the program’s impact. Above: Nagano holds up a drawing presented to him by students at École St-Rémi in Montreal North.

Ken Hively

Lift Every Voice For his 20th and final season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane (left) conceived “Lift Every Voice,” a multi-faceted series of concerts and events addressing social and moral issues—Kahane has called it “the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream.” Among the January 14-29 festival’s highlights: a joint Martin Luther King Day concert with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles; LACO performances featuring violin soloist Daniel Hope in Kurt Weill’s Song-Suite for Violin and Orchestra and Bruce Adolphe’s “I Will Not Remain Silent” (a concerto dedicated to Dr. King and his civil-rights ally Rabbi Joachim Prinz); Weill’s musical morality plays Lost in the Stars (set in apartheid-era South Africa) and The Seven Deadly Sins; plus a variety of symposia, chamber-music offerings, and film screenings at multiple sites.




Antoine Saito

Dream to Reality

White House Honors

In November, the Sphinx Organization was honored at the White House as one of twelve winners of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. Sphinx—founded in Detroit in 1997 by violinist Aaron Dworkin and currently under the leadership of Afa S. Dworkin, Sphinx president and artistic director—works to get children from underserved communities into classical music through free afterschool music instruction, an annual conference addressing diversity issues in the performing arts, and a competition for young African American and Latino string players. Pictured below, First Lady Michelle Obama addresses young musicians of the Sphinx Perfect Fourth String Quartet: Aidan Daniels, Maxwell Fairman, Peirce Ellis, and Nicholas Reeves, who performed at the White House ceremony. The annual National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards recognize “outstanding after-school and out-ofschool programs that are transforming the lives of young people.”

has been named concertmaster at Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in Salt Lake City.

The San Francisco Symphony has announced that BRENT ASSINK will step down as executive director on March 31, 2017.

Cassidy DuHon



Illinois’s Philharmonic Society of Belleville has appointed ROBERT HART BAKER artistic director. has been appointed director of orchestra and hall operations at New York’s Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


At the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, CLAIRE BRAZEAU has been named principal oboe, and JOACHIM BECERRA THOMSEN principal flute. Harpsichordist MAHAN ESFAHANI has been appointed artistic partner for LACO’s Baroque Conversations series.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has appointed

MATTHEW CARLSON director of communications and media relations, MARC GEELHOED director of digital initiatives, and BRIAN FRAZEE manager of

community engagement.

New Jersey’s newly formed Montclair Orchestra has announced the appointment of DAVID CHAN as its first music director. He will continue as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. RODERICK COX has been promoted to associate conductor at the Minnesota Orchestra.

The Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra has appointed ANDREW CRUST assistant conductor. TREY DEVEY has been named president of Michigan’s Interlochen Center for the Arts, effective June 12, 2017. He will step down as president of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in mid-April.

Mark Lyons

Toledo, Ohio was the site for a noteworthy collaboration this fall entitled “Mideast x Midwest: A Dialogue of Music, Food and Fun at America’s Crossroads.” The Toledo Symphony Orchestra and The Toledo Symphony’s “Mideast x Midwest” concert with the Michigan-based Michigan’s National Arab Orchestra was followed by a reception National Arab Orchestra featuring music, dancing, and food. joined forces for the November 12 concert at Toledo’s Valentine Theatre, led by Toledo Symphony Resident Conductor Sara Jobin and National Arab Orchestra Music Director Michael Ibrahim. Also performing was opera singer Lubana Al-Quntar, a Syrian refugee. The concert featured a new work called Dialogue, with a student chorus from the Toledo public schools, singing in Arabic. A post-concert reception included music, dancing, and food from Toledo-area restaurants. The National Arab Orchestra, comprising musicians from Arab and non-Arab backgrounds, was covered in the Spring 2015 issue of Symphony.


Musical Chairs

Midwest Dialogues


The Las Vegas Philharmonic has appointed KEVIN R. EBERLE education director, and DAWN NEWBURG major gifts officer. will step down as music director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (Alberta, Canada) at the end of the 2016-17 season.


The Alexandria (Va.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed PAUL A. FRANK executive director.

At the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, FRANCISCO has been named principal violin, a title he shares with KYU-YOUNG KIM .


MICHAEL GELLER has stepped down as president and CEO of New York City’s American Composers Orchestra following a twenty-year tenure.

Arts Consulting Group has named VICTOR GOTESMAN vice president for facilities and program planning in its Portland (Ore.) office. Ohio’s Akron Symphony has appointed PETER to the newly created post of director of advancement. GROSSETTI

JOHANNA GRUSKIN has been named principal flute in the Knoxville (Tenn.) Symphony Orchestra.

Steven E. Purcell

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra has announced that RAYMOND HARVEY will step down as music director at the end of this season, becoming music director emeritus. DANIEL BRIER has been promoted from assistant conductor to resident


Arts Policy in the New Congress and Administration

Advocates in the arts community and across the nonprofit sector are preparing to engage with the new Trump Administration and Congress on the economic, international, and domestic public policies that impact the arts and culture. The arts and creativity have historically advanced with support from elected officials across the political spectrum in the House, Senate, and the White House. With current federal funding levels expiring at the end of April, near-term decisions about support for the National Endowment for the Arts and arts education will be on Congress’s to-do list. The new Administration has put tax reform on its agenda for the first 100 days, which will accelerate discussions in Congress on changes to charitable-giving incentives. Prior to the elections, the League and diverse stakeholders in the national arts and culture community developed transition recommendations for a new Administration in Advancing the Arts to Support National Policy Priorities. The League is asking the next Administration to leverage the arts to their full potential through policies that cut across federal agencies. Find the latest news and how orchestra advocates can most effectively engage in the policymaking process at www.

Financial Front

In the Game

This fall orchestras from the hometowns of the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians cheered on their teams during the World Series. A week before the series began, Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra recorded a spirited “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (above) and uploaded it to the CSO’s YouTube page. The Cleveland Orchestra also made a “good luck” video (John Williams’s “Superman March” from Superman), and eight Cleveland Orchestra musicians played the National Anthem at the start of the seventh and final game of the series in Cleveland (top). Elsewhere in orchestras-and-pro-sports news: the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra played the National Anthem and during the halftime show before a crowd of 80,000 at the Green Bay Packers’ October 20 game against the Chicago Bears, at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, the orchestra’s first time playing there.

This fall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Fort Worth Symphony each announced new contracts for musicians, following work stoppages and concert cancellations. At the Philadelphia Orchestra, the musicians’ previous contract expired midway through September, and negotiations came to a halt. A musicians strike that began at the orchestra’s opening-night gala ended two days later with a new three-year contract that includes a 2 percent wage increase in the first year and 2.5 percent increases in the second and third years. The orchestra will increase from 96 to 97 musicians, and musicians will have more direct involvement in fundraising. At the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, “play-and-talk” negotiations past the September 4 expiration of the previous contract were followed by a strike that began on September 30 and ended just before Thanksgiving with a five-year contract. Under the new agreement, wages will be cut 7.5 percent in the first year, frozen in the second year, increased 3.3 percent in the


third year, increased 2 percent in the fourth year, and restored to 2016 levels by the fifth year. In Texas, musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra went on strike on September 8, following more than a year of negotiations after the expiration of the previous contract in July 2015. The strike ended on December 7 with a four-year contract that includes a pay freeze in the first and second years, followed by a 2 percent increase in the third year and a 2.5 percent increase in the fourth. In Pittsburgh and Fort Worth, contract negotiations coincided with efforts to reduce or eliminate annual budget deficits. Budgets in brief: Several orchestras announced balanced budgets, some with surpluses, at the end of the 2016 fiscal year, among them the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. symphony


League Launches $4.5 Million American Orchestras’ Futures Fund

MUSICAL CHAIRS conductor. Violinist DANIEL HOPE has been named to a threeyear term as artistic partner at San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra beginning with the 2017-18 season.

Across the country, orchestras are vigorously engaged in groundbreaking work. To support this commitment to innovation, this fall the League of American Orchestras announced the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, made possible through the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. The $4.5 million grants program supports a select number of orchestras that are making significant investments in organizational learning and innovation. Two-year organizational grants as well as short-term technical assistance grants are available for new or ongoing work that demonstrates an impact on the organization and on its audiences and communities. League-member orchestras are eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis by independent panels. Grantees will document and share their approaches, practices, and results to foster the learning capacity of the orchestra field. The League will help document and synthesize grant-supported activities in order to identify promising practices and themes, and will disseminate these findings. For complete details, including deadlines and application information, visit

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has appointed CONRAD JONES principal trumpet, and RILEY J. GIAMPAOLO bass trombone. NICOLE JORDAN has been appointed principal librarian at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The Venice (Fla.) Symphony has named CHRISTINE KASTEN executive director.

ANTHONY KIEKOW has been named public relations manager at the St. Louis Symphony.

Arizona’s Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra has appointed RICHARD LANE executive director. STAN SUTHERLAND has been elected president of the board.

Manuscript to Symphony

Musical Chairs

has been appointed assistant concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.


California’s Santa Barbara Symphony has appointed KEVIN A. MARVIN executive director.

Sorin Popa

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Calif.) has named CRISTIAN MACELARU music director.


has been elected board chair of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, based in Hampton Roads. PATRICK B. McDERMOTT

Courtesy NHSO

A living composer and a mysterious manuscript are at the center of a commission by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. For the two-season Lash/ Voynich project, NHSO Composer-In-Residence Hannah Lash is writing a symphony inspired by the Voynich Manuscript—a document in an unknown script that is thought to be from fifteenth-century Italy—housed at Yale University’s Beineke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The orchestra has premiered the first three of the work’s four movements individually beginning in 2015-16, with the world premiere of the complete work scheduled for May 4. The orchestra’s opening-night program this September featured the premiere of the third movement, “Biological,” which is inspired by the manuscript’s diagrams of plants and people. The city of New Haven proclaimed September 29 “Women Making Music Day” in honor of Lash and composer Helen Hagan, the first African-American woman to graduate from the Yale School of Music; the NHSO premiered Hagan’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra circa 1912. Lash is Yale University’s first woman composition faculty member.


New York City’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has appointed ALAN KAY, a clarinetist in the orchestra, as programming coordinator.

The Cincinnati May Festival has named JUANJO MENA principal conductor.

At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, MICHELLE MERRILL has been promoted from assistant conductor to associate conductor. has been appointed senior director of programs and production at Philadelphia’s Philly Pops.


The Colorado Symphony has named BRETT MITCHELL music director, effective next season. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has appointed chief operations officer.


has been named assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, effective with the 2017-18 season.


MARILYN CARLSON NELSON has succeeded WARREN MACK as board chair

of the Minnesota Orchestra.

The Bowdoin International Music Festival (Brunswick, Maine) has appointed DANIEL NITSCH executive director.


has stepped down as music director of the Binghamton (N.Y.) Philharmonic following a thirteen-year tenure.


A page of the Voynich Manuscript at Yale University’s Beineke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the theme of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s new commissioned work by Hannah Lash (above)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has appointed principal tuba.


At the San Diego Symphony, SAMEER PATEL has been promoted from assistant conductor to associate


What’s New in New England


Bruce Spero

The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has appointed music director.


JAY RASULO has succeeded DIANE B. PAUL as board chair of the Los Angeles


The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has named ORIOL SANS music director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra.


has been appointed vice president for artistic programming and executive producer at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah, N.Y.).


has been elected chairman of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.


The New England Philharmonic, a volunteer community orchestra that performs at Boston University, kicked off its 40th anniversary this fall in typical fashion: with New England Philharmonic Music Director Richard a full-throated commitment to Pittman (above right) works with composer Andy Vores prior to the October 29 world premiere of Vores’s new music. In its four decades the Xylophonic in Boston. NEP has performed nearly 50 world premieres and supported several composers-in-residence. NEP’s season-opening world premiere in October—Xylophonic by former composer-in-residence Andy Vores, led by Music Director Richard Pittman—was followed in December by another world premiere, Bernard Hoffer’s Nocturne: The Timber Wolf. On tap for NEP’s March concert is the first performance of a fanfare by former composer-in-residence Richard Cornell. The season closes in April with two more world premieres: a fanfare by Peter Child (composer-in-residence from 2005 to 2011) and the Violin Concerto No. 2 by David Rakowski, NEP’s current composer-in-residence.

At the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, YVONNE has succeeded VINCE CAPONI as board chair. SHAHEEN

Musical Chairs

RITA SHAPIRO has stepped down as executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra following fifteen years in that post.

DANIEL SONG has been named vice president of orchestra and building operations, and CHELSEA ALLEN manager of community engagement, at the San Diego Symphony.

New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced the appointment of DEBORA L. SPAR as president and chief executive officer, effective in March 2017.

STEVEN SWIFT has been elected board chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


The Santa Rosa Symphony has named BEN TAYLOR development director.

California’s La Jolla Symphony and Chorus has appointed PATRICK WALDERS choral director, effective July 1, 2017. has been named principal oboe in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


The Fort Worth (Tex.) Youth Orchestra has appointed LEE WARREN executive director.

JAMES O. WELSCH has been named music director and general manager of El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras and assistant conductor of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.

Ohio’s Toledo Symphony has named KEN WETSTEIN vice president for development. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera has appointed WALT director of orchestra personnel.



Johnny Quirin

Los Angeles Philharmonic violist MEREDITH SNOW has been elected chair of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians; she succeeds BRUCE RIDGE , who had held the post since 2006.

Baltimore Symphony Taps Kjome for Top Management Post

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced in early December that Peter T. Kjome had been selected as president and CEO following a ten-month search. Currently president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan, Kjome, 49, takes up his BSO duties on February 1, succeeding Paul Meecham, who stepped down at the end of the 2015-16 season to become president and CEO Peter T. Kjome of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Kjome began his association with the Grand Rapids Symphony as principal oboe, and has held the orchestra’s top management post for the past eight years. In 2011 the League of American Orchestras presented him with its Helen M. Thompson Award in recognition of outstanding leadership.

Legacy of Service Last fall the Orchestra of Southern Utah in Cedar City honored June Thorley, who had not only played in the orchestra’s violin section for three-quarters of a century—from 1940 until her final concert in February 2016—but had helped to incorporate the group as a nonprofit in 1989 and then served as its vice president for the next 27 years. Thorley was presented with the first annual Thorley Legacy Award (above) at the orchestra’s opening gala on September 27. Over the years, playing violin in the OSU has become a family tradition. Pictured above right with Thorley are two other former members of the orchestra’s string section: her daughter Colleen Dowse (left) and Dowse’s daughter, Sage Jardine. symphony


Sara Penny

has announced that he will step down as president of the Juilliard School in June 2018. He has led the institution since 1984.


Karl Hugh


League Releases Landmark Studies on Orchestra Diversity This fall, the League of American Orchestras published two pioneering studies on diversity at U.S. orchestras. Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field, commissioned by the League with research and data analysis by Dr. James Doeser, reports on workforce gender and ethnic/racial diversity among orchestra musicians, conductors, staff, executives, and board members. The study uses longitudinal data—going back nearly 40 years in some cases—to identify trends and to establish a baseline of where we stand today. Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras’ Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians, commissioned by the League with research and analysis by Nick Rabkin and Monica Hairston O’Connell, is an in-depth examination of orchestras’ programs to diversify their musician ranks with fellowships for African American and Latino musicians. The report presents data about diversity fellowships from 1976 to the present day; explores the perspectives of fellowship alumni; and contains recommendations that could be used to strengthen not only fellowship programs but diversity efforts of all kinds. Download the reports at the Learning and Leadership Development section of

Lessons in Giving

Maxim Schulz

In May, Virginia’s Richmond Symphony partnered with the city of Richmond for a three-day music festival at the city’s Chimborazo Park, which city councilwoman Cynthia Newbille called a “party with a purpose”: to raise $100,000 for new musical instruments for Richmond public school students. They succeeded in their goal, and in October string instruments went to five elementary schools in Richmond’s East End. Prior to the instrument donation, the five schools had a total of seven instruments among them. Funds from the festival—as well as from corporate and foundation sources—allowed the orchestra to provide each of the five schools with 25 instruments, enough for a full string orchestra per school. The Richmond Symphony also plans to donate instruments and music-related equipment to Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Armstrong High School, and Franklin Military Academy. Above right: Fifth-grade students at Chimborazo Elementary School pose with their new instruments.

File This!

“I’ve admired Dan Kamin’s work for many years. He has a unique talent for physical comedy and wonderful feel for music.” — Ted Wiprud, Director of Education, New York Philharmonic

“Engaging and delightful shows for symphony audiences of all ages.” — Don Reinhold, Executive Director, Wichita Symphony

“Dan is absolutely THE BEST artist you would ever want to work with—his shows are terrific and his residencies really build your audience.” — Delaware Symphony

Check out the file on Dan at

Dan Kamin

Comecdeyrtos Con (412)563-0468 11

Shifting into Gear The inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras is about to get underway in Washington, D.C., with residencies by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic, The Knights, and North Carolina Symphony. From March 28 to April 1, the four orchestras will present education events, symposia, and community gatherings in venues around Washington, along with full-orchestra performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. SHIFT, spotlighting North American orchestras of all sizes, is presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts in cooperation with the League of American Orchestras.


PROGRAM NOTES Informative and entertaining, with accessible discussion of the music itself, as well as lively historical and cultural background information.  Program book editing and layout  Special program book articles  Understandable musical analysis  Text translation

 24-hour turnaround on rush jobs  Notes for chamber ensembles  Audio examples for web sites See samples at: Elizabeth A. Kahn, Ph.D. Joseph S. Kahn, Ph.D. phone: 919 851-2410


Symphony Ad 12004

Playing for Their Lives: The Global El Sistema Movement for Social Change Through Music by Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth. W.W. Norton: 408 pages, $28.95. Since its origins in 1975 as the brainchild of José Antonio Abreu, a Venezuelan government official and conservatory-trained musician, El Sistema has spread to more than 60 countries, inspiring musicians and educators with its potential for uplifting young people, even those in seemingly desperate conditions of poverty and stress, through the rigorous study of music. Tunstall, author of Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music (2013), and Booth, a longtime faculty member at Juilliard and Lincoln Center Education, traveled widely in researching this book, and the result is a blend of anecdotal color and pedagogical analysis. Many activities are documented in extensive photographs. The book is exhaustively indexed, and an appendix catalogues El Sistema-inspired programs in countries ranging from Angola to Greenland to Vietnam, and in virtually every state of the U.S.

League’s National Diversity Task Forces As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the orchestral field, the League of American Orchestras launched several working groups last year, with participants from a broad range of classical music stakeholders, to create action plans to tackle various dimensions of diversifying American orchestras. These groups and their strategic priorities grew out of a convening the League organized in December 2015 in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A larger group then gathered at the League’s 2016 Conference, which centered on diversity and inclusion. Two of the groups, one devoted to developing a national mentoring and audition training initiative for musicians of color, the other a national diversity audition fund for musicians of color, have already found institutional homes, initial funding, and considerable traction. The other groups—on board and staff diversity; the music education pipeline; and parent and family resources—are in various stages of activity and progress. The League will present the outcomes of the diversity task forces at the 2017 National Conference in Detroit.

Reversing Cognitive Decline with Music In 2015, the Fort Collins Symphony in Colorado launched B Sharp, a program for people with dementia and their primary caregivers. B Sharp provides tickets to the Fort Collins Symphony for 30 people with dementia and their caregivers as well as receptions and opportunities to engage with other community members in a social setting. Dr. Jeni Cross, an associate professor of sociology at Colorado State University, is conducting a study that measures the program’s impact on quality of life and social sustainability; preliminary results show that the majority of dementia and Alzheimer’s participants experienced a reversal of cognitive decline from exposure to classical music. Her study notes heightened alertness and engagement and more positive interactions between caregivers and patients. While the study is limited in size, the results as they relate to cognitive decline reversal are substantial. The Fort Collins Symphony is partnering on B Sharp with Colorado State University as well as healthcare firms, local businesses, and the Larimer County Office on Aging. 9/4/05, 12:21 PM



Hamburg Hub

Maxim Schulz

With the opening of the Elbphilharmonie (left), Hamburg is putting itself out there as Germany’s next big cultural hub. On the site of a former warehouse overlooking the Elbe River, the $835 million space features two concert halls, as well as a hotel, restaurant, and apartments. It is designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, and the acoustician is Yasuhisa Toyota. The larger hall features wraparound seating for an audience of 2,100; the smaller space has a flexible stage and seating for 500. The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the resident orchestra, made its debut in the space on January 11 with Music Director Thomas Hengelbrock leading the orchestra—plus the NDR choir, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and vocal soloists—in music of Beethoven, Cavalieri, Liebermann, Messiaen, Praetorius, Wagner, and Zimmermann, plus a world premiere by Wolfgang Rhim.

Hip-Hop + Classical Violist Wilmer “Wil B” Baptiste and violinist Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester—the team aka Black Violin—became a breakout touring phenomenon this season, taking their unique blend of classical music and hip-hop seemingly everywhere. The tour follows the 2015 release of their third album, Stereotypes. The Florida natives met as students in Ft. Lauderdale, where they played in the orchestra at the Dillard High School of the Performing Arts. Classically trained, they developed a popular club act covering hip-hop songs on their string instruments and brought the act to the Apollo Theater in New York, which led to performances with Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean, and others. The duo says its tour and their educational engagement work are “all about breaking stereotypes and bringing out the best in people through music.” At a Violist Wilmer “Wil Brooklyn College performance in late October, the audience was B” Baptiste (left) and packed with everyone from students and hip-hop fans to families Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester of the duo with children, holding up cellphones rock-concert-style. Black Violin

Conductors Daniel Boico Christoph Campestrini Steven Fox Nir Kabaretti Bernard Labadie Richard Lee Mathieu Lussier Dirk Meyer James Paul Gregory Vajda Pianists Anderson & Roe Piano Duo Katherine Chi David Kadouch Alexander Korsantia Benedetto Lupo Dubravka Tomsic Gilles Vonsattel Violinists Nikki Chooi Timothy Chooi Mayuko Kamio Elina Vähälä French horn David Jolley Ensembles Aeolus Quartet Calefax Reed Quintet I Musici di Roma Jasper String Quartet Kelemen Quartet New York Brass Arts Trio Signum Quartet Trio Valtorna Special Projects Acte II Cirque de la Symphonie+ Festival Pablo Casals Prades Collective Ute Lemper Sopranos Tracy Dahl Karina Gauvin Christy Lombardozzi Shannon Mercer Kelley Nassief Christina Pier Mezzo-Sopranos Kristin Gornstein Abigail Nims Barbara Rearick Claire Shackleton Contralto Emily Marvosh Tenors Frank Kelley Jesús León Tilman Lichdi Christopher Pfund Steven Tharp Daniel Weeks Lawrence Wiliford Baritones Anton Belov Jochen Kupfer+ Richard Zeller Bass-Baritones Stephen Bryant Michael Dean Kevin Deas Basses Nikita Storojev Chorus La Chapelle de Québec +non-exclusive 174 West 4th St., Suite 109 New York, NY 10014 phone212.421.7676 fax212.935.3279



Protecting Endangered Species, Helping Musicians The rules that protect threatened species also govern the materials in musical instruments, and the impact on international travel by musicians is complex. Advocacy by the League and partner organizations in recent global treaty negotiations can smooth the way for orchestras and musicians. by Heather Noonan


he League of American Orchestras was a voice for the music community in what are being called “game changing” treaty negotiations over international protected-species rules. The 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) this fall was the largest event in the treaty’s more than 40-year history, and the array of issues under consideration included two key areas that will impact the rules for musical instruments that cross borders among the 183 party countries. As the League’s vice president for advocacy, I was credentialed by the U.S. government and participated in the conference, which ran from September 24 through October 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The League spoke on the floor of the negotiations, hosted a special event open to all delegates, and partnered with other national and international music organizations and conservation leaders to find solutions for musicians that use their instruments internationally. Easing Travel with Musical Instruments

Among the voting delegates assembled in Johannesburg, the European Union initiated efforts to improve the current rules for travel with musical instruments. In advance of the negotiations and throughout the convening, the music community called for streamlining and harmonizing permit requirements for instruments that contain rosewood, ivory, tortoiseshell, and other materials regulated under the treaty. Unanimous approval was given to: 1. Clarify that instruments loaned to musicians may qualify for CITES Musical Instrument Certificates.


2. Specify that the non-commercial scope of the Musical Instrument Certificates includes using the permits when traveling for “paid or unpaid” performances. 3. Recommend that CITES countries not require permits when musicians are carrying instruments as personal effects. If implemented across CITES parties, this personal-effects exemption could help the many musicians who prefer to carry instruments on board flights or as checked items. Since implementation of the musical instrument certificate process began, nearly all orchestra musicians with CITES materials place their instruments in cargo shipments to avoid multiple,

unwieldy permits in favor of a single permit and inspection procedure. If more musicians can carry instruments in-cabin or as checked baggage without needing to obtain permits, they can practice and rehearse at their own discretion (shortly before departure and soon after landing), as well as have the ability to branch away from a tour for other solo and smaller ensemble work. The personal-effects exemption will represent real relief for international guest soloists, small groups, and large-ensemble musicians. The League was recognized by the chair of the proceedings to address all CITES

The League spoke at the negotiations, hosted a special event for all delegates, and partnered with music organizations and conservation leaders to find solutions for musicians. delegates, delivering comments on behalf of the international music community to support these improvements and urge further progress in streamlining and harmonizing international rules for travel with musical instruments. Relief as Rosewood Protections Increase

An original proposal related to the rosewood frequently used in crafting musical instruments would have subjected significantly more musicians to the burdensome travel permit requirements. Entering into the negotiations, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, and Kenya requested listing all species of rosewood (the scientific name of the genus is dalbergia) under Appendix II of the treaty, requiring permits for symphony


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Performers at a special event hosted by the League during the CITES convention were Music Enlightenment Project Founder Adeyemi Oladiran and students Kamogelo Mthembu and Camila Lungile Mathebula.

League of American Orchestras Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Johannesburg, South Africa.

transportation of any rosewood items across borders without exceptions. While musical instruments that contain Brazilian rosewood already require CITES permits under the treaty’s highest Appendix I level of protection and will continue to do so, many stringed instruments that contain Indian rosewood tuning pegs and tail pieces have not been subject to CITES permit rules. As the underlying threat to rosewood species is driven by a demand for large luxury furniture items, the music community successfully appealed to the CITES parties to add an exemption for the small quantity of rosewood found in musical instruments so that permits would not be required when instruments are merely transported across borders for performances and personal use. Sales of these items across borders, on the other hand, require permits as of January 2, 2017. The process of crafting the non-commercial exemption for musical instruments was a very complicated one, and up to the last moment of deliberations it was unclear whether a real solution had been found. On the closing day of the CITES decision-making process, the U.S. delegation, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, took the highly visible and essential step of intervening during the


proceedings to successfully obtain a clarification so that musicians traveling back and forth from their home countries with their instruments will find relief under the new rules. This key leadership by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is consistent with the recent steps taken by the Obama Administration to find solutions for musicians under new domestic ivory rules. Special Event with Musical Performances

On September 27, the League hosted a presentation, together with the National Association of Music Merchants, for all CITES delegates. The well-attended event featured opportunities to address urgent conservation priorities while facilitating international cultural exchange. Representatives from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the World Resources Institute, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Austrian CITES management authority made comments at this presentation as well. The case for the music community was also made not only by the League but also by essential partners from the American Federation of Musicians, the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, the International Association of Violin and Bow Makers, International Federation of Musicians, Pearle Live

Performance Europe, Martin Guitars, and Taylor Guitars. The highlight of the event was—by far—the extraordinary performances provided by two young musicians and the founder of South Africa’s Music Enlightenment Project. Next Steps and Implementation Still to Come

The countries that participate in CITES have 90 days following the conclusion of the negotiations to implement new policies, which means new procedures will be adopted in January. The League will continue to work with our coalition partners as well as U.S. and international authorities to seek the best possible outcome as implementation begins. On December 7, the League co-hosted a nationwide webinar that is now available to view at, in which policy experts review the detailed steps required for compliance with the new rules. As we receive more detailed information about how procedures will change for both travel with musical instruments and sales of instruments across borders, the League will continue to update our comprehensive online guidance on these topics (find information in the Advocacy and Government section of The relationships established at this year’s negotiations form a critical foundation for work to come as CITES parties continue to make policies that impact the music community between now and the next Conference of Parties scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka in 2019. symphony


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The spring 2017 issue of Symphony will be online only. You’ll find all the great articles, news, interviews, and photos of Symphony in the digital version of the complete issue on our website. Plus, the major articles will be available as separate PDF documents that you can easily download and share. As always, the spring issue will feature our indispensable guide to music festivals around the country—and this time, the complete festivals lists will also be available as a separate PDF document for easy sharing.

Stay tuned for emails and updates about the online issue in April.



Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014

Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014

A new study from the League of American Orchestras, Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014, reveals the field’s breadth, vast community reach, lowering of cost barriers, recovery from the recession, and more.

A Study of Orchestra Finances and Operations, Commissioned by the League of American Orchestras By Dr. Zannie Giraud Voss, Director, SMU National Center for Arts Research Dr. Glenn B. Voss, Research Director, SMU National Center for Arts Research Dr. Karen Yair, Vice President, Knowledge Center, League of American Orchestras With Kristen Lega, SMU MA/MBA Class of ’16 NOVEMBER 2016

AWMF This project was supported in part by an award from the Research: Art Works program at the National Endowment for the Arts: Grant #13-3800-7015.


Jesse Rosen President and CEO, League of American Orchestras


Chris Lee

am pleased to share with you Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014. It is the first in what will become a regularly published and publicly available series of longitudinal reports commissioned by the League of American Orchestras. Drawing on multiple data sources, Orchestra Facts looks back over a nine-year period from 2006 to 2014 to tell the story of orchestra finances and operations through the recession years and beyond. Overall, the report tells the story of orchestras' resilience and scope of activity across the country. It demonstrates the depth and breadth of community engagement and indicates a clear recovery from the great recession for the field as a whole. While every orchestra has its own circumstances, the aggregate data in this report provides an essential foundation for analysis, understanding, debate, and action for the field at large. First, it allows us—as a community of performing arts organizations—to tell our own story and advocate for its relevance upon a sound base of facts. Only in this way can we protect our field against misrepresentation by others who are less well informed, and influence the many stakeholders outside of our organizations and communities that play a part in our success: the media, funders, elected officials, and academics, to name but a few. Second, industry-level data should be seen as a key business tool: while national trends should not, of course, directly drive local policy and decision-making, awareness of them can help orchestras to interpret and understand their own local circumstances, as well as to remain informed about the wider industry of which they are a part. Our data analysis was conducted by a team led by Dr. Zannie Giraud Voss, a highly regarded academic researcher at Southern Methodist University, author of Theatre Facts, and head of the National Center for Arts Research. Dr. Karen Yair, the VP of the League's Knowledge Center, is a co-author of the written report. We are grateful to the many orchestras that have contributed to the League's Orchestra Statistical Report, which provides one of the data sets for this report. We also thank the committees of member CEO's, CFO's, PR directors, League musician board members, and others who advised on this report from its inception. Jesse Rosen

Additional funding was provided by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


As orchestras navigate the rapid and profound changes coursing through American society, they are redoubling their efforts to serve their communities through the orchestral experience. In this changing context, orchestras are acquiring new knowledge and information to better illuminate the past and inform action for the future. While each orchestra has its own unique story to tell, and is subject to the influence of local conditions, the type of field-wide data this report provides is essential to any serious attempt at analysis, understanding, debate, and action. Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 is the first in what will become a regularly published and publicly available series of longitudinal reports commissioned by the League of American Orchestras. Drawing on multiple data sources, it looks back over a nine-year period from 2006 to 2014 to tell the story of orchestra finances and operations through the recession years and beyond. The robust analysis it presents will help to shape public dialogue around the role of orchestras, as well as inform the work of orchestras themselves. The report provides a new breadth of data and a statistically sound approach to analysis, incorporating current year and trend panel analyses that draw on the following data sets: symphony


• In the same year, the orchestra field contributed $1.8 billion to the U.S. economy in direct payments for goods and services (NCAR and OSR). • Two out of every three orchestras operated with annual expenses budgets of under $300,000, in 2014 (NCAR and OSR). • Larger-budget orchestras produced the highest output: the 2% of orchestras with budgets exceeding $20 million accounted for 20% of all performances, events, and other activities in 2014 (NCAR and OSR). Some 1,224 orchestras are distributed across all 50 states, as this map based on 2014 data from the National Center for Arts Research and the League’s Orchestra Statistical Report shows.

• The NCAR dataset, which incorporates Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 and DataArts (formerly Cultural Data Project) data. This dataset, along with data from the League’s Orchestra Statistical Report, provides topline operating and financial information for the 1,224 orchestras supplying data for the financial year 2013-2014, as well as for a trend panel of 547 orchestras supplying data every year from 2006 to 2014. • The League’s own annual Orchestra Statistical Report (OSR), which provides more detailed operating and financial information for the 107 orchestras supplying data for the financial year 2013-2014, as well as for a trend panel of 65 orchestras supplying data every year from 2010 to 2014. • A supplemental League education and community engagement (EdCE) data set, which provides detailed information about the EdCE work undertaken during the financial year 2013-14, as reported on by 98 League member orchestras participating in a dedicated EdCE survey. Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras from Dr. Zannie Voss and colleagues from the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University. With the permission of Theatre Communications Group, Dr. Zannie Voss’s work is modelled after Theatre Communications Group’s Theatre

Facts, a report on the state of the U.S. nonprofit professional theatre field that has been published by TCG and made public for over three decades. The authors are grateful to Theatre Communications Group for sharing its report template with the orchestra field.

Key Findings

Here are the key findings of the report., with the data source associated with each finding in parentheses. Throughout the report, we report on changes in figures over time after having adjusted them for inflation. Scope of the Orchestra Field

• In 2014, there were 1,224 U.S. orchestras, distributed widely across all 50 states (NCAR and OSR).

Orchestra Performance Activity and Participation

• Orchestras across the U.S. produced 28,000 performances, activities, and other events in 2014, attracting a total audience of nearly 25 million (NCAR and OSR). • Overall, audiences declined by 10.5% between 2010 and 2014 (OSR), broadly in line with other performing arts sectors (NCAR). This decline was sharpest within tour audiences, which decreased by almost 50% over the five-year period. In contrast, audiences for classical series concerts declined by 5.5%, corresponding roughly to a 3% decline in the number of classical series performances offered. • In 2014, free attendance at orchestra performances, activities, and other musical events was at its highest point in the previous five-year period, and the lowest ticket prices offered were at their cheapest and most affordable level (OSR).

Resources Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 is the first in what will become a regularly published and publicly available series of longitudinal reports commissioned by the League of American Orchestras. Drawing on multiple data sources, Orchestra Facts looks back over a nine-year period from 2006 to 2014 to tell the story of orchestra finances and operations through the recession years and beyond. While each orchestra has its own circumstances, the aggregate data in this report provides an essential foundation for analysis, understanding, debate, and action for the orchestra field at large. Register to download Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 for free at Read questions and answers on Orchestra Facts at Find a press release on Orchestra Facts at


Overall, audiences declined by 10.5% between 2010 and 2014 (OSR), broadly in line with other performing arts sectors. This decline was sharpest within tour audiences, which decreased by almost 50% over the five-year period. In contrast, audiences for classical series concerts declined by 5.5%, corresponding roughly to a 3% decline in the number of classical series performances offered.

• In 2014, the 98 orchestras in our sample delivered almost 19,000 Education and Community Engagement performances, musical activities, and other events, deepening the experience of orchestral music for communities who would typically not otherwise engage with the symphony. Eighty-five percent of these events took place outside of the concert hall, including the 60% of the total that took place in schools (EdCE survey). • In 2014, 2.1 million people participated in the 19,000 Education and Community Engagement performances, musical activities, and events delivered by the 98 orchestras in our sample. Thirty-eight percent of these participants were identified as African American, Hispanic / Latino, Asian American / Pacific Islander, or American Indian / Alaskan Native, while 62% were identified as white. Almost two thirds (62%) participated free of charge (EdCE survey). Orchestra Finances

Across League member orchestras, 40% of total income in 2014 was classified as earned income, 43% as contributed income, and 17% as investment income (OSR). Earned income: • Three quarters of all earned income in 2014 was generated from performance and performance-related activities (OSR). • 2013 was a moment of transition


in ticket buying, as single ticket revenues and group sales exceeded subscription revenues for the first time. However, the reported 6% growth in single ticket revenue and income from group sales did not fully compensate for the reported 13% drop in subscription revenues (OSR). • The subscription model remained important to audiences as well as to orchestras themselves: nearly 1.4 million people subscribed in 2014 (NCAR and OSR). And importantly, we actually see an 18% growth increase in the number of households subscribing over time, even though spend per subscriber decreased (OSR). Contributed Income: • Contributed income remained relatively stable over time, across the field as a whole and through the recession years (NCAR and OSR). • Individual (trustee and non-trustee) donors were found to be the cornerstone of orchestras’ contributed income, giving almost half of the field’s contributed funds in 2014. The broad base of community support for—and appreciation of—the orchestra’s work is demonstrated by the large number of small gifts made by individuals: in 2014, around 75% of the gifts made by non-trustee individuals were under $250 (OSR).

Investment Income: • Investment income fluctuated in line with macro-economic trends, dipping significantly during the recession’s trough in 2009 and again during the 2012 downturn, but recovering by 2014 (NCAR and OSR). • In 2014, larger-budget orchestras met a greater percentage of their annual operating expenses from endowment earnings than did smallerbudget orchestras (OSR). Expenses: • Artistic pay and benefits1 were by far the greatest expenses incurred by orchestras in 2014, accounting for more than 46%—nearly half—of the average budget (OSR), a higher proportion than any other arts and cultural sector (NCAR). • Eleven percent of expenses were dedicated to orchestra administrators’ pay and benefits2 in the same year (OSR). • Cutting the data another way, orchestras’ concert production expenses3 accounted for over two thirds—69%—of all orchestra expenditure in 2014 (OSR). Change in Total and Unrestricted Net Assets: • Change in Total Net Assets: • The orchestra field’s Change in Total Net Assets—or “bottom line” (defined as the difference between symphony


the U.S. economy in 2014, in addition to indirectly fueling the economy through related audience expenditure. Our field deploys the orchestral experience and repertoire as catalysts to meaningful engagement with the communities it serves. It is clear that while this work continues in the concert hall, it also drives a vast array of education and community engagement (EdCE) activities: orchestras not only perform, but also teach, lead, facilitate, and train. The scale of this work is as impressive as its scope: in 2014, the 98 orchestras in our sample delivered almost 19,000 EdCE performances, musical activities, and events—85% of which took place in a school or other community venue. Of the 2.1 million people participating in these events, 38% were African American, Hispanic / Latino, Asian American / Pacific Islander, or American Indian / Alaskan Native, and two thirds participated without charge. At the same time, the cost barriers traditionally associated with attending orchestra performances are coming down: between 2010 and 2014,

In 2014, 2.1 million people participated in the 19,000 Education and Community Engagement performances, musical activities, and events delivered by the 98 orchestras in the League’s sample. Thirtyeight percent of these participants were identified as African American, Hispanic / Latino, Asian American / Pacific Islander, or American Indian / Alaskan Native, while 62% were identified as white. Almost two thirds (62%) participated free of charge.

total income and total expenses)— fluctuated over time, following changes in investment income caused by the 2009-2012 recession (NCAR and OSR). • Despite these fluctuations, the overall Change in Total Net Assets improved by 46% between 2006 and 2014 (NCAR and OSR). • Change in Unrestricted Net Assets (CUNA): • When we narrow our focus to examine CUNA (defined as the difference between unrestricted income and total expenses), we see a welcome drop in the proportion of orchestras reporting deficits (from 40% in 2010 to 18% in 2014). (OSR). • Within the same time period, average CUNA across the field increased thirteen fold, driven by those few orchestras reporting exceptional income from interest and dividends, endowment earnings, and capital gains / losses. At the same time, three out of four orchestras reported at least one year of negative CUNA (OSR). • Our analysis shows that investments play a critical role in keeping orchestras in the black (OSR). Balance Sheet: • Total asset value rose by 4% between 2006 and 2014, indicating overall stability, and liabilities decreased by 7.5%, having peaked at the recession’s height. Consequently, net assets grew at a rate exceeding inflation by 6.6% (NCAR and OSR).

• •

Restricted net assets were concentrated among the larger-budget orchestras (OSR). Working capital was found to be strongest among the smaller-budget orchestras (OSR).


For the first time, this report publicly reveals a detailed picture of the scope and scale of the orchestra field in the United States of America. We find more than 1,200 orchestras distributed widely across

Across League member orchestras, 40% of total income in 2014 was classified as earned income, 43% as contributed income, and 17% as investment income.

all 50 states, each orchestra both participating in and supported by the communities it serves. We find an estimated total audience of 25 million experiencing the 28,000 performances and other musical activities and events created by orchestras each year. And we see orchestras making a direct contribution of $1.8 billion to

the number of free concerts and free tickets increased, while the cost of purchasing paid-for tickets fell. Orchestras find themselves at a moment of transition: not only is their own work evolving, but so too are the needs and preferences of their audiences. 2013 saw a significant shift in the traditional




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orchestra business model, as—for the first time—income produced by single ticket and group sales was higher than that earned from subscription revenues. The challenge to orchestras—which have traditionally relied on proportionally high revenues from a loyal base of subscriber / donors—is significant. Yet the subscription model remains important: the 18% growth in the number of households subscribing shows that demand for sub-

An estimated total audience of 25 million experiences the 28,000 performances and other musical activities and events created by orchestras each year. scriptions is still growing, even if spend per subscriber is down. At the same time, both the stability of contributed income through the recession years and the large number of small gifts made to orchestras indicates a resilient, broad base of community support for—and appreciation of—the orchestra’s work. Our financial analysis illustrates the complexity and resilience of the orchestra business model. Orchestras balance multiple forms of earned, contributed, and investment income, often managing a complex portfolio of asset types. They successfully maintained contributed income levels through the recession years, while containing growth in expenses and—in many cases—actively seeking new opportunities for earned income generation. Overall, the field produced a surplus in 2014 and the proportion of orchestras reporting deficits dropped considerably. Nonetheless, orchestras’ reliance on investment income—and, consequently, their financial vulnerability during leaner times—is an ongoing cause for concern. Orchestras are complex organizations, which—like many nonprofit arts organizations—face new challenges in a changing world. Clearly, every orchestra has its own, unique story to tell. However, by analyzing the field’s evolution through the recession years and beyond, we hope to have illuminated the experiences of the recent past and informed action for the future. symphony


Save the Dates! June 6 – 8, 2017 Plan to gather with your peers for Conference in Detroit, June 6–8, 2017 — the only national conference dedicated to orchestras and their partners.

Hosted by

League of American Orchestras’ 72nd National Conference Tuesday through Thursday, June 6– 8, 2017 Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI

Devra Berkowitz

by Jeremy Reynolds

How can orchestras attract—and keep—millennial audiences? Experimentation abounds.


#Hashtag During the New York Philharmonic’s Off the Grid concert last April, Twitter-user Christina (@TheLastVen) posted an enthusiastic accolade: “Cocktails? Check. Cool location? Check. World class musicians playing an awesome program? Check. Thank you #nyphil #nypoffthegrid.” Kira Selina (@kiraselina) tweeted insights such as, “Celebrating the music of #Spain with the @nyphil… #nypoffthegrid,” and, “I hate clapping when I’m not supposed to #nypoffthegrid #ididntstartit.” A third Twitterer (@missvinyard) piped up during the concert, “Even the musicians are like ‘damn those mini sourdough grilled cheese are delish’ #ny-

poffthegrid.” The concert was geared to millennials, with other attendees posting photos, comments, and even short video clips to their social media pages throughout the chamber performance, which took place in the Housing Works bookstore in SoHo, 70 blocks downtown from David Geffen Hall, the orchestra’s main venue at Lincoln Center. The Philharmonic’s staff posted images and video links throughout the concert as well. Is this the future of concertgoing? It could be. In recent years, orchestras around the country have been experimenting with concert formats and expanding their social media footprints to attract younger, more symphony


Devra Berkowitz

Orchestra technologically “fly” listeners to the concert hall: namely, the millennial generation. As a millennial music-lover and Oberlintrained clarinetist myself, I’ve listened for years to my elders discuss and hypothesize about the impact that the internet has had on my generation. But the time for conjecture is past: for good or ill, my socialmedia-savvy, social justice-minded, online-dating-prone, smartphone-dependent counterparts and I are no longer the “next” generation, but the current. Ranging in age from roughly 19 to 35, the millennial cohort now represents the largest, most racially diverse generation in America, and we’re reaching the stage in

our lives and careers where we’re beginning to settle down, build stability, invest in cultural institutions, and develop relationships with our communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016 millennials (75.4 million people) surpassed Baby Boomers (74.9 million) as the nation’s largest generation. It’s a pivotal moment, with millennials poised to reshape the American cultural landscape to our values, to our image. And what is that image? That is the big question orchestras are grappling with, as they work to adapt the concert experience to the tastes of younger listeners without alienating the current donor base or compromising the art form.

The New York Philharmonic’s three 2015-16 Off the Grid concerts, aimed at millennials, included one at Eataly’s rooftop bar (above) and another at the Angel Orensanz Foundation (opposite left), housed in a former synagogue on the Lower East Side.

Everyone says millennials are different, and we are. We are a highly desired—if sometimes baffling—target audience for orchestras. The millennial generation has radically different concert expectations than the audience of two decades ago— or even five years ago. We do everything from banking to airline travel arrangements on our phones, we make ticketbuying decisions at the last minute, and thanks to YouTube, Spotify, and other free or low-cost streaming sites we’re used to an abundant supply of cheap or free music. Having grown up in the era of ubiquitous iPods and Bluetooth connections that allow us to stay connected to our mu-


sic library while driving, we’re also used to listening to music throughout the day, not just in the concert hall or even in our living rooms. But those of us in our twenties and early thirties love live music just as much as any previous generation, and

cian, I’ve already drunk the classical-music Kool Aid—I hear about a lot of concerts via my regular media outlets, as well as through friends and social media contacts. I’ve made room in my Twitter feed for classical music, as have many of my clas-

Multiple organizations are making a big push to get answers to the question of what millennials like. In 2014, the Wallace Foundation awarded 26 arts organizations sizable audiencebuilding grants as part of a six-year, $52 million initiative; the majority of these groups are focusing on millennials. that includes classical music. Many of us definitely appreciate an excuse to dress smart and revel in an evening of fine music, even if many of us do prefer to socialize all throughout the concert, not just before and after it. Though we may lack the single-minded devotional focus on music of earlier generations, we are less bound to traditional concert expectations, and we tend to be open to new music and innovative concert experiences. Just finding the millennial audience is challenging, as the internet has exponentially increased easy access to myriad forms of entertainment, making orchestras’ voices tough to hear over the cacophony of the American mediascape and entertainment world. This is essential. As a trained musi-

sically trained peers. Getting the attention of non-classically-minded millennials is a harder challenge. What concert experiences do they like? What concerts will get their attention? One significant push in getting answers to these questions began in 2014 when the Wallace Foundation—a New York-based arts and education philanthropy—awarded 26 arts organizations sizable audiencebuilding grants as a part of a six-year, $52 million initiative. The majority of these arts groups are focusing on millennials. Five of the grant winners are orchestras: the New York Phil-

harmonic (awarded $760,000), the Oakland Symphony ($65,000), the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ($400,000), the Los Angeles Philharmonic ($575,000), and the Seattle Symphony ($385,000). For this article, we caught up with the New York Philharmonic and the Oakland Symphony about some of the audience initiatives that have resulted from their Wallace grants. We also checked in on programs at Ohio’s Akron Symphony and the New World Symphony in Florida, just two of the many orchestras that are conducting extensive demographic research and testing new ways to connect with millennials, both in and out of the concert hall. Watching these developments with interest is Catherine Starek, a millennial herself who is a trained flutist with a master’s degree in arts management. Starek— a contributor to Millennial Magazine and a graduate of the League of American Orchestras’ 2011 Orchestra Leadership Academy—has a longtime interest in symphony orchestras’ development and marketing strategies for concerts. “There are creative ways that the same content can be packaged in slightly different ways that speak to a specific generation,” says Starek. “That can help to convey a new, fresh, dare I say, ‘hip,’ atmosphere. For millennials, it’s about the whole experience.” Holistic Approach

Ohio’s Akron Symphony—pictured above in April 2016, led by Music Director Christopher Wilkins—is just one of the many orchestras conducting demographic research and testing new ways to connect with millennials, both in and out of the concert hall. Executive Director Paul Jarrett (inset) says educational concert formats get consistently positive reviews from audiences 25 to 40 years old, who feel like they’ve been “included in something rather than that they were on the fringe or the outside.”


The New York Philharmonic has designed an entirely new millennial-focused concert series using their Wallace funding. “At this point it’s really about reaching people who have never experienced the Philharmonic in the past and giving them an experience that they can understand,” says Katherine Johnson, the orchestra’s director of communications. “We created a series of concerts called Off the Grid, which were chamber music parties with Philharmonic musicians performing and mingling.” Last season’s three Off the Grid concerts took place at a rooftop bar ( Jan. 29); a former synagogue on the Lower East Side (March 15); and at the Housing Works bookstore (April 29). All three concerts were packed with millennials ages 21 and up. At Eataly’s rooftop bar, “the atmosphere was pretty refined,” Johnson recalls. “There was a very sophisticated young group attending, and a lot of interactivity between the audience and the musicians. It was just a symphony


Social and informal formats such as the Kansas City Symphony’s Classics Uncorked series or the Indianapolis Symphony’s Happy Hour at the Symphony, both of which include complimentary beverages; • Introductory formats such as the Phoenix Symphony’s 30-minute season-sampler concert; • Late-night club-style formats like the New York Philharmonic’s Off the Grid series; and • Formats where music is played continuously without applause between pieces, and specific pieces on the program may or may not be announced in advance, such as the New World Symphony’s Journey Concerts exploring the work of a single composer The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Happy Hour at the Symphony series is aimed at millennials and includes free drinks. Above, the trio Time for Three (violinists Charles Yang and Nick Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer) perform with the ISO at a Happy Hour event at Hilbert Circle Theatre, September 2016.

very cool vibe.” Johnson says that the Philharmonic is tracking what percentage of Off the Grid attendees purchase tickets to a traditional subscription series concert, with results and analysis expected out later this year. Other orchestras are experimenting with more relaxed and social concert formats as well. The New World Symphony, which has received several grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation earmarked for audience building, intersperses classical music with a live DJ in a nightclub-style setting for its Pulse series. “Pulse is a great entry product for a lot of millennials,” says Craig Hall, vice president for communications at the Miami Beach-based orchestra. “It’s generally been age-driven, and it’s socio-economically accessible. Pulse isn’t spinning beats over Beethoven’s Fifth,” Hall adds. “Instead, we play straight-ahead classical music. We go back and forth with the DJ, but we don’t mix.” Back in 2008, NWS President Howard Herring began to approach other orchestras with the intent of forming a coalition to research and experiment with strategies to draw in younger listeners without diminishing the art form. Together with the consulting company WolfBrown, the New World Symphony studied the coalition’s audience-building efforts and produced an initial report in 2013. In addition to the New World

phony, that coalition grew to include orchestras including the Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, North Carolina, and San Diego symphonies. In 2015, a follow-up report summarized different trends in millennial-targeted programming, including: • Interdisciplinary and cross-genre formats, which might include multimedia or theatrical elements; • Educational and expository formats, with a conductor or other speaker giving background about the music from the stage;

According to Akron Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Paul Jarrett, educational concert formats received particularly positive mentions from patrons aged 25 to 40 during the ASO’s recent audience surveys, conducted during the 2015-16 season. “Overwhelmingly, people enjoyed and appreciated learning about the context of the music in a non-scholarly format,” says Jarrett. “It allowed them to appreciate and enjoy at a level that they weren’t even expecting. Patrons left feeling like they were included in something rather than that they were on the fringe or the outside.” While larger orchestras can produce millennial-focused series both to attract future audiences and as part of artistic

The Kansas City Symphony events that attract the most millennials are the free Happy Hour Series concerts on weekdays at 6 p.m. The Kauffman Center lobby bars (below) open at 5 p.m., attire is casual, and one-hour concerts feature chamber music programmed by the orchestra’s musicians.


exploration, targeting a new series solely at one age demographic may require too much bandwidth for smaller organizations like the Akron Symphony and the Oakland Symphony. For those orchestras, the ultimate goal must be to draw listeners to the main concert series.

moted the event to great success, with a line “literally out the door for the discount tickets to the upcoming concert,” says Payne. The performance, intended to help raise awareness of the orchestra’s multicultural endeavors, drew new listeners to the main-series concert with the same so-

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, many orchestras have begun tinkering with Snapchat, the popular app that allows users to share images and video clips.

Stefan Cohen

The Oakland Symphony is actively pursuing events that connect musicians and audiences with area organizations, centering its efforts on street fairs so that they can “meet people where they are,” says Oakland Symphony Executive Director Steven Payne. “This can range from annual festivals to farmers’ markets, anything that happens out on the street. People that go to these types of things enjoy supporting local businesses. We want to fit into that locally owned philosophy that exists around those street fairs.” Last year, the

loist. “We were absolutely thrilled,” Payne says. He is currently exploring the possibility of partnering with and performing at a local food bank, inspired by Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul, a nonprofit founded by violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins that has brought more than 80 chamber music performances to New York City and Los Angeles homeless shelters. Such initiatives should be a good fit for the enthusiasm of many millennials for volunteer work and other community efforts. Payne says that he is continuing to reach out to

The San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox series has been successful at attracting millennial audiences.

Oakland Symphony partnered with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center to give a short, 30-minute presentation with VânÁnh Vanessa Võ, a Vietnamese-American composer and master of the Vietnamese zither (dánh tranh). Võ’s presentation— a preview of the orchestra’s “Notes from Vietnam” concert the following week— featured music from three regions of Vietnam fused with traditional, jazz, hip-hop, and classical music. The orchestra pro-


other venues and organizations to form partnerships and bring the orchestra’s musicians out of the concert hall and into the East Bay community at large. Social Media

The New York Philharmonic’s research has indicated—perhaps obviously—that social media and email are the most effective means of reaching millennials, and the marketing team used these tools

almost exclusively to promote the Off the Grid series. “We kept the location a secret until a day before, maybe two days before, just to add an element of exclusivity and mystery and surprise that would make it more of an event,” Johnson says. The Philharmonic and the New World Symphony have also recently begun experimenting with Facebook Live (Facebook’s live video streaming service) to promote their concerts. Among the many other orchestras experimenting with live-streamed concerts are the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Austin Symphony, and Seattle Symphony. Both orchestras have also begun tinkering with Snapchat, the popular app that allows users to share images (called snaps) and video clips. Part of Snapchat’s draw is its photo filters, which allow users to alter pictures by superimposing text or images or modifying the image in some way. For example, a birthday filter may superimpose a banner and streamers on top of a photo, or a vacation filter may add a beach and palm trees to your snap. In recent months, Snapchat has begun to accept filter submissions from individual users or organizations to create personal, regionalized filters, or “geofilters.” These purchasable geofilters must be used within a certain time frame (a concert, for instance) in a certain geographical area (such as a park). In May, the New World Symphony set up a geofilter to promote their season finale, a Wallcast Concert. (Wallcast Concerts are broadcast live on an outdoor 7,000foot projection wall of their concert hall in SoundScape Park, and are free to the public.) The filters—which added the caption “New World Symphony Season Finale with MTT: Berlioz and Sibelius” to their photos—were a huge hit. Patrons used the filters almost 200 times in under four hours, garnering more than 4,600 views. The New World Symphony plans to roll out a duo of custom filters for each Wallcast concert based on the success of last season’s experiment. “The way most of us understand an experience, we usually think that it starts the moment you buy your ticket, the moment you leave your house, the moment you walk into the performance hall, the moment the performance begins—name your point,” the New World Symphony’s Howard Herring says. “But when we think of symphony






The Oakland Symphony is connecting musicians and audiences with area organizations, says Executive Director Steven Payne (inset), centering efforts on partnerships with street fairs so that they can “meet people where they are,” Payne says. Last year, the Oakland Symphony partnered with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center to give a short presentation with Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, a Vietnamese-American composer shown left playing the dánh t’rung. Võ’s presentation featured music from three regions of Vietnam fused with traditional, jazz, hip-hop, and classical music.

experience, we think of a continuum that begins when someone says, ‘Wow, that’s interesting.’ So the question for social media is, what is the social media that triggers that reaction?” The Oakland Symphony is among other orchestras increasing their social-media marketing, especially in the past few years. “What we’ve found through the Oakland Asian Cultural Center event,” says Payne, “is that when we are providing shareable content with the partner organizations, then things really start to take off. So it’s more about having content that is shareable. We also produce a little preview video before every concert. So we’re just making sure that people have windows to see what the concert is going to be like.” The key to successful social-media marketing, says millennial Catherine Starek, is “to figure

out which platform suits your organization best, pick the one where the largest volume of your audience is going to be, and have someone devote time to it. Have a customer service person who can respond very quickly. Millennials grew up with this technology, and there’s an expectation of a really quick reply.” Rate of Return

Paul Jarrett, the Akron Symphony’s executive director, notes that there may be an inherent tension between audience development and donor development, and that while the current excitement over millennials will be beneficial for the orchestra world in the long run, he believes funding toward recruiting the 20- to 35-year-old crowd should not come at the expense of continuing to develop core audiences. “Who are

Defining Generations Greatest Generation (born 1900-1924), including most World War II veterans Silent Generation (born 1925-1945), includes some World War II veterans, most Korean War, and some Vietnam War veterans Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), the generation born following World War II Generation X (born mid-1960s to early 1980s), the generation born after the post– World War II baby boom Millennials (born early 1980s to early 2000s), also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y. In April 2016, the Millennial Generation surpassed the Boomer Generation in size in the U.S. Generation Z (born mid-1990s to early 2000s), also known as Founders, PostMillennials, the iGeneration, or the Homeland Generation


our next donors? They aren’t going to be the 25-year-olds, the college grads swimming in debt,” Jarrett says with a laugh. “They are the group that’s out of the house, the ones with careers looking for their next thing.” More members of the millennial generation are living with their parents than any other. Jarrett continues, “I think with millennials, my approach is seed planting, while working to really target the 40ish to 55ish crowd. Nobody wants to fund audience development research for Generation X people. But it’s exactly where our next generation of funding is going to come from.” From where this millennial stands, it’s clear that the orchestra world is still working to figure us out. As the New World Symphony’s Howard Herring puts it, “there is no magic bullet” when it comes to attracting millennial audiences. But it’s encouraging to see so many reimagined concert experiences out there designed specifically to attract members of my generation. They are being noticed and appreciated, whether it’s the performances in bookstores, parks, and bars or partnerships with food banks, or concerts where audiences and musicians can mingle. I’m looking forward to results of the ongoing research and learning the extent to which social-media marketing and new concert formats are drawing repeat crowds. In the meantime, this millennial is optimistic and having an #amazing time at some of these cutting-edge concert scenes. JEREMY REYNOLDS, a millennial musician and writer, has written about music for the Post and Courier (Charleston) and regularly contributes to the website He is press and publications manager for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.




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Glenn Triest

Violinist AdĂŠ Williams


Nissor Abdourazakov

Pianist Gabriela Martinez

We, the Artists

Concert Artists Guild

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov

Violinist In Mo Yang



Christian Steiner

Matt Dine

Jacob Belcher

Cellist Edgar Moreau

Soprano Julia Bullock

by Lucy Caplan

For today’s emerging artists, a commitment to social equity and engaging new and underserved audiences goes hand in hand with musical values.


n a tumultuous world, the question of how we relate to one another is becoming increasingly vital. Outlets for communication and connection seem ever more necessary, as the combined effects of partisanship, heightened rhetoric, and disagreement about basic facts corrode notions of what we have in common. Musicians, whose work revolves around the inherently social act of performing for an audience, have a natural opportunity to use their voices to shape at least part of the public sphere. So it should come as little surprise that young artists establishing their careers today are deeply invested in the social and interpersonal aspects of making music. The musicians profiled here recognize themselves as members of local, national, and global communities—as artists, but also as people and as citizens. A sense of social commitment informs their artistry. Politics does not determine the precise

contours of these musicians’ careers; their music isn’t about social change, per se, nor is it attached to specific causes. And to be sure, artistic excellence remains a core concern for these musicians, all of whom are rising stars on the international scene. Yet they also see themselves as public voices with the potential for social impact. These multiple strands of their work are compatible—and mutually beneficial. Onstage, they perform in nontraditional venues or speak from the stage to highlight the social reverberations of their work. Offstage, they practice various types of community engagement, work to diversify their repertoire, develop relationships with contemporary composers, and make creative use of technology to engage audiences. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma advocates for this sort of musicianship via his concept of the “citizen artist.” According to his defi-

nition, “the idea of ‘citizen’ implies both rights and responsibilities, while the term ‘artist’ implies someone who uses a specific medium to express a state of mind in the person’s observation of the larger world. A citizen artist combines those two ideas in a way that achieves positive social results.” While the musicians profiled here don’t use Ma’s terminology, they echo his ideas. These musicians are redefining what is means to be an outstanding musical citizen: an excellent artist in one’s own right, committed to creating an engaged community of listeners and an art form that embraces social and cultural inclusion. Making It Personal

For soprano Julia Bullock, a great performance is personal, intimate, and fundamentally human. “I like to look at individuals in the audience,” she says. “I like to have the feeling that my energies encom-


David Bazemore

Soprano Julia Bullock in Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone at the 2016 Ojai Music Festival.

Soprano Julia Bullock


quickly interpret the poems, comprehending the music itself, and simultaneously responding to the sound of the instruments and voices. So by speaking a bit to my audience, it reminds people that these are pieces, written by other humans, presented by humans, usually for a purpose.” A recent project exemplifies Bullock’s commitment to this audience-centered approach, as well as her interest in illuminating music’s social and political contexts. In Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait, which premiered at the Ojai Music Festival in June 2016 and was featured at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival later that summer, Bullock sings arrangements of Baker’s

“If there is not an investment to address exclusion and lack of access, then we are in serious trouble, beyond just the loss of classical music audiences,” says soprano Julia Bullock.

Dario Acosta

pass an entire space, and that human-tohuman contact is palpable.” Bullock, 30, whose upcoming engagements include recitals presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, often incorporates spoken commentary into her performances— a choice rooted in notions of accessibility and inclusion. “I never want people to feel ostracized or left out of a performance because they don’t have enough information,” she explains. “I remember when I first began going to classical performances, and feeling overwhelmed, because there was so much to take in: following the text (often in foreign languages), having to

songs by Tyshawn Sorey, interspersed with spoken texts by Claudia Rankine. Through her performance, Bullock evokes Baker’s own activist-artist proclivities (Baker was both an acclaimed performer and an outspoken voice for civil rights) as well as contemporary social movements like Black Lives Matter: songs like the 1925 “Si J’Étais Blanche” (“If I Were White”) have striking resonance amid today’s struggles for racial justice. Bullock has a flourishing career in opera and musical theater, including recent concert performances of John Adams’s opera-oratorio El Niño and West Side Story (both with the Los Angeles Philharmonic), Porgy and Bess with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and an upcoming production of Adams’s Dr. Atomic with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She envisions scaled-down opera performances

and chamber productions, for instance, as ways to re-center the intimacy of the musical experience. She links her emphasis on connectedness and inclusivity to broader social mores: “There’s an epidemic of cultural exclusion in our world today, even though many institutions appropriate elements of the cultures that they ostracize. If there is not an investment to address this exclusion, and lack of access, then we are in serious trouble, beyond just the loss of classical music audiences.” For Bullock, the implications of creating a more meaningful concert experience resonate beyond the concert hall. Violinist In Mo Yang also emphasizes the importance of establishing a rapport with the audience, stating, “I am a communicator before a musician.” Based in Boston, where he is a student at New England Conservatory, Yang, 21, has won numerous major competitions, including the 2015 Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy. He enjoys a full schedule of concerto and recital performances; this season, he symphony


right to listen.” In support of this goal, he has performed at schools, where he holds question-and-answer sessions with students, and senior centers, where he speaks directly to audiences about the music on his program. For violinist Adé Williams, a 19-yearold Chicago native, laureate of the Sphinx Competition for high school-age Black and Latino string players, and student at the Curtis Institute who recently soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, it’s imperative to rethink a performance model she calls “uptight,” “hold-your-breath,” and “very pish-posh.” Williams says that she loves performing in prestigious halls—she has performed twice at Carnegie Hall—and tells me that the “I made it” feeling of playing there is undeniably exciting. Yet she also relishes the opportunity to play in less formal venues. “Just straight-up dialogue,” she says, citing preconcert talks as a good example of how to make audiences feel more comfortable. “I think that will help a lot. I think the concert experience does need to change in that way, that it needs to be more accessible, so audiences can actually feel like it’s relatable.” Williams emphasizes that live performance has an inherent magic to it, regardless of context. When asked what sets the experience apart from, say, listening to a recording, she exclaims, “It’s completely, completely, completely different!” It lets audiences feel that “this is for my ears right now.” She concludes, “I think live performance is the bomb.”

Violinist Adé Williams

Music can’t effect change completely on its own, violinist Adé Williams says, but it can “influence attitude and emotion and ideas. I think it trickles up to change the world.” disaster relief in Haiti, and has produced two “Adé & Friends” benefit concerts to support city schools and efforts to eliminate child homelessness. As a student at Curtis, Williams participates in a course on social entrepreneurship, volunteers as a violin teacher at an elementary school, and collaborates with music students at the Village of Arts and Humanities, a community art center in North Philadelphia— experiences she describes as “very enriching.” “I don’t know specifically how,” she says, “but I think that activity definitely contributes to who I am as an artist.” Building Community

Pianist Gabriela Martinez believes that “as artists, we have a responsibility to share music and an obligation to reach as many people as we can.” This obligation is also an opportunity: “I love that music can live

Violinist Adé Williams takes a bow at the 2012 Sphinx Competition, Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Glenn Triest

appears as soloist with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra in Virginia, Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Symphony, and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra in Illinois as well as European ensembles including Philharmonia Zurich and the Baden-Baden Philharmonic. Yang sees live performance as an alternative to the cynicism and detachment that permeate many aspects of contemporary life. “There is something so unique about people in these days, people gathering in a hall, being silent, and communicating with no words,” Yang says. “I think it’s a very sincere moment and people are not used to that. It’s a means of communication that is very profound and very direct and honest.” Still, some aspects of the conventional concert hall experience do not exactly encourage community and connection: the rules of attendance deter unscripted communication. Yang, along with many of the artists I spoke with, was critical of these norms as weakening the potential for genuine social interaction. “A concert doesn’t always have to be so strict,” Yang says, recalling his frustration at playing halls where “there seemed to be a boundary between the audience and the stage.” He contrasted this with an experience performing at a senior center in Boston, during which he was able to play “with whole heart” for a smaller and less privileged audience. “I think I have to reach out to people,” he reflects. “Everyone has the

For over a decade, Williams has made community engagement a priority of her musical life. In her hometown of Chicago, she has performed in benefit concerts for causes ranging from local soup kitchens to


Concert Artists Guild

In Mo Yang signs autographs for fans after a concert in Italy.

Violinist In Mo Yang

anywhere,” she says, “and that there is an immense amount of possibility and flexibility of places to perform.” A fifth-generation pianist who hails from Venezuela, Martinez, 31, was immersed in music from a very young age and has won prizes at major competitions, including first prize at the Rubinstein International Piano Com-

petition. As a soloist, she has performed with orchestras including the San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston symphonies, as well as Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra; most recently, she has played with the Florida Orchestra and California’s Fresno Philharmonic. Martinez practices community engagement by working with schoolchildren and leading masterclasses, activities which, in turn, enrich her own artistry: “The act of verbalizing my understanding of a piece for different audiences (e.g., young children vs. avid concertgoers) allows me to think and to communicate about the piece on different levels. It allows me to understand a piece from an intellec-

tual level in addition to a purely musical, instinctive level.” She also invites her audiences to become active participants in her concerts via technology: “Some successful experiences I’ve had,” Martinez explains, “have been voting for encores by text, livetweeting questions or comments to the artists, live Facebook videos and Q&As, and creating hashtags to share thoughts about specific pieces or shows.” Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, a native of Uzbekistan, sees classical music as an art

“There is something so unique about people gathering in a hall, being silent, and communicating with no words,” violinist In Mo Yang says. “I think it’s a very sincere moment, very profound and direct and honest.” form that “transcends all races, nationalities, and creeds.” Abduraimov, 26, who recently gave an acclaimed solo recital at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, says that his initial exposure to classical music derived directly from its ability to connect across cultures: “The Western classical music tradition came to my country,

Nissor Abdourazakov

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov believes that music’s unifying power obliges musicians to share it as widely as possible, through performances and by making music education more broadly accessible.

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov




The exceptionally talented musicians on the Astral roster will engage your listeners, making classical music both accessible and relevant. Consider partnering with Astral to enhance your performances and deepen your community impact.

2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 R O ST E R Gabriel Cabezas, cello Congcong Chai, piano Nikki Chooi, violin Timothy Chooi, violin Jordan Dodson, guitar Luosha Fang, violin Xavier Foley, double bass Julien Mignot

Katie Hyun, violin Natalia Kazaryan, piano

Cellist Edgar Moreau

Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century from the Soviet Union, especially during the Second World War when the Leningrad Conservatory was evacuated to Tashkent. Many of these great musicians and teachers stayed there and raised a whole new generation of musicians.” Since moving to the United States in 2007, Abduraimov has performed worldwide, including performances this season with major orchestras in Houston, Minnesota, Hamburg, Seoul, and Tokyo, among others. Like Martinez, Abduraimov believes that music’s unifying power obliges musicians to share music as widely as possible—whether that means performing for an audience of 18,000 at the Hollywood Bowl (as he did with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2014) or making music education more broadly accessible. He points out that the goal of music education is not simply to create audiences or a new cohort of classical musicians, but rather to facilitate engagement with the art form: “Of course not every child will become a professional musician, but I believe that classical music helps to enlighten people’s lives.” Even when the program is “lengthy and serious,” he says, young people who

Eunice Kim, violin attend his concerts are “very excited and inspired by the music.” Shaping the Musical Future

Several of these musicians describe a need for a wider, more creative repertoire—one that pushes the limits of the canon and expands its scope in multiple directions.

Cellist Edgar Moreau seeks to expand the canon in multiple directions, discovering littleknown but compelling works: “There are a lot of wonderful pieces.” Cellist Edgar Moreau says, “I find it frustrating at times to only play three concertos or five sonatas. There are a lot of wonderful pieces.” Moreau, who at 22 is already an in-demand concerto soloist, has soloed with European orchestras including the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France, as well as the Boise Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony in the United States. As a performer, he makes an effort to seek out underappreciated and unknown

Ayane Kozasa, viola Henry Kramer, piano Christine Lamprea, cello Born Lau, viola Emily Levin, harp Zhenni Li, piano Sejoon Park, piano Timotheos Petrin, cello Project Fusion, saxophone quartet Rolston String Quartet Sarah Shafer, soprano Danbi Um, violin Viktor Valkov, piano Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano Jonathan Wintringham, saxophone Annie Wu, flute Dizhou Zhao, piano A ST R A L 230 S. Broad Street, Suite 300 Philadelphia, PA 19102 215.735.6999


Pianist Gabriela Martinez

works. When preparing to record his second album, he relates, “I decided to search for some original manuscripts in a music library in Paris, and I found Graziani’s Cello Concerto,” a work by Baroque composer Carlo Graziani that dates from the 1770s. His world-premiere recording of the piece, with the orchestra Il Pomo d’oro, was released in 2015. Moreau adds that one doesn’t need to have a personal connection to a piece of music to find it inspiring and meaningful: although he is French himself, “I can be equally close to a German composer such as Brahms, and at the same time a different piece altogether with Hungarian influences, for example a work by Bartók.”

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Simultaneously, many musicians are looking to perform a classical music repertoire that reflects the world we live in and the diverse array of people who perform and listen to it. This aspiration raises questions with clear social relevance: Whose voices matter? Who speaks through classical music? Violinist In Mo Yang emphasizes that contemporary music fulfills this function: “It describes probably best what kind of world

“As artists, we have a responsibility to share music and an obligation to reach as many people as we can,” says pianist Gabriela Martinez. we live in now, because these composers are living nowadays.” Adé Williams highlights the value of a diverse repertoire: “I like looking for composers who are African American or Latin American or just not European, out of the norm—especially female composers.” Julia Bullock seeks to amplify the voices of women and people of color, as well. As an African American woman, she says, “I definitely had some questions about pursuing classical music, as it is a predominantly white, Western-run field.” Her goal is “to provide a space to share those stories that haven’t been told enough” and to “continue highlighting the stories of marginalized people in the genre of Western classical

music.” She adds, “I don’t know if my past experiences have dictated how I make music, but they have certainly influenced how I sing, what I sing, with whom I want to work, the characters I’m drawn to, and the stories I want to tell.” Ultimately, of course, music remains a relatively small part of the public sphere. But citizen artists, to return to Ma’s terminology, can create change in the ways that all citizens can: by using their voices to establish bonds with one another, create equitable spaces, and harness the power of community. In Mo Yang says, “We shouldn’t be too attracted to stardom, but rather think—really think—about our societal function, and how music can make the world a better place.” Williams strikes an optimistic note: “It’s an experience to listen to classical music, and I think that it honestly does have the power to influence ideas.” Music can’t effect change completely on its own, Williams acknowledges. But it can “influence attitude and influence emotion and influence ideas, based on how the music makes you feel. I think it trickles up to change the world.” LUCY CAPLAN is the recipient of the 2016 Rubin Prize for Music Criticism. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, she is currently a doctoral candidate at Yale, where she is writing a dissertation on opera and African American culture in the early twentieth century.

Alan Kolc

Pianist Gabriela in performance with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.




“PAUL JACOBS, the only organ soloist to have won a Grammy Award and “one of the major musicians of our time” –Alex Ross, The New Yorker

2016/17 SEASON September 14 Paul Hall, The Juilliard School New York, NY September 29-30 Severance Hall, The Cleveland Orchestra Copland Organ Symphony Cleveland, OH October 16 The Batte Center, Wingate University Wingate, NC October 20-23 Helzberg Hall, Kansas City Symphony Guilmant Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, Kansas City, MO November 17-19 Verizon Hall, The Philadelphia Orchestra Christopher Rouse Organ Concerto (World Premiere) Philadelphia, PA November 22 Recital, Montreal Symphony Orchestra Montreal, Quebec, Canada

November 23-24 Maison symphonique de Montreal, Montreal Symphony Orchestra Barber Toccata Festiva Montreal, Quebec, Canada December 4 Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center New York, NY January 13-14 Museum of Art Peristyle, Toledo Symphony Daugherty Organ Concerto “Once Upon A Castle” Toledo, OH January 15 Solo Recital, Toledo Symphony Toledo, OH January 29 Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Largo, FL February 24-25 Winspear Centre, Edmonton Symphony Poulenc Concerto Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

March 18 Church of St. Clement El Paso Pro-Musica Festival El Paso, TX April 20, 22-23 Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles Philharmonic Rouse Organ Concerto (West Coast Premiere) Los Angeles, CA May 6 Huguenot Memorial Church Pelham, NY May 11-13 Kennedy Center, National Symphony Rouse Organ Concerto Washington, DC June/July 2017 Director of the Organ Institute Oregon Bach Festival Eugene, OR

307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2006, New York, NY 10001 212.757.0782


EMERGING ARTISTS Our annual listing of emerging soloists and conductors is inspired by the breadth and sheer volume of young classical talent. The following list of emerging talent is provided by League of American Orchestras business partners and is intended as a reference point for orchestra professionals who book classical series. It does not imply endorsement by Symphony or the League.

Conductors Nicholas Collon Frank Salomon Associates, Inc 213 581 5197

A favorite across Europe. Be among the first in North America to introduce the dynamic conducting style, searching musical intellect, and inspirational music-making of this young British conductor to your audiences. Photo by Jim Hinson

Martin Majkut Diane Saldick, LLC 212 213 3430

Matthew Troy Diane Saldick, LLC 212 213 3430

Ensembles Performing with Orchestra Lysander Piano Trio Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

The Strad hailed this 2012 CAG Competition-winning trio’s “incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas.” Repertoire includes triple concerti by Beethoven, Martinu, Nico Muhly, and Lera Auerbach’s Serenade for a Melancholic Sea. Photo by Richard Blinkhoff

Donald Sinta Quartet Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

This American saxophone quartet and 2013 CAG First Prize winner, acclaimed as “a tight-knit ensemble exploding with power and virtuosity” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), offers concertos by William Bolcom, Philip Glass and Steven Mackey. Photo by Joshua Feist/Courtesy of Arts Midwest

PEP: Piano & Erhu Project Latitude 45 Arts Promotion 514 276 2694


Project Fusion Saxophone Quartet Astral 215 735 6999

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Rolston String Quartet Astral 215 735 6999



Instrumentalists Christine Lamprea, cello Astral 215 735 6999

Astral Auditions winner hailed for “supreme panache” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). Winner: Sphinx Competition, Schadt National String Competition. Soloist: Costa Rica National Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and San Antonio Symphony. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography

Sang-Eun Lee, cello Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Prodigiously talented, powerful technique and musical poise” (Washington Post). Performances with the Seoul Philharmonic (Myung-Whun Chung), the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Michael Francis), and at Musée du Louvre. Photo by Matt Dine

Edgar Moreau, cello Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“The rising star of the cello” (Le Figaro). “Solo Instrumentalist of the Year” (Victoires de la Musique). Critically acclaimed Erato recording Giovincello. Highlights: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Photo by Matt Dine

Narek Arutyunian, clarinet Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Reaches passionate depths with effortless technical prowess” (Washington Post). Highlights: Artie Shaw’s Clarinet Concerto with the Boston Pops, Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Prieto), and the Meridian and Albany symphonies. Photo by Christian Steiner

Yoonah Kim, clarinet Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

2016 CAG Competition-winner, this Korean-Canadian is the first woman to win first prize at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. She recently debuted at Zankel Hall with Ensemble Connect, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Photo by Yi-Suk Jang

Raphaël Sévère, clarinet Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Destined for the most brilliant future” (ResMusica). Highlights: Edmonton Symphony, Russian National Symphony Orchestra (Spivakov), Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Photo by Matt Dine

Sam Suggs, double bass Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

Musical America’s New Artist of the Month (October 2015) also won first prize at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition and was named Concert Artist Guild’s 2016 New Music/New Places fellow. Photo by Ron Cohen Mann


Instrumentalists (continued) Seiya Ueno, flute Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“His dynamic performances exceed your expectations of what a flute can sound like” (Record Geijutsu). Highlights: Tokyo Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, and the Nagoya and Kanagawa philharmonics.

Photo by Matt Dine

Jiji, guitar Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

CAG’s 2016 First Prize Winner, hailed by the Calgary Herald as “talented, sensitive…brilliant,” Jiji (also known as Jiyeon Kim) plays a wide range of music from traditional to contemporary. Recent performances with Kansas City Symphony. Photo by Tony Checchia

Olivier Stankiewicz, oboe Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Astounding technique, rich sound, and mature artistry” (ResMusica). Highlights: performances with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, and at London’s Wigmore Hall. Photo by Christian Steiner

Michael Hey, organ Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC 860 560 7800

Juilliard-trained organist Michael Hey’s playing has been described as “crisp…and enticingly communicative” (Straits Times, Singapore). Not exclusively a solo organist, Hey’s career routinely includes collaboration with instrumentalists, vocalists, and chamber musicians. Photo by Alice Young

Fei-Fei Dong, piano Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), this Chinese pianist is a winner of the 2014 CAG Competition and a top-six finalist at the 2013 Cliburn Competition. Photo by Ellen Appel-Mike Moreland/The Cliburn

Remi Geniet, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Simply staggering in pianistic and musical maturity” (Diapason). Highlights: performances with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, and the Richmond Symphony. Photo by Christian Steiner

Tomer Gewirtzman, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

Hailed for his “formidable virtuosity and stylistic sensitivity” (Washington Post). Highlights: performances with the Israel Philharmonic, the Aspen Concert Orchestra, and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.

Photo by Jiyang Chen


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Daniel Hsu, piano Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

2016 Gilmore Young Artist and CAG First Prize Winner, made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut at the Mann Center: “Hsu’s personality came through…he is a judicious dramatist careful not to overplay his emotional hand” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Photo by Chris McGuire Photography

Ji, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Impeccable and effortless technique in a performance full of imagination” (Bangkok Post). Star of Android “Monotone” commercial. Orchestra highlights: Toronto Symphony, BBC Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Nashville and New Jersey symphonies. Photo by Sangwook Lee

Dasol Kim, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“A magician of the keyboard” (Friedrichshafen Herald). Highlights: Tonhalle Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

Photo by Christian Steiner

Henry Kramer, piano Astral 215 735 6999

Winner: Astral Auditions, Juilliard’s William Petschek Recital Debut Award. Prizes: Queen Elisabeth, Honens International piano competitions. Soloist: National Orchestra of Belgium; Brussels, Calgary, Shanghai philharmonics; Orchestre Métropolitain; Bilkent Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography

Daniel Lebhardt, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Formidable, technical, and interpretive skills” (Communities Digital News). Decca Classics recording Béla Bartók Complete Works. Performances with the Auburn and Dearborn symphonies. Recital debuts at Wigmore Hall and the Musée du Louvre. Photo by Kaupo Kikkas

Steven Lin, piano Concert Artists Guild 215 333 5200

Taiwanese-American Silver Medalist at the 2014 Rubinstein International Piano Competition and winner of 2012 CAG Competition. Career concerto highlights: New York Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, National Taiwan Symphony. Photo by Shao Ting Kuei

Andrew Staupe, piano John Gingrich Management 212 799 5080

Pianist Andrew Staupe has appeared numerous times with the Minnesota Orchestra and in concerts with the Baltimore, San Diego, Houston, Indianapolis, Denver orchestras, as well as abroad in Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, and many other cities. Photo by Cody Bess Photography


Instrumentalists (continued) Andrew Tyson, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“A real poet of the piano” (BBC Radio3). Highlights: Orchestra of St. Luke’s, National Orchestra of Belgium, North Carolina Symphony, Moscow Virtuosi, and the Halle and Louisville orchestras.

Photo by Sophie Zai

Ko-Eun Yi, piano Concert Artists Guild 215 333 5200

Korean winner of the 2013 CAG Competition “played with élan and fire and a surplus of bravura technique.” (Cincinnati Enquirer). Featured concerto appearances: Boston Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, and Barcelona Symphony. Photo by Ho Chang

Yun-Chin Zhou, piano Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Stunning technical feats are combined with a touching musical sensitivity” (Huffington Post). Highlights: the China National Symphony Orchestra, Fort Smith Symphony, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Photo by Matt Dine

Brandon Ridenour, trumpet Concert Artists Guild 215 333 5200

2014 CAG Competition Winner “Heralds the trumpet of the future” (Chicago Sun Times). Recent concerto highlights include: Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Edmonton, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo symphony orchestras. Photo by Jiyang Chen

Ziyu Shen, viola Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Making her mark on the music scene” (Isle of Man Courier). First Prize, Lionel Tertis International Competition. Highlights: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester in Vienna, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Matt Dine

Jinjoo Cho, violin John Gingrich Management 212 799 5080

Gold Medalist of the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Jinjoo Cho’s season highlights include orchestras in Madrid, Saarbrucken, North Carolina, Delaware, Santa Fe, Richmond, Canton, Erie and Hawaii. Recitals, too. Photo by Kaupo Kikkas

Nikki Chooi, violin Astral 215 735 6999

Astral Auditions winner. Concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Former member, Time for Three. Soloist: Winnipeg, St. Petersburg, Victoria, Edmonton symphonies; Malaysian, Calgary philharmonics; National Orchestra of Belgium; l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; Louisville Orchestra. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography


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Bella Hristova, violin Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“A player of impressive power and control” (Washington Post). Current concerto highlights: Mozart, Kevin Puts, Barber, Berg, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Delius, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Piazzolla, Stravinsky, Beethoven, and David Ludwig. Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Hye-Jin Kim, violin Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

Yehudi Menuhin International Competition First Prize winner recognized for “supremely musical playing” (The Strad). Featured concerto engagements: Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, and Hannover Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Balazs Borocz

SooBeen Lee, violin Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Korea’s hottest violin prodigy” (Hancinema). Appeared as soloist with Seoul Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra. First prize, 2013 Moscow International David Oistrakh Violin Competition. Photo by Matt Dine

Ji Young Lim, violin International Violin Competition of Indianapolis 317 637 4574

2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Bronze Medalist, 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition First Prize Winner. Soloist in Brazil, Europe, and Asia including the NHK Symphony with David Zinman.

Photo by Denis R. Kelly, Jr.

Aleksey Semenenko, violin Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Powerful technique, rich tone and passionate approach” (New York Times). Highlights: National Philharmonic of Russia, Seattle Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Photo by Christian Steiner

Danbi Um, violin Astral 215 735 6999

Astral Auditions winner. Soloist: Israel Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic, and Dartmouth Symphony. Member: CMS Two of Lincoln Center.

Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography

Stephen Waarts, violin Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

“Played with technical command and a totally natural sense of musical drama” (Strings). Performs more than 40 concertos. Highlights: Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Bremen Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra. Photo by Matt Dine


Instrumentalists (continued) In Mo Yang, violin Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

Twenty-year old Korean First Prize Winner of both the 2014 CAG Competition and 2015 Paganini Violin Competition (Italy) recognized for his “ability to project an engaging sense of inner sincerity through his playing” (Boston Globe). Photo by Neda Navaee

Itamar Zorman, violin Frank Salomon Associates, Inc 212 581 5197

A Tchaikovsky Competition winner, but so much more than a brilliant virtuoso; just listen and you’ll know why he’s been called a “Violin Whisperer” whose special musicality touches your soul.

Photo by Jamie Jung



Gabriel Cabezas Astral 215 735 6999

Jordan Dodson Astral 215 735 6999

Andrei Ionita MKI Artists 802 658 2592

Celil Refik Kaya Diane Saldick, LLC 212 213 3430

Harriet Krijgh Konzertdirektion Schmid +49 30 521370226 Timotheos Petrin Astral 215 735 6999 DOUBLE BASS Xavier Foley Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

HARP Emily Levin Astral 215 735 6999 PIANO Daniel Clarke Bouchard Latitude 45 Arts Promotion 514 276 2694


Congcong Chai Astral 215 735 6999

Anthony Trionfo Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

Seong-Jin Cho Opus 3 Artists 212 584 7500

Annie Wu Astral 215 735 6999

Corey Hamm Latitude 45 Arts Promotion hamm 514 276 2694


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Natalia Kazaryan Astral 215 735 6999 Nathan Lee Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657 Zhenni Li Astral 215 735 6999 Thomas Pandolfi Diane Saldick, LLC 212 213 3430 Sejoon Park Astral 215 735 6999 Alexander Schimpf Diane Saldick, LLC 212 213 3430 Viktor Valkov Astral 215 735 6999 Dizhou Zhao Astral 215 735 6999





Jonathan Wintringham Astral 215 735 6999

Kinga Augustyn Diane Saldick, LLC 212 213 3430

TRUMPET Paul Merkelo Latitude 45 Arts Promotion 514 276 2694 VIOLA

Benjamin Baker Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657 Timothy Chooi Astral 215 735 6999

Ayane Kozasa Astral 215 735 6999

Luosha Fang Astral 215 735 6999

Born Lau Astral 215 735 6999

William Hagen MKI Artists 802 658 2592

Marina Thibeault Latitude 45 Arts Promotion 514 276 2694

Paul Huang Arts Management Group 212 337 0838

Katie Hyun Astral 215 735 6999 Alexi Kenney Opus 3 Artists 212 584 7500 Eunice Kim Astral 215 735 6999 Tessa Lark Sciolino Artist Management 212 721 9975 Andrea Tyniec Latitude 45 Arts Promotion 514 276 2694

Vocalists Samuel Hasselhorn, baritone Young Concert Artists 212 307 6657

Demonstrates “moments of emotion and pure musicality that will not soon be forgotten” (Crescendo). Highlights: Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Carmina Burana (Leipzig). Appears as Masetto in Don Giovanni with l’Opéra de Lyon. Photo by Christian Steiner

Naomi Louisa O’Connell, mezzo-soprano Concert Artists Guild 212 333 5200

CAG First Prize-Winner hailed by The New York Times as “a radiant mezzo-soprano.” Actor, classical singer, and cabaret artist starred as Mélisande in Cincinnati Symphony’s Pelléas Trilogy (Part 2), conducted by Louis Langrée. Photo by Walter Van Dyk

Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano Astral 215 735 6999

Astral Auditions winner. Soloist: Philadelphia Orchestra; Norrköpings Symfoniorkester; Cairo, Springfield, and New Haven symphony orchestras; American Classical Orchestra. Roles: Washington National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Birmingham (UK) Opera Company. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography


Vocalists (continued) BASS


Zachary James Uzan International Artists 212 969 1797

Cree Carrico Uzan International Artists 212 969 1797

COUNTERTENOR Eric Jurenas Schwalbe and Partners 212 935 5650 Randall Scotting Uzan International Artists 212 969 1797

Emma Grimsley Uzan International Artists 212 969 1797 Sarah Shafer Astral 215 735 6999

MEZZO-SOPRANO Krysty Swann Uzan International Artists 212 969 1797

be the first to book the best

“These are the stars of the next generation.” – the Washington Post

Announcing the F i rSt P ri z e Wi NNe rS of the 2 0 16 Y ouNg CoNCe rt Art i S t S i Nt e rNAt i o NAl Audi t i o N S

Benjamin Baker, violin Xavier Foley, double bass


who join our current roster PIANO

Ji Rémi Geniet Tomer Gewirtzman Dasol Kim Daniel Lebhardt Andrew Tyson Yun-Chin Zhou CELLO

Sang-Eun Lee Edgar Moreau

250 West 57 Street, Suite 1222 New York, New York 10107


Nathan lee, piano Anthony trionfo, flute




Samuel Hasselhorn

Narek Arutyunian Raphaël Sévère


Bella Hristova SooBeen Lee Aleksey Semenenko Stephen Waarts


Ziyu Shen fLuTE

Seiya ueno



Olivier Stankiewicz (212) 307-6657

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David Hertzberg Tonia Ko Chris Rogerson



2017/18 concerto roster

daniel hsu piano

fei-fei dong piano

steven lin piano

ko-eun yi piano

hye-jin kim violin

in mo yang violin

sam suggs double bass

jiji guitar

brasil guitar duo

yoonah kim clarinet

brandon ridenour trumpet

naomi louisa o’connell mezzo-soprano


steven shaiman senior vice president, director, artist management

vincent russo assistant director, artist management

charles letourneau senior advisor 49

In With the


One of the biggest thrills of going to an orchestra concert is hearing a new musical work. But first marketers have to get audiences in the door. by Donald Rosenberg




Stefan Cohen

Right: The San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox concerts, held in Davies Symphony Hall’s smaller space, have included works by living composers such as Nathaniel Stookey, Terry Riley, Lisa Bielawa, Nicole Lizée, and Samuel Adams.

Images by photographer Deborah O’Grady (above) were featured in the St. Louis Symphony’s 2016 performances of Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles. Music Director David Robertson conducted the work—depicting Bryce Canyon and other national parks that inspired the composer— at Powell Hall in St. Louis and (left) on tour at Disney Concert Hall in L.A.

Courtesy St. Louis Symphony


rawing audiences to the concert hall can be a challenge in the second decade of the 21st century, even when such old friends as Wolfgang, Ludwig, and Gustav are on the program. So, what’s an orchestra to do when the bill includes works written yesterday or in recent times by Steve, John, or Olivier? As in Reich, Adams, or Messiaen. The St. Louis Symphony faced the music when it scheduled the French composer’s Des canyons aux étoiles (From the Canyons to the Stars) for January 2016. Figuring out how to sell this complex 1974 evocation of natural wonders in Utah—twelve movements over 90 minutes, with nothing else on the program—loomed as a major undertaking for the orchestra’s marketing department. Few listeners in St. Louis likely knew the piece, which didn’t faze Music Director David Robertson one bit. A seasoned and eloquent champion of the new and the recent, he devised a concept for Messiaen’s score he believed would enhance the sonic experience, while also filling the house. The

orchestra would offer the piece with videos and images—by visual artist Deborah O’Grady—of Bryce Canyon and other national parks that inspired Messiaen during a 1972 visit. Providing commentary would be an engaging musician named Robertson. The conductor’s instincts proved right, and the performance sold out, thanks in part to marketing efforts in the months preceding the event. Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony performed it again later that month at Cal Performances, one of the project’s co-commissioners (the others are the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony, and Washington Performing Arts). Like many American orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony uses all sorts of approaches to get the word out—what Marie-Hélène Bernard, the organization’s president and CEO, calls “the buzz we create in the community of ‘Do not miss this.’ People will come because it’s not to be missed—because they’re going to have a cultural experience. That becomes a drive.”


Trumpie Photography

Music Director Timothy Muffitt conducts Michigan’s Lansing Symphony Orchestra, which mixes new and more familiar scores at each of its five season MasterWorks programs.

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-17 season finale in May will include the world premiere of a new percussion concerto by Paul Dooley (left), with Lisa Pegher as soloist. Rachel Santorelli (right), the Lansing Symphony’s director of marketing and communications, is setting up advance media coverage that includes interviews with Pegher and Dooley.

poser Avner Dorman’s works have been commissioned by many ensembles in the United States and abroad, including the chamber orchestra CityMusic Cleveland, of which he is music director. Dorman says, “There is a very deep risk aversion when you’re in a repertoire-canonic field. But risk is newsworthy, and risk aversion is less newsworthy.”


Trumpie Photography

Natali Contreras

Whatever the means used to lure bodies into seats, programming new music on orchestra concerts continues to be a tricky endeavor, though it also can be an ideal way to emphasize an orchestra’s importance to the local community. By showing commitment to the new and recent, an orchestra confirms its relevance and pride in taking chances. Israeli-born com-

During the past few years there has been a noticeable surge of interest in concerts of new music—specifically in younger concertgoers, who seem more likely to want to try out something new, and sometimes prefer it over older repertoire. Still, it’s not a far stretch to say that most audience members who attend their local symphony orchestra go to hear the standard repertoire, dating roughly from the mid-eighteenth century to the early part of the twentieth. To make a movie analogy, it’s a lot simpler to market a sequel—Jaws II or Jaws: The Revenge—if your audience has already seen the original Jaws. And for some members of the audience, it can take a long time before a piece isn’t considered new anymore. In a 2015 survey, the New York classical music station WQXR asked listeners: “What Does the ‘New’ in ‘New Music’ Mean to You?” The results: 37.2 percent said new music signifies music written in the last 20 years; 28.1 percent, the last 40 years; 27.2 percent, the last 60 years; and 7 percent, the last 80 years. In this article, we focus on how some orchestras market new music as part of a broad mix of concerts that include standard repertoire. Of course, there are plenty of ensembles devoted exclusively to new music, groups such as International Contemporary Ensemble, wild Up, and Eighth Blackbird, with lots more forming all the time. Marketers for those ensembles’ concerts need to be effective at reaching audiences who are already deeply interested in living composers and the new-music scene.

There are also orchestras with specific series created for and marketed to new-music enthusiasts: the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox concerts, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series, and the New York Philharmonic’s SONIC concerts, for example. And there are annual new-music festivals like the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Soluna Festival, the Albany (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival, and the Winnipeg Symphony’s Winnipeg New Music Festival in Canada. But at orchestras that perform new music as part of a broad season-wide mix of music, marketers must aim at many different demographics. And those orchestras must pull out all the marketing stops when a piece written—according to WQXR—since 1936, 1956, 1976, or 1996 is prominently featured or, in more than a few cases, sandwiched amid familiar topsellers. Orchestras promote newer music with newspaper articles and ads, radio spots, email, Tweets and Facebook posts, and myriad other delivery systems—and by making direct connections through public events with composers and soloists. “Our goal, of course, is to give everyone enough information before they come to a concert so that after the concert they’re thrilled and say, ‘Wow, this is exactly what you told me what it was going to be and it exceeded my expectations and we’re really happy,’ ” says Joan Cumming, vice president for marketing and communications of the San Diego Symphony. “Consumers like to avoid risk. You want to lower the risk bar for everybody.”

There is no widespread agreement about what constitutes new music, according to an informal survey conducted in June 2016 by New York classical radio station WQXR.



California Combinations

Many orchestras offer separate series devoted exclusively to new music, such as the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox, which draws listeners not versed in classical music, perhaps due to the lack of music education in schools. The series includes ten events a year—each concert sells out in twenty minutes, according to Russell Kelban, the San Francisco Symphony’s chief marketing director—in a black-box space deep within Davies Symphony Hall, the orchestra’s home. Audience members sit on sofas, ottomans, and love seats sipping drinks and eating snacks while they listen. SoundBox concerts routinely sell out, but can accommodate only about 500 people—as opposed to Davies Hall’s more than 2,500 seats. The orchestra also performs a healthy number of recent and new works upstairs

“Most people aren’t afraid of the new or the unfamiliar,” says Russell Kelban, the San Francisco Symphony’s chief marketing director. “They want to get an idea of what they’re walking into.” in the main hall under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas—who has always maintained close relationships with prominent composers—and guests. Kelban’s challenge, he says, is “not so much defining new music unto itself. You have to look at the audience. It’s all relative. What’s new for one segment may not be new for another.” In other words, know your audience well enough to predict whether “new” might mean twentieth-century trailblazers like Schoenberg and Berg, or living composers such as Andrew Norman, Christopher Cerrone, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. In addition to time-honored advertising and journalistic techniques, the San Francisco Symphony produces podcasts and weekly e-newsletters about unfamiliar music coming to Davies Hall. “We spend a lot of time speaking with patrons, whether

that’s through actual focus groups or surveys,” said Kelban. “That could be anyone from subscribers to single-ticket buyers. One thing they’ve said to us over and over: they want context; they want to be educated. Most people aren’t afraid of the new or the unfamiliar. They want to get an idea of what they’re walking into.” Tilson Thomas aims to achieve a careful balance that appeals to those who prefer the classics and those who seek adventure, says Kelban. “We have an obligation as an institution to expose and share new music to each of those segments in a way that’s very inviting and compelling and engaging. Typically, it’s a combination, a potpourri of music, so they get a nice taste and variety which includes some of the new and some of the traditional, presented in the best manner possible.” The role of orchestra marketing departments varies. Some have more input into programming than others. At smaller orchestras, the music director generally chooses the repertoire and the marketing department goes out and sells what he or she has picked. Other marketing departments chime in to programming decisions in the hope that conductors and artistic administrators will listen to practical advice. “Sometimes we will have a dialogue,” Kelban said. “What could we do to increase the numbers? That’s another conversation. Maybe we can add something like Stravinsky’s Firebird or [Mozart’s] ‘Jupiter’ to the concert. Other things have a proven track record that this market enjoys. We will take risks. We talk about different artists and composers. As long as we know we’re walking into it with our eyes wide open about what we can accomplish in the size of the audience and the size of ticket sales, we’ll sign up for it.”

conversations, orchestras team with local libraries, museums, and schools to generate interest in the personalities behind the music and ultimately the concerts themselves. “Marketing new music is a whole lot more than advertising,” says Ed Harsh, president and CEO of New Music USA, a new-music advocacy nonprofit based in New York City. “Marketing is connecting human beings with activities. One of the beautiful things about current composers is that they’re alive and they can actually interact with those human beings in those marketplaces.” Harsh believes that the ways orchestras market new music deserve grades “from great to terrible.” The most effective, he says, are those that support composer residencies and bring the public into the mix by making them aware of events preceding the concerts. “Obviously, advertising is an important tool, but I also have an issue with the idea of overhyping the world-premiere thing,” he said. “Lots of pieces get first performances and get lost afterwards. So that’s why I’m Carolyn Dwyer, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s manager of marketing and communications, says, “When you give people a chance to know a composer in person in an intimate setting, they’re able to connect with them on a very personal and visceral level.” Below: Princeton Symphony Orchestra Music Director Rossen Milanov and composer Sarah Kirkland Snider in a “Behind the Music” conversation, May 2016.

Selling Excitement

Orchestras often find they are most successful in drawing listeners to concerts containing new music when those artists and composers show up for more than just the performances. These activities may or may not be considered part of marketing. Along with pre-concert






David Robertson, conductor Peter Henderson, piano Deborah O’Grady, video artist

MESSIAEN Des canyons aux étoiles... (From the Canyons to the Stars...)

Performance features projected images of nature by video artist Deborah O’Grady.

Courtesy St. Louis Symphony


From the Canyons to the Stars…, a monumental work never performed in St. Louis, features intoxicating colors and beguiling rhythms alongside projected images of Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument by video artist Deborah O’Grady with insightful commentary from the podium by David Robertson. This musical narrative is performed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. DOWNLOAD OUR APP


St. Louis Symphony President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard (left) says the orchestra uses all sorts of approaches to get the word out—what she calls “the buzz we create in the community of ‘Do not miss this.’ ” Top: A marketing poster for the orchestra’s recent performances of Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles.

suspicious of the advertising of world premieres. It is great to hear a piece for the first time. But if that’s all one is doing— let’s have two famous pieces and then a world premiere, too—that feels like you’re not maximizing the advantage of living composers.” Harsh adds, “Living artists are powerful folk, and I would love to see more orchestras realize that and build that into their programming.” Orchestras of many sizes are doing just that these days. Michigan’s Lansing Symphony Orchestra mixes the beloved with the new or unfamiliar on the five programs—single performances—in its annual MasterWorks series. One program during the 2016-17 season led by Music Director Timothy Muffitt places John Corigliano’s Gazebo Dances between Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. For the season finale this May, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture will follow three dances from Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Michael Torke’s 1985 Bright Blue Music, and the world premiere of Paul Dooley’s Percussion Concerto, with Lisa Pegher as soloist. Rachel Santorelli, the Lansing Symphony’s director of marketing and communications, is planning ahead for the Dooley premiere. She has begun making contact with local newspapers and radio stations to interview Pegher and Dooley, a gradu-


Old and New, Juxtaposed

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey performs programs created by Music Director Rossen Milanov, who consults on repertoire with Executive Director Marc Uys. Milanov is “very aware of the Princeton community and makeup of people in this area. They’re inquisitive, well read, and have voracious cultural appetites,” says Carolyn Dwyer, the orchestra’s manager of marketing and communications. “He loves it here because of everybody’s excitement for things that are new and interesting, so he’s able to blend estabComposer Avner Dorman, music director of the chamber orchestra CityMusic Cleveland, says, “I’ve had the whole first half of a concert for a work of mine. There was a positive response because they didn’t hide the new music, they framed it as a fascinating and unique opportunity.”

lished repertoire that people are familiar with and newer works. He kind of likens it to having a gourmet meal, as opposed to the same meat and potatoes every week.” These ingredients require Dwyer to sell a number of programs containing music that audience members probably have never heard. Among this season’s concerts are two with particularly tantalizing menus.

Spencer McCormick


ate of nearby University of Michigan, and to schedule pre-concert conversations. “Audience members get more insight into the pieces, and they’re hearing it from the mouths of the performers,” she says. One of the Lansing Symphony’s programs this season is made up of works that are far from new, but that likely will be firsts for most audience members. The February concert, “From Spain to the Americas,” includes music by Lecuona, Tenreiro, Rodrigo, Chavez, Ginastera, and Márquez, and will feature guitarist Sharon Isbin. Santorelli said Muffitt “does an amazing job with programming and kind of taking the audience on a journey. They really trust him. They’re very open to hearing new music and what he’s programmed.” Lesson: building the audience’s trust in the taste of the music director is also a good way to build interest in new music.

Ed Harsh, president and CEO of New Music USA, a newmusic advocacy nonprofit, says composer residencies are especially effective when they bring the public into the mix.

The first, in January, is titled “Un/Restrained” and focuses on music of several cultures. The lineup includes Belarus-born composer Wlad Marhulets’ Concerto for Klezmer Clarinet, with David Krakauer as soloist. Soon after the program was scheduled, Marhulets won the inaugural Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music for the concerto. Dwyer has spoken with a local Jewish

Increasingly, composers and orchestras are working together to produce video interviews and podcasts, as well as create ongoing dialogue with Tweets and Facebook posts. newspaper about interviewing Krakauer, who, it turns out, had inspired Marhulets to take up clarinet as a teenager. The orchestra’s May concert, “Metamorphosis,” will open with the U.S. premiere of Chinese composer Zhou Tian’s Broken Ink. (It shares a program with disarming chestnuts: Debussy’s La mer and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.) During his mini-residency with the Princeton Symphony, Zhou will join Milanov for a multi-media presentation that explores the work’s roots in Chinese poetry and calligraphy. The event will be held at the Princeton Public Library, which has an extensive collection of Chinese calligraphy. After the concert, audience members will have an opportunity to meet the composer. “It’s a total package,” says Dwyer. “It’s great that people as a whole [in Princeton] love novelty, something new and fresh. What I think they’re afraid of are terms like avant-garde, which make them fearful. When you give them a chance to know a composer in person in an intimate setting, they’re able to connect with them on a very personal and visceral level. We symphony


Composer Dialogues

There are many kinds of broader marketing that go beyond selling a single piece, and composers are typically an important part of the equation. Increasingly, composers and orchestras are working together to produce video interviews and podcasts, as well as create an ongoing dialogue with Tweets and Facebook posts. One longterm approach to commissions and marketing is happening through the Music Alive program, which supports extended, multi-year composer residencies at orchestras. Since it was launched in 1999 as a joint program between New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras, Music Alive has supported more than 100 composers in residencies at U.S. orchestras. Engaging the public is one of its principal missions. (Lead funding for Music Alive is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Amphion Foundation, and The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.)

During his Music Alive residency in 2015-16, Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen made numerous trips from his homeland to California’s Orange County to work with the Pacific Symphony. “He’s an incredibly generous guy who doesn’t mind getting on a plane for twelve hours to hang out for a few hours [with the orchestra] and go home,” says Harsh. “Community-wise, Orange County is unbelievably diverse in terms Narong Prangcharoen visits with art and music students at the Irvine of ethnicities, races, and Chinese School as part of his Music Alive residency in 2016 at the cultures. Narong went to Pacific Symphony. Prangcharoen’s residency culminated with the performance of a commissioned work, Beyond Land and Ocean. bars and street fairs and around, a local composer can go a long talked to folks with the hope of getting stoway.” ries from Orange County in a way he could With creativity, there must be respect, incorporate into the piece [he was writing]. says the St. Louis Symphony’s Bernard. Mozart’s dead. Mahler’s dead. They can’t “We try to never underestimate the audilisten anymore. And Narong can listen. He ences. That’s number one. We completely said, ‘I want to hear from you what makes explore all the angles of the work—whethyour community special to you.’ There are er it’s the composer, the composer’s legacy, so many things you can do with somebody the work or how it was written, how does who lives in the present. With a little creit connect to society today, world events, or ativity, even if there’s not a lot of money what would be meaningful for the audience. We do an exhaustive review. We find the value, message, and hooks.” In his experience, composer and conductor Dorman says, marketing efforts have the greatest impact when orchestras program concertos, since soloists have the potential to elicit the most attention. All the same, he says, “Orchestras that think about new works in holistic terms are the most successful. I’ve had the whole first half of a concert for a work of mine. Then they kind of made a big deal about that. From my perspective, that was very effective. There was a positive response because they did that, because they didn’t hide the new music. In fact, they framed it in the opposite way: this is a fascinating and unique opportunity.” Nick Koon

live in an area where there’s a sizable Chinese population, so we’re likely to reach out to those groups to let them be aware of this.”

At the San Diego Symphony (above), the goal “is to give everyone enough information before they come to a concert so that after the concert they’re thrilled,” says Joan Cumming, vice president of marketing and communications.

DONALD ROSENBERG is editor of EMAg, the magazine of Early Music America, and author of The Cleveland Orchestra Story: “Second to None.”


Classic Approaches

Kentucky’s Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra is working to reach new audiences with educational forums that go beyond a sales pitch, including concerts at the Lexington Aviation Museum (top) and at the University of Kentucky Visual and Arts Center (above).

Is there a “right” way to market the standard symphonic repertoire? The orchestra professionals who perform this important job are drawing audiences into the concert hall using creativity and passion. And the key might be turning the unfamiliar into the familiar.

M Digital platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter are critical to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s marketing efforts, including a recent TSO Late Night event featuring the world premiere of Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra by Mike Mills of R.E.M.—alongside Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.


by Melinda Bargreen

arketing America’s symphony orchestras used to be so much simpler. Season renewal flyers fluttered into subscribers’ mailboxes, checks were written and mailed right back, and the faithful were lined up for another year of orchestral concerts and presentations. Today, it’s a different story—or a whole book of stories, each tailored to the requirements of a much more fragmented audience. Yes, there still are lots of season subscribers, but there are also choosy millennials who prefer to do their spur-ofthe-moment shopping with “one click” and who don’t want to commit to a whole season. There are audiences who won’t go near new music, avant-gardists who disdain Beethoven, and fans who crave the big-name soloist. Clearly, the “one size

fits all” methods of attracting and engaging concertgoers are long gone. And with stiff competition for ticket-buyers’ attention, it’s the marketer’s job to show that the orchestral concert will give them a better experience than Netflix or cable— often one that they weren’t expecting. (For an in-depth look at changing subscription patterns, read the League of American Orchestras’ Reimagining the Subscription Model, which can be accessed directly at Conversations with marketing teams at several orchestras revealed a group of people who approach their jobs with a fervent passion for getting audiences into their concert halls to hear the music, a passion that matches anything you’d see or hear on the stage. Here’s where it gets interesting: symphony


The Las Vegas Philharmonic and Music Director Donato Cabrera in performance. As part of marketing efforts, the orchestra offers popular “Coffee with the Conductor” gatherings where audience members can meet Cabrera.

although every orchestra is dealing with a similar array of central challenges, each one is finding a unique set of solutions. Certainly there is common ground. But just as scientists say of diamonds, no two orchestras are exactly alike. And what is it these professionals are marketing? Mainly, it’s what is traditionally called “standard repertoire”: regularly programmed symphonies and other classic works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and the like. And yet, if when we talk about “the classics” we are referring to pieces that are known and recognized by the general public as part of our shared Western culture, we may have to put aside that traditional definition. One of the most surprising takeaways from these conversations is something that marketing professionals stated repeatedly for this article: they don’t see a distinction between “the classics” and “new music.” Over and over, they said that for them the schism is the challenge of marketing “the familiar” versus marketing “the unfamiliar.” And what is “unfamiliar” may be a growing category. These days, due in part to the dominance of pop culture, shortened attention spans, and the widespread neglect of music education in many schools, fewer of the classics are really familiar to listeners who may know Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” but have never heard of his “Linz” Symphony. Most

certgoers know who Mahler was, but they haven’t heard of his less famous works like “Das klagende Lied.” Beethoven’s First, Second, or Eighth Symphonies are not necessarily an automatic draw. But when the eternal Fifth is on the program, it’s enough of an attraction to bring in listeners who may be surprised to discover that they love the lesser-known portion of the program, too. The challenge is drawing listeners in to hear something unfamiliar—and using as bait something familiar like Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony or the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with a top-billed soloist. For orchestra marketers, dealing with so much “terra incognita” can be daunting, but they love the challenge.

M A H LE R SEP 19-21 | 2014


Dallas: Images and Clicks

At the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Vice President of Marketing Sean Kelly finds a way to distinguish every one of the more than 30 concert programs the DSO presents. “We create unique art for all of our titles as a cue to patrons,” he says. “There’s a different card, email, billboard, literally for every concert. We assign titles to the staff to research; even the dyed-in-thewool staffers have something to learn— there’s a swan in Lohengrin!” Even though, Kelly notes, orchestras “perform on instruments that haven’t changed much, and repertoire that can be hundreds of years

Like many orchestras, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra use dynamic photos of their music directors (Andris Nelsons, top, and Jaap van Zweden, above) to market concerts.


old,” it’s his job “to reflect the product. What a symphony orchestra really is about is excellence.” Kelly’s marketing team creates “mood boards” for each program, “with collages of images reflecting the feeling you have when you leave each concert: thrilled, or thoughtful, or patriotic. We choose images the patron will react to, and the image tells the story. And sometimes the most powerful image is a photo of Jaap van Zweden,” the DSO’s music director. Kelly and his staff test the power of those chosen images with emails. Did the recipients click? Did they buy? Most of the time, there’s one image that is a clear winner: perhaps an arresting photo of the soloist, or perhaps a view of a mysterious dark alley with a light at the end, for a Brahms program. The DSO avoids clichéd images, like a rose on a piano or an array of klieg lights. Like many orchestra marketers, Kelly is passionate about the work. “We push the envelope in what a symphony is for, and what it does,” says Kelly. “I come into work every day, never bored, because it’s always new. The work we do matters.”

member and keep for a long time.” He creates buzz by emailing audiences, typically once every two weeks, about educational forums that go way beyond a sales pitch, letting them know the LPO is “not just a concert orchestra but also a moving vehicle.” Chamber ensembles and string quartets go out into community and commercial venues such as breweries to communicate the excitement of live performance. And the result is what Dominguez calls “a slow, steady incline” in audiences. The LPO also creates videos about composers and programming—shared on Facebook/Twitter and also embedded/ distributed to subscribers via e-newsletters—makes generous use of posters and

Lexington, Kentucky: Telling Stories

postcards, and always looks for educational opportunities and a variety of approaches. Some patrons, Dominguez notes, like to have brochures in their hands; others prefer electronic media. “It’s just like the preference for a paperback or an e-book,” he says. Dominguez says using video “has allowed us communicate all our stories and provide greater accessibility to both older and younger audiences.” What spurs Dominguez forward is the thrill of “getting it right” in connecting with potential symphony audiences, at a time when there’s more competition for their attention than ever before. “These days, people are numbed by entertainment and media. They want to be impressed, and it’s hard to catch their attention in a way that reels them in,”

M. Kitaoka

In Marketing and Communications Manager Vincent Dominguez, the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra has just the person to reach the younger generation: 26 at the time of our interview, he knows his peers are looking for “more than just an experience, but something they will re-

A marketing challenge: Most concertgoers know Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” but may have never heard of his “Linz” Symphony. What is “unfamiliar” may be a growing category.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Vice President of Marketing Sean Kelly says he and his marketing team create “mood boards” for each program, “with collages of images reflecting the feeling you have when you leave each concert: thrilled, or thoughtful, or patriotic.”


Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra Marketing and Communications Manager Vincent Dominguez (in photo) creates videos about composers and programming, shared on Facebook, Twitter, and distributed to subscribers via e-newsletters.

Dominguez explains. “We look closely at what’s trending, what gets results. Then we can tell our story in a way that gets the key to turn the lock.” Boston: All in the Programming

At the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chief Operating and Communications Officer Kim Noltemy points out that more than 20 percent of the BSO’s audience is composed of doctors and researchers, not surprising given that the city is home to many colleges and a large medical community. The marketing messages must be as specific as possible without being overly complicated. And, says Noltemy, “Our research shows that the conductor is not the most important element. Even though we have a popular music director [Andris Nelsons], it’s more the programming [that attracts audiences]. Soloists are very appealing, but it’s not just their fame: it’s that they’re going to play someone’s favorite violin concerto.” Marketing new works is always a challenge: “We program new works alongside core repertoire that people want to hear,” says Noltemy. “And afterwards you hear that many people really enjoyed the new piece. We have a wonderful PR team that will pitch several different angles so that people will give the new music a try. Sometimes you can get an endorsement that will mean a lot—if Yo-Yo Ma likes the composer, for instance.” Noltemy presides over what she calls “a multi-pronged complex with many components.” She and her staff segment their overall electronic and print campaign, with one part directed toward the more knowledgeable audiences and another to the less experienced. For the latter, she notes, “We talk about the BSO history, the fact that Symphony Hall is a marvel and the musicians are wonderful, and give some great background. It’s not just marketing rhetoric; we show them why the BSO is symphony


Las Vegas: Flexible Ticket Packages

The Las Vegas Philharmonic faces a unique marketing challenge: it’s in a city that is home to some of the world’s glitziest competition for the entertainment dollar. Michele Madole, the orchestra’s vice president of marketing and public relations, says the Philharmonic’s key is constructing options and products that appeal

Michael Blanchard

worthy of their time and money. We have the brand: people are already confident the BSO is going to be good.” Nonetheless, the orchestra spends a great deal of effort on education. During a monthly series of 75-minute programs called “BSO 101” in Boston and suburban venues, a program annotator speaks about current programming, with BSO musicians on hand to illustrate with musical selections. “BSO 101” is aimed at a level of listeners who know something about music but want to learn more. “These events are free—and people love them,” Noltemy observes. “They convert to concert attendees over time. They really like the participation of BSO musicians and the demonstrations of the music.” Especially effective are emails with embedded videos; a threeminute video “can go a long way to show why they should come,” she says. And come they do, up to 200 BSO 101 guests per event. “We are an expensive ticket,” Noltemy observes. “It’s a big risk to pay for a soloist they don’t know. I’ve been doing this for twenty years, and at first there were maybe fifteen soloists who would sell out a program. Now, it’s more like five or six. We’re never going to get everyone to go to a concert twenty times a season, as in the past. If you only go to three concerts a year, why take a chance on the unknown? The reality is, we just have to work. If every audience member came to just one more concert, we’d all do fine. So we move them along the spectrum of attendees, making their overall experience better, showing them why they should come more often.” Noltemy observes that prognosticators have been claiming for 40 or 50 years that orchestras would soon go out of business—and through hard work and imagination this has hasn’t happened. “I have hope,” Noltemy says. “I believe in the amazing power of live music.”

site and emails with embedded visual/audio links, and social media like Facebook and Twitter, as reasons why they’re seeing more young patrons in the concert hall. The LVP also uses what Madole calls “the power of word of mouth, engaging ‘ambassadors’ who Boston Symphony will sing the praises Orchestra Chief of our concert experience” in person and Operating and online. Communications Those ambassadors Officer Kim Noltemy emerge through intimate “Coffee with says that emails with embedded videos are the Conductor” gathespecially effective; a three-minute video erings, where ten to “can go a long way to show why they should twelve invited patrons meet and chat with come,” she says. Music Director Donato Cabrera over coffee and pastries. One to “the individual tastes of consumers at all such event at a local patisserie last Seppoints of the spectrum.” There’s a variety of tember produced a “lively and free-flowing subscription packages, single tickets, and conversation” between the conductor and groupings, such as “matinee packs.” several new subscribers, some of whom “Because our industry is faced with an were music-loving transplants new to the aging demographic and—certainly in our area. “A few took to social media followmarket here in Las Vegas—a lot of coming the event, and have vowed to bring petition for entertainment dollars, it is other friends into the fold as the season critical to have something to offer new progresses,” Madole reports. “The feedback audience members that will align not only we received was overwhelmingly affirming with their taste but with their lifestyle and and demonstrative of their excitement to buying habits as well,” Madole explains. be a part of our season and our mission.” To meet that challenge, Madole and her The LVP’s 2016-17 season features sevteam have created a “Flex Passport” that eral works by living composers: the full lets patrons choose the shows they want, orchestral version of Nathaniel Stookey’s “with shorter booking windows and conYTTE (Yield to Total Elation), Clarice cierge service to reserve their seats.” The Assad’s Nhanderu, Kevin Beavers’s Bright Flex Passport comes in two price tiers: Sky, and Jennifer Bellor’s 898 Hildegard. $470 or $320 for six seats, the difference Not everyone in the audience, of course, corresponding to where seats are located favors new music, but Madole hears from in the hall. The convenience and the freepatrons who appreciate the opportunity dom to sample have led many attendees to be exposed to it, even if they don’t alto become subscribers. (This concept has ways love a particular piece. “An important become increasingly popular. Among orcomponent for building their excitement chestras with flexible ticket arrangements and openness to new music is giving them is the Cleveland Orchestra, which recently context and background, drawing them in added a “Members Club” plan where subwith storytelling that may soften some rescribers pay a $35 monthly fee that allows sistance,” Madole says. There are pre-conthem to purchase any ticket at Severance cert lectures with the conductor and guest Hall or Blossom Music Center for $10.) artists, and she notes, “It’s great to have the Madole cites the “persistence and innovacomposer attend the concert if possible; it tion in our marketing,” creatively expandadds relatability.” ing into the digital realm with a new web-


The Las Vegas Philharmonic’s recent Facebook Live event got lots of views, shares, and “likes.” Hosted by Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Michele Madole (left), the event included short, unscripted vignettes with musicians, including LVP violinist Lisa Ratigan (far left).

Toronto: Digital and Visual Approaches

Everybody’s telling the Toronto Symphony Orchestra how vital to success digital media is—even Fran, a nonagenarian volunteer who exhorts David Postill to make sure “the Symphony is in this book of faces!” (No worries, Fran; the TSO has had a Facebook presence for some time now.) Postill, the orchestra’s vice president of marketing, says the 70-plus crowd wants a better web experience. And as a result, the orchestra is stepping away from direct-mail models. Instead, the TSO is overhauling its printed program guides, as well as the listening and learning guides. “The new printed program guides are beautiful,” Postill says. “They help you learn; there are graphic depictions of the music so you can follow along.” The listening guides are also available online, and are sent electronically to customers in their pre-concert reminder email.

Making a visual impact is important, says Postill, because “In Ontario, one in three schools doesn’t have a music teacher. Our audiences may be drawn to music, but they need tools to explain and educate. They don’t always understand what we assume they do. That’s hugely important for us. Marketing has to be more creative, more artistic, bringing in more media including designers and visual artists.” One particularly successful initiative was a collaboration with the graffiti artist Anser, who created a black-andwhite drawing of Beethoven for a poster for a TSO Late Night event that included the world premiere of Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra by Mike Mills of R.E.M.—alongside Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. Fans wrote in requesting posters and T-shirts with Anser’s designs. “We’re sometimes too apologetic,” Postill says. “We need to be loud and proud. Yes, we’re not Beyoncé, but who cares? We can take our rightful place in the community. We’re five or six hundred years old: we have staying power.”

League Resources How can orchestras keep up to date with trends in marketing orchestra subscriptions? One helpful resource is Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model, an in-depth 2015 study by the Oliver Wyman management consulting organization that was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras. Using the League’s annual Orchestra Statistical Report, which gathers and analyzes operational data provided by League member orchestras, researchers undertook the first industry-wide, longitudinal study of ten years of data on revenue and sales trends. The study surveyed four million customers across 45 orchestras of varying sizes and included a profile and preferences survey of 4,000 people who attended an orchestra concert in the last five years. The final conclusions are informed by a dynamic market simulation that tested the willingness-to-pay of 1,000 people making 10,000 purchasing decisions in order to reveal the relative attractiveness of various package features. To download a PDF of Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model, click Heidi Waleson’s 2015 Symphony magazine feature article about the subscription study is available at


Postill says the Toronto Symphony is also reaching new customers through “a Sunday-night radio show on Classical FM 96.3 (CFMZ-FM) radio. The show reaches 43,000 listeners. And we are the number-one rated program [largest audience] in that time slot throughout Toronto. People love hearing the stories about music insiders, about carving reeds and how to become a musician. We also create podcasts and put them online, like last year’s set of six ‘Messiah Minutes’ with interesting facts about why audiences want to see it.”

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is reaching younger listeners: 25 percent of its audience for all concerts is under 35. One way the TSO knows it is reaching younger listeners: 25 percent of its audience for all concerts is under 35. Those concertgoers have the same one-clickticketing expectations of the TSO’s ticket office as they do of The orchestra’s focus on its customers has had results that Postill calls “off the charts: 44 concerts sold out, instead of 22 the previous year. We have 23,000 new customers from 2015-16 to 2016-17. A year ago, 17 percent of our business was online; one year later, 82 percent of our business is online. We have engaged the modern world.” Which factor gets Toronto audiences into the concert hall? The program’s repertoire, even more than the conductor or the guest artist—and that’s because most attendees don’t know those names, except for a few famous soloists like Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. Postill explains that symphony marketers must “start with the basics” because of the widespread lack of music education today. But he sees this challenge as opportunity. Indications that Toronto is on a roll insymphony


William Porper

Below, Music Director Peter Oundjian leads the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. TSO Vice President of Marketing David Postill (right) says, “Our audiences may be drawn to music, but they need tools to explain and educate.”

Milwaukee: Tailored Approaches

Over ten seasons at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Vice President of Marketing and Communications Susan Loris has seen the growth of subscription campaigns taper off a bit. But she adds that the orchestra’s efforts to “present great music in unique and exciting ways and venues” have doubled the number of new subscriptions this season over last. All this despite the fact that Milwaukee has some serious venue constraints. The orchestra shares the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, its main venue, with three other arts organizations—all vying for dates. The MSO gets the hall for the first weekend in December, but no access for the rest of the month. Loris views this as “a blessing in disguise,” because it forces the MSO and

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Vice President of Marketing and Communications Susan Loris (top) and her team tailor their marketing efforts to their audiences—some prefer social media over direct marketing or radio, others prefer buying tickets online versus by phone. Often, soloists are prominently featured in marketing.

MELINDA BARGREEN writes about classical music and the arts for a variety of print and online publications. She is the author of two books, Classical Seattle and 50 Years of Seattle Opera. For 31 years, she was music critic of The Seattle Times.



Sara Vered, Honorary Patron

Photo by Cheryl Mazak

clude $1 million in ticket purchases last August, a month in which there were no concerts—but huge advance sales for the coming season in September and beyond.

its musicians to be creative about reaching into neighborhoods and tapping new audiences, as well as doing some statewide touring. A “Hometown Holiday Tour” takes smaller subsets of the orchestra into nontraditional venues like senior centers, daycare centers, and hospitals. “We focus on first-time subscriber retention,” says Loris, “making sure it’s easy to renew, communicating often and being very strategic about who, what, how often to reach out. Music Director Edo de Waart is wonderful about balancing new or unfamiliar works with the classics in programming. He stretches audiences artistically; he engages them.” Some programming steers around Milwaukee’s harsh winters by avoiding January/February concerts in series geared toward older audiences (who might be leery of driving, or might be “snowbirds” who head south for the winter). Series offer everything from luncheons with conductors and guest artists to fashion shows and themed programming. Loris and the MSO tailor their marketing to their audiences: who loves social media, direct mail, radio? Do they buy tickets online or by phone? (If the latter, they’ll get a phone call.) Loris says she is just as committed to the singleticket buyer as to the series buyer, and that non-subscribers may end up buying multiple single tickets. “We love it here,” she says of Milwaukee. “We have our challenges, but we love finding creative solutions.”

Pinchas Zukerman Patinka Kopec Founder & Artistic Director Private Instruction

Chamber Music Coaching

Co-Artistic Director

Masterclasses & Concerts

Career Mentoring

Deadline: Feb 6, 2017


The NAC Young Artists Program is made possible through the wonderful generosity of individual donors and corporations.


Madame D Ora/Artis–Naples

Chattanooga Symphony & Opera

At a Chattanooga Symphony & Opera production several years ago, then-Music Director Bob Bernhardt leads the performance. Bernhardt returns to conduct the CSO’s production of Madama Butterfly this spring.

Alma Mahler, muse to composer Gustav Mahler as well as architects and artists, is a focus of A Tragic Love Affair: Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler, an exhibit running through April 16 at the Baker Museum at Artis–Naples. Associated events include concerts this March by the Naples Philharmonic, led by Music Director Andrey Boreyko, of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

Double Identity Double Identity Fiscal concerns lead some orchestras to partner administratively with other local arts organizations. But thanks to synergies among the orchestral, operatic, dance, theatrical, and museum arts, those partnerships can bring rich cultural benefits as well. by Steven Brown



he heroine of Georges Bizet’s Carmen works her wiles with the help of zesty Spanish dances sprinkled throughout the opera. Most productions rely on the singers and orchestra—and a dollop of the audience’s imagination—to conjure up the music’s terpsichorean allure. But when Dayton Opera stages Carmen in May, it will add another ingredient: The Dayton Ballet will weave into the entire staging, helping the singers and Dayton Philharmonic bring out the tale’s seductiveness and heat. Surrounding Bizet’s charismatic gypsy with a fleet of accomplished dancers would ordinarily be possible for only the most deep-pocketed opera company. But Dayton has a different advantage. The Ohio city’s orchestra, opera, and ballet operate under a single umbrella: the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. The groups have worked symbiotically since 2012, when the three organizations joined forces in hopes of overcoming the Great Recession. Thanks to their consolidation, they have gone beyond merely surviving. “While the fiscal challenges of that time brought us together, what kept us together was the sense that there were real opportunities in a merger—opportunities not just to symphony


Presentations at Artis–Naples include shows like 42nd Street.




The Naples Philharmonic in performance at Hayes Hall, part of Artis–Naples.

Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

In a Dayton Ballet studio, leaders of three organizations that are part of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance plan a collaborative production; from left, Dayton Philharmonic Music Director Neal Gittleman; Dayton Opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston; and Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke.

save money, but to do new and exciting work,” Dayton Performing Arts Alliance President and CEO Paul Helfrich says. Orchestras that combine with other cultural groups are finding that there’s more than safety in numbers. The ramifications can extend beyond the obvious mergers of box office, marketing, technical, and accounting support. And the results these orchestras discover are as varied as their motivations—the orchestras discussed here make their homes in cities with widely dissimilar financial situations, from a former industrial powerhouse in the Rust Belt to an East Coast city that has witnessed a dwindling population to a Sun Belt town that draws well-heeled snowbirds with a passion for the arts. After the 2002 linkup of the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, the revamped group launched a summer festival that has expanded its audience and helped sup-


port the orchestra’s 52-week musicians contract. On Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Naples Philharmonic and Baker Museum complement music with visual art at Artis–Naples: a March performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 dovetails with an art exhibit spotlighting the liaison between the composer’s widow, Alma, and Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka. That, in turns, ties in with other programs celebrating the role of creative muses—such as Alma Mahler—in the arts. The Alma Mahler-Oskar Kokoschka show also ties in with a March visit by the Vienna Philharmonic, which is in the midst of a threeyear residency at the arts center. “To someone who’s an active cultural attendee, we love to make sure that there are many entry points, and they can go as deep into a theme as they desire,” Artis–Naples CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen says. “It’s a way to introduce some people to the organization. But for people who

The marquee for the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s 2005 production of Madama Butterfly. The two organizations merged in 1985.

are here four or five times a week for different events, they can explore one theme quite thoroughly.” Follow the Links

The 1985 merger that created Tennessee’s Chattanooga Symphony & Opera was an early marriage between arts groups. But one of the most-watched was the 2002 merger of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera—whose coalescence began with a job offer. The orchestra, searching for an executive director, tried to hire the opera company’s leader, who declined. That, longtime board member Patricia A. Richards recalls, led to a follow-up idea: combine the two groups, with the opera chief moving into the top job. (In addition to serving on the Utah board, Richards is chair of the League of American Orchestras’ board.) Salt Lake City’s business leaders had long thought the capital’s plethora of arts organizations needed “a more efficient way of operating,” Richards says, and now the two largest groups aimed for one. Hiring an ombudsman to deal with concerns and challenges, the groups combined after nine months of discussions. The savings on overhead came to about $700,000 on budsymphony


The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Connecticut, where the Hartford Symphony Orchestra performs. The orchestra utilizes some of the Bushnell’s administrative and box-office services.

The Bushnell

gets that separately had totaled about $16 million, Richard recalls. The merger not only helped the groups pull through the post-9/11 recession, but brought together two then-leaders—Executive Director Anne Ewers and Music Director Keith Lockhart—who envisioned a new venture: a summer festival. The orchestra now spends July and August in the mountain getaway of Park City, about 45 minutes from Salt Lake, at the Deer Valley Music Festival. “It opened an entirely new market to us,” Richards says. The area’s residents and second-home owners have adopted the group, and revenue from the 5,000-seat

across the United States, many looked to Utah’s solution. “Particularly at the beginning of the recession, we probably got a call a week from communities around the country who wanted to know if this was the answer for them,” Richards says. “Our position is: It may be the answer for you.

Orchestras that combine with other cultural groups are finding that there’s more than safety in numbers. But it depends on your community. This is not just a blueprint that can be passed around. You need to know your specific situations and your audience.”


Mergers and Acquisitions

Artis–Naples CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen and Frank Verpoorten, director and chief curator of the Baker Museum, which makes its home at Artis–Naples along with the Naples Philharmonic, in front of John Seery’s Abstract (Untitled).

main venue adds to the year-round operation’s bottom line. And the merger helped again following the Great Recession. Though the symphony players had accepted a pay cut, the 2015 contract charts a rising path for salaries. “The combined organizations were, as we like to say, a bigger lifeboat” during the

recession, Richards says. “They were more prominent in the community. They had more supporters. It was more obvious to the community that we could not let them fail. So I think we survived in a manner that each individual organization alone might not have.” As the recession hit cultural groups

Dayton was one of the cities whose arts leaders drew on Utah’s experience, says Dayton Alliance CEO Helfrich. But the three groups’ blending began with a gaze in the opposite direction. The Dayton Philharmonic, confronting the recession, in 2010 began brainstorming about sustainable business models. Music Director Neal Gittleman pointed to Europe, where a city’s opera house, orchestra, and ballet sometimes operate together. The concept took hold in Dayton. The groups spent 2011 and early 2012 envisioning how a merger would work. They boiled down three boards totaling 107 members to a single panel of 36, but the art forms kept their individual artistic leaders—who work in coordination—and their identities. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was born on July 1, 2012, and its possibilities first went on display


Kent Miles

“Vissi d’arte”: a scene from the 2015 production of Tosca at Utah Symphony | Utah Opera.

that December, when the Ballet’s annual Nutcracker boasted the Dayton Philharmonic in the pit. “That might seem like a fairly standard thing,” Helfrich says. “But I tell you: once you’ve gone decades without live music for the Nutcracker, to suddenly bring it back with a full symphony orchestra was a real

Merging an orchestra with another arts group “depends on your community,” says longtime Utah Symphony | Utah Opera board member Patricia Richards. “You need to know your specific situations and your audience.” revelation. I think that was the single thing in the first year that really opened people’s eyes to the potential.” A production of Verdi’s Aida including the full ballet company marked another milestone. And when Dayton Opera brought the dancers back in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston notes, it was able to do more than just drop them in for showpiec-


es: the stage director wove them throughout the opera to help animate scenes. Some dancers even learned the French lyrics and mouthed the words along with the chorus. Last season, the three groups collaborated on the Alliance’s first commissioned opera: Stella Sung’s The Book Collector, supported by the Music Alive program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. Meanwhile, national funders that may not have noticed the Dayton groups individually got interested in the combination: last October, the Hearst Foundations awarded the Alliance $50,000 for developing educational programs bridging the three disciplines. The Alliance worked all along to capitalize on the back-office efficiencies of merging the groups. As it saved money by consolidating departments, Helfrich says, it beefed up its fundraising operation. “We still have to work to make sure that our expenses and income balance every season,” Helfrich says. “We’ve had some one-time gifts that have enabled us to balance our budget. The 2016-17 fiscal year is meant to be our first to balance the budget without the help of any extraordinary, non-repeating gifts. It’s absolutely critical for us to do it. And so far, we’re on track.”

Patricia A. Richards, longtime board member at Utah Symphony | Utah Opera: “The combined organizations were, as we like to say, a bigger lifeboat.”

No Silver Bullets

Though linking up offers clear financial benefits, “it’s usually not enough to be a silver bullet,” Utah’s Richards says. “It may be part of a package of answers.” The Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera in California began working out its own symphony


Chowder Inc.

Hartford Symphony

Steve Collins, executive director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

Music Director Carolyn Kuan leads the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

set of answers in 2013, when the separate groups merged in the face of financial challenges. A joint 2014 season turned out to be abortive: The organization decided to stop and regroup. After enlisting consultants to help map out plans, leaders adopted “a very careful and measured approach,” says Alice Sauro, who became executive director in 2015. The orchestra re-emerged in June of that year with a performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony. Full-length opera will return in April 2017 with Verdi’s La Traviata, part of the largely orchestral classical series. “We’re looking at a four- to five-year plan on how we can ramp up the production of opera,” Sauro says. Leaders are “making sure we have funding before we move forward.” In the meantime, the group is deepening its roots in the community. It sends out chamber groups to play free concerts in farmers’ markets, libraries, and other gathering places, where musicians mingle with the public. An outdoor concert of Led Zeppelin hits launched a partnership with a classic-rock station, and more pop-themed programs have followed. Ticket sales have grown steadily, Sauro says, touching the sellout level at times. “That tells me that people missed these art forms,” she adds, “and they’re thrilled to be coming back.” In Connecticut, the Hartford Sympho-

ny Orchestra has found a different way to work with a neighboring arts institution. In 2014, management contracts arranged for the Bushnell Performing Arts Center’s staff to help run the orchestra, which had been hobbled by persistent financial troubles, under a strategic collaboration. Bushnell’s executive director led the orchestra while also managing the Bushnell’s broad assortment of presentations includ-

Scott Kimmins

ing touring musicals, pop acts, individual artists, and community events. Last April the Hartford Symphony decided to return to managing itself and installed its own executive director, Steve Collins. The orchestra has continued to rely on Bushnell’s box-office team and other resources as it revamps its business model, rebuilds its staff, and seeks new links to the community.

A scene from last season’s world premiere of composer Stella Sung’s The Book Collector. The Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera collaborated on the commissioned work, which was supported by the Music Alive program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.


Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera

Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera

A scene from Sacramento Opera’s 2014 production of Il Trovatore.

Alice Sauro, executive director of California’s Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. The two groups merged in 2013.

Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera

The Sacramento Philharmonic in action, with conductor Andrew Grams.

“It’s almost like we have a 50-person staff instead of a 12-person staff,” Collins says. “We have that depth of resources available, so we can identify one challenge at a time—as opposed to being overwhelmed by multiple layers of change.” The alliance’s benefits go beyond finances, Collins adds. After helping the orchestra enhance its “Playing With Food” pops program, which has brought chefs onstage to cook in front of the orchestra, the center is collaborating on “Playing With Dogs.” The May concert will spotlight “the special relationship between dogs and their owners and handlers, and the way orchestral music can help bring out the emotional content of those relationships.” Cross-pollination

Relationships don’t have to spring from crises. Artis–Naples has developed organically since the Naples Philharmonic’s founding in 1982. Gallery space was built into the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, the orchestra’s multipurpose per-


forming venue, which opened in 1989. When Naples art lovers including Olga Hirshhorn—widow of Joseph Hirshhorn, founder of the venerable museum and sculpture garden in Washington. D.C.— began planning a Naples museum, the orchestra’s leaders brought them into the fold. The center was renamed Artis–Naples in 2013. Its 8 1/2-acre campus includes a 1,425seat multipurpose theater, a black-box theater, the Baker Museum, and buildings for education and administration. Though the Philharmonic and Museum are its central programs, Artis–Naples also presents touring Broadway shows and other acts, hosts the Miami City Ballet, and runs lifelong-learning programs with 7,000 subscribers. Having one artistic staff oversee all this enables Artis–Naples to envision and create the cross-disciplinary programs that it prides itself on, van Bergen says. “It would be quite different if we were competing or trying to collaborate externally, working through vari-

ous timelines and cycles and boards and administrations. Here, we can get ahead of the planning cycle and make commitments internally—and then watch them flourish as we get into the details.” Artis–Naples’ location in a growing, prosperous city has been a boon, van Bergen says. But Artis–Naples, like groups nationwide, has had to tackle downturns in ticket and subscription sales, which it has overcome thanks to what van Bergen calls “incredible commitment” from its audience. “I don’t want you to get the idea that it’s easy-breezy beautiful,” she says with a laugh. “There are constant decisions around balancing our messages, making sure we are supporting each discipline the way it needs to be supported, while also growing. We have to negotiate what investments we make within our budget each year. Where do we grow? Where do we push? Where do we pull? But we think this is a fabulous model. It has lots of benefits and very few challenges. And those challenges, we’re happy to take on.” STEVEN BROWN, a Houston writer specializing in classical music and the arts, is the former classical music critic of the Orlando Sentinel, Charlotte Observer, and Houston Chronicle.



Congratulations! The League of American Orchestras is pleased to honor these member orchestras on the noteworthy anniversaries of their foundings: 150 years

Belleville Philharmonic Society

100 years

Flint Symphony Orchestra

75 years

Northwest Indiana Symphony

50 years

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Danville Symphony Orchestra La Crosse Youth Symphony Longmont Symphony Orchestra Salisbury Symphony Orchestra Warminster Symphony Orchestra Williamsport Symphony Orchestra

25 years

Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra of Bucks County

20 years

Frederick Symphony Orchestra Peninsula Youth Orchestra Philadelphia Sinfonia Association Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra

10 years

Willamette Valley Symphony



Astral..................................................... 37 Classical Movements............................ C4 The Cliburn........................................... 29 Colbert Artists Management................ 39 Concert Artists Guild........................... 49 Dan Kamin Comedy Concertos............ 11 Dispeker Artists.................................... 13 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis......................................... 1 JRA Fine Arts....................................... 22 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts................................... 3 League of American Orchestras...... 17, 23, 31, 69, 71,C3 National Arts Centre-Summer Music Institute............................................. 61 OnStage Productions............................ 61 Schiedmayer Celeste GmbH................... 5 Wallace Foundation.............................. C2 Word Pros, Inc....................................... 12 Yamaha Corporation of America.......... 15 Young Concert Artists........................... 48




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Orchestras are bringing communities together, inside and outside the concert hall



New Strategic Plan for the League

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

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

The spring 2017 issue of Symphony will be online only. You’ll find all the great articles, news, interviews, and photos of Symphony in the digital version of the complete issue on our website. Plus, the major articles will be available as separate PDF documents that you can easily download and share. As always, the spring issue will feature our indispensable guide to music festivals around the country—and this time, the complete festivals lists will also be available as a separate PDF document for easy sharing.

Stay tuned for emails and updates about the online issue in April.

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 December 6, 2016. 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 Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent


Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm McDougal Brown The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation Ford Motor Company Fund John and Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund National Endowment for the Arts The Negaunee Foundation Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation The Wallace Foundation


American Express Foundation Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek † The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Peter D. and Julie Fisher Cummings † The Edgemer Foundation, Inc. Ford Foundation Mrs. Martha R. Ingram New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation Sakana Foundation


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



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


The Amphion Foundation Alberta Arthurs Brent and Jan Assink Beracha Family Charitable Gift Fund Richard J. Bogomolny and Patricia M. Kozerefski Janet and John Canning † NancyBell Coe and William Burke Martha and Herman Copan Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Gloria dePasquale D.M. Edwards in honor of Pat Richards; Jesse Rosen; and Nancy Wrenn, Executive Director of the East Texas Symphony. Catherine French † Joseph B. Glossberg Marian A. Godfrey Lyndia and C.Y. Harvey IMN Solutions, Inc. John A. and Catherine M. Koten Foundation † Wilfred and Joan Larson Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo *† Mr. and Mrs. A. Michael Lipper Hugh W. Long Anthony McGill Steven Monder † Catherine and Peter Moye Princeton Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees Gayle S. Rose

LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRA’S NOTEBOOM GOVERNANCE CENTER The League of American Orchestras’ Noteboom Governance Center was created in recognition of former League Board Chair Lowell Noteboom, honoring his longstanding commitment to improving governance practice in American orchestras. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who have made commitments to support the Center. Alberta Arthurs Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm McDougal Brown John and Janet Canning † Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek Melanie Clarke Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund Gloria dePasquale Phillip Wm. Fisher Fund Marian A. Godfrey Marcia and John Goldman Margot and Paul Grangaard, in honor of Lowell and Sonja Noteboom Douglas and Jane Hagerman Daniel R. Lewis † Dr. Hugh W. Long Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation Mary Carr Patton and John Shaw Daniel Petersen † Barry A. Sanders Sakana Foundation Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent Sewell Charitable Fund Penelope and John Van Horn Tina Ward •† The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation Anonymous (2) Jesse Rosen The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation Deborah F. Rutter † Enea and Dave Tierno Alan D. and Janet L. Valentine Kathleen van Bergen Doris and Clark Warden † Nick and Sally Webster Linda and Craig Weisbruch † Simon Woods and Karin Brookes Helen Zell




Lester Abberger and Amanda Stringer Jeff and Keiko Alexander Tiffany Ammerman Eugene and Mary Arner Jennifer Barlament and Kenneth Potsic • David Beauchesne, Rhode Island Philharmonic William P. Blair III † Deborah Borda † Barbara M. Bozzuto Elaine Amacker Bridges Susan Bright Fred and Liz Bronstein • Wayne S. Brown and Brenda Kee † Charles Cagle † Leslie and Dale Chihuly Robert Conrad Gregory Pierre Cox • Dawn Fazli Susan Feder and Todd Gordon Courtney and David Filner • Drs. Aaron and Cristina Stanescu Flagg Henry and Fran Fogel † John and Michele Forsyte • James M. Franklin † Laurence Mills-Gahl and Karen Gahl-Mills Gary Ginstling and Marta Lederer Nancy Greenbach Andre and Ginette Gremillet Dietrich M. Gross Mark and Christina Hanson • Daniel and Barbara Hart • Ian Harwood • Sharon D. Hatchett John and Carolee Hayes † Dale Hedding Howard Herring The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Dr. and Mrs. Claire Fox Hillard Patricia Howard + Mrs. Laura Hyde † Stephen H. Judson Paul Judy The Jurenko Foundation Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithely Foundation Cindy and Randy Kidwell Jill Kidwell Douglas W. Kinzey Peter Kjome Joseph H. Kluger Robert Kohl and Clark Pellett Emily and Robert Levine Sandi Macdonald and Henry Grzes Jonathan Martin Steve & Lou Mason † Mattlin Foundation Shirley D. McCrary † Debbie McKinney Paul Meecham † David Alan Miller

Phyllis and Slade Mills † Michael Morgan † Margaret Fulton Mueller Charitable Fund Dana Newman James B. Nicholson Andy Nunemaker Rebecca (Becky) Odland James Palermo • John Palmer † Anne Parsons and Donald Dietz • Michael Pastreich • Daniel Petersen † Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust Tresa Radermacher Barbara S. Robinson Susan L. Robinson Barbara and Robert Rosoff Mary Jones Saathoff Frederick and Gloria Sewell Rita Shapiro Richard L. Sias † R. P. Simmons Family Foundation Mi Ryung Song • Linda S. Stevens + Melia & Michael Tourangeau Rae Wade Trimmier † Marylou and John D.* Turner Matthew VanBesien • Jeff and Maria Vom Saal Allison Vulgamore •† Terry Ann White Camille Williams Donna M. Williams


Lois H. Allen Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb David R. Bornemann, Board Member, Phoenix Symphony Drs. Misook Yun and James William Boyd • Doris and Michael Bronson Melinda Whiting Burrows and John Burrows Judy Christl † Scott Faulkner and Andrea Lenz † Jack Firestone Rachel and Terry Ford •+ The GE Foundation Michael Gehret Bill Gettys Richard and Mary L. Gray Carrie Hammond Scott Harrison and Angela Detlor HGA Architects and Engineers Marilyn P. and Joseph W. Hirschorn Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation David Hastings & Ann Huntoon Helena Jackson and Doug Dunham Joia M. Johnson Donald Krause and JoAnne Krause † David Loebel

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



Arts for All On September 22, Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel gave the keynote speech at a ceremony for recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Here are brief excerpts from his inspiring address.



Let’s make sure we create an environment that cultivates, embraces, and empowers the arts. Khue Bui

ven before I started conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, I promoted the creation of a youth orchestra called YOLA, Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. One of the first YOLA groups was formed in South Central Los Angeles, one of the most troubled neighborhoods in the city. There I met a twelve-year-old boy called Adam. Adam lived with his mother, Tracey, in a highly dangerous area. When Adam learned they were holding auditions for a children’s orchestra, he showed up with his mom, who told us that Adam’s life dream was to become the percussionist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Adam and I came from very different places, but we shared the same dream. Adam’s—and YOLA’s—first concert took place a few months later, a free concert for the community at the Hollywood Bowl. John Williams, Quincy Jones, and 18,000 spectators were in attendance. That was also my first concert as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music director, so I was as terrified as Adam. The eleven miles Adam had traveled from home must have been the most important trip of his life. Our Ulysses, our pint-sized hero, had taken his drumsticks and had set out on a one-way trip toward hope. The shy boy I had met months before was not the same boy who stood before me that evening, playing with intensity, shaping his own life with each beat, touching the hearts of

future, they will excel in math to calculate their foundations. Many of our children will better humanity through science, and all must strengthen themselves through sports. The arts are equally vital. From the Altamira caves to Jackson Pollock, and from the Sumerian Hymn to the rapdriven lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton, art has been the main travel partner of the human spirit. I believe spiritual health should have the same weight as physical health. My vocation is music, but my mission is children, especially how we teach them. And to make sure that the greatest expres-

Gustavo Dudamel delivers the keynote address at a ceremony honoring recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal.

18,000 human beings—including mine. My mentor, Maestro José Antonio Abreu, said once that the worst crime committed in the modern world is to take away from children the access to beauty and inspiration. After any financial crisis that shakes the whole world, schools have smaller budgets. The first programs to get cut are art and music, because they are not considered “essential.” I believe that is wrong. Some people think that art is a luxury and must be cut back in times of crisis. These people must understand that precisely during times of crisis the unforgivable sin is to cut access to art. Art is the nourishment of the soul. Our children will learn architecture to design the bridges that will connect us with our

sions of our humanity are passed along to our next generation. We want to prepare our children for the future, but in this fastpaced world we live in, we don’t know exactly what the future will bring. We assume it will involve math—there is always math! And yes, we must educate the mind. But a child is not just a mind—she is a soul. We must also nourish the soul as well. I invite you to invest in the dreams and spirits of kids like Adam and the millions of kids who are searching for a glimpse of hope and beauty. Since we became human and started painting on cave walls, we are hard-wired for expression. I don’t know what technologies we still will be using in the future, what changes will confront us. Anything and everything is possible. But no matter what the future brings, we will have to express what we feel: and that is art. Art is future. Let’s make sure we create an environment that cultivates, embraces, and empowers the arts. It’s up to us to make sure our children are ready. To read Gustavo Dudamel’s complete speech, visit symphony


The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras is

MAKING A DIFFERENCE The Volunteer Council is made up of recognized community leaders who have demonstrated outstanding support for their orchestras, and who support the mission of the League of American Orchestras.

SUPPORTING — best practices and

opportunities for positive exchanges of ideas, information, and resources.

EDUCATING — we provide learning

opportunities through programming at League conferences, online webinars, The Gold Book (an award-winning project database of volunteer projects), and more!

INNOVATING — resources for new

ideas and fresh approaches for volunteer associations.

Members of the 2016-17 Volunteer Council

To learn more about programs, webinars, and resources, contact or visit

33 West 60th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10023-7905