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Talking About Diversity
African-American Musicians Speak Out
Emerging Artists and Social Media
Embedded: Music Alive
Memorizing a Symphony
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THE MAGAZINE OF THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
4 Prelude by Robert Sandla
6 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events
20 Critical Questions A roundtable discussion with League President and CEO Jesse Rosen and a panel of African-American classical musicians about their lives at American orchestras. 28 Board Room The League’s Noteboom Governance Center offers practical information and guidance for effective orchestra governance. by Chester Lane
32 Currents What’s the latest thinking on how arts organizations can reach new audiences? A new book from the Wallace Foundation, Taking Out the Guesswork, provides some answers.
In Residence The wide-ranging Music Alive program embeds contemporary composers with orchestras—and communities. by Steven Brown
Post It Emerging classical artists embrace social media. by Janelle Gelfand
Guide to Emerging Artists
Playing by Heart What happens when you take away the music stands and perform from memory? by Donald Rosenberg
71 Letter to the Editor 71 Advertiser Index
46 74 Clay Patrick McBride
72 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 74 Coda Singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash talks about country music, performing with orchestras, and curating a Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall. about the cover Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline l at symphony.org.
Pictured: Conductor Michael Morgan and the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 2015. The Gateways Music Festival takes place biennially in Rochester, New York. See story on page 20.
VO LU M E 6 7, N U M B E R 1
symphony WIN T E R 2 0 1 6
ot all that long ago, the composer in residence was a mysterious figure, a man (and it was usually a man, usually white) who was appointed with great fanfare—and then vanished into unknown realms to create a score. Months later, the composer reappeared at a rehearsal, maybe did a pre-concert talk, and took a bow at the premiere. How things have changed. With programs like Music Alive and others, composers are connecting with orchestras and communities in richly varied ways. (Music Alive is a partnership program of the League and New Music USA.) Residencies are often highly localized, honed to the needs and expectations of a specific community, fulfilling requirements that might have as much to do with social equity or health and wellness as with aesthetics. With the artist known as Trimpin, the Seattle Symphony embarked on a residency that resulted in a new musical instrument created by people in programs for those recovering from addiction, plus an innovative, interactive score for the orchestra. As part of her Music Alive residency, Stella Sung created scores for the Dayton Philharmonic, Ballet, and Opera—and then went beyond that high-art trifecta to engage in dialogue with community groups. None of this is to forget the core repertoire or the high standards that are the main business of orchestras. When the tragic shootings occurred in Paris this fall, American orchestras responded with music—often the masterworks to which people almost instinctively turn in crisis. We’re not naive about the power of music—playing Samuel Barber will not magically fix intractable geopolitical predicaments—but orchestral responses promote healing, offer solace, provide a communal space for solitary reflection. That’s something that doesn’t change.
THE MAGAZINE OF THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
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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SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry THE
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Opening Nights 2.0
usic lovers traditionally look forward to the start of the orchestra season, often an evening featuring a concerto with star soloist, a popular favorite such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and a glittery parade of gowns and tuxedos. This fall also saw a notable variety of alternative approaches taken by orchestras to opening night. In Ohio, the (1) Westerville Symphony aimed to “bring in a more relaxed environment,” said Executive Director Sean Brewster, by encouraging people to tweet comments using their phones. A Twitter feed from audience members could be seen on a large screen to the side of the orchestra during a program featuring twelve-year-old pianist Gavin George, a native of Granville, performing Rachmaninoff ’s Piano Concerto. The (2) Philadelphia Orchestra went the Fantasia route for its opening concert at the Kimmel Center, which marked the 75th anniversary of the famous 1940 Disney film featuring Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the concert, which featured Stokowski’s arrangements of Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker against the backdrop of images from the film. Pennsylvania’s (3) Lancaster Symphony opened the season with a family-friendly concert featuring selections from Frozen, Star Wars, and The Wizard of Oz; also included were a costume parade for children and a photo station. The Seattle Symphony rolled out a new piano competition during the first week of its fall season. Winner Kevin Ahfat received $10,000 and a performance on the orchestra’s September 19 season-opening concert. Kentucky’s Louisville Orchestra and Music Director Teddy Abrams opened the season with a staged production of Bernstein’s sprawling Mass, with a cast that included baritone Jubilant Sykes, the University of Louisville Collegiate Chorale, Louisville Chamber Choir, Louisville Male High School Marching Band, and Highland Hills Middle School Boys Choir. California’s (4) Santa Barbara Symphony teamed up with dancers from State Street Ballet and singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society for its opening concert of Orff ’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, led by Music Director Nir Kabaretti and Santa Barbara Choral Society Artistic Director JoAnne Wasserman. San Francisco’s (5) Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra marked Music Director Nicholas McGegan’s 30th anniversary leading the orchestra by performing a newly discovered work by Alessandro Scarlatti: La Gloria di Primavera (The Glory of Spring). In Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony and Music Director Joseph Giunta opened the season with a world premiere: Peter Hamlin’s Symphony On A Stick, a piece celebrating the Iowa State Fair, accompanied by cinematography of the Fair projected above the orchestra. The (6) Chicago Sinfonietta opened its season with flamenco dancers from the Clinard Dance Company and tap dancer Cartier Williams, who joined the orchestra and Music Director Mei-Ann Chen for works by Roberto Sierra, Stravinsky, Borodin, and RimskyKorsakov. In Texas, the (7) River Oaks Chamber Orchestra opened its eleventh season by performing the first of eleven 2015-16 world premieres: Rick Robinson’s Gitcha Groove On! Robinson is ROCO’s Music Alive: New Partnerships Composer-in-Residence this season. (Shown left to right: concertmaster/conductor Andrés Cárdenes, oboist/ROCO founder Alecia Lawyer, and Robinson.)
MUSICAL CHAIRS MARIN ALSOP will step down as music director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music at the end of her 25th season with the festival this summer.
North Dakota’s Minot Symphony Orchestra has appointed EFRAÍN AMAYA music director. has been named associate conductor of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.
The Houston Symphony has appointed CARLOS to the newly created post of musical ambassador/assistant conductor. ANDRÉS BOTERO
has been appointed executive director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra
It was billed as the biggest event to take place at Alcove Spring— a stop along the Oregon Trail in Marshall County, Kansas—since the westward expansion in the midnineteenth century. In early September, the Topeka Symphony Orchestra headed to a meadow in Alcove Spring Historic Park, where 1,550 people braved 99-degree heat to hear Kyle Wiley Pickett lead the orchestra in music by John Williams and John Philip Sousa, as well as Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite and Copland’s Rodeo. The concert capped a day that included botany hikes and guided history tours, as well as performances by country, folk, and jazz musicians and a cowboy poet. At the end of the concert, a line of horsemen—riders with the Kansas Division of the National Pony Express Association— stood on a bluff overlooking the concert site.
Supporting Women Composers
Andreia Pinto-Correia and Xi Wang were selected this fall to receive orchestral commissions of $15,000 each as part of the League of American Orchestras’ Women Composers Readings and Commissions program, administered with the American Composers Orchestra and EarShot and supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Adjudicators for the awards were conductor Joana Carneiro and composers Melinda Wagner and Chen Yi. Partner orchestras to premiere the works will be announced at a later date. This is the second year of the Women Composers Readings and Commissions program. The 2015 program included readings with orchestras; career development workshops; and mentoring opportunities with contemporary composers. americanorchestras.org
Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model This fall, the League released “Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model,” a major new study by the Oliver Wyman management consultancy that analyzes trends in orchestra subscriptions and offers strategies for engaging subscribers and meeting revenue needs. The study is based on the largest sales data set from orchestras to date and is the first industry-wide, longitudinal study of ten years of data to focus on revenues and sales trends. The findings have galvanized attention not only at orchestras but throughout the performing arts. Symphony reported on the research in its fall issue, and now a webinar by “Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model” author Namita Desai is available free of charge at americanorchestras.org. The complete study can be downloaded for free from the League website, and an interactive version optimized for iOS devices is available at the Oliver Wyman Ideas section of the online Apple Store.
has retired as president and managing director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. JON LIMBACHER has succeeded him in the role, and KYU-YOUNG KIM has been promoted to artistic director. BRUCE COPPOCK
The Raleigh-based North Carolina Symphony Society has named DON DAVIS chair.
YANIV DINUR has been appointed assistant conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has named RANDY ELLIOT artistic administrator.
JULIANNE FISH has been named vice president and chief operating officer at the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has appointed JEREMY FRIEDLAND major gift officer.
At the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, ADRIAN FUNG has been named to the newly created post of vice president, innovation. has been promoted to associate conductor at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Three musician appointments have been announced by the Charleston (S.C.) Symphony: ZAC HAMMOND, principal oboe; ANTONIO MARTI , principal trumpet; and JOSHUA BAKER , principal bassoon. SCOTT HARRISON has been named executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Arts Consulting Group has appointed RONDA HELTON associate vice president, based in the firm’s Nashville office.
“Orchestra on the Oregon Trail”
At the Portland (Me.) Symphony Orchestra, HARPER LEE COLLINS has been elected board president.
Kyle Wiley Pickett leads the Topeka Symphony Orchestra in “Orchestra on the Oregon Trail” in Alcove Spring Historic Park, Kansas.
EMILY HINDES has been named operations manager at the Georgia Symphony Orchestra in Marietta, Ga.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has appointed STEFÁN RAGNAR HÖSKULDSSON principal flute, effective May 30, 2016. ERINA YASHIMA begins in February as the CSO’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice.
Spartanburg (S.C.) Philharmonic Music Director will step down from that post at the end of the 2016-17 season. SARAH IOANNIDES
has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Phoenix Symphony.
Save the Dates! June 9–11, 2016
See you in Baltimore, June 9-11, 2016, for Conference – the only national conference dedicated solely to American orchestras and their partners! League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, 2016 Thursday through Saturday, June 9-11, 2016 Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Maryland Note that this year the Conference is Thursday through Saturday, not Wednesday through Friday, as in years past.
MUSICAL CHAIRS The Rochester (N.Y.) Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed AHRIM KIM principal cello. DENNIS KIM has been named concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
New Jersey’s Livingston Symphony Orchestra has appointed ANTHONY LaGRUTH music director.
e Kelle Ramsey
VAN Beethoven parked outside Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
has been appointed principal bassoon in the Midland-Odessa (Tex.) Symphony.
JULIE ANN LINK
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has appointed director of advancement for institutional support. DANIELLE MANLEY
For the past five years, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been getting rave reviews from a different kind of audience: incarcerated and at-risk youth at Illinois correctional facilities and youth centers. In September, Riccardo Muti and CSO musicians made their seventh such visit, to the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville, with CSO Principal Percussion Cynthia Yeh, Principal Tuba Gene Pokorny, and flutist Jennifer Gunn, as well as soprano Laura Wilde and baritone Anthony Clark Evans. They performed Mozart and Puccini, talked about music, and gave lessons on how to blow into a tuba mouthpiece. The program is part of the CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute, which also has coordinated programs at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Center and the Illinois Youth Center-Chicago. In spring 2016, a “Music in Prisons” residency is planned with Illinois Youth Center-Chicago and the Chicago Child Care Society. In September, Muti was honored at an event hosted by the Juvenile Justice Initiative, which recognized his commitment to the program.
Gustavo Dudamel tries out a virtual-reality headset from the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s VAN Beethoven.
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has named VINCE LEE associate conductor, and AUSTIN HUNTINGTON principal cello.
Residents of Los Angeles spend a lot of time in their cars, and for five weeks this fall the Los Angeles Philharmonic joined the fray with VAN Beethoven. The customized yellow van parked at locations like Museum Row, MacArthur Park, and the LA County Fair, where visitors could step inside, put on Oculus virtual-reality headsets, and experience Music Director Gustavo Dudamel in 3D leading the LA Phil in the famous opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Footage was recorded at Disney Concert Hall with cameras and binaural audio recorders placed among the musicians. The experiment was timed to coincide with an “Immortal Beethoven” festival at Disney Hall, featuring two complete Beethoven symphony cycles performed by the LA Phil and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.
has been elected chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees to succeed RICHARD P. SIMMONS , who had held the post since 1989.
Connecticut’s Stamford Symphony has announced the election of ALAN McINTYRE as board chair. THOMAS J. McKINNEY has been named vice president of development at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
Young men at the Illinois Youth Center Chicago listen to members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass during a program in September 2014.
The Savannah (Ga.) Philharmonic has appointed CHRISTOPHER MERKLE director of artistic operations.
At the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, WES NEEDHAM has been elected board president, and LeANNE ANKLAN promoted to general manager. CAROLYN NISHON has been promoted to executive director at the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra.
At the Fort Worth (Tex.) Symphony Orchestra, MOLLY NORCROSS has been named principal horn, and KEITH WILLIAMS principal percussion.
The New Philharmonia Orchestra (Newton, Mass.) has appointed FRANCISCO NOYA conductor and artistic advisor. has been appointed executive director and chief development officer at the Annapolis (Md.) Symphony Orchestra.
PATRICK J. NUGENT
Two appointments have been announced at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach: MAUREEN O’BRIEN , senior vice president for development; and JT KANE , director of visiting faculty and orchestra manager. REBECCA OWEN has been named vice president of development at the Fort Worth (Tex.) Symphony Orchestra.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of JORDAN PAL as RBC Affiliate Composer.
The Fort Wayne (Ind.) Philharmonic has appointed managing director.
JAMES W. PALERMO
has been promoted to associate conductor at the Nashville Symphony.
Southern California’s New West Symphony has named ALYSSA PARK concertmaster.
The Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Australia has announced the appointment of ALONDRA DE LA
On the Financial Front
MUSICAL CHAIRS PARRA
as music director, effective in 2017.
has been named principal oboe in the Minnesota Orchestra. JOSEPH PETERS
Georgia’s Symphony Orchestra Augusta has appointed CARRA PURVIS director of development The Frederick (Md.) Symphony Orchestra has named GLENN QUADER music director. has been appointed executive director of the South Bend (Ind.) Symphony Orchestra.
has been appointed executive director of the International Contemporary Ensemble.
The Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City has named JAMES ROE president and executive director. VANESSA ROSE
Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra has named PETER RUBARDT music director. At the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra, PETER T. SALERNO has been appointed executive director, and SUSAN BEAUDRY director of development.
has been named chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
The Kansas City (Mo.) Symphony has announced the appointment of JASON SEBER as assistant conductor, effective next season. San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has appointed ELIZABETH SHRIBMAN general manager, NOELLE MOSS director of development, and DIANNE PROVENZANO director of marketing and communications.
The Nashville Symphony has named GABRIELLA SMITH fellow for its Composer Lab and Workshop. DAVID SNEAD has been named president and CEO of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.
The San Francisco Symphony has appointed MATTHEW SPIVEY director of artistic planning.
MARI-ANN TASHJIAN SULLIVAN has been appointed
director of development at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School in Providence. Canada’s Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has appointed KELLY TWEEDDALE president.
The Florida Orchestra, based in the Tampa Bay area, has named JOHN T. UPTON principal oboe. has been appointed president and CEO of the Cape Symphony and Conservatory, based in Hyannis, Mass.
The Oregon Symphony has named vice president and general manager, and ELLEN BUSSING vice president for development. STEVE WENIG
The Board of Directors of California’s Santa Rosa Symphony has elected SARA WOODFIELD president.
ERIC WYRICK , a violinist in New York City’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, has been named artistic coordinator of the self-governing ensemble.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has appointed XIAN ZHANG music director, effective in September 2016.
The Sacramento Philharmonic started its 2015-16 season with a bang: a 60 percent increase in subscriptions since the 2012-13 season. This followed the cancellation of the company’s 2014-15 season, and its re-emergence last spring under the umbrella of the new Sacramento Region Performing Arts Alliance, which also presents the Sacramento Opera. Also announcing positive ticket news was the Kansas City Symphony, whose ticket sales for 2014-15 rose to $2.8 million in subscription revenue and $2 million in single-ticket revenue. The Nashville Symphony reported ticket sales totaling $9 million in 2014-15, exceeding the previous season by more than $250,000. For the 2014-15 season, the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra reports a 33.7 percent increase in ticket revenue. The Florida Orchestra, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, and the Minnesota Orchestra all reported balanced budgets for fiscal 2015. This fall brought multiple announcements about new musicians contracts. The Binghamton Philharmonic (New York) reached a two-year agreement with the musicians, following the cancellation of the first 2015-16 concert during negotiations. The previous contract had expired on May 21. Under the new contract, wages are frozen at $85 per service, and musicians will be reimbursed 33¢ per mile for travel, a key issue during negotiations. The contract creates an ongoing committee that includes musicians and management to discuss the orchestra’s long-term future. The California Symphony, based in Walnut Creek, has a new three-year contract with its musicians, calling for a wage freeze in 2015-16, a 1.4 percent increase in 2016-17, and no increase in 201718. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a new three-year musicians contract that provides for annual salary increases of 1 percent in 2015-16, 2 percent in 2016-17, and 2 percent in 2017-18, with a rise of 4.3 percent in pension benefits and no changes to healthcare. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced a new two-year contract with musicians that calls for a 3 percent annual increase in base wages in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s new two-year contract with musicians calls for annual raises in 2015-16 to $22,813 for 29 weeks, up from $18,880 for 24 weeks, as well as a new provision for community engagement by musicians. At the Philadelphia Orchestra, a new one-year contract with musicians calls for a 3 percent increase in the minimum base salary, and increasing the size of the ensemble to 96 musicians, up from 95. New York’s Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has a twoyear extension to its current four-agreement with musicians. It includes a salary freeze in 2015-16, a 2.6 percent increase in 2016-17, and flat wages in 2017-18; contracted weeks will increase to 38 weeks in 2016-17 and to 38.5 or 39 weeks in 2017-18. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has a new musicians contract through June 30, 2018. Musicians making less than $80,000 per year will receive a $4,000 raise in the first year and $2,000 in the second, with higher-paid players receiving a raise in the second year; the guaranteed minimum salary will go up to $66,000 in 2018, and the ensemble size will remain at 28 musicians. At press time, contract negotiations were ongoing at the Fort Worth Symphony and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Survey Says… The League’s Knowledge Center completed the Youth Orchestra Survey and the Education and Community Engagement Survey in November 2015—a big thank-you to all the orchestras that took the time to respond! The Youth Orchestra and Education and Community Engagement survey reports were recently sent to survey participants by email. Filling out surveys may seem tedious, but the aggregated information in the reports helps orchestras to understand field-wide trends, gauge benchmarks, and see how they and their peers are doing. League surveys provide the facts orchestras need to tackle the challenges they face. The League does not permit the sharing of privileged information about individual orchestras; full survey information is available only to participating orchestras. Contact Tse Wei Kok, interim research & data manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-822-4019, with questions about Knowledge Center surveys. symphony
Yassine el Mansouri
National Symphony Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads the NSO and rapper Kendrick Lamar at the Kennedy Center, October 19, 2015.
Rap Remixed at the National Symphony
Tickets sold out in just minutes after the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced in late September that rapper Kendrick Lamar would perform with the National Symphony Orchestra this fall. For the October 19 show, NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke led an orchestral version of Lamar’s 2015 critically praised album To Pimp a Butterfly, featuring the NSO Pops and Lamar’s own band. The orchestral remix was not the NSO’s first time with a rapper; in 2013, the orchestra joined Nas to perform that artist’s 1994 Illmatic album. In a pre-concert interview at Washington, D.C. broadcaster WTOP, Reineke said, “A few years ago I realized there’s one genre of music that’s very important in American culture that we have never worked with … and that is hip-hop.” Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly addresses issues including depression, racism, and celebrity culture.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has named Jennifer Barlament executive director following an international search. She takes up duties this January, succeeding Terry Neal, who had led the ASO administration on an interim basis since October 2014. Barlament goes to Atlanta from the Cleveland Orchestra, where she was general manager. Before assuming that post in 2013 she spent four years as executive director of Michigan’s Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and seven as general manager of the Omaha Symphony in Nebraska. In 2013 the League of American Orchestras awarded Barlament its Helen M. Thompson Award for outstanding early-career work as an executive director. Barlament is a clarinetist by training, with a bachelor’s degree in music from Emory University and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music, where she founded the New Eastman Symphony.
Atlanta Symphony Taps Barlament as Executive Director
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baseball game at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets. In football, on October 1 the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Jeff Tyzik performed during halftime at the Pittsburgh Steelers game at Heinz Field. The orchestra performed Tyzik’s composition Whitewater, to accompany a film about running back Jerome Bettis, newly inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In Ohio, the Canton Symphony Orchestra partnered with the Pro Football Hall of Fame for an October 15 concert at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall of football-themed movie music, narrated by Lynn Swann, a former wide receiver for the Steelers. Later this winter, the San Francisco Symphony will join festivities for Super Bowl 50, February 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Joshua Gersen will lead SFS concerts on February 3 and 4 hosted by NFL Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen. 9/4/05, 12:21 PM
Maybe it’s those hot Texas summers, but a move is afoot to rethink stage attire for orchestra musicians in Dallas and San Antonio. Kevin Yu, a businessman and avocational violinist based in Dallas, had long complained that performing in standard concert attire was unbearably hot, so he went to work designing a stretchy, breathable tuxedo shirt based on athletic wear. Yu gave prototypes of the shirt—dubbed the Gershwin Tuxedo Shirt—to professional musicians such as Nathan Olson, co-concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony (above), for feedback. He then opened an online store, Coregami, which promptly sold out and has generated media coverage. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Symphony partnered with a local women’s apparel boutique, Niche, which created a collection of outfits—also designed to be more comfortable to play in—and donated them to the orchestra’s female musicians. Musicians received the new clothing on November 12 at a party at Niche’s San Antonio store, and debuted them onstage at the Tobin Center two days later. Pictured above: San Antonio Symphony Assistant Conductor Akiko Fujimoto tries on her new Niche outfit. Courtesy San Antonio Symphony
Who says you can’t do both sports and music? On August 31, Marie-Hélène Bernard, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s president and CEO (below), threw the ceremonial first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium against the Washington Nationals. Bernard was in good company. Earlier that month, Kirk Gustafson, music director of Colorado’s Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra,, threw the first pitch at the Grand Junction Rockies game at Stocker Stadium. That appearance took place during a day of orchestra activities at the stadium, which included a free concert following the baseball game. Michael Francis, the Florida Orchestra’s’s new music director, threw the first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field on September 17 against the Baltimore Orioles. On September 29, Yannick Nézet-Séguin took time out of his fall schedule as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra to throw the first pitch at the Philadelphia Phillies’
Talk about connecting with your neighborhood. On September 19, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky held a gala alfresco event on Second Street in the heart of Owensboro. Presented by the town’s Bella Ragazza Boutique, the dinner-and-fashion evening raised funds to support the orchestra and celebrate the start of its fiftieth season. Owensboro Symphony keyboard player Diane Earle performed, and dancing in the street was encouraged, to music by the Owensboro Symphony’s 2nd Street Big Band.
Outdoors in Owensboro
The Owensboro Symphony’s second annual White on Second event brought festively attired crowds to the town’s streets this fall.
At Beethoven + Coldplay, FUSE@PSO Creative Director Steve Hackman conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and vocalists Malia Civetz, Will Post, and Ben Jones, October 6, 2015.
How about a mash-up of the “Eroica” Symphony and Coldplay’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” “Mylo Xyloto,” and “Viva la Vida”? That was the theme of Beethoven + Coldplay, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s FUSE@PSO concert at Heinz Hall this fall. The mixed-genre series, conceived by Steve Hackman, launched in June with a program featuring Hackman’s own mash-up of Brahms’s First Symphony and Radiohead’s OK Computer. Aimed at younger concertgoers, FUSE@PSO is both musical and social; June’s event began with preconcert drinks, appetizers, and board games at Heinz Hall Summer Garden. Leading up to October’s Beethoven + Coldplay concert, the PSO ran a competition for local students: contestants uploaded cover versions or mash-ups of a Coldplay song, and winners had the chance to perform their song at Heinz Hall during the Fuse concert pre-party. This winter, the series continues with Copland + Bon Iver and Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Remixed. americanorchestras.org
League of American Orchestras
The theme of the League’s 2016 Conference in Baltimore (June 9-11) is “The Richness of Difference”—and an important precursor to the Conference took place on December 2 and 3, 2015 in New York City, when the League cohosted a convening with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Some 50 leaders from across the country gathered to consider strategies to increase participation of musicians from underrepresented communities at American orchestras, explore the pipeline for musician development from early childhood onward, and identify possibilities for collaboration with partners within and outside the orchestral world. Attendees included a diverse representation of professional musicians and administrators from professional and youth orchestras, community music schools, conservatories, and El Sistema-inspired programs, as well as community engagement experts. They identified current gaps in services necessary to increase the number of competitive At the December convening on increasing musicians from underrepresented diversity in orchestras: from left, Jesse communities and how the field Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras; Liz Alsina, program might best strengthen efforts across associate, Arts and Cultural Heritage at the the continuum of professional Mellon Foundation; Ken Cole, vice president, musician pathways, both as individual Learning and Leadership Development, organizations and collectively. The League of American Orchestras; Susan Conference will be a critical venue to Feder, program officer, Arts and Cultural Heritage at the Mellon Foundation. broaden these discussions.
One of this fall’s hottest tickets was the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Strauss Elektra, with the incendiary Christine Goerke as the avenging title character (below), performed in concert versions at Boston’s Symphony Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall. The performances, coming just two months after the BSO’s announcement that Andris Nelsons would continue as music director through 2022, drew rapturous critical reviews and ovations in both cities. Performances with vocalists and choruses have been hallmarks of Nelsons’s tenure at the BSO, from Strauss’s Salome in March 2014 at Symphony Hall, with soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin in the title role, to Mahler’s operatically proportioned Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) at Tanglewood last summer, with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, TMC alumni, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston University Tanglewood Institute Chorus, American Boy Choir, and vocal soloists.
Ken Veeder © Capitol Photo Archives
Taking Action on Diversity
Sinatra at 100
Celebrations around the country marked what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday on December 12. Of course, Ol’ Blue Eyes is no stranger to orchestras, with ongoing pops shows like vocalist Steve Lippia’s multiple Sinatra presentations and “The Rat Pack, Fifty Years of Frank!” Sinatra tributes this fall by orchestras included the Omaha Symphony (“Best of Sinatra with Clint Holmes”), the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (“Sinatra and Beyond with Tony DeSare”), and the New York Philharmonic (“Live from Lincoln Center Presents Sinatra: Voice for a Century”).
Nézet-Séguin Named Musical America’s Artist of the Year
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, and principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, has been named Artist of the Year by Musical America. The conductor, pictured at right on the cover of MA’s 2016 International Directory of the Performing Arts, was honored December 8 at an awards ceremony in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Terrace Room, along with Tod Machover, Composer of the Year; violinist Jennifer Koh, Instrumentalist of the Year; tenor Mark Padmore, Vocalist of the Year; and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Ensemble of the Year.
Katie Wyatt, executive director, Kidznotes
Invest in one, invest in many Through our leadership programs, the League invested in Katie, who now invests in nearly 300 kids annually from Title-1 schools in Durham and Raleigh, N.C. Supporting the League means investing in people, their communities, and the future of classical music. Donate now at americanorchestras.org.
Juilliard Heads East
The new National Sawdust concert hall opened with a Terry Riley Festival in October.
The Juilliard School isn’t just in Manhattan anymore. This fall, the conservatory announced plans for the Tianjin Juilliard School, its first campus in China. In addition to offering a U.S.-accredited master’s degree, the Tianjin Juilliard School will offer instrumental lessons for people of all ages and abilities, weekly public performances, and an exhibit space. The school is slated to open in 2018 in a facility designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the team responsible for the expansion of Juilliard’s New York home. The Tianjin plans are part of Juilliard’s strategy to become accessible to a wider public. Preliminary approval from China’s Ministry of Education paves the way for Juilliard and its partners—the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, the Tianjin Binhai New Area CBD Administrative Commission, and the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company (TIFI)—to develop the Tianjin facility.
A Concert Hall Grows in Brooklyn
No, it’s not a sci-fi film set—it’s a former sawdust factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And now it’s a center for contemporary music called National Sawdust. The space had its eagerly awaited opening in October with five performances celebrating composer Terry Riley. The 350-seat flexible space, designed by Bureau V and Arup Theatrical Consultants, cost $16 million to build. The project was spearheaded by former tax attorney and avocational composer/organist Kevin Dolan, who bought the factory in 2012; composer Paola Prestini serves as artistic and executive director. National Sawdust has hosted composers such as Anna Clyne, John Zorn, and Matthew Aucoin, as well as pianist AnneMarie McDermott, the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and soprano Renée Fleming. This season, the New York Philharmonic is holding several of its “Contact!” new-music series performances there, and it will be one of eight venues for the Philharmonic’s 2016 Biennial in June. There’s an in-house bar, and soon to arrive are custom-built chairs and a restaurant.
Observing Beethoven and Mozart manuscripts from the Juilliard Manuscript Collection: Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi; Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China; and Juilliard Board Chairman Bruce Kovner
New Music for America, a consortium that aims to bring a commissioned work by a major American composer to orchestras in all 50 states, bore its first fruit last fall with the initial performances of Christopher Theofanidis’s Dreamtime Ancestors. Music Director Steven Karidoyanes led the Plymouth (Mass.) Philharmonic Orchestra in the world premiere on October 3; Theofanidis, at left in photo, spoke from the stage about the genesis of his seventeen-minute tone poem inspired by an Australian aboriginal myth. Dreamtime Ancestors was given regional premieres by New Mexico’s Las Cruces Symphony on October 18 and by the Mission Chamber Orchestra (San Jose, Calif.) on November 8; a third regional premiere, by the Bentonville-based Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, is scheduled for April 16. Chairing the NMFA consortium is Robert Rosoff, formerly executive director of the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra and a key figure in Ford Made in America, the commissioning project that led to 50-state performances of works by Joan Tower in 2006 and Joseph Schwantner in 2008. symphony
First of Fifty
Rachel Ford, executive director, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Invest in one, invest in many Through our leadership programs, the League invested in Rachel, who now invests in the healing power of music â€“ exactly when patients need it the most. Through live performances in healthcare facilities, the KSOâ€™s awardwinning Music & Wellness Program helps the healing process of more than 4,500 patients every year. Supporting the League means investing in people and their communities. Donate now at americanorchestras.org.
San Francisco Symphony
Joseph Scafidi in his office at the San Francisco Symphony in 1970
Top Brass The National Brass Ensemble, consisting of players from ten professional orchestras across the U.S., presented a sonically spectacular concert at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall on September 20. In performance for the first time together were brass musicians, mostly section principals, from the flagship orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as the Grant Park Orchestra, San Francisco Opera and Ballet, and Northwestern University (horn professor Gail Williams, a former member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and one of two women in the NBE; the other was Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Horn Jennifer Montone). In addition to John Williams’s Music for Brass, repertoire included arrangements by Timothy Higgins, principal trombone in the San Francisco Symphony and a member of the ensemble, of Gabrieli’s Sacrae symphoniae and the overtures to Verdi’s La forza del destino and Nabucco. Seen here leading the Verdi is CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti. Gabrieli, a hybrid SACD featuring the ensemble in the Williams and Gabrieli works, was released last fall by Oberlin Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
oseph Scafidi, an orchestra administrator who spent nearly four decades with the San Francisco Symphony and shepherded it through a period of exponential growth, died August 17 at his home in Sonoma, California. He was 94. A San Francisco native, he began working at the orchestra while still a student at San Francisco State College, then rose through the ranks as assistant manager, general manager, and executive director before retiring in 1978. The organization’s budget grew from $200,000 to more than $4 million during his tenure, and its season from 18 to 52 weeks. Scafidi worked with five music directors at the SFS, and frequently engaged as a guest conductor the man who leads it today, Michael Tilson Thomas. Executive Director Brent Assink noted in a San Francisco Chronicle obituary, “Joe’s personal warmth and love of music was so pervasive that I believe the Symphony’s culture still embodies a part of him to this day.” The Joseph and Pauline Scafidi Chair, honoring him and his wife of 61 years, who died in 2011, endows the SFS’s English horn position.
This season Susan Deaver marks a quarter century as music director of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra on New York’s Long Island. The community ensemble, celebrating its own 55th anniversary in 2015-16, opened a four-concert season November 14 with Dvorák’s Carnival Overture, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and violin concertos by Bruch and Prokofiev. Deaver, shown below rehearsing the orchestra in early October, has overseen a number of artistic initiatives since assuming the podium in 1990, including a biennial Young Artist Award for high school musicians and an Artist-in-Residence program that recruits high-caliber professionals to serve as concertmaster and mentor for the orchestra. In addition to local high schools, NSSO concert venues have included the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at Long Island University.
Swimming with Finns
Jean Sibelius was born December 8, 1865, and the sesquicentennial of Finland’s most famous composer was observed by orchestras far and wide last fall—from concerts by the San Francisco Symphony (the Violin Concerto and Swan of Tuonela) to a “Rhythm of Sibelius” celebration at the Orchestra of Southern Utah (Finlandia, Symphony No. 6, Valse Triste) to an ambitious undertaking of the Symphony No. 5 and selections from The Tempest at California’s El Camino Youth Symphony. In Buffalo, New York, the 75th anniversary of Kleinhans Music Hall, designed by the Finnish architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen, prompted a wider celebration involving both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the city’s major art museums. As part of FinnFest USA, the BPO not only performed Sibelius’s first and fifth symphonies and Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Symphony No. 1, but hosted composer residencies by Jaakko Kuusisto, Sebastian Fagerlund, and Kaija Saariaho. Heard in their U.S. premieres were Kuusisto’s Violin Concerto (with soloist Elina Vahala) and Fagerlund’s Isola.
December 11, 1920 – August 17, 2015
Violinist Elina Vahala embraces her Finnish compatriot, composer Jaakko Kuusisto, following the October 9 U.S. premiere of Kuusisto’s Violin Concerto by the Buffalo Philharmonic led by Music Director JoAnn Falletta.
Mei-Ann Chen, music director, Chicago Sinfonietta
Invest in one, invest in many Through our leadership programs, the League invested in Mei-Ann, who now invests in connecting the diverse cultures of Chicago by expanding the boundaries of classical music. Supporting the League means investing in people and their communities. Donate now at americanorchestras.org.
How Can Orchestras Become More Diverse? Distinguished African-American orchestra professionals discuss their lives in orchestras today.
ast August I spent two days at the Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York. Never heard of it? Neither had I. But it’s a remarkable festival that all of us in orchestras should get to know. The biennial festival celebrates the participation and contributions of classically trained musicians of African descent through more than 50 solo, chamber, and orchestra performances in the Eastman Theatre at Eastman School of Music, houses of worship, schools, and other community locations throughout the city and suburbs of Rochester. More than 100 musicians from around the United States participate in Gateways and perform for a diverse and multi-ethnic audience of nearly 10,000. Being there was like being welcomed into a family reunion, but not exactly my family. It was very familiar in the sense that here were wonderfully talented musicians, generously sharing their gifts in programs new and old, big and small. But as I came to understand, the experience of each of these musicians in their home orchestras is unique. In almost every instance, each is the only African-American musician in his or her orchestra. So you can imagine the joy and excitement of coming together for six days. As our country continues its difficult conversation about race, and as orchestras
confront the homogeneity of their workforce, I wanted to hear the stories of these musicians, to understand more about their pathways into orchestras, their day-today experiences, and their visions for the future. I am happy to share a transcript of our roundtable discussion. JESSE ROSEN: The most striking thing to me about the Gateways Festival was the spirit among the players, the energy with all of you. I’m interested to hear what you get out of it—what it means for you not so much as a larger cause but as
“A lot of African-American kids play instruments, but they drop off because they’re not seeing people who look like them and not getting the idea that this is something they can do for a living.” –Judy Dines individual musicians coming together. JUDY DINES: This is maybe my third or fourth time at Gateways. I love going, and I give it priority over any of my other summer things like the National Flute Association Convention or other festivals, because I really enjoy playing with so many other great African-American musicians. That to me is great—to have all of us on the stage, and it’s a good representa-
by Jesse Rosen
Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras
tion for us. A lot of times in the media, people are—I don’t know how quite to say this in the best way—people don’t seem to think good things, and this festival is really a good thing. To have so many people out there playing is really fantastic. Every time, it gets better and better, so that’s why I enjoy going to this festival. JESSE ROSEN: When you say people don’t often think good things, could you say more about what you mean? JUDY DINES: I look at the nightly news or newspaper articles where people who maybe don’t know a lot of AfricanAmerican people in general may think the way we are portrayed is the only way we all are. What I like about this festival is it’s a completely different thing, because we’re not represented in large numbers in orchestras. People don’t think a lot about African Americans playing classical music, and this festival puts that out there. TITUS UNDERWOOD: This summer was my first time at Gateways. I mainly enjoyed it because I’ve never had that experience—ever—in my life. Period. I’m usually the different person within whatever space that I’m in, and usually symphony
“There needs to be more representation in the professional field showing African-American musicians performing at a high level— just as there need to be more female conductors or more female CEOs.” –Titus Underwood in the arts, I could speak my mind and people were like, “I’ve had that experience myself.” It was a heartwarming, almost healing process. I’ve been playing oboe for almost twenty years and I had never had that experience.
I get an array of questions regarding my presence. The thing that warmed my heart the most when I went to Gateways was that there were none of those questions. It was very nice to go there and be normal, making music with other people, and not being a spectacle in any way. It made me feel a lot more relaxed, more at home, like I was playing with family members or cousins that I hadn’t seen before, and I finally get to make music with them. Any concerns that I did have about the arts or talking about African Americans
A standing ovation greets a 2015 Gateways Music Festival concert in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, led by Michael Morgan.
ican players wearing African garb—that’s completely different than what you would see on any concert stage. I understand why we wear more formal clothes now, but I also understand where Armenta was coming from as far as this being something completely different. I live in Rochester, New York and play with the Rochester Philharmonic, and one of the main things I get from Gateways is that we perform at the Eastman Theatre—my home court. I know that stage, so to see all African-American classical musicians on that stage is kind of, “Wow.”
Flutist Judy Dines, a member of the Houston Symphony, is also a very active performer in Houston and beyond. Locally, she performs in the Greenbriar Consortium, the Foundation for Modern Music, and the St. Cecilia Chamber Society. Outside of Houston, Dines is a member of the Ritz Chamber Players. She has also participated in the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra and has performed at several National Flute Association Conventions. In the orchestral world, Dines has performed selected weeks with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Born in Washington, D.C., Dines attended Temple University in Philadelphia and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore before going to Houston. She joined the Houston Symphony in 1992.
HERB SMITH: I’ve been going to Gateways for a while, so I can hark back to the first time I was there with [Gateways Founder] Armenta Hummings. At that time, we were wearing African garb, dashikis and stuff, and that’s even more of a cultural explosion because to see and hear Beethoven played by African-Ameramericanorchestras.org
It’s different than what I’m used to. For me, the concerts are about love. There’s not the attitude, the jadedness in the orchestra. Like Titus said, it’s like playing with family. I love that. The other thing I was thinking about was the painter Kehinde Wiley. He puts African-American people in what looks
like an old painting of an aristocrat from England, so it’s an African-American person in the same pose. It totally blows your mind. To me, Gateways is a Wiley picture—having all African-American players in a concert hall playing classical music. MICHAEL MORGAN: I go to Gateways because it really is a family reunion—with instruments. There is not that feeling anywhere else I go. To be in front of an orchestra where everyone clearly wants to be, and wants it to be good, and wants to support everybody else on the stage, is really moving. I was at the first Gateways Music Festival, but there’s no [ongoing] conductor for the festival, so when I am invited to Gateways, I conduct because they want me. You get this feeling that everybody wants to be there, everybody wants the music to be the best it possibly can be. You can’t bottle that. That is so incredibly rare. We throw everything we’ve got into that week. I can’t imagine anything better to do. LEE KOONCE: Everything that everyone has said so far is certainly my experience, too. I’m not playing an instrument at Gateways, but helping coordinate and organize. As a musician myself, I attended Eastman, and like all of you probably grew up being the only one of African descent in my community who studied classical music. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. There was nobody carrying around sheet music for
Beethoven sonatas and Bach preludes who looked like me. Michael [Morgan] and I were at Oberlin at the same time. There were very few of us at Oberlin. When I went to Eastman, there were even fewer of us. Coming to Gateways, it’s as if the world makes sense. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, this really feels good, this feels right.” It’s not to exclude others, it’s to build up this community. That’s what’s so important about this experience for me. It’s building this community that is desperately yearning for this kind of experience. MICHAEL MORGAN: One of the hardest things when dealing with younger people and trying to keep African-American kids in the classical music business is them feeling enough support to think they can keep going. They feel like they’re out there by themselves, and it’s a discouraging business, even for all of us that have careers. For a young person who doesn’t have enough backing to stay in that, they drop off and do something else that feels like they have more support. Even just visually at Gateways, you see that there is support for you, that what you do is, in fact, normal. JESSE ROSEN: What do you bring back when you return to your regular environment, where for the most part you are one of maybe two or three African Americans in your orchestras? How does the experience at Gateways affect how you look at your home orchestra, your home context?
Gateways Music Festi val
Scenes from the 2013 Gateways Music Festival. Above: a chamber music concert at Hochstein School of Music and Dance, with Kelly Hall-Tompkins at center. Top right and below: Michael Morgan conducts Gateways Music Festival Orchestra concerts in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
TITUS UNDERWOOD: I’m recharged, and that allows me to do two things. One, the recharged battery musically—a love for music and playing with people who support you. Two, an acceptance of myself. You play at Gateways and see an entire orchestra where everyone looks like you. It helps an acceptance of myself, and when I go into my regular orchestra I’m more relaxed, more me. HERB SMITH: I feel more recharged, reaffirmed, supported. I’m not saying that I don’t have other support systems, because all of us have other support systems, whether it’s our teachers or colleagues or
“If an orchestra has a season and there’s not one person of color as a guest soloist, I’m thinking, ‘What in the world is going on here?’ That’s something that orchestras can change right now. There are so many talented classical musicians of African descent.” –Lee Koonce
feel ostracized, but I didn’t feel ostracized there in any way. I showed up, we were talking about these natural things that we have in common. It gives you more life and more meaning to what you’re doing, more purpose. JESSE ROSEN: From your own experiences and professional development, what do you regard as the most significant thing that really helped move you forward and kept you on a track to advance into the important professional positions that you now hold? JUDY DINES: I grew up in Washington, D.C., and learned how to play the flute in the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program. It was a neat program for lots of kids in D.C., and there were black and white people in it. My father wanted
Lee Koonce is a New York-based arts administrator, consultant, and pianist, and chairs the Gateways Music Festival Artistic Programs Committee. He previously held leadership roles as executive director of Ballet Hispanico and Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City; executive director of Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago; and director of community relations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Koonce received a Bachelors of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Literature from Oberlin College, and a Master’s of Music in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.
whatever. However, it is nice to see other people who look like you doing what you do. It’s priceless, like the feeling when you see your family. It’s not exclusionary, it’s not that other people can’t come. It’s a community that’s been built, a community that needed it because a lot of times, I felt like an island, out there by myself. A lot of times the surroundings make people
my siblings and me to play instruments, because he was a great lover of classical music. He was a lifelong subscriber to the National Symphony Orchestra, so that’s where I got my basis for classical music. In high school I was in the National Symphony’s Youth Fellowship Program, which gave us free lessons and we went to rehearsals and things. That’s when I symphony
Michael Morgan was born in Washington, D.C., where he began conducting at the age of twelve. While at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, he also studied with Gunther Schuller and Seiji Ozawa at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he worked with Leonard Bernstein. His operatic debut was in 1982 at the Vienna State Opera. In 1986, Sir Georg Solti chose him as assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for seven years under Solti and Daniel Barenboim. In 1986, he was invited by Bernstein to debut with the New York Philharmonic. He has appeared with most of America’s major orchestras, as well as with opera companies. In addition to serving as music director of California’s Oakland Symphony, Morgan is artistic director of the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra and music director at Bear Valley Music Festival. He is music director emeritus of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera.
Youth Symphony, which was affiliated with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. We would do our joint concerts and I would sit next to Phil Collins and Marie Speziale, trumpet players in the Cincinnati Symphony. Sitting next to them, you’re just thinking, “Oh my goodness, I want to do this, I want to be in an orchestra.” You always have teachers or people who help guide you. I remember a teacher who came to my school during my senior year. He was a graduate of Eastman, but Eastman wasn’t even on my radar, and he was like, “You need to audition for Eastman.” I was like, “What is Eastman?” I had no clue. But I got in and it worked out. My teacher at Eastman, Barbara Butler, would check up on
decided I should continue the flute. That was my basis: the program, my parents. MICHAEL MORGAN: I can piggyback on that because I got a lot of time in front of the musicians in the D.C. Youth
“I don’t see any impediments to there being more AfricanAmerican players in orchestras. It’s just trying to keep them in music, when you spot the talented ones.” –Michael Morgan
Chamber music is an essential part of the Gateways Music Festival program. In photo, from left: Roy Beason, oboe; Judy Dines, flute; Antoine Clark, clarinet; and Maya Stone, bassoon, at the 2015 Festival.
Orchestra, conducted my first rehearsals for things like Mahler symphonies and works that normally youth orchestras didn’t play at the time—but we did. At that point, James DePreist was the associate conductor at the National Symphony, and I got a letter from him that got me into National Symphony rehearsals. I missed about half of high school going to the National Symphony rehearsals—I still don’t believe I actually graduated. All along the way, I had people who reached back, whether it was Julius Rudel or James DePreist or a push from Bernstein, all these people who kept me going at critical moments. All it takes is one person who gives you a little push, but some people don’t even have that one person. HERB SMITH: I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Within the Cincinnati Public School District I went to the School for Creative and Performing Arts, which had an orchestra program, band, jazz band, and so forth. Then I was in the Cincinnati
me. You have to have someone to guide you or help you. Having the opportunity to be in the youth symphony, to feel what it’s like to be in the real deal and have that exposure, you think, “Okay, now I have something to shoot for.” TITUS UNDERWOOD: I grew up in Pensacola, Florida, started oboe when I was in sixth grade. I grew up in a very musical family. I’m a pastor’s kid, the youngest of six kids, and we all played instruments. My sister plays violin; we’re the only two who majored in music and went to school for it. She introduced me to the oboe. My parents supported it, we used to go to the local symphony, I saw my sister doing classical music, all of us were so musically oriented, and my parents made sure we were exposed to different types of music. I began to take music more seriously when I started being home-schooled in eighth grade, and joined a home-school association that had a band. The band was led by this lady named Glenda Jones who recognized my talent and pushed me hard to look at conservatories—I didn’t know that I could audition for an orchestra or a conservatory. I didn’t know anything about orchestras or the work, I was completely clueless. She said “You should study at Cleveland Institute of Music with John Mack. He’s really, really, really good.” Because I had a competitive spirit, I
wanted to go to the good school. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I took it super seriously. John Mack was a big influence. It was mainly the support of parents and pivotal people that helped keep my interest in classical music. At the time, I wasn’t interested in it because I felt that it was stuffy. I was the only black kid around. I didn’t necessarily enjoy the culture of it, but I enjoyed the music itself. It was hard for me to separate the two. The culture of classical music felt foreign to me, but I knew that I loved playing oboe and that was something that I couldn’t live without. JESSE ROSEN: How would you define the culture of classical music? TITUS UNDERWOOD: To be frank, I thought it was very white, which was foreign to me. I grew up in a very black suburb in Pensacola, and in the South, the blacks are over here, the white people are over there. I didn’t have many white friends growing up, and when I got into undergrad, that was the first time I was the only black kid around. I was the only black undergrad when I first got to CIM. It was a very weird experience and I felt out of place. I mean, at the time, I had dreadlocks, I’m dressed in Rocawear, playing oboe. I didn’t make sense to people, so they were like, “Who is this guy? Is he a percussionist? Is he a bassist?” I was this quirky, nerdy kid with dreadlocks who
Herb Smith is third trumpet with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. He is an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music and began playing with the orchestra after graduating in 1991. He works with Young Audiences of America and the Rochester City School District Artist in Residence program. Smith travels throughout upstate N.Y. doing workshops and presentations on classical music for non-musicians. Smith plays many gigs with his jazz quartet and is a frequent substitute player for the Chautauqua and Buffalo Philharmonic orchestras. He is trumpet instructor for the Eastman Community Music School, and teaches trumpet from his home studio. He has played with many notable jazz and pop artists, and has played on many commercial jingles. Other ventures include composing music for silent films, writing musical arrangements for local bands, and a recent collaboration composing a full-length ballet for Garth Fagan Dance.
them in the business, but I see plenty of opportunity. It’s just getting them to stay. A lot of it is the culture thing Titus was talking about. We’ve figured out how to work our way through the culture, but honestly, if you’re looking at it from the outside as a young person, you’re thinking, “I don’t know if I even want to be a part of this.” It’s a foreign country,
played oboe. No one at home thought it was awkward, but when I got into conservatory, a hyper-awareness came to me that, “I am a black kid playing classical music, and I guess that is strange.” JESSE ROSEN: What things give any of you some sense of hope that there will be greater opportunity for more African Americans in orchestras? Are you seeing things that look promising to you? MICHAEL MORGAN: I don’t see any impediments to there being more African-American players in orchestras. It’s just trying to keep them in music, when you spot the talented ones. At Oberlin, if we spot somebody in elementary school, we stay with them—we’ve gotten a couple all the way through music degrees in college. Even then, it’s hard to keep
“Orchestras need to advocate to make sure that instrumental programs are in city schools. To have the orchestral presence in a city advocating for music programs in schools, then maybe that kid with dreadlocks gets to play an instrument.” –Herb Smith
Rodney Allen Young
Anthony McGill, principal clarinet in the New York Philharmonic, performs with the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra at the 2015 festival.
basically, and a lot to navigate. These days, with the world being a) very materialistic and b) wanting to do everything immediately, people want things right away, instead of working towards something like this, which is a slow build. I mean, I’m a conductor—and conductors aren’t any good until they’re about 50 years old. It’s one thing to have talent as a conductor, but it takes years before you actually know anything. That’s a long path for a kid to be looking down. LEE KOONCE: The fact that music instruction is not prevalent in every classroom in the United States means that kids who might have a predilection for playing this music, or any other kind of music, symphony
aren’t given the opportunity. The few who get through and learn about instruments have to be persistent to go to the next level. It’s difficult because there’s not a critical mass of a million, or five million, kids in the country right now studying musical instruments. The majority of musicians currently in orchestras started playing in public school, and in losing that model of how to start musicians, not only did we lose many potential musicians, we lost audience members who would have an appreciation for the music because they played an instrument in the third, fourth, and fifth grade. And we’ve lost donors. That is a challenge for all of us because the feeder pool is absent in so many parts of the country. Folks understand the slow-burn process in sports for becoming a great player, because professional athletes work hard to develop their skills. But we don’t un-
“Classical musicians of African descent need to see more representations of themselves in the world of classical music, as do those who are aspiring classical musicians.” –Lee Koonce derstand that kind of trajectory when it comes to classical music. TITUS UNDERWOOD: Those are all super-valid points. But I want to talk about it from a different angle. Staying in this business is difficult. I’ve seen great black musicians not want to do it anymore—ones who were really good, going to some of the best conservatories, who don’t want to do it anymore because of how they felt. It’s tough for everybody in this business, everyone knows that. No one likes taking an audition, no one likes
sitting behind that screen. But staying in this business is about perception as well—about how African Americans are viewed. As Judy said, because of how we’re viewed, it’s jolting for some people to see African-American classical musicians. If I’m in a final round of an audition, I’m playing oboe, all these really sassy melodies, and then you see me come from behind the screen. I’m a 6’2” black guy playing the oboe. It’s not something you see every day. One thing that has been difficult is that most things African Americans see in the arts are charity cases or outreach programs. That level needs to be met, but there needs to be a level that exemplifies excellence as well. When you see other people who look like you performing at an exceptional level, that’s what encourages. I see kids who want to be in music because they’re like, “Wow, he’s good at it and he’s
doing it in an orchestra. That’s amazing.” Rather than, “Yeah, I play oboe, I’m in this program for black people.” So it’s very difficult and a very fine line. There needs to be more representation in the professional field showing African Americans at a high level. It’s reaching out to other people who look like you—just as there need to be more female conductors or more female CEOs.
“One of the hardest things with trying to keep AfricanAmerican kids in the classical music business is them feeling enough support to think they can keep going.” –Michael Morgan MICHAEL MORGAN: We could use more black conductors, too, by the way. At this point, female conductors in terms of major orchestras are doing much better than black conductors. JUDY DINES: For me, the hole where people are getting lost is making the transition into deciding that this is what they want to do. I live in Texas, where we have a pretty good band program—lots of kids are playing instruments, probably a lot more than in other states, which is great. A lot of kids play, but they drop off because they’re not seeing people who look like them and not getting the idea that this is something they can do for a living. One thing that I hope would be a positive influence is YouTube, where you see orchestras all around the world, and you see more and more people of color in orchestras. JESSE ROSEN: What should orchestras do? What would you wish to see orchestras do to be helpful? There are a lot of pieces to that question, but one is support and development of the talent pool. I’m struck by how consistent this theme is that you’ve all brought up: the discomfort of being the only one, and being in a cultural setting that doesn’t feel like home. You’re all in important roles in important orchestras. What would you have them do?
TITUS UNDERWOOD: A lot of people say, “We should search for more black musicians and put them in the orchestra,” but we know that won’t necessarily work because there’s always the audition process and I am all about the audition process being fair. I am a big supporter of the [blind] audition process. However, I think that if AfricanAmerican musicians were to reach back and train young musicians who were in conservatories at a competitive level, work with them, listen to their audition tapes, give them lessons, give them advice, had some sort of connection where we reached out—because people say there aren’t a lot of black musicians. Well, there are quite a few who have gone through conservatories, who are freelancing and are really good. Let’s take those people who have the potential to get into orchestras and train them. I’m a firm believer in the screen staying up in auditions. As a result of the screen, you raise the chances of more African Americans being in orchestras, so it’s not this convoluted
out there in the field. Then we will have more African-American musicians succeeding at auditions. Human beings tend to downplay the power of unconscious perception. If there’s a bass trombone audition and someone is cranking it out better than everybody else behind the screen, and a one-hundred pound woman comes from behind the screen, that would be a little jarring at first, to be completely honest. That isn’t who I envisioned—because that’s what humans do, we’re always trying to visualize. We’re trying to connect the visual with the sound, and while that person is playing, you’re processing how that person looks rather than listening to their playing. The screen takes that away, and you have to listen to what’s coming across. By default, that will happen rather than the search-committee thing. LEE KOONCE: I have a couple of things that I would add about what orchestras could do, from the perspective of someone who’s worked on the administrative side in orchestras. First, this com-
Titus Underwood is acting associate principal oboe at the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, which he joined in 2014. He recently received his Artist Diploma at the Colburn School, where he studied with Allan Vogel. He received his Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Elaine Douvas, and pursued additional studies with Nathan Hughes and Pedro Diaz. He earned his Bachelor of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a pupil of John Mack, legendary principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra. There he also studied with Frank Rosenwein and Jeffrey Rathbun. Underwood has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony. Festivals he has attended include Music Academy of the West, Breckenridge Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, and Canada’s Domaine Forget.
thing where we’re picking because it’s race or we’re picking because it’s talent. The screen never lies. I know that the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra hires people from behind the screen—and that’s arguably one of the best orchestras in the United States. However, I think that we need training, really hyper training after the conservatory, something like Gateways but also a clinic where we run you through the wringer, prepare you to get
munity of classical musicians of African descent needs to see more representations of themselves in the world of classical music, as do those who are aspiring classical musicians. If an orchestra has a season and there’s not one person of color as a guest soloist, I’m thinking “What in the world is going on here?” That’s something that orchestras can change right now. There are so many talented classical musicians of African descent who could be solosymphony
ists with orchestras. Secondly, orchestras can begin to play music by composers of African descent in months other than February. Number three, the diversity of the staff and the board changes how the organization thinks—if there’s little or no diversity on your staff and your board, more than likely the way that organization thinks is not going to lead it to becoming a place of inclusion. When young black kids or kids of African descent see a diverse organization, they think, “Well, maybe that is not such a foreign place for me if I’m going to be an oboist and I’m 6’2” and I have dreadlocks. That orchestra could be a pretty cool place for me to play, because the staff is diverse, the board is diverse, and that’s not a foreign place.” Lastly, when we talk about musicians of African descent, while orchestras need good outreach programs, what type of mentoring is going on for aspiring professional musicians from seasoned orchestra
“What I like about Gateways Festival is it’s a completely different thing, because we’re not represented in large numbers in orchestras. People don’t think a lot about African Americans playing classical music, and this festival puts that out there.” –Judy Dines players? Orchestras could look at conservatories and say, “There is this amazing black oboe player who we’re going to take under our wing. We’re going to make sure he has a chance to get into this orchestra, or some other orchestra, because we’re going to mentor that kid.” Those are things that orchestras can do. I can go on and on, but those are four things. HERB SMITH: The other piece that needs to be put in place here—it’s like a shotgun effect, a broad stroke—is that
orchestras need to advocate to make sure that instrumental programs are in city schools. That’s so important. I went to a city school that had a music program, and that’s what got me going. Obviously you want to support the professionals now, but they’ve got to start somewhere—even if you get just one kid. To really have advocacy, to have the orchestral presence in the city advocating for music programs in schools, then maybe that kid with dreadlocks gets to play an instrument. That’s really important, but city schools are dropping music programs left and right. Yes, support professional and aspiring professional musicians, and also do the programs in the community. It’s both. JUDY DINES: A mentoring program is really important. That way it’s not such a shock when people are moving into the next level—they know what to expect. Then people can figure out if that’s what they want to do.
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On Board for Good Governance Board members play invaluable roles in the governance of their orchestras, and the League of American Orchestras’ Noteboom Governance Center offers a wealth of practical information and insightful guidance, plus the latest thinking on effective orchestra governance. by Chester Lane
oard members have never faced greater expectations for good governance than they do now,” says nonprofit governance expert Chuck V. Loring. “One of the challenges nonprofits face concerns public perception, and each orchestra needs to respond to the needs of the community it serves. In addition, arts organizations that receive government funding are under added scrutiny. Good governance is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity.” The rapid pace of change in our society—cultural, economic, demographic, technological—demands ever-greater adaptability on the part of orchestras, and the role of governance is critical in helping them thrive. While orchestras’ individual situations vary widely, their boards have many challenges in common and need not work in isolation from each other. As a national organization serving orchestras of all sizes, the League of American Orchestras is uniquely positioned to bring best practices in orchestra governance to the attention of board members. Effective board leadership has been a central concern of the League since its inception in 1942. Today, programs in this vital area are concentrated in the Noteboom Governance Center.
Established by the League in 2014 in honor of outgoing Chairman Lowell J. Noteboom—he had held that post since 2006, and continues to serve on the League’s Board of Directors—the Noteboom Governance Center is both a repository of information about orchestra governance, accessible through the “Governance & Volunteerism” tab at the top of the americanorchestras.org home
Established by the League in 2014, the Noteboom Governance Center is a source of information about orchestra governance and the umbrella for a range of League programs designed to help boards proactively improve their effectiveness. page, and the umbrella for a range of League programs—seminars, webinars, self-assessment tools, peer meetings, grant opportunities—designed to help boards proactively improve their effectiveness. A major enhancement to the Noteboom Governance Center is coming this spring: a League of American Orchestras Governance Guide that updates the League’s previous publication in this area.
These e-books from BoardSource can be downloaded for free by League members from the Noteboom Governance Center section of americanorchestras.org.
• Articles and e-books. The “Governance & Volunteerism” section of americanorchestras.org links to more than two dozen publications on this topic published by the League and by such organizations as BoardSource, the Washington-based national association dedicated to improving governance in the nonprofit sector. Current e-books on the site, all available for free to League members, include the BoardSource publications Building the Governance Partnership; Fundraising Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, and The Board Building Cycle. • Orchestra Guide to Ethics and Accountability. This section of the website connects to free, downloadable articles and papers in four categories: “League Resources”; “State Resources for Nonprofit Standards”;“National Resources for Developing Ethics Policies, Accountability Standards, and Best Practices”; and “Background Information on Ethics and Accountability.” • Public Value Toolkit. “Building Public Support: A Toolkit for Orchestras” is designed to help boards understand how symphony
Seminar for board members will be held ing Your Board in Fundjust prior to the League’s 2016 Conferraising—a Staff ’s Guide.” ence in Baltimore this June, and dates and • Online Discussion locations of additional 2016 seminars will Groups allow board membe announced this winter. bers at League-member • Assessment Tools. Included in this secorchestras to connect tion of the Noteboom Governance Center nationwide via email to are two self-improvement aids developed discuss common concerns in partnership with BoardSource. The and share information. • Board Chair Peer “During my training sessions I Groups are intimate gatherencourage boards to work with ings of orchestra board chairs, organized by budget their staffs to create a menu size, for a day of in-depth list of reasons to support and facilitated discussion of donate to the orchestra,” states top-level governance and governance seminar leader A video posted at the Noteboom Governance Center presents strategic issues. Ohio’s Columbus Symphony Orchestra as a case study in Chuck Loring. “We need to • Governance Seminars. financial stabilization. give board members useful These in-person learning opportunities take place at the League’s their orchestras are meeting the needs of tools so they can easily learn National Conference and in select cities the local community and communicate and articulate the orchestra’s each year. Seminars held during 2015 in their value to public-sector funders and reason for being.” Cleveland, New York, and Los Angeles the philanthropic community. “Board of Directors Self-Assessment focused on fundraising and were led • Community Impact and Engagement: Tool” allows participants to identify areas by Chuck Loring, senior partner in the Orchestra Story Bank. Multiple videos of strength and opportunities for growth. consulting firm of Loring, Sternberg & provide first-hand perspectives from muThe “Board Diversity in Action AssessAssociates. “During my training sessions I sicians, families, and community partners ment” covers five areas: an overview of the encourage boards to work with their staffs on how an orchestra has provided unique board’s diversity and inclusiveness; the to create a menu list of reasons to support value to the local population, in this perception and value of diversity; policies and donate to the orchestra,” Loring section of the website. The Story Bank and practices; recruitment practices; and stated in Symphony’s Spring 2015 issue. includes inspirational reports on an El “I call this the ‘50 Reasons Sistema education program at Pennsylvato Donate’ sheet. Every nia’s Allentown Symphony Orchestra; a board member must know “Musicians Care” project at the Hartford all of the orchestra’s talking Symphony Orchestra; “Driving Economic points and all the reasons it Activity” at the Vermont Symphony brings value to the comOrchestra; and a Health and Wellness munity. We need to give program at the Pittsburgh Symphony board members useful tools Orchestra. Stories are added on a rotating so they can easily learn and basis. articulate the orchestra’s • Diversity and Inclusion Resource Cenreason for being.” Lorter. This links to hundreds of free resourcing has proved to be an es helpful to board members as they chart inspirational force in the a path to greater diversity and inclusion in League’s seminar program. all parts of the orchestral organization. “I would love to have Chuck cloned and brought Hands-On Tools with me to board meetings!” • Webinars. These interactive resources, acwrote one participant in a cessible through the Governance Center, post-seminar assessment. include “Hitting the Right Notes: Capital “Our whole board needs Campaign Trends and Fundamentals for this training,” commented The Diversity & Inclusion section of the Noteboom Governance Success”; “SMART: Strategy and Money another. A Governance Alignment Readiness Tool”; and “EngagCenter links to numerous resources on that subject. americanorchestras.org
Governance and fundraising expert Chuck V. Loring leads a “Building an Effective Fundraising Board” seminar at the League of American Orchestras in New York City, January 2015.
says the Noteboom Governance Center publication that was issued and the new handbook address a range by the League in 1991 and of topics specific to the challenges of revised in 1997. In addition orchestra board service in today’s complex to setting forth the basic environment. “Orchestra governance,” says responsibilities of board Video testimonials on the community impact of orchestras are Cole, “has much common with govermembers and providing an posted in the Noteboom Governance Center section of the nance of other nonprofits, yet some of the overview of the orchestra League website. key issues orchestra boards must grapple field, it places governance with are less common, if not unique. For in the context of today’s realities, with new board culture and dynamics. A third asmany board members coming to the material about the board’s role in commusessment tool, specifically designed by and orchestra field with experience in other nity engagement, setting artistic priorities, for orchestras, is “Your Orchestra, Your sectors, responsibility for establishing an communicating public value, and addressCommunity: Roadmap to Success.” artistic vision, engaging in the collective ing societal and generational changes bargaining process with union musicians, in the way that art and music are being Grants and setting strategic direction in an era consumed. The text is by Ellen Hirzy, who Financial assistance to League-member of exploding entertainment options and authored the League’s previous handbook orchestras seeking to strengthen their govrapidly proliferating digital technology and has written on governance for such ernance practices is available through the can feel unfamiliar. The traditional ‘threeorganizations as BoardSource, Chorus Noteboom Governance Center. Seven orlegged stool’ in orchestra leadership— America, the National Guild for Comchestras received Noteboom Governance board chair, CEO, music director—may munity Arts Education, and the American Center grants for 2015. A prerequisite for be changing and evolving. And many Association of Museums. Development receiving these funds is a board’s own selforchestras are refocusing their missions to of the book’s content was guided by assessment efforts, using tools provided a more outward-facing posture focused on Noteboom, a former board leader at the by the League. Orchestras that complete connecting their work to civic priorities. League and the Saint Paul Chamber Orthe “Board of Directors Self-Assessment “These are all things that we address in chestra, and by David Nygren, a principal Tool” and receive a Summary Report from the new publication. It will be an invaluat Nygren Consulting LLC, founder of the League based on their assessment are able resource to orchestra board members the Corporate Governance Consulting eligible to apply for grants of up to $3,500 as they navigate the challenges of Group at Mercer Delta Consulting LLC, in support of governance activity taking sustaining and ensuring the continued and a former chair of BoardSource. place between January 2016 and Septemvitality of their organizations in the 21st Ken Cole, the League’s vice president ber 15, 2016. (A brief final report is due century.” for learning and leadership development, to the League by September 30, 2016.) Grantees for 2016 will be announced by the League this winter. The League of American Orchestras’ Noteboom Governance Center is supported A Primer for Modern Governance
The new League of American Orchestras Governance Guide, to be released in electronic form this spring, updates the print
by leadership gifts from Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, The Clinton Family Fund, Marcia and John Goldman, and the Sargent Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. symphony
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Building Arts Audiences Cultivating new audiences and deepening connections with current concertgoers are top priorities at orchestras. A new guide from the Wallace Foundation, based on the experience of several arts organizations, shows how audience research can help.
s demographics shift and expectations for the performing arts change, orchestras are seeking ways to connect with new audiences while strengthening bonds with their communities. Although audience research can help achieve those goals, many arts groups shy away from it, often citing lack of money, time, or skills to carry out the endeavor. Taking Out the Guesswork, a new guide based on the experiences of arts organizations that took part in an audience-building initiative from the Wallace Foundation, aims to help arts groups get over the hurdles. Written by marketing expert and researcher Bob Harlow for arts leaders, marketing and education staff members, and arts-management students, Taking Out the Guesswork provides examples and practices drawn from case studies of ten different arts groups that used research to support multi-year audience-building efforts. Though none of the groups is an orchestra, the results of the case studies, and the understanding about the impact of audience research, are broadly applicable to orchestras. The book describes three important uses of audience research: to learn about potential audiences; to develop more effective promotional materials; and to assess progress toward audience-building goals. It also details how to carry out the research effectively for each of those purposes—in both lowcost and more elaborate ways—and how to bring together an organizational team to manage the work. Taking Out the Guesswork is one of the latest publications from the Wallace Foundation’s influential series of studies
and reports that document innovative strategies at arts groups. Symphony published an excerpt from The Road to Results, which outlines nine effective practices for building arts audiences, last winter. The new guide provides insight and detailed guidelines on how to learn more about current and potential audiences, create effective promotional materials, and more effectively track and assess the results of new audience-building initiatives. The book’s examples show the ways in which Wallace-supported arts organizations conducted research, employing methods such as focus groups and visitor surveys,
Audience research helps ensure that choices about engagement programs and marketing are based on knowledge, not hunches. and then used the information to shape audience efforts ranging from attracting a younger crowd to drawing in more visitors from an institution’s surrounding neighborhood. The book concludes with a number of sample materials from the organizations’ work, including focus group discussion guides and survey questionnaires. Taking Out the Guesswork author Bob Harlow presented a well-attended session on effective practices for building arts audiences at the League’s 2015 Conference in Cleveland, and just this fall led a League webinar on audience-building that was co-hosted by League Vice President for Learning and Leadership Development Ken Cole. A recording of
the webinar is available free of charge at americanorchestras.org. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to Taking Out the Guesswork.
udience building often means venturing into uncharted territory. You may have no idea what potential audience members think about your art form or organization, or even if they know you exist. You may also not know what they’re looking for in terms of cultural activities or how your programming can fit into their time-pressed lives. Despite the unknowns, a surprisingly large number of audience-building initiatives move forward with little input from the very people organizations are looking to attract. That’s like inviting guests to dinner without first finding out what they like to eat or what food allergies they may have. On a practical level, it can mean committing resources to initiatives that may prove unsuccessful. This work doesn’t have to require such a leap of faith. Strategically designed audience research can remove a lot of the guesswork that comes with creating and fine-tuning programs to attract new visitors. It can stimulate ideas about how to make an institution and its art more Reprinted with permission from Bob Harlow and The Wallace Foundation. symphony
accessible to newcomers, identify obstacles that are getting in the way of engagement, and suggest strategies for overcoming them. As an initiative unfolds, research can illuminate what’s working, what’s not, and why. It can also sharpen marketing efforts, boosting the effectiveness of even a small budget. In short, strategically and judiciously used research can help organizations win audiences. Taking Out the Guesswork is intended to help organizations take their first steps. It is based on a belief that high-quality strategic research is within reach for most institutions. Audience research does not have to be complex or costly—a modest budget is sufficient in many cases. Special skills aren’t necessarily required, but thoughtfulness, careful planning, and execution according to plan are needed
to obtain accurate information about an audience—and improve decision making. Just ask the San Francisco Girls Chorus and The Clay Studio, two of the ten arts institutions whose research efforts informed the guidebook. Accounts of their experiences bring audience research to
Strategically and judiciously used research can help arts organizations win audiences. life throughout the report, showing how to translate questions about a potential audience into a research project able to deliver valuable insights that will help you make inroads with that audience. To help readers accomplish the same in their own organizations, the guidebook also explains
how to conduct audience research step by step by drawing upon the experiences of the ten arts institutions and the market research literature. All of the institutions received a Wallace Excellence Award, the Wallace Foundation’s grant program that funded audience-building initiatives at 54 organizations in six U.S. cities from 2006 to 2014. Grant recipients represented diverse art forms and pursued their target audiences in different ways, but, as stipulated by the funding agreement, all used market research to develop their audience-building strategies and track their progress. For many, it was their first time doing research. The initiatives of the ten organizations in the guidebook were selected as case studies, which can be accessed at
wallacefoundation.org. Three activities were integral to their success: 1. Learning about Audiences. Research gave organizations a clearer idea of what different target audiences thought of them and their art, and how those perceptions influenced the decision to visit or not. It also helped identify lifestyle and other factors that kept certain audiences from visiting or from visiting more often. Arts groups used this knowledge to create programs that made their art more accessible and visits more rewarding for newcomers and existing audiences alike. 2. Creating Effective Promotional Materials. As part of their efforts to build audiences, several institutions explored how new audiences reacted to their websites, brochures, and other marketing materials. Many were initially surprised by the negligible (and occasionally negative) impact some of their marketing materials had among those not already in the know, but once they understood the perspective of the new audience, they used the feedback to more effectively communicate who they were and what they could bring to people’s lives. Many also determined which advertising channels and materials were most effective and were able to save tens of thousands of dollars by jettisoning efforts that were not delivering value. 3. Tracking and Assessing Results. The organizations featured in this report did more than cross their fingers after launching their initiatives. They turned to audience research to get an ongoing and accurate read on who was visiting and why. In many cases, the research design was basic but effective, such as having staff and volunteers administer an exit survey of just a few relevant questions. By gathering this type of information, arts managers could ensure that a program was on track—or troubleshoot when it was not.
esearch has an impact only when it helps staff members make decisions that improve their work. Finding things out about an audience without having a way to act on that information wastes time and money. The research conducted by the organizations in this guidebook was purposeful. Staff members asked specific questions that could help them make decisions or break through
roadblocks. Because of that discipline, their research yielded insights and exposed clear implications that helped them strengthen their audience-building programs. Research results didn’t dictate the decisions that were made, but they did figure among the other considerations, including budget constraints, staff resources, and artistic mission. It is not uncommon to face internal resistance to conducting audience research, in part out of concern that acting on research findings could compromise the organization’s artistic mission. The research discussed in this report did not ask audiences what the arts organizations should create or present. Instead, it explored their reasons for not participating and tested out strategies that would pique the interest of people new to an art form. Several organizations learned that
Research has an impact only when it helps staff members make decisions that improve their work.
they could awaken new audiences. The guidebook has four chapters. The first three cover how market research can support the audience-building activities described above: learning about audiences, creating effective promotional materials, and tracking and assessing results. The fourth chapter examines how to involve internal and external partners in a research project, and why it’s important to do so. The first three chapters all begin with brief case examples of arts organizations that conducted successful market research projects. In each case, the research was set in motion because staff members couldn’t answer certain commonly arising questions about a potential audience. Staff members wondered what potential visitors thought of their organizations, for instance, or whether their current marketing tactics clicked with people who knew nothing about them. Their questions prompted action on four steps: 1. Research Objectives: Staff members laid out specific objectives to improve their understanding of an audience’s behaviors or perspective. The objectives included exploring new ideas, testing hunches, and assessing the impact of a program.
2. Research Plan: Staff, often in consultation with a market research professional, developed a plan to accomplish their research objectives. The plan included: • The research method • The research participants (whom they would interview or survey) • The questions that would elicit information needed to fulfill the research objectives 3. Results: The organization reviewed the research findings and what their implications were for marketing and programming. 4. Acting on the Results: The new knowledge was applied in designing and refining marketing and audience-building programs. Following the examples, each chapter provides step-by-step instructions for conducting the most common type of market research for that particular audience-building activity. Typically, organizations that want to learn about a potential audience or improve their marketing to them do qualitative research, such as conducting focus groups. Tracking and assessing the success of an audiencebuilding program requires quantitative research, such as a survey. The guidelines focus on these methods. Of course, there may be times when it’s appropriate to do a survey to learn about a potential audience or to convene focus groups to gauge the success of an initiative. These exceptions are noted where applicable, but the guidebook concentrates on the most common type of research for each audience-building activity because it is generally the most informative choice. Organizations new to research will want to begin with those. Research materials such as surveys and focus group guides complement the examples whenever possible, and are included in the book. They’re not intended for others to simply copy and use, because the research projects were designed to fulfill the strategic goals of the organizations that are profiled. However, they illustrate the process of moving from a challenge to a research plan to obtaining actionable results, and can serve as a starting point for thinking about how to structure your own project. symphony
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Courtesy of the Seattle Symphony
The wide-ranging Music Alive program embeds contemporary composers with orchestras—and in their communities. The program not only supports the creation of new works, it helps forge new connections among composers, orchestras, and audiences. 36
he “Lacrymosa” from Mozart’s Requiem worked its spell as it has for two centuries. The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s violins led the way with their sighing two-note phrases. The Pro Musica Chorus intoned Mozart’s mournfully seductive setting of the Latin lament. When the choir paused, the orchestra’s woodwinds added their consoling warmth. But as the chorus’s “Amen” concluded, the strings kept going. Roaming beyond the path laid out by Mozart and Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who completed the Requiem after Mozart’s death, those two-note phrases ranged wider and gained intensity. As they continued, an ethereal theme reminiscent of the “Lacrymosa” appeared high in the strings, and it grew into a spacious orchestral fugue. The woodwinds echoed their lyrical turn from the “Lacrymosa”; outcries from the brasses pushed the music toward peaks. With the singers remaining silent, the five-minute meditation harked back to the orchestral elegy that climaxes the last act of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. The “Lacrymosa” and its instrumental apotheosis belong to Requiem Reimagined, a 70-minute transformation of Mozart by the six-composer collective Sleeping Giant. Premiered last spring, the group’s mixture of old and new is the headline event of a three-year symphony
Music Alive residencies in action: 1. At the Seattle Symphony, artist Trimpin worked with participants from Path with Art, a Seattle-based nonprofit that serves adults dealing with addiction and homelessness, to design and build a musical instrument made out of found, broken, and retired objects. 2. At the Pacific Symphony, composer Narong Prangcharoen discussed creating a score about Orange County at a free Community Celebration before a performance of the work. In photo, he’s with Susan Kotses, Pacific Symphony’s vice president of education and community engagement, at the community event. 3. At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, composer Gabriela Lena Frank improvises on the piano for patients during a music therapy session at Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan. 4. Dayton Ballet performs Fate of Place, given its world premiere in February 2015, with a commissioned score by Stella Sung as part of her Music Alice residency, and choreography by Karen Russo Burke. Neal Gittleman led the Dayton Philharmonic.
The composer collective Sleeping Giant’s Music Alive residency at the Albany (N.Y) Symphony Orchestra included the creation of Requiem Reimagined. Director Daniel Fish placed vocalists in an unexpected location for the spring 2015 premiere.
Residence residency with the Albany Symphony in New York. In one of five projects nationwide funded by Music Alive, the residency program backed by the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, the Albany Symphony brought in the young composers to help “chart a new path for our orchestra,” Albany Symphony Music Director David Alan Miller says. Music Alive has been helping orchestras do that since 1999. Rather than mandate a cookie-cutter format, the program invites orchestras to propose projects they think would suit their own audiences and communities, according to League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “I think there’s a change in how people think about the arts today—especially the Western canon arts,” americanorchestras.org
Rosen says. “There’s a desire to bring those art forms to life in new ways, to new audiences and in new venues. Nonprofits in general, and performing-arts nonprofits in particular, are expected by funders, policymakers, and civic leaders to play a role as contributors to their communities beyond what they do on their main stages. This is work that organizations must do to carry out their charitable purpose.” The time-honored goal of creating works to premiere on orchestral subscription concerts is only part of Music Alive’s mission. Each of the current five residencies, which began in 2013-14 and conclude during the 2015-16 season, has its own character: • Besides transforming Mozart, Sleep-
ing Giant is curating new-music concerts featuring Dogs of Desire, the Albany Symphony’s contemporary-music ensemble, and other performers. • The Seattle Symphony collaborated with one of its city’s artistic luminaries: composer, inventor, and sculptor Trimpin, winner of accolades including a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, on an innovative new work that combines sound with interactive technology. 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, and The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.
Gary Gold Photography
by Steven Brown
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
• Composer Stella Sung is creating works for all the branches of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, which combines the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Ballet. • The Pacific Symphony brought in Narong Prangcharoen, a Thai composer trained in the United States, to immerse himself in Orange County’s history, people, and settings—and then celebrate them in an orchestral work. • When Gabriela Lena Frank isn’t busy with the concerto for orchestra she’s creating for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she’s composing an anthem for a local retirement home’s choir and taking music to the young patients of a children’s hospital.
As part of her Music Alive residency with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, composer Gabriela Lena Frank meets with residents of America House Senior Living Communities to discuss integrating their stories into her compositions.
House Senior Living Communities, the orchestra put her in touch with the chain’s “The days of a composer being the type choir, which performs for schools across of person who works in isolation, comes to the Detroit area. Early on, Frank says, she a concert to have his or her work done, and learned that the group had no anthem it goes away are pretty much gone now,” says could sing to express its identity. So the Scott Winship, New Music USA’s director singers, working with their director, craftof grantmaking programs. “That doesn’t ed their own text, whose patriotic focus work anymore. Composers are very much befits a choir that includes many members citizens of the musical community and from the Greatest Generation. Then Frank citizens of the community they’re involved went to work on the American House Anwith. There’s a constant flow back and them, which the choir will premiere this forth. It’s an inspiring position for them— spring. to get them back out into the “This is getting to be a community.” Rather than challenging project, and I mandate a love it,” Frank says. “How do Detroit: Community cookie-cutter you make the music sound Connections format, Music like it’s written for virtuosWhen Gabriela Lena Frank Alive invites ity when [the singers’] range looks back on her student orchestras to may be limited, or you have years, she describes herself to take into consideration as conservatory brat, but the propose projects limited breath control? term doesn’t really fit. As a to suit their own They’re musically savvy. They music major at Rice Univeraudiences and don’t want to sing just simsity in Houston during the communities. ple lines. It has to be good 1990s, the Peruvian-Amermusic.” ican taught English as a secBuilding on another of the orchestra’s ond language on the side, and her circle of community links, Frank takes music to the friends included Latina custodial workers. young patients at Detroit Medical Center A decade later, the Indianapolis SymChildren’s Hospital of Michigan. “These phony Orchestra enlisted her to explore children are very sick. Some of them may its city’s Hispanic community and create not survive,” Frank says. “This is probably its portrait in sound. Culminating in her one of the more challenging projects, emo2009 orchestral work Peregrinos, meaning tionally speaking, I’ve ever taken on.” “pilgrims,” the project was “a life-changing Taking advantage of Frank’s knack for experience,” she says. “It showed me how improvisation, she and the children play deep these things can go.” musical games. In one, she translates the That experience primed her to do more letters of each child’s name into musical than compose concert-hall works durnotes, then into a melody that becomes a ing her Music Alive residency in Detroit. song. Frank recalls going around the room Building on a relationship with American
one day, calling on the children in turn, and reaching a girl in the rear named Audrey. “She was maybe six years old. Beautiful little girl,” Frank says. “She was not feeling well, and she had tubes coming out of her. We did her name, and she kind of perked up a little bit. We invited children to come up and play notes (on the keyboard) and I would stitch them into a song. She wanted to come play, and her mother was kind of shocked, because she hadn’t shown interest in anything in a long time. So she came up. “She was so weak that she could barely get her fingers onto the keyboard,” Frank continues, “but she managed to play her name. She had had some piano lessons. She started smiling and came to life. So she left the session, and her mother came back about 20 minutes later. She said, ‘My little girl wanted me to give you this.’ It was a painting she had done with green musical notes and a happy face. I was just trying to hold myself together—trying not to weep. “This was Tuesday. I came back on Thursday, and the little girl wasn’t there. I thought the worst. The nurses had just told me that they had lost a dozen children in a couple of weeks, and everyone was very depressed. But the [hospital’s] music therapist told me, ‘No. After you left, she went back later to the piano, and we have pictures.’ She looked so much better. She was smiling, and her skin color was good. Her [test] numbers had improved so much that they had checked her out, and she was now an outpatient.” Frank says Audrey’s case is hardly unique. “This has filled me with some zeal to spread the message to my colleagues symphony
and say, ‘This is not difficult to do—produce the kind of tangible results we can have while we’re writing our lofty symphonies and concertos.’ We’re so highly trained. And with so little of our gifts and our training, we can do so much. We really can help a sick kid get better.” Frank’s Music Alive residency also includes a role for the Detroit Symphony itself, of course. Last season, Music Director Leonard Slatkin and the orchestra performed her Concertino Cusqueño, a 2012 Philadelphia Orchestra commission based in part on a religious tune from the Andes, the region whose tangy folk music inspires many of Frank’s colorful, engaging works. Generously sprinkled with solos for members of the orchestra, the Concertino gave the players a warmup of sorts for the climactic event of Frank’s Music Alive stint, the May premiere of her Concerto for Orchestra. Even when she sits to compose for orchestra, Frank says, the other facets of her Music Alive work pay dividends. “I’m less afraid to be myself,” she says. “When you see a sick kid, you think, ‘Why am I afraid of a high B-flat on the trumpet? Or of composing a piece that’s really difficult?’ You feel that life is precious, and you just go for it.” Seattle: Sculptural Sounds
When Trimpin was growing up near the Swiss-German border, his father, a mu-
sician, used to take him into the forest and play for him, introducing him to the interplay of sound and space. Those earopening impressions echoed within the adult Trimpin, a longtime Seattle resident, as he attended the Seattle Symphony’s new-music concerts in Benaroya Hall’s grand lobby. A renowned creator of works for tuned wooden shoes, prepared pianos played by mechanical systems, and myriad other sonic inventions, Trimpin dreamed up ideas for the roomy atrium. “I thought, ‘I want to use this space,’ ” Trimpin recalls. Music Alive made it possible. The program’s wide-open parameters enabled the orchestra to collaborate with “an amazing artist in our midst,” says Seattle Symphony President and CEO Simon Woods. As the residency’s centerpiece, Trimpin created a work in which Music Director Ludovic Morlot conducted not only live musicians, but mechanical instruments set up to respond to his gestures. “This was an idea going way back. But I never had the funding,” Trimpin says. He found that Microsoft’s Kinect video-game system, which lets gamers use motions in the air rather than handheld controls, could serve Morlot, too. In Trimpin’s studio, the composer and the conductor developed the gestures that would connect man and machines. Meanwhile, Trimpin devised his new work, Above, Below, and In Between, which premiered last May. On the lobby’s main floor stood a
Brandon Patoc Photography
Trimpin’s site-specific installation and composition Above, Below, and In Between received its world premiere performance by Music Director Ludovic Morlot, members of the Seattle Symphony, and soprano Jessika Kenney at Benaroya Hall on May 1, 2015. The work was part of Trimpin’s Music Alive residency at the Seattle Symphony.
piano rigged up with myriad playing devices, including magnets that made the strings vibrate without touching them. Chimes suspended between columns and metal tubes that resonated when air blew through them completed the Kinect-controlled part of the ensemble. Nine Seattle Symphony musicians took places along a balcony, with about 90 feet separating two double-bass players. A soprano roamed amid the audience. “The piece’s five movements ranged from a futuristic ragtime (for keyboard only) to a surround-sound fantasia of pulsing piano, ringing chimes, blasting trombones, and a singer who seemed to be channeling Yoko Ono, Louis Armstrong, and soprano Cathy Berberian,” the reviewer for the Seattle Times wrote, adding: “The cheers that greeted Trimpin and the performers at the end were so enthusiastic that, for an encore, Morlot offered a second run through its third movement: a gradually intensifying rumbling piano drone, with [soprano Jessika] Kenney improvising wordless vocals over it. … She hit notes both comical and dramatic as she thrust her head into the souped-up piano as if to insist that banshee wails could outclass high-tech wizardry any day.” The performance was only one facet of the residency. Trimpin coached highschool composers who created their own works for his Benaroya invention. He assembled sketches, scores, and other working materials for Above, Below, and In Between into an exhibition at Seattle’s Winston Wachter Gallery, and an oldschool vinyl LP recording let visitors hear the finished product. Last fall, Trimpin began guiding clients of Path with Art, a nonprofit that helps people battling addiction and other challenges, as they created their own instruments from found objects. “This group all had hard times,” Trimpin says. “They’re all in recovery from different abuses during their lifetimes. Usually I’m teaching seminars at Stanford or MIT or CalArts. You have a privileged student group in front of you. Here you are meeting with people where you give them a safe environment, and they can enjoy it. They need it.” If the Seattle Symphony had taken a For more on Music Alive, visit
proposal for all this to ordinary donors, it might have baﬄed them, Woods says. But Music Alive’s grant panel embraced it. “Without Music Alive, I don’t think projects like this get done,” Woods says. “We were dealing with an entity that understands the notion of creativity. The whole design of the project came out of who Trimpin is as a personality and a creative artist. And that wasn’t writing an orchestral work.” Orange County: Embracing the Paciﬁc Rim Stan Sholik
While the centerpiece of Narong Prangcharoen’s residency at Pacific Symphony was an orchestral work—a tone As part of his Music Alive residency at the Paciﬁc Symphony, composer Narong Prangcharoen poem saluting Orange County and its met with community groups to celebrate the diversity of Orange County, including the Mariachi people—its gestation was far from conAcademy of Anaheim, shown here performing at a free Community Celebration before the ventional. Prangcharoen, a Thai native performance of Prangcharoen’s piece on Sunday, October 4. currently residing in the U.S., had visited than one note at a time out of their instrumusic and in tonal color the totality of OrOrange County a few times beginning in ments. They had discovered multiphonics ange County,” Pacific Symphony Music 2004, when the orchestra first performed on their own, so Prangcharoen included Director Carl St.Clair says. Though the one of his works. But that hardly immersed that among the student ideas he worked 22-minute work grew from a particular him in the community, Prangcharoen says. into his composition. “They feel like they region’s “people and their heart and their So, with the orchestra’s staff helping point own the piece,” he says, “because they faith,” St.Clair says, “this is a his way for his Music Alive helped create it.” piece that could be played in residency, he talked to more For her Music the Midwest or in the deserts than 450 residents and visited Alive residency, of Arizona and would still be more than 60 locations in the Dayton: Orchestra, Opera, Ballet composer Stella beautiful to listen to, and an area. Professional groups are keeping composer Sung is creating interesting pastiche of musiSome of his most powerStella Sung busy. The Dayton Philharmonnew works for cal styles that have been inful impressions: the sounds ic, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera comthe Dayton credibly ingeniously woven of waves and birds on the bined their resources in 2012 to become together.” waterfront at sunrise; traffic the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, and Philharmonic, When the work premiered on notoriously choked InSung has been creating works for each of Dayton Ballet, last October, audiences rose terstate 405; the population’s the three for her Music Alive residency. and Dayton to their feet at the end of each diversity; the religious faith Last season, the ballet and orchestra preOpera, and talking performance. Prangcharoen miered her Fate of Place, whose score exemmany residents expressed; to audiences, had helped pave the way for and the bells of Mission San plifies the melodiousness and approachabilmeeting patrons, that by turning themes from Juan Capistrano. Drawing the score into a string quaron musical building blocks visiting schools. tet, which he and a Pacific including Vietnamese and Symphony quartet took into Chinese folk songs, mariachi the community as a showcase. The performusic, and “Be Still, My Soul”—the hymn mances helped acquaint listeners not only based on the big tune from Jean Sibelius’s with the orchestral work in store, but with Finlandia—Prangcharoen created his Beits composer and his style. “It feels more yond Land and Ocean. In the sunrise scene, personal,” Prangcharoen says, “because lis“Contrabassoon, chimes, quietly wailing Composer Stella Sung, teners can come and talk to you.” strings, and rumbling piano nicely accomwhose Music Prangcharoen is also creating works for panied flutes meant to sound like awakenAlive residency the orchestra’s youth ensembles, drawing ing birds,” wrote Bradley Zint of the Los embraces the students into the process by sounding Angeles Times Community News after the the Dayton them out about their skills and tastes. Last premiere last September. Prangcharoen Philharmonic, Dayton Ballet, season, he says, saxophonists in the wind evoked the packed freeway by unleashing and Dayton ensemble showed him that, when they percussion and brass. Opera sang as they played, they could get more “I couldn’t believe how he embraced in
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ity that Sung prides herself on. By the end of this season, her Music Alive total will also include the score of a five-minute animation, Farmer Glorp, for the orchestra’s educational program; an orchestral version of her choral work Dona Nobis Pacem, which originally was unaccompanied; and a oneact opera, The Book Collector. The residency has also spurred the Dayton Philharmonic to showcase earlier works of Sung’s, including Into Light, a 2012 commission for the Orlando Philharmonic, and Atlas’ Revenge, the score for an animated film about a goldfish bedeviled by an overzealTaking a bow at the premiere of Requiem Reimagined, supported by a Music Alive residency at the Albany ous tank-cleaning machine. Symphony Orchestra, are members of the Sleeping Giant composer collective: from left, Andrew Norman, “It’s a composer’s dream Jacob Cooper, Christopher Cerrone, Ted Hearne, and Timo Andres (not in photo: composer Robert Honstein). come true—to be able to write for opera, orchestra, and Dayton is helping.” ballet as professional groups,” Sung says. sence of Requiem Reimagined, which was Sung’s residency climaxes with the May “That’s something that old-time composgiven its premiere by the Albany Symphopremiere of The Book Collector, a prequel to ers used to do,” she adds with a laugh. ny Orchestra in March. Because Mozart’s Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, which the “They wrote for everything.” But Sung inRequiem, as audiences know it, includes a united Dayton forces will cludes a second, modern-day still-debated amount of Süssmayr, it’s “a Music Alive’s perform after intermission. creative element that didn’t problem piece,” says Albany Symphony Th e opera centers on the exist in the old days: As the Music Director David Alan Miller. He open parameters medieval manuscript whose director of the digital-media thinks that opens the door for today’s enabled the poems inspired Orff’s blockdepartment at the University composers to expand on Mozart according Seattle Symphony buster. No one knows how of Central Florida, she’s guidto their own lights. to collaborate the volume landed in the ing students and former stuFor Sleeping Giant’s six composers— with Trimpin, “an monastery where it was disdents as they create the FarTimo Andres, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob amazing artist in covered in 1803, Sung says, mer Glorp animation and The Cooper, Ted Hearne, Robert Honstein, so she and librettist Ernest Book Collector’s 3D-video sets. and Andrew Norman—working with preour midst,” says Like all the Music Alive Seattle Symphony Hilbert took the mystery as existing music comes naturally. “In this day their opportunity. They’ve composers, Sung spends time of remixing and sampling and reviewing President and crafted a thriller in which on the ground in the city: things, it’s something we’re all interested CEO Simon a rare-book collector vies talking to audiences about her in,” Cooper says. “We have so many reWoods. with a dealer to possess the works, meeting patrons, visitsources for listening to music and delivmanuscript—a struggle that ing schools. As listeners get to ering music. It’s nice to reflect that music drives the collector mad. Sung thinks the know her and her works, “it’s helping offset and create music out of it.” With Mozart’s work, besides telling a dramatic story, can some of the unfortunate perceptions about Requiem, he adds, “it’s great to start with fill a need. “As far as I know, there are new music that audiences hold,” says Daymusic that’s great to begin with.” no companion pieces to Carmina,” Sung ton Performing Arts Alliance President After dividing the Requiem’s movesays. “People sometimes don’t know what and CEO Paul Helfrich. “It’s the elephant ments among themselves, the six composto program with it. I think we’ve hit on in the room: they just come in thinking ers took their own approaches, some staysomething unique.” they’re not going to like it. Having the oping closer to Mozart, especially when more portunity to connect directly with the comof the work was his, and some stepping poser, and also to hear music being written back. In Hearne’s “Introit,” the solo tromAlbany: Reimagining the Canon today that has something to say, makes a bonist begins a procession of the instruSung establishes The Book Collector’s eighdifference. We have a certain amount of mentalists onstage one by one: they play teenth-century setting by incorporating credibility to restore to the idea of new oras they enter, and the singers announce four works by J. S. Bach, building her own chestral music. What we’re doing here in each musician’s name. Andres’s instrumenmusic atop Bach’s. Borrowing is the es-
tal fugue stands in for the choral “Amen” fugue that some scholars think Mozart envisioned after the “Lacrymosa.” In Cooper’s “Sanctus,” a D major chord sustains for about ten minutes, shimmering and glowing as the instrumental lines murmur and the choir joins in, first singing just the vowel ah, then the word Sanctus. The six composers’ contributions add up to “a very spiritual work,” Cooper says. “I’m sure there were some people who hated it. That happens with all sorts of art,” Miller says. “But the general sentiment was so positive, and the work Sleeping Giant did was so fascinating. It really illuminates Mozart’s work in a way that hearing the old Süssmayr completion does not. It was a huge success from our perspective, and people are still talking about it.”
Music Alive: New Partnerships
Dan Visconti and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (Little Rock)
Mozart’s Requiem also echoes in Rick Robinson’s Gitcha Groove On, a tenminute tone poem that Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) performed as part of another Music Alive
Music Alive Residencies focus on creating deep and innovative approaches to extended, multi-year composer residencies. Music Alive: New Partnerships are short, one-week residencies that develop new relationships between composers and orchestras that have not previously worked together. The current composer-orchestra New Partnerships pairings are: Clarice Assad and Boston Landmarks Orchestra Douglas J. Cuomo and Grant Park Music Festival (Chicago, Illinois) Annie Gosfield and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (New York) Takuma Itoh and Tucson Symphony Orchestra (Arizona) Jingjing Luo and Princeton Symphony Orchestra (New Jersey) Missy Mazzoli and Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra (Colorado) Rick Robinson and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (Houston, Texas) Carl Schimmel and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans) Laura Schwendinger and Richmond Symphony (Virginia) Derrick Spiva and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Sumi Tonooka and South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (Sioux Falls)
grant program. Getting a foothold in the orchestra business is a perpetual challenge for emerging composers, New Music USA’s Winship says. So the New Partnerships program from Music Alive matches twelve emerging composers with orchestras for short-term residencies that include the performance of an existing orchestral work by the composer and individually tailored events that enable the composer to reach new audiences, interact with youth, and take part in communitycentered activities. The Houston group picked Robinson from Music Alive’s roster of composers, ROCO Artistic Director Alecia Lawyer says, because of his efforts to connect new audiences with classical music through his Detroit-based CutTime Productions. (Read Robinson’s first-person essay about making classical music more accessible in the Winter 2013 issue of Symphony at https://issuu.com/americanorchestras.) Robinson, a former Detroit Symphony Orchestra double-bassist, joined ROCO musicians for appearances in locations ranging from the Continental Club, a rock venue, to a retirement home. At the orchestra’s first concerts of the season, the group performed Gitcha Groove On, a fantasy about an orchestral musician who stops into a few clubs after a concert. This was Robinson’s first orchestral residency, and it felt like “a tremendous vali-
dation of the work I’m trying to do,” he says. “My work goes beyond trying to get my music performed. I’m trying to start a conversation within the classical music industry about what our art really demands of us today. What is a 21st-century musician? It’s somebody who not only can play well, but can sell the art that we love so much. That takes communication skills, management skills, entrepreneurial skills.” Maybe Music Alive will promote the discussion Robinson has in mind. The program’s leadership is beginning to gather input about what Music Alive should do after its current residences end this spring, the League’s Rosen says. Though he won’t make predictions, he points to one dynamic worth encouraging: the burgeoning work by orchestra musicians outside their duties on the concert stage. “Musicians increasingly are demonstrating tremendous creativity—developing and curating performances, and taking advantage of a variety of repertoire and lots of different venues,” Rosen says. “They have lots of imagination. To the extent that orchestras can capture that creativity, that will go a long way to sustaining them as vital, alive, and relevant—and musically, really interesting.” STEVEN BROWN is the former classical music critic of the Orlando Sentinel, Charlotte Observer, and Houston Chronicle.
The League of American Orchestras is pleased to honor these member orchestras on the noteworthy anniversaries of their foundings: 200 years
Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Quad City Symphony Orchestra Sioux City Symphony Orchestra Association
Kennett Symphony of Chester County Victoria Symphony
Central Illinois Youth Symphony Eugene Symphony Association, Inc. Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras
Etowah Youth Orchestras Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra San JosĂŠ Chamber Orchestra
Hanover Symphony Orchestra Piedmont Symphony Orchestra South Coast Symphony The Cleveland Pops Orchestra Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra
El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras Kingsville Symphony Orchestra Montgomery Philharmonic, Inc. Texarkana Symphony Orchestra
Emerging classical artists move with ease in social media, having grown up surrounded by it. Still, navigating this virtual world requires thought and skill, as itâ€™s constantly in flux.
Post It T by Janelle Gelfand
hese days, the astonishingly gifted young musicians beginning to make their careers as guest soloists on orchestra stages have literally grown up with social media like Twitter and Facebook. Those two social-media platforms may be the ones most commonly used today, but there are also Snapchat, Instagram, Dubsmash, SoundCloud, and Pinterest, with more popping up all the time. These artists are making video selfies, crowd-funding their CDs, and sharing their own musical creations on a variety of audio platforms. To cite a few examples: symphony
Clarinetist Narek Arutyunian says social media is “the strongest and most direct way for me to communicate with people who are following my music career.”
❑❑Teddy Abrams, the young music
director of the Louisville Orchestra, took a selfie at the White House and tweeted: “Apparently Bo (the First Dog) doesn’t run wild in the #WestWing but it was wonderful to visit @WhiteHouse & promo our @ louorchestra.”
❑❑The violinist Hilary Hahn, who tweets
under the guise of her violin case, recently posted on Twitter: “Big congratulations @NinaTotenberg on the discovery and return of your family’s Strad—AND, I presume, its violin case!”
❑❑The string trio Time for Three posted an Instagram photo with the caption: “Playing the #nationalanthem at the @
keeneland horse races! Incredible feeling [to] play here and to be a part of such a tradition! @ lexingtonphilharmonic.”
❑❑Violinist Joshua Bell blogged for The
Strad about his thoughts on simultaneously playing and conducting Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto for the first time with his Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra, and then tweeted it out to his 10,000 followers @JoshuaBellMusic.
❑❑Displeased with a Berliner Morgenpost
concert reviewer who wrote (incorrectly) that she had a “baby bump,” violinist Lara St. John took to her blog and Twitter with “Lara takes on the Berliner MoPo, schumucky [sic] music world, and gender bias! Whoo.”
It’s easy to keep up with the world’s talented teenage, millennial, and Gen-X musicians, because no matter where they are performing, most of them are posting on Twitter or sharing selfies—sometimes several times daily. Why do they do it? As 23-year-old clarinetist Narek Arutyunian puts it, “Social media is the strongest and most direct way for me to communicate with people who are following my music career.” A distinct advantage for these artists who are just starting out is that most social media is free. And for artists who are always on the road, often traveling from continent to continent, communicating in 140 characters or less on Twitter is quick and efficient. Pianist and Honens Prize laureate Pavel Kolesnikov, 31, sent me a Face-
Evans Mirageas, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s vice president for artistic planning and operations, posts short videos on YouTube every week. “Recently, Olli Mustonen was practicing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 all by himself. I shot it using my iPhone and uploaded it instantly.”
People went through more traditional chancan be seen in full Tudor reganels to book artists.” More than that, young lia, mouthing Meghan Trainor’s stars are also using social media to “take “I’m All About That Bass, No control of their own destiny and be more Treble.” Barton’s mash-up has proactive,” says Raskauskas. For instance, 1,351 likes and 80 comments. “I lyric tenor Nicholas Phan crowd-funded like to show people that, despite his own critically acclaimed album and also the fact we sing opera, we’re used social media to plan and organize a pretty normal,” she says. song recital series in Chicago, which he Social media offers many oversees as its artistic director. “There’s no benefits for young artists, both way he could do that without the internet, those who are represented by an and a lot of the planning can happen using artist manager and those who casual Facebook interactions, when you’re are not. A musician’s Facebook trying to book a pianist, book a space, or page or YouTube channel can find an audio engineer,” says Raskauskas. also serve to demystify classical music, erase an oft-perceived stuffy image, and get the atTo Share, Or Not to Share tention of people who may not There are, of course, caveats. Evans Miraknow about them. And in a geas, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s world where branding is everyvice president for artistic planning and opthing, it helps to establish one’s erations, as well as artistic director for Cinimage. As these young artists cinnati Opera, notes, “The opportunity and perform in prestigious opera propensity to disseminate information on houses and concert halls, postwhat you are doing every waking moment ing photos and selfies from is enormous. It carries with it some pluses— behind the scenes can enhance and also more minuses if it’s not used carea reputation, observes Stephen fully.” Obviously, a typical rehearsal is meant Raskauskas, associate interactive to be a private working and learning expericontent producer for Chicago’s ence and is usually not meant to be publicly WFMT-FM radio. “It makes them look shared. So complications can arise when an like they are on the scene and in demand. artist decides to post, tweet, or share during It can be anything from a backstage photo a rehearsal, where emotions can sometimes after you’ve just made your European derun high, both for conductors and performbut with Esa-Pekka Salonen to ers. “Things get said in rehearsal Christine Goerke posting silly “Artists can in the heat of the moment, that, photos backstage before she goes land a gig on if taken out of context, can sound on to sing Turandot at the Met. Facebook, very damaging and disrespectful, Or someone’s dinner they have and usually they are not,” Miraand that’s on tour in the Middle East. All geas points out. He also notes something that of those things help create an that every orchestra’s collective didn’t happen artist’s image,” Raskauskas says. bargaining agreement includes “It shows that artists are real five years ago,” “very strict rules on what may people, and that they have hard says Stephen and may not be disseminated of days, like to be silly and goof Raskauskas, the collective orchestra’s activiaround just like the rest of us. It associate ties on any media, social or othtakes away the stigma that clas- interactive erwise.” sical musicians are uptight and content On the other hand, Mirageas the music being performed is producer for says, he posts videos on social old-fashioned.” media every week for the AtChicago’s The fact that young artists are WFMT-FM lanta Symphony Orchestra—an interacting with fans, adds Rasexcellent way to share “insider” radio. kauskas, is not as revolutionary activities that many fans crave. as the way people within the in“I take a four-minute, behinddustry are connecting with each the-scenes video, with the orother: “You can land a gig on chestra present or not. Recently, Facebook, and that’s something Olli Mustonen was practicing that didn’t happen five years ago. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Greg Salvatori
book message this fall from the Belfast Festival in Ireland, where he was performing: “It may seem a little old fashioned, [but] I only use Facebook and Twitter. There are a few reasons for that. Time is the first. I don’t want to spend my life posting on various platforms. Time and real life are more precious than anything else.” To take advantage of all that social media has to offer, one must be savvy, creative, funloving, and in some cases, a bit “street-smart,” as Naumburg Award-winning violinist Tessa Lark says. Lark notes she has had some positive experiences, such as a concert presenter who reached out on Facebook and has become a friend and important contact. But she and several others interviewed noted that one must be careful when sharing with fans on the internet, because some interactions can turn “weird.” And just as in other walks of life, not everyone is drawn to social media: some are more interested in using it only professionally and prefer to keep their personal lives private. One of the challenges is that the boundaries of what ought to be shared are not always clear: last season’s flap over controversial pro-Russian tweets by Ukrainian-born pianist and “YouTube star” Valentina Lisitsa resulted in the cancellation of an engagement with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Most young artists know they must take care what they post, a point several of them made in recent interviews. “You can say things in print and on radio that will damage your career,” notes mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. “The difference on social media is that your megaphone is your own.” Between her engagements as Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera and Adalgisa in Norma at Los Angeles Opera, Barton tweeted to fellow singer Angela Meade, “Can’t wait to get my Druid priestess on with you again!! (emoji smiley face).” During the run of Anna Bolena, the 34-year-old singer took over the Met’s Instagram feed, making video selfies using an app called Dubsmash, which bills itself as “a mobile app to create short selfie videos dubbed with famous sounds.” Barton
through the Sibelius Violin Concerto, but also knows how to lampoon classical music, whether in a practice room or on a concert stage. In one video frame, he high-fives his piano collaborator after rehearsing and says, “Good thing it’s not the other way around.” Seconds later, he is seen tearing through the piece at the piano while his pianist attempts to play it on the violin—a gag right out of the Victor Borge playbook. Chen also posts his own 15-second videos on Instagram, where he has more than 14,000 followers. “It really is a great challenge of creativity, and a great way to make people laugh and see the lighter side of classical music, as well,” he says. Somewhat counterintuitively, being successful at building a social-media presence takes constant attention and planning, and is not always spontaneous. Classical artists at different stages of their careers also take notably different approaches to social media. Not surprisingly, once a young artist reaches celebrity status, publicists are usually also working behind the scenes to create a constant stream of content, posting somewhat dry announcements about upcoming concerts and recordings. Sometimes the shift in voice is easy to spot. But often, even top young superstars such as Lang Lang (who has 276,000 Twitter followers), Alisa Weilerstein, Hilary Hahn, and Sarah Chang are actually behind those tweets, connecting with worldwide fans. There is an added bonus for the classical organizations that connect with these artists, says Christopher Pinelo, vice president of communications at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Through tagging, their posts will be shared and shared again with legions of followers. “Regardless of how big their following is, we do tagging [of our guest artists] on Facebook, because it is about connecting our social-media presence with those artists’ social-media presence,” says Pinelo. “A lot of these young artists, who understand how important it is to self-market, know that when they’re going into a city, if you’re not Yo-Yo Ma, you’re going into a market where people do not know who you are. So the more you can do to galvanize a fan base or introduce yourself to new potential fans, the better off you’re going to be. As a guest soloist, you want to sell as many tickets as pos-
sible, because you want to be invited back.” Ultimately, the goal of all of this connecting and sharing is to engage that new audience, which is, in reality, already on social media in one way or another. Below, five emerging artists reveal how they are using social media to further their musical careers and connect with friends and fans. Narek Arutyunian, 23, clarinet, @narekclarinet
Born in Gyumri, Armenia, Narek Arutyunian sees social media as an important way to get the word out about his concerts and projects. While the clarinetist is performing, everywhere this year from Poland to Germany to the 92nd Street Y in New York, he is growing his fan base through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. “Social media is the strongest and most direct way for me to communicate with people who are following my music career,” he says. “It is always spontaneous, and each of my posts has content that is completely different.” Arutyunian, who is juggling his budding concert career with studies at Juilliard, is, in fact, his own publicist, posting concert announcements, recent reviews, and news from his travels. “I post pictures from recent performances and educational residencies,” he adds. “I often receive Facebook messages from fellow clarinet players who ask about my clarinet setup, which reeds and mouthNarek Arutyunian
No. 3 all by himself, onstage. I shot it using my iPhone and uploaded it instantly.” Mirageas also conducted an impromptu interview with the artist at the piano. The resulting video on YouTube offers music lovers both musical and informal portraits that they wouldn’t ordinarily see. For several years now, orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic have been finding ways to use social media to connect with audiences, making backstage or humorous videos and then sharing them on social media. “With video, we can be humorous or educational, and not only bring attention to concerts, but also generate buzz,” says Katherine E. Johnson, the Philharmonic’s director of communications. This fall, the orchestra participated in a video World Series Challenge with the Kansas City Symphony. The challenge began in late October with Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern issuing a video challenge while onstage at Kaufmann Hall. The story was picked up by the Kansas City Star, and the video challenge got more than 20,000 views on YouTube. When the New York Mets lost to the Kansas City Royals, New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert said in a consolation video to Michael Stern and his orchestra, “We’re gonna pay up”—which meant a full, New York loxand-bagel spread and a promise to program “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City” from Oklahoma! on a future concert. A YouTube video of the New York Philharmonic’s brass-quintet rendition of “Meet the Mets,” performed in Mets baseball caps, received an impressive 182,647 views, 3,011 “likes,” and 2,654 shares. And last June, the New York Philharmonic took its camera outdoors for “man on the street” interviews, asking “Who’s your favorite “Fierce Female?” as the hub of a social media campaign linked to performances of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake. A few years earlier, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra also ran a “Who is Joan?” marketing campaign relying on social media, for its 2011 performances of the same Honegger oratorio. Many young artists have a YouTube presence, usually featuring videos of their performances—sometimes posted by their fans. But 26-year-old violinist Ray Chen has taken it a step further, posting inventive and wonderfully irreverent musical comedy routines. He’s a serious artist who can soar
Emily Bear, 14, piano and composition, @emilybearmusic
Emily Bear is just a young teen-
ager, but the pianist and composer has been active on social media for many years. Bear’s large YouTube presence includes videos of her latest orchestral composition, The Bravest Journey, honoring American veterans, which she premiered in October before an audience of 6,000 with the Rockford (Ill.) Symphony Orchestra in a program that included an address by retired General Colin L. Powell. In 2013, the Illinois resident released Diversity, a classical-and-jazz album of her own compositions with mentor Quincy Jones, and she has performed Rhapsody in Blue with the New Haven and Winnipeg symphony orchestras. Bear is now working on the Grieg Piano Concerto, which she will perform in April with the Rockford Symphony. (She recently tweeted a photo of her markedup score, and “Grieg!! @RkfdSymphony #practicing #concerto.”) “I’ve always loved social media, and I feel like it’s such a great way to be connected to people, not only just where I live, but people all over the world,” says the young artist, who has a Facebook fan page with more than 37,600 likes and is on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Bear was speaking by cell phone as her mother drove her to her piano lesson with Mary Sauer, longtime principal keyboardist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Not surprisingly, given her age, Emily’s mother supervises all of her social-media activity. “That’s our rule,” says Andrea Bear. “She’ll get an idea and the wording of what she wants to publish. Or I’ll say, this will be a fun thing to put up. But it’s really coming from her—
her heart and her mind. I oversee it, just to make sure nothing strange is coming up [in responses]. If so, I edit them out.” Bear performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony at age seven; the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Santa Fe Concert Association at age eleven; and has been composing music since she was three. She does it all while in the media spotlight: she’s appeared six times on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Bear, a ninth-grade student in the Chicago area, travels regularly with her mother to New York, where she is tutored in piano by Veda Kaplinsky and in jazz piano by Frank Kimbrough, both at the Juilliard School, as well as in film scoring by New York University’s Ron Sadoff. She says she composes daily, recently completed three short film scores,
Pianist and composer Emily Bear is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. At last count, her Facebook fan page had more than 37,600 likes.
pieces I use, and some even ask for lessons. I also receive messages from those interested in what it’s like to be a professional musician.” Most of his tweets are something like this recent one: “In Washington DC to perform Khachaturian’s Clarinet Trio with Ida Kavafian and Sahan Arzruni at the Music Center at Strathmore at 8 pm!” But he also occasionally posts a concert video or an Instagram photo of a concert. His method, he says, is very straightforward. “It also depends on my mood and schedule. Sometimes I post a week before my engagement, or I may post information about a concert an hour before I go on stage and play, if I don’t have time to do it before. There are times when I don’t have time to post anything at all and I do it after a concert.” Arutyunian tweets and posts in his third language, English, which he has spoken for ten years. For the Armenian native, his first two languages were Armenian and Russian; he began the clarinet at age ten in Moscow, where the family had moved. At seventeen, after winning first prizes in international youth competitions in Prague and Moscow, Arutyunian was invited to perform his first recital in New York at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In 2014, he performed the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall; he has also performed Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet with the Boston Pops, and appeared with the Albany Symphony, among others. This year, he will perform Copland and Debussy with the Long Bay Symphony in South Carolina. This spring, Arutyunian and two Juilliard colleagues will record an album of Armenian clarinet trios by Khachaturian, Arutiunian (no relation), and Manukyan, with all proceeds benefiting the Children of Armenia Fund. And he will likely be announcing it on Facebook and Twitter. “Utilizing social media has become a very important aspect of my musical life, and I imagine it would be extremely difficult to continue to grow in my career without it,” he says.
and has written a dozen original orchestral pieces that have been premiered within the last few years by several American and Canadian orchestras. For fun, Bear has a project called “Second Saturday Songs,” in which she will ask fans to email her their story ideas, or call them out to her in live performance. The second Saturday of each month, she selects and composes a piece to one story, then makes a video of it and posts it—on YouTube, of course.
For Gabriel Cabezas, social media is just part of the landscape. Although he is not as active in social media as some of his peers, he will occasionally retweet selfies, and he enjoys posting pictures on Instagram. Those generally consist of humorous photos and casual videos of friends, food, and behindthe-scenes pictures from tours—such as the trunk of a car stuffed with his cello case and other instruments. “To be honest, I don’t consider myself adept at social media,” says
Gabriel Cabezas, 22, cello, @starbuckcello
Cellist Gabriel Cabezas posts humorous and casual photos on Instagram.
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“These are the stars of the next generation.” – the Washington Post
Announcing the F i RS T PR i z e Wi NNeRS of the 20 15 Y OuNG CONCe RT A RT iS T S i NT eRNAT i O NAl Au D iT i O NS
Rémi Geniet, piano Tomer Gewirtzman, piano Dasol Kim, piano Olivier Stankiewicz, oboe Samuel Hasselhorn, baritone
YCOUNG ONCERT ARTISTS
who join our current roster PIANO
Gleb Ivanov Ji Daniel Lebhardt Andrew Tyson Yun-Chin Zhou
Bella Hristova Soo-Been Lee Aleksey Semenenko Stephen Waarts
Narek Arutyunian Raphaël Sévère VIOLA
Sang-Eun Lee Edgar Moreau Cicely Parnas
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egie Hall. In addition to concerts with orchestras, he helps run a music and jazz series in Philadelphia, and plays chamber music, new music, and solo concerts “when they happen.” Cabezas says he didn’t always consider social media a good way to connect with fans. However, he said, “Sometimes you get the opportunity to share things that people wouldn’t ordinarily know, whether they be a more professional thing, or something about yourself, so that people can see that you’re showing a different side of yourself, rather than just playing music.”
Cellist Gabriel Cabezas’s Twitter feed includes frequent puns.
David Hertzberg, 25, composer @hertzbergfarben
David Hertzberg, who’s been described as an “opulently gifted” composer (Opera News), Composer David Hertzberg uses SoundCloud to share samples of his music with followers.
the cellist. “That being said, I try to make sure everything is pretty personalized, so that it is a personal brand, one that reflects yourself, and gives people a chance to get to know you in another small context.” The Chicago native is committed to community engagement, and is active with Midori’s Partners in Performance, the Sphinx Organization (with which he was a first-place laureate twice) and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Citizen Musician movement. When we spoke this fall, Cabezas was touring with his sextet, yMusic, a new-music ensemble that NPR’s Fred Childs has said is “shaping the future of music.” Their most recent collaboration is with singer/songwriter Ben Folds, with whom yMusic co-arranged and recorded a just-released album, So there, and recently appeared at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and on CBS’s Saturday Sessions. He has appeared with a number of American orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra for a Martin Luther King tribute concert in 2013 as winner of the Sphinx Competition. Last year, the cellist made an acclaimed debut with Chicago’s Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero (who is also music director of the Nashville Symphony). When we spoke this fall, Cabezas was preparing to premiere Lost Coast, a concerto composed for him by Gabriella Smith, a friend and former classmate at the Curtis Institute of Music, to open the New York Youth Symphony’s season at Carn-
says he thinks of social media as a good way to connect with the world, since his work is largely done alone. And as a composer, he finds that his most valuable tool is one on which he can share his music: he regularly uploads samples of his work to the musicsharing site SoundCloud. “Though I travel for performances, rehearsals, and residencies, my work as a composer is largely solitary. Social media (Twitter in particular) is a great way of staying abreast of the world’s happenings while toiling away on a piece,” Hertzberg said in a recent email from his
2016/17 concerto roster
1 fei-fei dong, piano 2 daniel hsu, piano * 3 steven lin, piano 4 ko-eun yi, piano 5 alexi kenney, violin 6 hye-jin kim, violin
7 in mo yang, violin 8 brandon ridenour, trumpet 9 lysander piano trio 10 donald sinta quartet, saxophones
* first prize, 2015 cag competition
booking steven shaiman senior vice president, director, artist management firstname.lastname@example.org vincent russo assistant director, artist management email@example.com
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home in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “I can likewise keep others up to date with my own concerts, projects, and occasional musings.” He has been composing since he began playing the piano at age seven, while living in Los Angeles. “It was just my natural way of engaging with music,” Hertzberg says. He is currently at work on three ambitious projects. He is writing a work—as yet unnamed—for the young virtuoso In
Mo Yang, which the violinist will premiere at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in April. For Opera Philadelphia in May, Hertzberg is working on music and libretto for a short one-act opera called The Rose Elf, freely adapted from the eponymous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. For the American Composers Orchestra, he is penning a one-movement piece that is still without a title—but which may be called
ANNIE MOSES BAND REPRESENTING SOME OF THE FINEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD “Sandi Patty is one of today’s most versatile interpreters of song. The soulfulness she brings to concert audiences is matched by her sense of entertainment and humor. She remains a treasure of American song. ” – Jack Everly, Principal Pops Conductor: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic
MUSIC CITY HIT-MAKERS
“Melinda Doolittle has a stunning voice, an infectious personality and an inviting presence. She lights up the stage!” – Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor “Our audiences had an overwhelming experience. Their combination of high energy, raw talent, and showmanship is a consistent recipe for success. They’re such a pleasure to work with, it’s extremely easy for any orchestra and conductor to be swept up in the fun as well.” – Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor, Cape Cod Symphony
“ Music City Hit-Makers are the real deal. They are all phenomenal performers in their own right. It was fantastic to hear their hits with the backing of an orchestra and a thrill to make music with such talented performers.” – Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor
“Symphony,” he says. His elegantly crafted Nympharum, for High Soprano and Orchestra, to texts by Ezra Pound, was written for Jennifer Zetlan and the Juilliard Orchestra, and he has also written works for the pianists Ursula Oppens and Steven Lin, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Philharmonic. On more than one occasion, says Hertzberg, people have heard music that he has shared through social media, then decided to program and perform it. And he has discovered that social media has a “substantially farther reach” than he ever expected. “I’ve certainly found out that many people know pieces of mine through the social-media grapevine,” he says. Tessa Lark, 26, violin, @tessalarktweets
Tessa Lark, winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Award and silver medalist in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, thinks of social media as a great way to connect with people her age, and to show her personal style—including a penchant for puns. Recently, she posted a photo on her Instagram account from her Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall concert with the caption, “To everyone who came to #carnegiehall #weillhall on Monday night and cheered me on before I even played a single note: thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. There was so much love resonating in that elegant jewelry box of a room, and I could not have asked for a better crowd with whom to share some of my favorite repertoire with one of my favorite pianists, Amy Yang. Definitely hashtag-blessed. Love you all! ...#blessed.” That demanding Carnegie program included the world premiere of a violin sonata composed for her by Avner Dorman. Because she grew up listening to bluegrass music—chiefly played by her father on banjo—her encore was a fiddle tune called “Bowing the Strings.” She will record most of that program this spring, she said. Lark’s long orchestra portfolio includes her debut at age sixteen performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G Major with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and she has appeared with the orchestras of Louisville, Santa Fe, and Indianapolis, symphony
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 excite your audiences. 2015-2016 ROSTER Gabriel Cabezas, cello Nikki Chooi, violin
among others. In March, during a recital tour of Hawai’i, she’ll perform the SaintSaëns Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor with the Hawai’i Symphony, under Christopher Seaman. Lark is savvy when it comes to social media and her career. She maintains Instagram and Twitter accounts, and is building a new website; they will all be linked. Her YouTube presence includes many videos posted by fans. She notes that one interaction on Facebook resulted in an invitation to appear on a Troy, N.Y., concert series. Although Lark dislikes the word “brand,” she is conscious of her personal style. She believes that social media can show people that classical music is relevant to the younger generation. “I think the term classical music is a misnomer, and very misamericanorchestras.org
leading and a turnoff to people my age,” she says. “Social media is a great way to connect with that crowd, and show them that they can definitely relate to this music, and that it’s awesome, and super accessible.” She is also quick to add that online interactions should not replace live, personal connection. “That’s the beauty of live music—the human connection,” she says. Lark is down-to-earth about how she interacts on social media, but she is cautious about what she shares. “You do have to be careful about what you say, and what you choose not to say. At this point in my career, I’m not in a position where I can voice strong opinions. So I like to keep things light and supportive of classical music and my colleagues.” Eventually, she believes social media could help her accomplish her goal of showing people that “music has the power to connect people of all opinions and walks of life.” JANELLE GELFAND is classical music critic and arts reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. She has contributed articles and reviews to Opera News, The Wall Street Journal, Chamber Music, MusicalAmerica.com, and Classical Voice North America.
Caroline Cole, harp Sara Daneshpour, piano Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet Jordan Dodson, guitar Luosha Fang, violin Denis Ryan Kelly Jr.
Below left, violinist Tessa Lark uses social media to show her personal style, which includes a penchant for puns. Above, Lark takes a bow at the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, after performing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Xavier Foley, double bass Kathryn Guthrie, soprano Jasper String Quartet Eunice Kim, violin Ayane Kozasa, viola Henry Kramer, piano Christine Lamprea, cello Born Lau, viola Kristin Lee, violin Benito Meza, clarinet Sejoon Park, piano Timotheos Petrin, cello Project Fusion, saxophone quartet Sarah Shafer, soprano Danbi Um, violin Viktor Valkov, piano Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano Jonathan Wintringham, saxophone Annie Wu, flute Dizhou Zhao, piano ASTRAL 230 S. Broad Street, Suite 300 Philadelphia, PA 19102 www.astralartists.org 215.735.6999
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 Karina Canellakis Opus 3 Artists karinacanellakis.com 212 584 7522
Alexander Prior Opus 3 Artists alexprior.co.uk 212 584 7522
Matthew Troy Diane Saldick, LLC matthew-troy.com 212 213 3430
Martin Majkut Diane Saldick, LLC martinmajkut.com 212 213 3430
Christopher Rountree Opus 3 Artists rountreemusic.com 212 584 7522
Adam Turner Uzan International Artists uzanartists.com 212 969 1797
Ensembles Performing with Orchestra Lysander Piano Trio Concert Artists Guild
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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 Saxophone Quartet Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 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
Jasper String Quartet Astral astralartists.org 215 735 6999
The Zorá String Quartet Young Concert Artists yca.org 212 307 6657
Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo Astral astralartists.org 215 735 6999
Project Fusion Saxophone Quartet Astral astralartists.org 215 735 6999
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Instrumentalists Gabriel Cabezas, cello Astral
gabrielcabezas.com 215 735 6999
Astral Auditions Winner described as “remarkably poised and elegant” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Winner: Sphinx Competition. Soloist: New York, Los Angeles philharmonics; Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Nashville, Pittsburgh symphonies; Philadelphia, Cleveland orchestras. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Christine Lamprea, cello Astral
christinelamprea.wix.com 215 735 6999
Astral Auditions Winner with “supreme panache and charmingly effortless phrasing” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). Winner: Sphinx, Schadt National String competitions. Soloist: Sphinx Virtuosi; Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra; Houston, New Jersey symphonies. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Sang-Eun Lee, cello Young Concert Artists
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“A fearless, powerful artist” (Gaesuk Magazine). Highlights: Musée du Louvre, Lied Center of Kansas, Music@Menlo Festival. Performances with the Seoul Philharmonic (Myung-Whun Chung) and the Gangnam Symphony. Photo by Matt Dine
Edgar Moreau, cello Young Concert Artists
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“The rising star of the French cello” (Le Figaro). “Solo Instrumentalist of the Year” (Victoires de la Musique), European Concert Hall Organization’s Rising Star. Baroque Concertos on Warner Classics. Highlights: Los Angeles Philharmonic (McGegan), Mariinsky Orchestra. Photo by Matt Dine
Cicely Parnas, cello Young Concert Artists
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“A musician whose career will be worth following for years to come” (Democrat & Chronicle). New York String Orchestra (Laredo, Carnegie Hall), L’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río. Photo by Christian Steiner
Narek Arutyunian, clarinet Young Concert Artists
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“Reaches passionate depths with effortless technical prowess” (Washington Post). Artie Shaw’s Concerto with the Boston Pops. Other highlights: Prague Radio Symphony; Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Prieto), Meridian and Albany symphonies. Photo by Christian Steiner
Raphaël Sévère, clarinet Young Concert Artists
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“Destined for the most brilliant future” (ResMusica). Highlights: Edmonton Symphony, Russian National Symphony Orchestra (Spivakov), Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Chamber Orchestra, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Photo by Matt Dine
Instrumentalists (continued) Xavier Foley, double bass Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner “graced the audience with a superbly executed performance” (Splash Magazines). Winner: Sphinx Competition, International Society of Bassists Competition. Soloist: Sphinx, Atlanta symphony orchestras; Nashville Symphony. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Seiya Ueno, flute Young Concert Artists
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Grand Prix, Jean-Pierre Rampal Flute Competition. “His dynamic performances exceed your expectations of what a flute can sound like.” (Record Geijutsu). Performances with the Tokyo Symphony and at Royal Concertgebouw, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau. Photo by Matt Dine
Christopher Houlihan, organ Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC
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Organist Christopher Houlihan is “dazzling” (Wall Street Journal) and “eloquent” (Los Angeles Times), with a stellar reputation for his captivating artistry in solo recitals and concerto performances coast to coast.
Photo by Christian Steiner
Sheng Cai, piano Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd
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2015 for Sheng Cai: a Beethoven piano concerto cycle, two concerts with the Ontario Philharmonic; October: Jalisco Philharmonic Bartók Piano Concerto #1; November: Liszt E flat Concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic. Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd.
Fei-Fei Dong, piano Concert Artists Guild
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Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), 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
Umi Garrett, piano David Belenzon Management
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“A budding musical genius” (Huffington Post). 2013 Young Steinway Artist. Appearances include Winnipeg Symphony (2), Missouri Symphony (2), Pasadena Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, and Hiroshima Symphony. Spoke and performed at TEDxOrangeCoast 2014. Photo by Mr. Mark Fellman
Daniel Hsu, piano Concert Artists Guild
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A 2016 Gilmore Young Artist and 2015 CAG Competition First Prize winner, the eighteen-year-old pianist was praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “poet…[with] an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions, and coaxes.” Photo by Chris McGuire Photography
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Gleb Ivanov, piano Young Concert Artists
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“Eerily like the ghost of Horowitz” (Washington Post). Performances with the New Jersey, Missouri, Johnstown, South Bend, Knoxville, and Grand Rapids symphonies, and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
Photo by Christian Steiner
Ji, piano Young Concert Artists
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“Impeccable and effortless technique in a performance full of imagination” (Bangkok Post). Orchestra highlights: Toronto Symphony (Oundjian), BBC Symphony (Belohlávek), Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Schwarz), Nashville and New Jersey symphonies. Debut CD Lisztomania (Universal Music). Photo by Sangwook Lee
Henry Kramer, piano Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner described as “nearly flawless, with astonishingly confident technique, masterful” (Cleveland Classical Review). Winner: Juilliard’s William Petschek Award. Finalist: Honens International Competition. Soloist: Shanghai Philharmonic, l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Daniel Lebhardt, piano Young Concert Artists
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“Gifted with a delicate sensibility and perfect dexterity” (Res Musica). Decca Bartók recording. Wigmore Hall recital debut in May 2015. Performances at the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, the Musée du Louvre, and the BBC Proms. Photo by Kaupo Kikkas
Steven Lin, piano Concert Artists Guild
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Taiwanese-American Silver Medalist at 2014 Rubinstein International Piano Competition and winner of 2012 CAG Competition. Career concerto highlights: New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, National Taiwan Symphony. Photo by Shao Ting Kuei
Sejoon Park, piano Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner. Soloist: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Incheon, Seongnam, Louisiana philharmonic orchestras; South Carolina, Eurasian philharmonics; Salina Symphony. Prizewinner: New Orleans International, PianoArts, Southeastern Piano competitions. Semi-finalist: Honens International Piano Competition. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Andrew Tyson, piano Young Concert Artists
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2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant. “A real poet of the piano…exquisite, flexible, subtle, colorful, passionate, and daring” (BBC Radio3). Highlights: Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Prieto), National Orchestra of Belgium (Alsop), North Carolina Symphony (Llewellyn). Photo by Christian Steiner
Instrumentalists (continued) Ko-Eun Yi, piano Concert Artists Guild
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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
Dizhou Zhao, piano Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner who “lives fully in the music” (Fanfare Magazine). Soloist: Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Winner: Louisiana, Southern Highlands international piano competitions. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Yun-Chin Zhou, piano Young Concert Artists
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First Prize, Juilliard 2013 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition. “Stunning technical feats are combined with a touching musical sensitivity” (Huffington Post). Orchestra highlights: the China National Symphony Orhchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Photo by Matt Dine
Brandon Ridenour, trumpet Concert Artists Guild
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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
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“Making her mark on the music scene” (Isle of Man Courier). First Prize, Lionel Tertis International Competition. Orchestra highlights: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester in Vienna, Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada, Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Matt Dine
Caeli Veronica Smith, viola/violin Joanne Rile Artists Management
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Trained at Juilliard, she is a prize-winning violinist/violist; soloist with orchestras, in recitals and chamber music. Recently performed the Penderecki Viola Concerto, Case Scaglione conducting, in New York.
Photo by Paul Sirochman
Jinjoo Cho, violin International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
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Gold Medalist of the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Jinjoo Cho's season highlights include the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Indianapolis, Vermont, and Phoenix symphonies. Photo by Kaupo Kikkas
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Nikki Chooi, violin Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner praised as “a model of taste and tonal refinement” (Boston Globe). Winner: Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Soloist: Victoria, Winnipeg, Edmonton symphonies; National Orchestra of Belgium, Auckland Philharmonia. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Bella Hristova, violin Young Concert Artists
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2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant. “A player of impressive power and control” (Washington Post). Concertos this season: Prokofiev, Mozart, Kevin Puts, Barber, Berg, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Delius, Bruch, Piazzolla, Dvorák. 2016: premieres David Ludwig’s violin concerto. Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Alexi Kenney, violin Concert Artists Guild
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Twenty-one-year-old winner of the 2013 CAG Competition was praised by Strings magazine for his “beautiful, aching tone.” Current concerto highlights: Santa Fe Symphony, Hofheim Academy Orchestra (Bad Soden, Germany), and Las Vegas Philharmonic. Photo by Matthew Washburn
Hye-Jin Kim, violin Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 213 333 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
Tessa Lark, violin International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
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Tessa Lark, 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Silver Medalist and 2012 Naumburg International Violin Award winner will appear with Cleveland City Music, Hawaii, and New Haven symphony orchestras. Photo by Kate Lemmon
Kristin Lee, violin Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner with “rare stylistic aptness and mastery of tone” (The Strad). Winner: Avery Fisher Career Grant. Soloist: Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, National Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. Photo by Arthur Moeller
Soo-Been Lee, violin Young Concert Artists
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“Korea's hottest violin prodigy” (Hancinema). Appeared as soloist with Seoul Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra. Festivals include Chopin Music Festival in Poland, City of London Festival, and Seoul Spring Festival. Photo by Matt Dine
Instrumentalists (continued) Ji Young Lim, violin International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
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Ji Young Lim, 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Bronze Medalist and 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition First Prize Winner, will perform with the Luxembourg Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonic, and Taipei Symphony. Photo by Denis R. Kelly, Jr.
Aleksey Semenenko, violin Young Concert Artists
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First Prize, 2015 Boris Goldstein Competition; Second Prize, 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition. “Powerful technique, rich tone and passionate approach” (New York Times). Orchestra highlights: National Philharmonic of Russia (Spivakov), Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Brussels Philharmonic. Photo by Christian Steiner
Stephen Waarts, violin Young Concert Artists
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Audience Prize, 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition; First Prize, 2014 Menuhin Competition. “Played with technical command and a totally natural sense of musical drama” (Strings Magazine). Performs over 40 concertos. Highlights: Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Cleveland Orchestra. Photo by Matt Dine
In Mo Yang, violin Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 214 333 5200
Nineteen-year old Korean is First Prize Winner of both the 2014 CAG Competition and 2015 Paganini Violin Competition (Italy). The Boston Globe raved about “the serene beauty, evenness, and poise of his playing…” Photo by Neda Navaee
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Vocalists Zachary Read, baritone Dean Artist Management
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Member, Vancouver’s Yulanda Faris Young Artist Program; Morales, Carmen, Marullo, Rigoletto - Vancouver Opera; Richard Bradshaw Fellowship and Master’s Degree, University of Toronto; Finalist, Ensemble Studio Competition - Canadian Opera Company. Dean Artists Management
Vocalists (continued) Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano Dean Artist Management
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Winner District Met Auditions - San Diego; Domingo-Colborn-Stein Young Artist Program - Los Angeles Opera; Cherubino, Le nozze di Figaro - Wolf Trap; L’enfant, L’enfant et les sortilèges - Utah Opera; Utah and Cincinnati symphonies. Dean Artists Management
Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner called “fiery and gorgeous” (Opera News). Winner: Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition. Roles: Birmingham Opera Company, Opera Philadelphia, Washington National Opera. Soloist: Philadelphia Orchestra; Cairo Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Julia Bullock, soprano Young Concert Artists
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“Bullock shone throughout, her sultry voice and charismatic presence a delight” (New York Times). New World Symphony; New York Philharmonic; San Francisco Symphony. Title roles: La Passione de Simone, The Indian Queen (Sellars), Cendrillion, Cunning Little Vixen. Photo by Christian Steiner
Kathryn Guthrie, soprano Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner who “outshone any other single moment on stage” (Huffington Post). Roles: New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera. Soloist: BBC Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Claire McAdams
Sarah Shafer, soprano Astral
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Astral Auditions Winner praised for “intensely expressive interpretations” (New York Times). Roles: Glyndebourne Festival, San Francisco Opera, Opera Philadelphia. Soloist: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. Photo by Vanessa Briceño Photography
Owen McCausland, tenor Dean Artist Management
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Tito, La clemenza de Tito, Testo, Il combattimento, Lord Cecil, Roberto Devereux - Canadian Opera Company; Arturo, Lucia di Lammermoor - Pacific Opera Victoria; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 - Regina Symphony; semi-finalist, Montreal International Music Competition. Dean Artists Management
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Max Baillie, principal viola of the Aurora Orchestra, based in London, which has performed from memory. He says the challenge had a “remarkable effect on the whole ensemble.”
PLAYING Mark Allan
In August 2014, the Aurora Orchestra performed Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 at Royal Albert Hall in London, from memory. Nicholas Collon conducted.
oncertgoers rarely think twice when a pianist or violinist plays without a printed score during a recital or as soloist with an orchestra. Tradition almost demands that these artists treat a performance as “a highwire act,” as former New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn once described the act of memorization in the concert hall. The feat, of course, extends to conductors who forgo the score even when leading something as massive as a Mahler symphony or—think the late Claudio Abbado or Lorin Maazel— an entire opera (Verdi, Wagner, Strauss, Mussorgsky, you name it). What audience members generally don’t expect is the sight of chamber groups or— is it possible?—orchestras doing their thing minus printed music, music stands, and, in certain instances, chairs. But more and more ensembles in recent years have been memorizing works they play, not as gimmicks to
show how brave and smart they are, but for artistic reasons and to connect more closely with audiences. It’s unlikely most symphony orchestras will be jumping on the memorization bandwagon anytime soon. Each season, orchestras perform a vast repertoire covering multiple composers and styles, all rehearsed on a tight schedule—and that doesn’t even factor in the many hours each musician spends at home practicing. Add to that equation the mammoth task of having each musician memorize an entire symphonic score, and then the extra rehearsal time needed to ready a piece for performance. All the practicalities—financial, time, and sheer brainpower—would make that impossible to do except on an occasional basis. Clearly, conductors and administrators are not about to start requesting that musicians learn certain pieces by heart. “Yikes!” you can hear string players exclaim. “Memorize all those tremolos in a Bruckner symphony?” Still, as part of the larger wave of experisymphony
What happens when you take away the music stands and perform from memory? A number of chamber ensembles and full orchestras are finding out, with surprising results.
mentation by orchestras with all kinds of new concert formats, a trend appears to be in the air, with interesting ramifications for musicians and listeners alike. According to performers who have tested the memorization waters in chamber groups and chamber orchestras, the ability to declare independence from the page makes them more familiar with a score, since they must know how everything fits and ﬂows, and more daring and spontaneous as interpreters. It also increases their bond with the audience, which has the potential to feel unusually engaged when they see performers in such close contact with one another and themselves. “There’s a relationship with the audience,” says Yvonne Lam, violinist-violist in eighth blackbird, the innovative lower-cased chamber ensemble. “With no stands, you look at each other a lot more. There’s a lot more
communication within the ensemble when you memorize. And that, in turn, translates to the audience feeling they are being communicated to. When they see us feeling free and having a great time onstage, they’re often very, very excited about it. What they’re all impressed with is the level of communication going on during the performance.” What is the result from the point of view of the critics and audience? In her review of a 2012 University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra staged performance of Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Washington Post critic Anne Midgette wrote, “If you saw this on video, you’d assume it was dubbed; orchestra musicians can’t play and move at the same time…. Having memorized the score, they walked around the stage with naturalistic ease… The playing was so good: increasingly confident, vividly expressive, and without the kinds of balance prob-
G by Heart
by Donald Rosenberg At the University of Maryland, James Ross, professor of conducting and director of orchestral activities, and choreographer Liz Lerman created two successful presentations featuring musicians not using printed music, stands, or chairs: Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun in 2012 (in photo), and Copland’s Appalachian Spring in 2014.
Taking a bow after the June 2010 world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Sextet and Orchestra (left to right) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: eighth blackbird violinist/ violist Matt Albert, cellist Nicholas Photinos, composer Jennifer Higdon, ASO Music Director Robert Spano, pianist Lisa Kaplan, clarinetist Michael J. Maccaferri, and flutist Tim Munro.
lems you might assume would result from letting musicians wander all over the stage. Freed from the black-clad anonymity of the orchestral status quo, allowed to assert their own identities, the musicians took responsibility for one of the most remarkable collaborations I’ve seen.” Among the remarkable things about Chicago-based eighth blackbird, aside from playing without printed music, is the performers’ ability to illuminate works well outside the standard repertoire while moving around the stage—unencumbered by stands or chairs. A hundred members of a symphony orchestra playing The Rite of Spring might trip over one another—and Stravinsky—if asked to shift locations while playing, but eighth blackbird is a sextet that is accustomed to strolling as they perform brand-new, and often complex, pieces. The ensemble has memorized the bulk of its music nearly from the moment the initial members created the ensemble at Oberlin Conservatory in the mid-1990s. Lam, who became a member in 2011, says the idea was hatched when her colleagues were in a coaching session and had reached a plateau. Partly as a joke, the coach told them to memorize the piece. When they did, the musicians realized they had many new options, in addi-
tion to knowing the score infinitely better. “They could explore movement, collaborations, work with dancers onstage and move with them, be in theatrical productions,” says Lam. “There are so many possibilities once you remove that sort of crutch.” Deeper Connections
A similar sense of revelation occurred to the members of the Chiara String Quartet when they were preparing to record a Brahms quartet. The players weren’t happy with the way things were going: the results didn’t accurately reﬂect their artistic personalities. “As we were looking for ways to deepen our connection to the music and to one another in our performances, our second violinist [Hyeyung Julie Yoon] proposed that we take a chunk of the music and memorize it and have a rehearsal without music stands, see what would come of it, and see what kinds of freedoms we could find,” says Jonah Sirota, the Chiara’s violist. “We did that and it was very positive. We enjoyed it. We just started adding little chunks from memory. It was not some overarching, big project. It was just an experiment. Ultimately, we decided it would be really amazing if we could get to the point where we could do the recording process this way, without the music stands.”
The Chiara took the plunge while recording the three Brahms quartets and the G Major quintet, with violist Roger Tapping, during sessions at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York. The disc, on the Azica label, has the apt title “Brahms by Heart,” and suggests that memorization aided the musicians in shaping deeply expressive and ﬂexible interpretations. A YouTube video shows the quartet in action before the microphones minus stands or music—or, more precisely, with the music laid out on the ﬂoor for possible consultation between takes. “One of my colleagues memorized the rehearsal and page numbers,” Sirota says. “I don’t have that kind of memory. We’re not that neurotic about it. We still weren’t performing without music. That seemed like an exclamation, as it were, and that started a bit later. We now have about twelve pieces from memory, and we’re building that repertoire.” The building process includes the six Bartók quartets—formidable pieces even when musicians are staring at the printed page. The Chiara, as Sirota points out, is not a string-quartet pioneer in playing without music. The Kolisch Quartet, which originated in Vienna in the 1920s as the New Vienna String Quartet, performed everything from memory, including intricate scores by Schoenberg and Berg. symphony
Debussy, Copland, Baroque
Memorizing music for memorization’s sake is never the point of these exercises, say those who play by heart, and is often the byproduct of a larger theatrical or extra-musical concept. At the University of Maryland, for example, professor of conducting and director of orchestral activities James Ross and choreographer Liz Lerman wanted to explore the potential of orchestra players to move while performing. That meant doing away with music, stands, and chairs. The project began in 2012 with Afternoon of a Faun, which was so successful that it continued in 2014 with Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Memorizing these scores looked “daunting, but it was easier because they were comingling it with the sense of movement that was developing as our work progressed with Liz—meaning the movements they were making served as mnemonic devices for their memory,” says Ross, who knows whereof he speaks orchestrally: in his early twenties, he played principal horn in the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig (always using printed music). Ross’s Maryland students “were not in their chairs learning the notes. They had a full, systemic experience of how to play a phrase that helped them to remember what the notes were.” For the Copland project, Ross supplied his players with fourteen memorization techniques. (Technique #4: Sing your part [scat]. Sing other parts. In
Lisa Marie Mazzucco
The Chiara String Quartet recently released a recording of Brahms’s Quartet Nos. 1-3 and Quintet No. 2, performed from memory.
Baroque orchestra based in Toronto, began groups of two or more, trade parts. #10: Go trying out the idea of memorization as part back and forth between looking at the part, of a staged project. Alison Mackay, the ornot looking, and “squinty looking.”) chestra’s double bassist and force behind its Could the technique be applied to a full multi-media creations, said the ensemble symphony orchestra? Ross says he saw it had always prided itself on its close-knit, happen while doing a sabbatical project in chamber-music playing. “I had a thing that Venezuela with El Sistema, the visionary if we did a whole program from educational program created memory, we would kind of bump by José Antonio Abreu. Be- “As we were ourselves up to the next level,” fore a rehearsal with Simon looking for ways Mackay says. The opportunity to Rattle, Abreu challenged to deepen our do so arose with a 2009 producthe teenagers and twentyconnection tion celebrating the 400th annisomethings of the Simón to the music versary of Galileo’s first use of the Bolívar Orchestra to close and to one telescope. The program was set to their scores and play the include an actor, lighting, and profirst movement of a Mahler another in our jected photos and images, which, symphony from memory. performances, Mackay and colleagues realized, “The kids discovered they our second would have been marred if the actually did know it from violinist, musicians were positioned in front memory. They closed their Hyeyung Julie of music stands with lights. So the books,” says Ross. “Why Yoon, proposed players memorized the pieces (by shouldn’t that be possible? that we take Bach, Handel, and Purcell) before You hear orchestra players a chunk of the first staging rehearsal. who’ve been around a long the music and The process took several time express lack of interest memorize it,” months, during which time Tafelin playing pieces they know says Jonah musik members practiced on their well and say, ‘We could play Sirota, the own—memorizing the music at it from memory.’ But they home or on the subway or bus to don’t play from memory, and Chiara String rehearsals—and then participated they could understand more Quartet’s violist. “We did that in an endeavor called Play Dates. about the piece.” “Whenever we were on tour or Like Ross’s Maryland and it was very having an opera rehearsal with ensemble, Tafelmusik, the positive.” another project,” says Mackay, “we would find a place backstage or in the hotel and people would get together in twos or threes and play together, go over the music again and again. The spinoff of that is incredible, because the process of memorizing it all makes you understand things about the structure you may not have been aware of before, such as when you look at sections that repeat in different keys or learn about the compositional process.” Even so, the musicians found their first efforts at memorization taxing, or, as Mackay puts it: “It was terrifying for the orchestra. It took a lot of discussion to decide to do it. Needless to say, some people found it easier than others. Some were eager to do it. Some were convinced they couldn’t do it. At one point, we thought we
Don Lee/The Banff Centre
where the form and structure go into the mind and then it gets much easier.” The Aurora Orchestra geared up for its Albert Hall performance of the Beethoven by giving a preparatory concert for family and friends a few days before the big event. The tryout, replete with wrong notes and other mishaps, enabled the musicians to “exorcise the fear” they felt before going to the Proms, says Baillie. Once onstage at Albert Hall, the players and conductor Collon could communicate as never before, albeit with everyone on his or her toes. “One can’t afford to switch off,” ﬂutist Mitchell Alison Mackay says. “Everyone is vulnerable, which makes for an incredible group dynamic. So it’s “The process of memorizing makes you understand things about the a really special journey. All that shared structure you may not have been aware of before,” says Alison Mackay, emotion was a big thing for us. As a Tafelmusik’s double bassist and the force behind its multi-media creations. person in the group, it’s undeniable it felt very special and we were striving for the same goal. With a conductor, it beto Beethoven, Australian composer Brett would have some beautiful music stands comes much more of a team feel.” Dean’s 2000 Pastoral Symphony, and Moincorporated into the staging that people Members of the audience who listen zart’s Piano Concerto No. 26, with Francescould use in an emergency. In the end, we professionally had mixed reactions to the co Piemontesi as soloist. Then the stage was decided to all fall off the precipice.” Aurora’s Beethoven Sixth. “However enemptied of stands and chairs for two pieces It went well, and since that first, positive thusiastic the response and novel the preperformed from memory: Anna Meredith’s experience with the Galileo project, Tafelsentation, such pieces, so familiar to us, live new Smatter Hauler and the Beethoven musik has offered two other multi-media and die by accuracy,” wrote Peter Quantrill Sixth. Longer and filled with many more productions. In May 2016 they will present on theartsdesk.com. “As leader, Tom Gould notes than Mozart 40, the Beethoven proved their next: Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig an exhilarating stretch for the Aurora musiand Damascus Coﬀee House, featuring TafelTafelmusik presented its first memorized cians. “There was a wonderful sense of unity musik Baroque Orchestra, Demetri Petconcert, Galileo, in 2009. The program right from the very beginning, partly because salakis on oud, Naghmeh Farahmand on of Bach, Handel, and Purcell marked the of the shared challenge of taking this on,” 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the percussion, and actors Maryem Toller and says Max Baillie, the group’s principal viola. Alon Nashman. Mackay says the productelescope. “But it had a remarkable effect on the whole tions have transformed relationships in the ensemble—that we were free of this visual ensemble and “changed our whole orchesinterface, which, let’s face it, has nothing to tra life.” Not that the act of memorization do with the ideas Beethoven intended in this has much basis in history, especially for a music. It’s nothing more than a tool. At best, period-instrument ensemble. “I should say the written page is an imperfect tool. It is that we’re an orchestra devoted to Baroque a physical barrier to the players, but also an performance and it is a completely unimaginative barrier.” Baroque thing to do. It gives us wonderful Especially for the violas, which often play benefits, but it’s not something they would key harmonic roles, Baillie says memorizhave done at the time.” ing the Beethoven was both a pleasure and a test. “You’re embedded in the texture,” he A Whole Symphony says, “sort of like you have a panoramic view A change of musical life along the lines of of the whole aural landscape.” Baillie comTafelmusik occurred in 2014 for the Aurora pares memorizing the Beethoven to “doOrchestra, the London-based ensemble led ing a large jigsaw puzzle. You work hours by Nicholas Collon. Scheduled to perform and hours and it still looks like chaos. And a BBC Proms concert at Royal Albert Hall there’s a very specific point where the image that would include the world premiere of is recognizable, and from that point onward Benedict Mason’s Meld—a work mostly peryou’re filling the blanks and the gaps. It’s a formed throughout the gargantuan concert little demoralizing at first. For how many hall and opening with an empty stage—the hours you’re practicing the piece, it doesn’t Aurora musicians decided to try something become any clearer. Then there’s a point new to start the program: Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 from memory. “We felt that was the perfect opportunity, and the Proms was willing to take that risk,” says Jane Mitchell, the orchestra’s principal ﬂute. “So it was a mix of things and it worked beautifully. It really was affecting. The orchestra walked off—and there was nothing on the stage. It was an interesting reason specific to that project.” For its second appearance at the Proms, in summer 2015, the Aurora Orchestra chose to go even bigger: Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony minus printed scores. The program opened with two works played with sheet music: a contemporary nod
cajoled his charges, a more assertive stage presence than Collon on the podium, and all around him were attentive, in the moment, at ease and apparently relishing temporary liberation from the tyranny of the score. But it was a performance better witnessed than heard, at least until the finale, when Collon remembered he had a second-violin section to his right, ready and waiting to spar with the firsts, the woodwind offered more than cameos and the whole aspired towards the mood of visionary intensity which makes it one of Beethoven’s most religious works.” Jonathan McAloon had a different view in The Telegraph: “A whole orchestra standing and playing without scores sounds inconsequential, even gimmicky, but not being tied to the spot seemed, refreshingly, to make the performers bolder, as well as more bonded to their conductor’s vision.” The Aurora will forge ahead with the occasional memorized score when they tackle Beethoven’s Fifth at a concert that includes HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!! The program, in May 2016 at London’s Southbank Centre, will be titled “Playing with Fire” and focus on the story of Prometheus. “It’s quite mad,” says Mitchell. “The Mary Shelley story is the modern Prometheus. Be careful what you play with.” And be careful if you attempt playing by heart. “I would love to see a symphony orchestra do The Rite of Spring or a Mahler symphony, but they’d really have to rehearse a long time,” says Mitchell. “That’s really a factor. Musicians don’t get many rehearsals.” Learning and performing music in this manner is, of course, no guarantee that the performance will be better. “Memorization in and of itself doesn’t do anything to the performer,” says eighth blackbird’s Lam. “You still have to interpret the music, and people who play with [printed] music— there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s a way of engaging the audience and yourself in a different way.” What musicians could experience through the act of memorization, even if on an occasional basis, is the satisfaction of becoming more aware of the messages in the works they perform, says Tafelmusik’s Mackay: “It makes you feel so much like a real musician.” DONALD ROSENBERG is editor of EMAg, the magazine of Early Music America, and author of The Cleveland Orchestra Story: “Second to None.” americanorchestras.org
LETTER TO THE EDITOR The article “Retuning Classical Radio,” published in the Fall issue of Symphony, was very informative, but fell short of telling the full positive story of what is happening in St. Louis. St. Louis is one of the few cities to have two classical radios stations: KMWU, a public radio affiliate, and Radio Arts Foundation St. Louis (RAF/STL), which is locally owned and operated. KMWU broadcasts classical music only on KWMU HD3, with the exception of live St. Louis Symphony broadcasts on KWMU FM. Classical programming on KWMU HD3 is primarily distributed from outside of St. Louis by NPR and other sources. RAF/STL focuses on classical music, but also provides opera and jazz programming. All programs are broadcast on KNOU FM and KNOU D2, with a signal that reaches a 50-mile radius around St. Louis. Daytime programming is primarily locally sourced, but in 2015 the station initiated live broadcasts of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. RAF/STL is well positioned as listening habits transition to digital media. The station has invested in developing a smartphone app, is available on streaming services such as Tune In Radio, and provides live audio streaming from its website at www.rafstl.org. In this way, all programming is available live not just locally, but globally. Critical to the mission of RAF/STL is the commitment to support other arts organizations in St. Louis. The station devotes significant programming time to featuring the people and events of the St. Louis arts community in its programming through interviews and discussions. The result is that the citizens of St. Louis have a wonderful environment for the arts and for classical music in particular. They have a world-class symphony orchestra, a public radio station, and a locally operated radio station that is committed to enhancing the quality of the arts in our community. Sincerely, William Rushnack President of the Board Radio Arts Foundation St. Louis
Arts Consulting Group........................... 1 Astral..................................................... 55 BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.).................c2 Classical Kids Live!............................... 13 Classical Movements............................... 2 The Cliburn........................................... 35 Concert Artists Guild........................... 53 Dan Kamin Comedy Concertos............ 11 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis........................................c4 In The Mood......................................... 43 JRA Fine Arts....................................... 54 League of American Orchestras........ 8, 15, 17, 19, 45, c3 National Arts Centre-Summer Music Institute............................................. 12 OnStage Productions............................ 44 Schiedmayer Celeste GmbH................. 31 Thea Dispeker Artists............................ 27 The Venice Symphony........................... 25 Wallace Foundation............................... 41 Word Pros, Inc....................................... 12 Yamaha Corporation of America............ 5 Young Concert Artists........................... 51
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 November 1, 2015. For more information regarding a gift to the League, please visit us at americanorchestras.org/donate, call 212.262.5161, or write us at Annual Fund, League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023. $150,000 and above
Booth Ferris Foundation, New York, NY Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Coral Gables, FL Peter D. and Julie Fisher Cummings, Palm Beach Gardens, FL † The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, San Francisco, CA The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent, Chicago, IL
$50,000 – $149,999
Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Brown, Winston-Salem, NC Ford Motor Company Fund, Dearborn, MI The Hearst Foundation, Inc., New York, NY Shirley Bush Helzberg, Kansas City, MO † Mrs. Martha Rivers Ingram, Nashville, TN Daniel R. Lewis, in honor of Lowell J. Noteboom and Bruce Clinton, Coral Gables, FL † The Curtis and Pamela Livingston 2000 Charitable Remainder Unitrust, Boston, MA National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC The Negaunee Foundation, Northbrook, IL Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust, Jersey City, NJ Sakana Foundation, San Francisco, CA Rick Prins and Connie Steensma, New York, NY † Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, New York, NY The Wallace Foundation, New York, NY
$25,000 – $49,000
American Express Foundation, New York, NY Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN The Edgemer Foundation, Inc., West Hartford, CT The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York, NY Catherine and Peter Moye, Spokane, WA New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation, Westport, CT Patricia A. Richards, Salt Lake City, UT
$10,000 – $24,999
Hal and Diane Brierley, Plano, TX Mrs. Trish Bryan, Cincinnati, OH † Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, OH Phillip William Fisher Fund, Detroit, MI The John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, San Francisco, CA Douglas and Jane Hagerman, Milwaukee, WI JPMorgan Chase Bank, Chicago, IL Lori Julian, on behalf of the Julian Family Foundation, Chicago, IL Mark Jung, Wellesley Hills, MA Camille and Dennis LaBarre, Cleveland Heights, OH Ellen and James S. * Marcus, New York, NY Alan and Maria McIntyre, Darien, CT New York State Council on the Arts, New York, NY Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Minneapolis, MN
Mary Carr Patton and John Shaw, Orange Park, FL Robert A. Peiser, Houston, TX David Rockefeller, in memory of Peggy Rockefeller, New York, NY Barry Sanders, Beverly Hills, CA Drs. Helen S. and John P. Schaefer, Tucson, AZ † Mrs. Helen P. Shaffer, Houston, TX Penelope and John Van Horn, Chicago, IL Geraldine Warner, Cincinnati, OH Wells Fargo, Los Angeles, CA Robert Wood Revocable Trust, Grover Beach, CA The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Conshohocken, PA
$5,000 – $9,999
Burton Alter, Woodbridge, CT Brent and Jan Assink, San Francisco, CA Mr. David C. Bohnett, Beverly Hills, CA Mr. and Mrs. William G. Brown, Hobe Sound, FL John and Janet Canning, Westport, CT † Ms. Nicky B. Carpenter, Wayzata, MN † Margarita and John Contreni, Greenville, ME † John and Paula Gambs, Tiburon, CA Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York, NY The CHG Charitable Trust, Philadelphia, PA † Margot and Paul Grangaard, Edina, MN Jim Hasler, Oakland, CA The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Warren, NJ The James Irvine Foundation, San Francisco, CA Kulas Foundation, Cleveland, OH Dr. Hugh W. Long, New Orleans, LA Kjristine Lund, Seattle, WA Jim and Kay Mabie, Northfield, IL † Shirley D. McCrary, Mooresville, AL † John P. Murphy Foundation, Cleveland, OH Michael Neidorff and Noemi Neidorff, Saint Louis, MO Jesse Rosen, New York, NY Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Houston, TX Steve Turner, Nashville, TN
$2,500 – $4,999
Bill Achtmeyer, Boston, MA The Amphion Foundation, New York, NY Alberta Arthurs, New York, NY Richard J. Bogomolny and Patricia M. Kozerefski, Gates Mills, OH The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, TX Laurie and Richard Brueckner, Bedminster, NJ NancyBell Coe and William Burke, Santa Barbara, CA Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT Gloria dePasquale, Narberth, PA D.M. Edwards, in honor of Patricia Richards and Jesse Rosen, Tyler, TX Drs. Aaron and Cristina Stanescu Flagg, Easton, CT James M. Franklin, Inverness, IL † Catherine French, Washington, DC † Marian A. Godfrey, Richmond, MA The George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, OH Lyndia and C.Y. Harvey, Denver, CO
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, New York, NY Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Brown, Winston-Salem, NC John and Janet Canning, Westport, CT † Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Bruce and Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Chicago, IL Gloria dePasquale, Narberth, PA Phillip Wm. Fisher, Detroit, MI Marcia and John Goldman, San Francisco, CA Marian A. Godfrey, Richmond, MA Margot and Paul Grangaard, in honor of Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Edina, MN Douglas and Jane Hagerman, Milwaukee, WI Daniel R. Lewis, Coral Gables, FL † Dr. Hugh W. Long, New Orleans, LA Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation, Westport, CT Mary Carr Patton, Orange Park, FL Daniel Petersen, Seattle, WA Barry A. Sanders, Beverly Hills, CA Sakana Foundation, San Francisco, CA Sargent Family Foundation Cynthia Sargent, Chicago, IL Sewell Charitable Fund, Minneapolis, MN Penelope and John Van Horn, Chicago, IL Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO † • The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Conshohocken, PA Anonymous (2) IMN Solutions, Inc., Arlington, VA James D. Ireland, Cleveland, OH * Stephen H. Judson, New York, NY Paul R. Judy, Northfield, IL John A. and Catherine M. Koten Foundation, Hinsdale, IL † A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper, Summit, NJ Anthony McGill, New York, NY William Noonan, Milton, MA Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation, New York, NY Ms. Deborah F. Rutter, Washington, DC † Mr. David Tierno in honor of Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Alan D. and Jan L. Valentine, Nashville, TN Kathleen M. van Bergen, Naples, FL Doris and Clark Warden, Sausalito, CA † Sally and Nick Webster, New York, NY
$1,000 – $2,499
Douglas W. Adams, Breckenridge, CO Jeff and Keiko Alexander, Chicago, IL Todd Allen, Chatham, NJ Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall, TX Jennifer Barlament and Ken Potsic, Cleveland, OH • Peter A. Benoliel and Willo Carey, Conshokocken, PA Beracha Family Charitable Gift Fund, Ladue, MO William P. Blair, III, Canton, OH † Deborah Borda, Los Angeles, CA † Elaine Amacker Bridges, San Angelo, TX Fred and Liz Bronstein, Baltimore, MD • Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee, Detroit, MI † Charles Cagle, Franklin, TN † Leslie and Dale Chihuly, Seattle, WA Kenneth Cole, New York, NY Conn-Selmer, Elkhart, IN Robert Conrad, Cleveland, OH Bruce Coppock, Mendota Heights, MN Trayton M. Davis, in honor of Bob Wagner, Montclair, NJ Aaron Dworkin, Detroit, MI Marisa Eisemann, Albany, NY Dawn Fazli, Indianapolis, IN Susan Feder and Todd Gordon, Irvington, NY Courtney and David Filner, Naples, FL • The Fleischmann Foundation, Cincinnati, OH † Henry and Fran Fogel, River Forest, IL † Michele and John Forsyte, Long Beach, CA • Dr. and Mrs. Hiroyuki Fujita, Pepper Pike, OH Margaret Fulton Mueller Charitable Fund, Hunting Valley, OH Laurence Mills-Gahl and Karen Gahl-Mills, Cleveland Heights, OH Adele and Willard Gidwitz Family Foundation, New York, NY † Edward B. Gill, La Jolla, CA † Gary Ginstling and Marta Lederer, Carmel, IN Joseph B. Glossberg and Madeline Condit, Chicago, IL Gordon Family Philanthropic Fund, Laguna Beach, CA Nancy Greenbach, Atherton, CA André Gremillet, Melbourne, Australia Patty Hall, Seattle, WA Mark and Christina Hanson, Houston, TX • Daniel and Barbara Hart, Amherst, NY • Ian Harwood, Milwaukee, WI • Howard Herring, Miami Beach, FL Lauri and Paul Hogle, Detroit, MI Dr. and Mrs. Claire Fox Hillard, Albany, GA Patricia Howard, Cazenovia, NY + Laura Hyde, Tyler, TX † The Jurenko Foundation, Madison, AL Kenneth and Judith Selsby Kamins, Tarzana, CA Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley Foundation, Shaker Heights, OH Mr. Michael Kerr, Corona Del Mar, CA Douglas W. Kinzey, Plano, TX Peter T. Kjome, Grand Rapids, MI Joseph H. Kluger, Gladwyne, PA Robert Kohl & Clark Pellett, Chicago, IL Wilfred and Joan Larson Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Naples, FL † Jennifer Leeds, Menlo Park, CA Robert Levine, Glendale, WI Stephen Lisner, New York, NY Sandi Macdonald, Raleigh, NC Alex Machaskee, Cleveland, OH Dr. Gordon and Carole Mallet, Zionsville, IN Stacy and Lee Margolis, Brooklyn, NY Jonathan Martin, Dallas, TX Steve and Lou Mason, Dayton, OH † Mattlin Foundation, Columbus, OH americanorchestras.org
Debbie McKinney, Nichols Hills, OK Paul Meecham, Baltimore, MD † Zarin Mehta, Chicago, IL † David Alan Miller, Slingerlands, NY Steven Monder, Cincinnati, OH † Michael Morgan, Oakland, CA † John C. Morley, Cleveland Heights, OH Ann Mulally, Santa Monica, CA James Nicholson, Detroit, MI Naomi Chaitkin Nimmo, Summerville, SC James W. Palermo, Fort Wayne, IN • John and Farah Palmer, Tucson, AZ † Anne Parsons and Donald Dietz, Detroit, MI • Mr. Michael Pastreich, St. Petersburg, FL • Peter Pastreich, Sausalito, CA † Daniel Petersen, Seattle, WA Henry Peyrebrune and Tracy Rowell, Cleveland Heights, OH The Rice Family Fund, Rochester, NY Barbara S. Robinson, Cleveland, OH Susan L. Robinson, Sarasota, FL Stanley Romanstein, Atlanta, GA Barbara and Robert Rosoff, Queensbury, NY Don Roth, Davis, CA † Richard Russell, Winter Park, FL Mary Jones Saathoff, Lubbock, TX Roger Saydack and Elaine Bernat, Eugene, OR † Sewell Charitable Fund, Minneapolis, MN Rita Shapiro, Executive Director, NSO, Washington, DC R. P. Simmons Family Foundation, Sewickley, PA Thomas and Dee Stegman, Cincinnati, OH Linda S. Stevens, Kansas City, MO + Susan Stucker, Mountainside, NJ Tomas Todd, Pittsburgh, PA Melia and Mike Tourangeau, Pittsburgh, PA Rae Wade Trimmier, Mountain Brook, AL † Marylou and John D. Turner, Kansas City, MO Matthew VanBesien and Rosie Jowitt, New York, NY • Allison Vulgamore, Philadelphia, PA •† Linda Weisbruch and Craig Weisbruch, Charlotte, NC Jane and Dobson West, Minneapolis, MN Paul R. Wiggin, Chicago, IL Camille Williams, Little Rock, AR Donna M. Williams, Oakland, CA Simon Woods and Karin Brookes, Seattle, WA Anonymous (1)
$600 – $999
Gene and Mary Arner, Boise, ID Sandra Sue Ashby, Jacksonville, FL Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb, Indianapolis, IN David R. Bornemann, Scottsdale, AZ Dr. Misook Yun and Mr. James William Boyd, New Orleans, LA • Mrs. Judy Christl, Bonita Springs, FL † Katy Clark, Brooklyn, NY • Scott Faulkner and Andrea Lenz, Reno, NV † David C. Ferner, Ponte Vedra, FL Firelands Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Sandusky, OH Jack M. Firestone, Miami, FL Rachel and Terry Ford, Knoxville, TN +• GE Foundation, Fairfield, CT Michael Gehret, Newtown, PA Bill Gettys, Weaverville, NC Richard and Mary L. Gray, Chicago, IL Carrie Hammond, Farmington, CT Faye Heston, Canton, OH HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, MN Marilyn P. and Joseph W. Hirschhorn Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati, OH
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, Indianapolis, IN Wayne S. Brown and Brenda E. Kee, Detroit, MI † John and Janet Canning, Westport, CT † Richard and Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT Myra Janco Daniels, Naples, FL Samuel C. Dixon, Morrow, GA • Henry and Frances Fogel, River Forest, IL † Susan Harris, Ph.D., Ann Arbor, MI Louise W. Kahn Endowment Fund of The Dallas Foundation, Dallas, TX The Curtis and Pamela Livingston 2000 Charitable Remainder Unitrust, Boston, MA Nina C. Masek, Sonoita, AZ Steve and Lou Mason, Dayton, OH † Lowell and Sonja Noteboom, Minnetonka, MN Charles and Barbara Olton, New York, NY † Peter Pastreich, San Francisco, CA † Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust, Jersey City, NJ Rodger E. Pitcairn, Rockville, MD Robert and Barbara Rosoff, Glens Falls, NY Robert J. Wagner, Boonton, NJ Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO † • Mr. and Mrs. Albert K. Webster, New York, NY Robert Wood Revocable Trust, Grover Beach, CA Anonymous (1) Helena Jackson and Doug Dunham, Duluth, MN Donald Krause and JoAnne Krause, Brookfield, WI † Lafayette Symphony Foundation, Inc., Lafayette, IN David Loebel, Lebanon, NH Anne Miller, Edina, MN † Evans Mirageas and Thomas Dreeze, Cincinnati, OH Alfred P. Moore, Minneapolis, MN William and Jane Murray, Mechanicsburg, PA J.L. Nave III and Paul Cook, Fort Wayne, IN • Pacific Symphony Board of Directors, Santa Ana, CA Princeton Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, Princeton, NJ Tresa Radermacher, Dyer, IN Jane B. Schwartz, Augusta, GA Richard L. Sias, Oklahoma City, OK † David Snead, New York, NY Barbara J. Smith-Soroca, Stamford, CT Joan H. Squires, Omaha, NE • Mary Tunstall Staton, Charlotte, NC Laura Street, Amarillo, TX Jeff Tsai, Geneva, IL • Gus Vratsinas, Little Rock, AR Robert J. Wagner, Boonton, NJ Jay Wallace, Jr., Norton Shores, MI Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO † • Mark and Terry White, Amarillo, TX Melinda Whiting Burrows and John Burrows, Riverton, NJ Paul Winberg and Bruce Czuchna, Chicago, IL † Directors Council (former League Board) • Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni + Includes Corporate Matching Gift * Deceased
Rosanne Cash is a force in country and Americana music, but this season she’s bridging multiple worlds. In October, she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, just as she started her residency at Carnegie Hall, where she is curating a four-concert Perspectives Series exploring American roots music from bluegrass to country, folk, soul, and Western swing. This February, the singer/songwriter concludes the residency with a concert of her recent Grammy-winning album The River & the Thread, but it won’t be her first time onstage at Carnegie Hall—she has performed there a handful of times, including once with her father, Johnny Cash.
Clay Patrick McBride
hen Carnegie Hall asked me to do a Perspectives Series this season, I was stunned. I’ve been doing my work for 35 years, and some really nice things have happened to me, and then this invitation really caught my attention. I was thrilled. Carnegie Hall is the ultimate, the greatest venue in the country. It has resonance—not just sonic resonance, but spiritual resonance because of everyone who has been on that stage. I heard Elisabeth Leonskaja play Chopin there, and Pavarotti, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Elton John. The resonance of the great performers who have been on that stage lingers. As an audience member, I love to go hear classical music, and in the past I have had the opportunity to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, and other classical music ensembles. It’s definitely outside my wheelhouse, which is why I love it. It’s a challenge. To be onstage performing with a full orchestra is very different from a smaller electric band. Well, it feels a bit like jumping off a cliff. [Laughs.] But the power and the majesty of playing with an orchestra is incredible. The feeling of being part of that is so transcendent. Hearing my own songs arranged for an orchestra—that’s a deeply humbling experience. I wrote these folk songs, these pop songs, and to give them that kind of import is beautiful.
Some songs with an orchestra expand in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. And that’s very moving. The canon of American roots music and the body of classical music speak to our souls. With them, something resonates in your heart, in your soul, that never becomes irrelevant. We’re all built differently, and some people respond more to John Prine or Bruce Springsteen, and some people respond more to Barber or Chopin. One isn’t better than another when it comes to what moves you. For musicians, part of our business is helping people to
feel. Bob Dylan said this great thing: “The audience doesn’t come to hear about my feelings. They come to feel their feelings.” I don’t mean a lowestcommon-denominator feeling, I mean the full expression of the human spirit—those things that get sparked in us when we see a great work of art and hear a great piece of music that makes us bigger, and want to create things ourselves, and feel connected to humanity. If world peace ever happens, it will be because people played their music to each other. It’s not going to be politicians. It will be artists. symphony
League of American Orchestras in association with
The University of Southern California Arts Leadership Program Daniel Anderson
The Essentials of Orchestra Management Daniel Anderson
Hosted by the USC Thornton School of Music Los Angeles, California
July 12 – 21, 2016
This 10-day seminar prepares emerging orchestra managers to lead successfully in the 21st century. Essentials of Orchestra Management is a unique program that provides an in-depth overview of orchestra management, widens your career network, and gives you an unprecedented view of what is necessary to become an innovative and successful leader in the arts.
“This was really amazing. Thank you for the knowledge and encouragement. I love the ‘philosophy’ and feel like I’m leaving with a lifetime of ideas to think about and process.”
“The best thing was how it got me thinking about why I do this work, how I fit into other departments, and how it sparked ideas about improving my effectiveness. It also showed me that I do want to be an executive or director and gave me access to some of the best and most caring leaders of our field.”
Essentials of Orchestra Management is made possible by generous grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, visit www.americanorchestras.org.
“It was an amazing array of talent! I got an insight into what the top people in various disciplines are focusing on. …The faculty were top notch.”
33 West 60th Street, 5th ﬂoor, New York, NY 10023-7905
“An undeniable charisma and depth...with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine...” Times Argus (Montreal) JINJOO CHO GOLD MEDALIST
“Lark brought superb technical chops as well as an inquisitive, musical mind to her performance.” The Arts Fuse (Boston) TESSA LARK SILVER MEDALIST
“An impressive arsenal of strengths — a range of colors that extended from a brilliant shimmer on top to an almost viola-like richness and graininess on the bottom, the ability to race from one end of the finger-board to the other with a tap dancer’s agility and precision...” The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) JI YOUNG LIM BRONZE MEDALIST
“The Indianapolis”is proud to present the Medalists of the 9th Quadrennial Competition, who join a distinguished list of Laureates dating back to the inaugural Competition in 1982.
For booking information, contact: Glen Kwok, Executive Director, International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
firstname.lastname@example.org, www.violin.org, 317.637.4574