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THE MAGAZINE OF
THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
Artists on the Verge
Emerging Classical Musicians Speak Their Minds
Redefining Cultural Diplomacy Peripatetic Orchestras 2011 Member Directory
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CONCERT MUSIC… AND THE CHANCE TO SEE A CHAPLIN CLASSIC Join the symphony orchestras worldwide who have already discovered the hilarious box office hit a Chaplin film plus a Chaplin score can be... ...if Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, St Louis, Moscow, London and Kyoto can do it, then so can you ! “ I tried to compose elegant and romantic music to frame my comedies in contrast to the tramp character ” Charles Chaplin “ Like his famous character, his scores employ a perfect balance of comedy, pathos and skill ” Timothy Brock
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symphony winter 2011
T he M aga z i n e of T he L eag u e of A merica n O rchestras
4 Prelude by Robert Sandla
7 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events
Laura C. Kelley
16 At the League Webinars, audio interviews, and useful publications are just a mouse click away. by Chester Lane
First Hearings EarShot is working to bring together orchestras and emerging composers. by Frank J. Oteri
Voices of Change Six young artists share their insights on the classical-music scene today. by Ian VanderMeulen
Guide to Emerging Artists
Bridge Builders Whether it’s abroad or at home in the U.S., cultural diplomacy offers orchestras unique challenges and rewards. by Jennifer Melick
What to Wear, What to Wear Reassessing dress on both sides of the footlights. by Judith Kogan
At Home on the Road For some orchestras, bringing music to multiple communities is all in a day’s work. by Bradley Bambarger
69 Advertiser Index 70 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 72 Coda When he isn’t running the Walla Walla Symphony, Michael Wenberg is busy writing books about music for young people.
Read an extended version of Ian VanderMeulen’s conversation with emerging artists Narek Hakhnazaryan, Bella Hristova, Lidia Kaminska, Doug O’Connor, Daria Rabotkina, and Jennifer Stumm at Symphony’s Outposts page.
Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources.
72 about the cover Violist Jennifer Stumm is one of the next wave of emerging artists. Cover image by Angela Morris
VO LU M E 6 2
symphony WINTER 2011
here’s a new date on our front cover: Winter. It’s a small change from our former bimonthly cover date, but it reflects a big change in our publication cycle: Symphony will now be issued on a quarterly basis. This spring, we will roll out a new editorial vehicle, SymphonyNOW—an online magazine that will come out once a week. SymphonyNOW will feature timely, brief articles, video, interviews, and more that explore breaking news and recent developments about orchestras. SymphonyNOW will keep you up to date with the fast-moving events and ideas that Symphony, with its longer print and shipping deadlines, simply cannot. Four times a year, Symphony will feature in-depth explorations, original research, and provocative essays. For the very latest about orchestras, our Hub website is updated every day. Everyone worries about getting young people into classical-music concert halls, but there’s one demographic that is consistently ignored: the young musicians already performing onstage. What’s their take on the orchestra scene? How did they first fall in love with classical music? How does a generation raised on Facebook and Twitter connect with live audiences? In our cover story, we ask six emerging artists for their view of the state of the art—and get some surprising answers. Elsewhere in this issue, we look at how orchestras are relating to communities at home and abroad, in two articles that cover orchestras that bring music to multiple venues in their home states, and orchestras that tour internationally, acting as cultural ambassadors. And we take a serious look at a seemingly light-hearted topic: how orchestras and audiences dress for concerts. Should orchestras continue to wear formal attire when audience members no longer do?
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SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry Claudia Uribe
MUSICAL CHAIRS has been named executive director of New York City’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic has selected four conductors for its 2010-11 Dudamel Fellowships: DAVID Adler AFKHAM , JEAN-MICHAEL LAVOIE , MANUEL LOPEZ , and JOSHUA WEILERSTEIN .
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera has appointed principal librarian.
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra has named
VINCENT CARBONE artistic director, BRITNEY ELLIOTT director of marketing and communications, and FAWZI HAIMOR music director and conductor of
the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.
PATRICK CASTILLO has been appointed director of artistic planning at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
has been appointed executive director of the Portland (Me.) Symphony Orchestra.
Colorado’s Boulder Chamber Orchestra has appointed WRENN C. ERICKSON managing director.
1 Atrium of the New World Symphony’s Frank Gehry-designed campus, set to open January 25, 2011; 2 The New World Symphony tested the projection wall on its new campus; 3-4 Carmel, Indiana’s Center for the Performing Arts opens in January 2011; 5 Cross section of the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, which will open in early 2011
Despite the still-sluggish economy, the New Year means new homes for several orchestras around the country. The long-awaited opening of the New World Symphony’s Frank Gehrydesigned facility in Miami Beach will kick off on January 25, 2011, ushering in six days of events designed to show off the 100,641-square-foot building’s state-of-the-art capabilities, including a new commissioned orchestral work by Thomas Adès; commissioned videos by Tal Rosner and Casey Reas; and a new series of films by students at the University of Southern California. The Palladium, the centerpiece of Carmel, Indiana’s Center for the Performing Arts, opens with a full week of performances and celebratory events from January 22 to 30. The David M. Schwarz-designed center—which includes a 1,600-seat concert hall, plus a 500-seat proscenium theater and a 200-seat studio theater—will serve as home for the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and several theater and dance troupes. Also set to open in early 2011 is the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, named in recognition of a $5 million gift from Joseph and Diana DiMenna. The new building will offer rehearsal, recording, and administrative facilities for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and provide a creative home for small to mid-size arts groups in New York City.
Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline at symphony.org.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has named JOSEPH CONYERS assistant principal bass.
has been named general manager of the Lexington (Mass.) Symphony. The orchestra has also hired CLAUDIA STUMPF as communications specialist.
Music publisher Boosey & Hawkes has announced the appointment of ERIC M. GEWIRTZ as director, media and public relations. STEVEN LANKENAU has been promoted to director, promotion, for the New York office.
JONATHAN GREENEY has been appointed principal timpani in the Oregon Symphony, based in Portland.
The Castleton Festival in Virginia has announced the appointment of soprano NANCY GUSTAFSON as general manager.
RICHIE HAWLEY will step down as principal clarinet in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at the end of this season to assume new duties in Houston as professor of clarinet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Virginia’s Charlottesville Symphony Society has appointed LORIE A. HOOVER director of development. has been appointed general manager of The Phoenix Symphony.
The Southeast Florida Symphony, based in Fort Myers, has announced the election of CHRISTINE LA CROIX as president of the Board of Trustees.
Students in the new Philly TuneUp program, an El Sistema-inspired afterschool program in Philadelphia.
BENJAMIN ALAN LOEB has been named executive director of the Greater Bridgeport (Conn.) Symphony and music director of the New Hampshire Music Festival. Loeb
The Toledo (Ohio) Symphony has appointed JEFFREY POLLOCK resident conductor. California’s Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra has named KENNETH RASKIN associate conductor. has been elected chair of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.
MELODY SAWYER RICHARDSON
The Cleveland Orchestra has appointed CRISTINA ROCCA director of artistic planning, effective January 3, 2011.
At the Austin Symphony Orchestra, JEANNE has been named principal librarian and ERIC MARSHALL director of patron services and ticketing. ROGERS
The Santa Rosa (Cal.) Symphony has appointed SUE ROSS director of development.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has named SANDY SMITH vice president for development. MARK KENT is the ASO’s new senior director of education and community engagement.
English horn player THOMAS STACY has retired from the New York Philharmonic following a 38year tenure. has been promoted from chief operating officer to president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Several musician appointments have been announced by the Lansing (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra, including GWEN BURGETT THRASHER , principal percussion, and EMMANUEL TOLEDO, principal clarinet. The Winston-Salem (N.C.) Symphony has appointed SHEILA M. VIRGIL to the newly created post of vice president of patron and institutional advancement.
has been named music director of the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra.
Georgia’s Symphony Orchestra Augusta has named JENNIFER VOTH director of development.
Due to a press release error, the name of the Eugene (Ore.) Symphony’s new principal trumpet was misspelled in the November-December issue. Her name is SARAH VIENS.
Urbanski to Indy in 2011-12
Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbański, now in his first season as chief conductor of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in Norway, has been appointed to a four-year term as music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, effective September 1, 2011. As music director-designate this season he will conduct the ISO on May 20-21; he will be on the podium for six weeks in 2011-12 and for a minimum of ten weeks in each remaining season of his contract. Urbański made his U.S. debut with the ISO last April, when the orchestra was “electrified and inspired by his passion and artistry,” according to President and CEO Simon Crookall. He subsequently opened the orchestra’s Marsh Symphony on the Prairie summer series and guest conducted Chicago’s Grant Park Orchestra and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Urbański is a 2007 graduate of Warsaw’s Chopin Music Academy, and was awarded first prize that year in the Prague Spring International Conducting Competition.
Tod Martens Photography
has been appointed director of development at the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
DEBRA M. SANDRY
For 85 elementary-school students in Philadelphia, an exciting new part of each weekday now commences after the last school bell. That’s when they head to Tune Up Philly, an El Sistemainspired free afterschool music program at Philadelphia’s St. Francis de Sales elementary school. Tune Up Philly is run by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, under director Stanford Thompson, a trumpet player and graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program. The enrolled first- through sixth-graders were chosen by lottery; more than 100 students remain on a wait list. Students receive instruction from one of twelve teaching artists five days a week for 39 weeks, through July 29, 2011, with concentrations in woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, choral, and general music education. Four concerts are planned, and more than two dozen instruments have been donated to the program. El Sistema is the Venezuelan music-education program founded in 1976 by José Antonio Abreu, using music as a vehicle for social change.
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra has announced the appointment of JOHN MORRIS RUSSELL as conductor, effective September 1, 2011. He succeeds the late ERICH KUNZEL , under whom the Cincinnati Pops was founded in 1977.
Philly Kids Tune Up
Cover image by Enid Block Photography
Laura C. Kelley
Brooklyn-based telemarketing firm DCM has appointed PHILLIP MATTHEWS account executive.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is marking seven and a half decades of service to Western New York State this season. In honor of the occasion it has issued a 126page coffeetable book (below) chronicling the BPO from its Depression-era days as a Works Progress Administration ensemble established to provide employment for Buffalo-area musicians; a fiveCD collection of works led by eight of the orchestra’s ten music directors; and a calendar that depicts memorable events such as the BPO’s Carnegie Hall appearances, its 50thanniversary concert, and the opening of Artpark, the orchestra’s summer venue. All items are available through bpo.org.
Anne-Sophie Mutter at a performance with the New York Philharmonic, where she is in residence during 2010-11
Talk to Us
Musical America’s New Crop
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has been named Musician of the Year by Musical America, the organization that publishes the Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts and maintains the classical-music news site musicalamerica.com. Other Musical America awards bestowed December 13 at Carnegie Hall went to Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos as Conductor of the Year; Thomas Adès as Composer of the Year; baritone Simon Keenlyside as Vocalist of the Year; and Vivian Perlis, founder of Yale University’s Oral History of American Music project, as Educator of the Year.
Advocacy 202-776-0214 Development 646-822-4066 Executive Office 646-822-4062
Helene Norton Russell
Hundreds of Boston schoolchildren will have more music in their day this academic year, following the recent launch of the BSO Academy School Initiative. In October, musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra began working with 775 students at the Thomas A. Edison School, a K-8 public school in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood. The pilot program, sponsored by UBS and conducted in partnership with Boston Public A student from Boston’s Edison School tries out a rhythm for Boston Schools, will encompass general Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Mark Volpe. music classes, instrumental music instruction, singing classes, a string and band program, as well as a music-theater production and chamber-music and jazz ensembles. The program joins existing BSO educational and community-engagement programs, which include Youth and Family Concerts; an Education Resource Center at the Boston Arts Academy; and Musicians in the Schools, in which BSO-affiliated musicians work with Boston Conservatory graduate music-education students in public schools.
Symphony is the magazine of the League of American Orchestras, and the only publication that reports on the orchestra world regularly and in depth. In addition to being sent to individual subscribers, Symphony goes to a broad range of orchestras, organizations, and businesses when they become members of the League. For example: if you’re on the board of directors of an orchestra that is a member of the League, you receive Symphony as a benefit of League membership. It’s a great way to keep up with everything that’s happening in the orchestra field as well as with the myriad programs and services offered by the League. Visit americanorchestras. org for complete information about the League. If you have any questions concerning the League, here’s how to get in touch.
Marketing & Membership Development 646-822-8080 Learning and Leadership Development 646-822-4091 Public Relations 646-822-4077 Symphony 646-822-4041
Remembering Fred Zenone 1936–2010
Frederick Zenone, who died from cancer on October 22, was an iconic figure in the classical music world. He served as a cellist in Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra for three decades, but his activities and influence were felt throughout the orchestra field. As chair of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) from 1980 to 1986, he gained important rights for symphony musicians within the American Federation of Musicians, and worked on several landmark labor agreements and practices. Zenone was known as a statesman who consulted with troubled orchestras on “SWAT teams” alongside such orchestra managers as Henry Fogel and Albert K. “Nick” Webster. These musician/manager pairs were pivotal in settling numerous strikes. Zenone served on the League of American Orchestras’ Board of Directors from 1983 to 1989 and later on the board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute, of which he was also president. Polyphonic.org, the website of the Orchestra Musicians Forum, is honoring Zenone with a page of recollections and tributes. ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge has invited readers to post their thoughts and memories of Zenone here. On November 21, 2010, a memorial service for Zenone was attended by friends, family, and numerous people from the orchestra world. Musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra performed several musical selections. Here are extracts from comments by some of the speakers at the event.
remember, at my first meeting with Fred, being struck by an openness in his face. His eyes looked inviting and curious, even a little vulnerable; he was full of questions and wanted to listen. These are not the attributes that usually come to mind when we think of great leaders. But Fred was a great leader. He led by listening, by putting himself in another’s shoes, by bridging the divides. His strength lay in his optimism, and in his conviction that common cause could be achieved. He served orchestras in countless ways: as a League board member, chair of ICSOM, president
of the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and as an all-around troubleshooter who helped dozens of orchestras reach higher ground. Fred’s great legacy to all of us who love orchestras, the music they play, and the people who play it, is the model and vision he embodied for uniting around our common passion. —Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras
he importance of the roles that Fred played in the American orchestral scene cannot be overstated. He was a true visionary—someone with one eye on the rights of
musicians, and the other eye on the responsibilities that go with those rights. Over the many years that I worked with Fred, at the National Symphony and after, I learned from him more than I can ever express. Fred and I served as a mediation team for labor negotiations in a number of difficult situations around the country, and again I learned from him. Fred’s wisdom, his human qualities, his ability to see all sides of an issue and to find ways to bring people together, was unique. If the mark of a person, when his life is looked at, is “did he make a difference?”—there are few people for whom the answer would be more strongly in the affirmative than Fred Zenone. —Henry Fogel, former head of the League of American Orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra
o one gave more of himself to his orchestra, to his colleagues, and to the orchestra world than Fred Zenone, and no one brought more passion, understanding, and intelligence to this work. I was privileged to work with Fred intervening in the crises of several orchestras, and was astonished by his insights and ideas for solutions to the most complicated of human and financial problems. When Fred was in a negotiation, he never forgot that there were human beings worthy of respect on both sides of the table, and he never forgot that the measures of all our efforts were the quality of the music and the lives of those who made it. His tenacity and dedication, his kindness and generosity, and his greatness of spirit were an inspiration to
me, and to all of us who knew him. I will miss him very much. —Peter Pastreich, executive director, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; former executive director, San Francisco Symphony
n so many ways my life was made deeper, stronger, and more satisfying by Fred. I, too, joined him in mediation efforts with several orchestras. I was head of the managers committee at the bargaining table when together we helped formulate the new AudioVisual Labor Agreement. His counsel and concern for his fellow musicians were extraordinarily wise and effective. When the numbertwo spot was open at the New York Philharmonic, I spoke to Fred about the job. We had several provocative talks about management style and the possibility of evolving a unique model of orchestra governance that would rely heavily upon meaningful participation by the musicians and that would be grounded in deep mutual trust. After more long talks he said yes. When everything was just about settled, I got a call from Fred. He told me he had been rehearsing with the National Symphony and Maestro Rostropovich. He said that all of a sudden he was in tears and had to leave the stage; he realized that it was impossible for him to stop making music at this time. While I was full of respect for his decision I was quite devastated at the opportunity lost. But I never lost a friend; he saw to that. —Albert K. “Nick” Webster, board member, League of American Orchestras; former head of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic symphony
Orli Shaham leads the audience in Bruce Adolphe’s Farmony as Tessera Quartet violinists Cordelia Paw and Emily Daggett Smith await instructions.
Baby Got Bach
Orli Shaham, a concert pianist known for her skill in explaining music to adult audiences, is now taking her message to kids: she’s hosting a new Sunday morning series for three- to six-year-olds and their parents at the Manhattan nightclub Le Poisson Rouge. “Baby Got Bach: Classical Kids at LPR” debuted November 21 with handson and group activities led by musicians from The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—and performances by Shaham and the Tessera Quartet, including the scherzo from Schumann’s Piano Quintet and a raucous audienceparticipatory work by Bruce Adolphe called Farmony. A second “Baby Got Bach” event took place December 5; the remaining dates are January 9, February 6, and March 20.
Conference 2011 The 2011 League of American Orchestras National Conference will be a tale of two cities: Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Co-hosted by the Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the 2011 Conference, June 6-10, will look at two cities that are deeply supportive of culture, and will continue the discussions of the opportunities and challenges for orchestras today and tomorrow. The Twin Cities are home to two great, very different orchestras; a thriving crossroads of new music; a premier public radio venue; and a vibrant youth- and community-orchestra scene. The 2011 Conference, entitled Creative Orchestras, Strong Communities, will celebrate and explore artistic vitality and orchestras’ roles in community, consider entrepreneurial perspectives on our art form, and offer myriad opportunities for networking, learning, and exchange of ideas. Essential topics include the challenges of leadership in today’s orchestras and emerging operational and business possibilities. Visit the 2011 Conference site at americanorchestras.org to find out more.
“Kids in Concert,” a July-August initiative to get used musical instruments into the hands of Omaha schoolchildren, netted a total of 98 donations: 25 clarinets, 18 violins, 11 trumpets, 10 flutes, 9 trombones, 4 guitars, 4 saxophones, 3 drums, 3 tubas, 2 flugelhorns, 2 bells, and one each of double bass, banjo, oboe, French horn, cornet, sousaphone, and xylophone. Key to the citywide effort was Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins, who recorded publicservice announcements for local radio and television stations, asking donors to bring instruments to drop-off sites such as school offices and public libraries. The instruments are being rehabilitated and distributed to students in the Omaha Public Schools who want to pursue instrumental music but whose families are unable to purchase or rent an instrument. To listen to Wilkins’s PSAs, visit the “Outposts” section of SymphonyOnline. Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins
Ask, and You Shall Receive
James M. Stephenson, Composer “...deserves to be heard again and again” —Boston Herald Creator of Young-audience Showpiece “Compose Yourself!” ■■ Works■commissioned■by■Houston■Symphony,■Chicago■Symphony,■■ Grand■Rapids■Symphony,■and■more ■■ Pieces■performed■by■Minnesota■Orchestra,■Cleveland■Orchestra,■Detroit■ Symphony,■and■many■others ■■ Performed■worldwide,■including■the■“Rextreme”■Trumpet■Concerto■#2■in■ Australia,■Brazil,■Sweden,■and■Great■Britain■during■the■2010/11■season
Listen, peruse scores, and place orders at www.stephensonmusic.com email@example.com • (847) 830-5882 americanorchestras.org
11/15/2010 1:14:26 PM
The League of American Orchestras notes with great sadness the passing of arts management pioneer Adam Pinsker, who died on October 29 at age 79. Pinsker played a crucial role in the growing professionalization of an expansive roster of arts organizations that included not only orchestras but dance companies and chamber-music groups. Pinsker occupied leading administrative positions at several orchestras. In the 1950s, he worked as a musician and manager with the United States Seventh Army Symphony in Germany. He moved into orchestra management on returning to the U.S., where he took part in League of American Orchestras seminars. Over the course of his career, Pinsker held leadership posts with the Greenwich Village Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance St. Louis, New York Chamber Symphony, and the New York Philomusica Chamber Ensemble. During his tenure as manager—at the time the equivalent of today’s executive director— the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra released its first Nonesuch recordings and made its Carnegie Hall debut. Perhaps his most important contribution to the cultural field was helping to establish professional standards for arts groups, advising dance companies on nonprofit status, charters, bylaws, and business plans. The cause of death was complications from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Judith, and son, Joel.
E.A. Kennedy, III
Black Pearl Redux In Philadelphia, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra launched its second season on September 16 with a free concert at Temple University. The “Tiempos y Música” program was led by Founding Music Director Jeri Lynne Johnson (above) and included Beethoven’s Leonore Overture and works by 20th-century Mexican composers. Black Pearl’s two remaining 2010-11 programs will take place at Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum; a February program will honor Black History Month with works by Brahms, Dvořák, and African-American composer Henry Thacker Burleigh. The April program, “Paris: When it Sizzled. Stravinsky, Milhaud and ‘Le Jazz Hot’,” is part of the inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. The BPCO was founded in 2008 by Jeri Lynne Johnson, winner of a 2005 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship. The orchestra’s stated mission is to “enhance minority inclusion in classical music by presenting concerts and educational programming of the highest artistic standard.”
Tempo Agitato Music can make people sad, happy, calm, or agitated, but one mathematician recently posed a rather startling question: “Can Music Kill You?” That attention-getting headline—about musical tempo and heart rate—appears at mathalicious.com, a math resource founded by Karim Kai Logue, who has degrees in economics and education. Mathalicious’s lesson plans use things like ratios, probability, and logic. “Can Music Kill You?” consists of three 45-minute lessons; students track their own heart rate while Graphing the relationship listening to songs with different tempos, then make between tempo and heart rate, at mathalicious.com. graphs and calculate the slope between the data points to make predictions and see results. You can use the site’s suggested music selections or choose your own. Ravel’s Bolero, Chopin’s Marche funèbre, or Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine, anyone? symphony
Coming Soon: SymphonyNOW
San Diego Centenarian
Symphony has been reporting on orchestras practically since the League’s founding some 70 years ago, providing essential information and practical tips, in-depth analysis and provocative thinking. And over the years the magazine has racked up a mantelful of awards for writing and design. But in an era when expectations for constant updates and new media for delivering them are changing all the time, Symphony’s six-times-per-year publication schedule can’t keep pace. Many fast-moving stories simply can’t be covered in a publication with a long lead time. So…cue appropriately orchestral fanfare…starting this spring, we will launch SymphonyNOW, a new, online-only publication. This extension of service to members is intended to provide timely, topical reporting about orchestras; the articles will be short, quick takes on events, personalities, and current developments rather than the bigger, survey-type stories or analysis that Symphony does. Content will be updated on a weekly basis. In addition to original reporting, look for videos, audio interviews, photos, social networking components, and other widgets. Advertising will make the products and services you need just a click away. And SymphonyNOW will feature an interactive section where you can have your say in a rich array of lively discussions. In order to provide this new benefit, we will no longer offer the two online-only issues of Symphony. We will continue to publish the four printed and online issues of Symphony that you are familiar with. Symphony will come out in winter, spring, summer, and fall. Here’s how things will happen: The Hub’s Media View, Industry Buzz, Who’s In, and Help Yourself columns will continue to be updated daily; SymphonyNOW content will be refreshed weekly; and Symphony will be published quarterly. This spring, look for SymphonyNOW.
Talk about continuity: when the San Diego Symphony celebrated its 100th birthday on December 6, the gala festivities were held in the Grand Ballroom of the U. S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego—the same spot where the orchestra gave its very first performance in 1910. These days, the orchestra plays most of its concerts in its own home, the landmark Copley Symphony Hall, as well as venues throughout its hometown, with a repertoire that embraces the classics and new works as well as pops and family events. And it’s in solid shape, led since 2003 by Music Director Jahja Ling and Executive Director Edward B. “Ward” Gill. The San Diego Union-Tribune calls the orchestra “an economically stable and musically energized public resource.” The orchestra’s centennial season runs through June 30, and then the second century begins…
Freelon San Diego Historical Society
Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald (Mike Berkowitz, Conducting; Nelson Riddle Arrangements) From Hollywood to Broadway: The Great American Songbook
The San Diego Symphony, with conductor Nino Marcelli in 1927 at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego’s Balboa Park. The orchestra still gives free summer concerts in the park.
Beethoven & Blue Jeans
Around The World: Celebrating 80 Years on Planet Earth
Hendricks Jon Faddis
Age Is Beautiful: Celebrating 90 Sheherazade and Rachmaninoff
Sketches of Spain
Amram A & T.S. Monk
Featuring David Amram, Nnenna Freelon & T.S. Monk Sextet – Celebrate Music in the 20th Century
Thelonious Monk and All That Jazz
Dreaming The Duke: Tribute to Duke Ellington
San Diego Symphony
Featuring Nnenna Freelon, Mike Garson, Harolyn Blackwell
Current Music Director Jahja Ling leads the San Diego Symphony.
E d Ke a n e A s s o c i a t e s • w w w. e d k e a n e . c o m tel 617-846-0067 • fax 617-846-1767 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Artists and Tours featured at
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Kids, Meet Igor
In November at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, Bunraku-style puppets representing the mythical Prince Ivan and his ally the Firebird (left) helped bring Igor Stravinsky’s classic alive for the six- to twelve-yearolds attending the first of this season’s “Happy Concerts for Young People” by The Little Orchestra Society. Commissioned by TLOS in observation of Firebird ’s centennial—the work was premiered by Ballets Russes at the Paris Opéra in 1910—the new production was designed by Chris M. Green, with choreography by David Neumann. Led by Dino Anagnost, its music director since 1979, TLOS has introduced classical music to more than a million New York-area children through its Peabody Award-winning “Happy Concerts.”
Courtesy Cleveland Orchestra
Here’s a new concert format in Cleveland that’s packing them in: start early, nix the intermission, offer food and drinks, and include an afterparty. Fridays@7, introduced by the Cleveland Orchestra in 2009-10, is back for a second season. The party following an October 1 Beethoven/Takemitsu program featured the New Orleans/Brazilian fusion band Nation Beat and the Cleveland-based Passport Project, a world-music ensemble. The series continued in December with pre-concert performance of Indian classical music and Mahler’s “Titan” Symphony by the Cleveland Orchestra. Remaining concerts for 2011 will feature music of Wagner, Richard Strauss, Dvořák, Rachmaninoff, and Jennifer Higdon (with guest ensemble eighth blackbird).
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New Chiefs in Seattle, Milwaukee
Simon Woods, a U.K. native with highlevel experience at orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, has been tapped as executive director of the Seattle Symphony. Chief executive at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for the past five years, he began working with the Seattle Symphony in November on key decisions, and will assume full-time duties there in May 2011. Woods was president and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and 2005, and had earlier served as vice president for artistic planning and operations at The Philadelphia Orchestra. Before entering the orchestra field he produced records Simon Woods for EMI Classics in London. Also beginning the year 2011 with new administrative leadership is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, which has appointed Maryellen Gleason president Maryellen Gleason and executive director. She goes to Milwaukee after five years as president and CEO of the Phoenix Symphony, a post she assumed following a successful marketing career in the business sector. Gleason is a cum laude graduate of Harvard, where she played in and directed development efforts for the HarvardRadcliffe Orchestra, and holds an MBA degree from Northwestern University. symphony
© Tom Finnie
If you thought that commemorations of Gustav Mahler’s birth and death anniversaries were over, think again. October brought the release of Norman Lebrecht’s Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World (Pantheon, 336 pages, $27.95), which offers an exhaustively researched portrait of Mahler as an artist ahead of his time—“a maker of our modern world.” Another composer-conductor being commemorated is Leonard Bernstein, immortalized in black-and-white in Leonard Bernstein at Work: His Final Years, 1984-1990 (Amadeus Press, 180 pages, $34.99), featuring more than 200 photographs by Steve J. Sherman depicting Lenny’s West Side Story recording sessions for RCA through his last concerts at the New York Philharmonic. Bernstein’s onetime assistant John Canarina takes you behind the scenes of some of those moments with The New York Philharmonic: From Bernstein to Maazel (Amadeus Press, 496 pages, $29.99), picking up just before Lenny’s inaugural season, and continuing through the end of Lorin Maazel’s tenure. Stepping slightly outside the traditional orchestral realm, Larry Starr’s George Gershwin (Yale University Press, 216 pages, $45) analyzes three of the composer’s contributions to the American songbook—Lady Be Good (1924), Of Thee I Sing (1931), and Porgy and Bess (1935). Philip Ball’s The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It (Oxford University Press, 464 pages, $29.95) investigates why music makes us tick, with examples as diverse as Bach fugues, Indonesian gamelan, nursery rhymes, hip-hop, and brain science. The intriguing Course in Musical Composition, volume 1 by Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931) has been issued in a new edition translated by Gail Hilson Woldu (University of Oklahoma Press, 416 pages, $50). The volume includes the introductory lectures for the influential pedagogue’s course at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. americanorchestras.org
The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra performs Jim Stephenson’s Compose Yourself!
DIY for Young Audiences Here’s a long-lived musical work that’s a world premiere at every performance: Compose Yourself!, written by Jim Stephenson for Florida’s Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002 to introduce young audiences to the instruments of the orchestra, encourages participants to take part in the creation and debut of a brand-new composition. Rather than a traditional score, the work presents listeners with melodies, harmonies, and rhythms from which to choose, and then the whole thing is fit together to create a brand-new piece. And though it’s now been performed many times, by such widespread ensembles as the Allentown Symphony, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony, and Idaho State Civic Symphony, Compose Yourself! remains fresh. The Lafayette Symphony Orchestra (Indiana) performs the work this February 4. A former trumpeter, Stephenson also writes pops arrangements, and is forging a career with more grown-up works as well: the Minnesota Orchestra will premiere his violin concerto in 2012.
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Going the Distance Can’t get to that seminar? Don’t have the registration fee? With a wide range of webinars available online from the League of American Orchestras, learning is just a mouse click away. by Chester Lane
s your orchestra’s finance committee, executive director, or CFO wrestling with the new IRS Form 990, or the challenges of cash-flow planning and credit management? Board members: Are you up to date on best governance practices and effective procedures for new-member orientation and training? Volunteers: Does your organization have the best strategy for maximizing its fundraising potential and supporting your orchestra’s educational goals? Orchestra planners and players: Are you interested in learning more about those five innovative orchestras described in Fearless Journeys, listening to what their managers have to say, and getting your hands on a copy of this muchtalked-about book from the League of American Orchestras? For more than six decades the League has provided information and inspiration on such topics through seminars, peergroup meetings, print publications, and the annual National Conference. Now there’s a wealth of educational material available online from the League’s Learning & Leadership Development Department, accessible 24 hours a day to anyone with a computer and a Web connection. And much of it is free to anyone associated with a League member orchestra. “Online learning is a great new resource for the orchestra field,” says Polly Kahn, the League’s vice president for learning and leadership development. “In addition to our live training events, we’re pleased to bring forward opportunities for online
learning that provide the convenience of on-demand access from wherever you might be. Our members are finding it more and more challenging to attend live training events, but it’s easy for us to disperse information in a timely and cost-
a combination of slides and voiceovers from one or more speakers. (Some are structured in Q&A format.) They can be listened to and watched as many times as needed, alone or in groups, from home or in the office or on the road. The visuals—charts, bullet points, glossaries of terms—enhance the spoken message and can be downloaded and printed. “The webinars differ from seminars,” says Kahn, “in that they tend to address one specific issue that you can learn about in a limited timeframe. You can go back to review a chapter or visit a slide already presented. And you can invite colleagues in to take advantage of the learning.” Expertise for the webinars has been as-
A wide range of learning options can be accessed through the Learning & Leadership Development section of the League’s website, americanorchestras.org.
sensitive way through our website.” The League does this in two ways: by offering downloadable publications such as Fearless Journeys; and by means of the spoken word, including both audio interviews and “webinars” (see sidebar, page 19). The webinars, typically about one hour in length, are presented through
sembled primarily through four channels: the League’s Department of Government Affairs and Advocacy; its Volunteer Council; the Nonprofit Finance Fund, a national service organization dealing with financial matters at nonprofit organizations; and BoardSource, whose mission is to advance the public good by symphony
#3 – Get a Realistic Picture of Your Orchestra
#4 - Think Strategically • Does a strategic plan already exist • Position organization as useful in times of crisis • Frame questions to have broad, more fruitful discussion
• Assess cash availability if your revenue is tied to market fluctuations • Make sure that your cash, investments, or reserves are parked some place safe and are getting the best possible return • Check to see if you have a diversified funding stream, and, if not, develop a plan to diversify • Be clear about what is bringing in revenue • Talk to your financial advisors
– Ask: “How do we best serve our mission despite changes in the economy?” instead of just “How do we slash costs?” – Consider: How do you want to come out of this crisis?
Bullet points reinforce an oral presentation by governance consultant David Styers in the new BoardSource/League of American Orchestras webinar “Leading in Turbulent Times: 8 Smart Things Orchestra Boards Can Do Now.”
This chart is part of the graphic display in “Cash Flow Planning,” one of eight webinars presented by the Nonprofit Finance Fund that are accessible through the Learning Online menu of the League’s website.
supporting and promoting excellence in nonprofit board service. Underwriting from MetLife Foundation has enabled the League to offer both the Nonprofit Finance Fund and BoardSource webinars to League members at no charge. Additional support for the League’s webinars has come from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Argosy Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts. americanorchestras.org
During the 2008-09 season, a grant from MetLife Foundation enabled the League to partner with Theatre Communications Group, Dance USA, and the Nonprofit Finance Fund to create a series of webinars and other online resources that Kahn says are “of tremendous timely interest” to League members. “This is a critical time for the country’s orchestras,” says NFF Vice President Kristin Giantris. “Many of them are facing unique chal-
lenges, including changing audiences, shifts in funding, and high facility costs. NFF’s partnership with the League of American Orchestras aims to help these organizations respond to the changing environment by offering on-demand, high-impact tools and financial guidance through webinars, peer learning sessions, and topical group practitioner calls. By leveraging NFF’s expertise in nonprofit finance, the League can support its members in planning for the financial future of their organizations.” “What’s great about the Nonprofit Finance Fund,” says Jessica Balboni, director of the League’s Orchestra Leadership Academy, “is that they try to customize the webinar for each of the different partners. If they’re presenting to an orchestra audience they will pull data from that field. They’ve done this for us both in live seminars, when they’ve crunched financial numbers, and in webinars like the one called ‘Endowments & Capitalization for Orchestras.’ It makes the presentation much more realistic and meaningful for an orchestra audience.” Kahn notes that the League has had a long partnership with BoardSource. “With them we developed an online customized Board of Directors Self-Assessment Tool, and this fall we launched three webinars around governance issues that should be extremely valuable for orchestra trustees, executive directors, and development directors. We’ve also acquired a license from BoardSource that allows
The relationship between earned and contributed income is dynamically depicted in this slide from the League/Nonprofit Finance Fund webinar “Endowments & Capitalization for Orchestras.”
The Volunteer Council Fundraising Webinar, launched in October 2010, includes this schematic of the orchestra family.
League members to download, at no cost, six of their e-books. These are absolutely terrific resources that would otherwise have a pretty substantial price tag.” The new BoardSource webinars— “What’s Hot: Trends and Leading Practices in Orchestra Governance,” “Leading in Turbulent Times: 8 Smart Things Orchestra Boards Can Do Now,” and “The
Board’s Role in Fundraising for the Orchestra”—are presented by BoardSource governance consultant David Styers. “Building exceptional nonprofit boards is our mission,” he says. “Through our partnership with the League, we are helping orchestras achieve good governance through customized self-assessments, retreats, training, and webinars. As we
increase our emphasis on online training, our webinars cover relevant topics affordably and often.” “Artists from Abroad: The Visa Webinar” and “Artists from Abroad: The Tax Webinar” were both developed and produced by the League, drawing upon the expertise of legal specialists and Heather Noonan, the League’s vice president for advocacy. “The New Form 990: Are You Ready?” is a webinar that was created in direct response to the new version of that form issued by the IRS effective for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2008. As Balboni explains, “We wanted to alert orchestras to some important new changes in the 990. The public is going to be able to see your financial and governance information much more readily. How do you prepare your documents according to the new stipulations, and how do you tell your orchestra’s story publicly through your 990?” Fearless Journeys, a 98-page book made possible by MetLife Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, examines a variety of innovative activities at five different orchestras: the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Excellence and Innovation); the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (Community Partnerships and Internal Culture); the Pacific Symphony (Contextual Programming); The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (New Artistic Leadership Model); and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Collaborative Organizational Culture). A sixth chapter, “The Road Less Traveled: Toward a New Foundation,” explores the connections among these five very different orchestras, focusing on the shared factors that have enabled their innovations and suggesting ways of replicating their success. Fearless Journeys came out in print last spring and was distributed to all Leaguemember orchestras. It is now available in its entirety on the League’s website, and downloadable in pdf form. The book’s effectiveness as an educational tool has been further enhanced with six audio interviews—conducted by the book’s editor, Catherine Maciariello, a principal symphony
If available, download the printed materials provided in the session in advance.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Webinar
In simple terms, a webinar is a lecture, seminar, or tutorial that presents information to you via your computer and is offered in either real-time (live) or recorded (on-demand) format. The webinar usually combines a visual component, for example a PowerPoint presentation, along with an oral presentation. To access a webinar, you need to have an online link that you access from your computer, or for just the oral part of the presentation, a telephone number and pass code. Webinars usually have limited opportunity for interaction with the presenters, but opportunities to ask questions are provided at the end of the session through a written chatroom format.
2 – may 7
What Is a Webinar?
If possible, familiarize yourself with the webinar presentation software so that you are comfortable using the various interactive features (e.g. chat-room, comments, raising your hand to ask a question). Invite others from the staff to participate. Share the experience by purchasing one registration for either a live or on-demand webinar and inviting as many people as you would like to one viewing site. Host a “lunch and learn” session. If scheduling permits, invite the staff to order lunch and project the webinar in your conference room. Extend the learning. Set aside time at the end of the webinar to explore new ideas and possibilities with your team, group, and organization. americanorchestras.org
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Pre-set your computer with the link to the webinar in advance of the session.
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at Creative Arts Consulting LLC—that capture the insights of executive directors and other key individuals associated with the orchestras profiled. Additional spoken commentary from Maciariello and League President and CEO Jesse Rosen rounds out this set of audio materials.
“We will continue to add online resources throughout the year,” says Kahn. “These may be snapshots of exciting innovations that are going on in orchestras, or other work that emerges over the course of the year. Our goal is to provide learning for everybody in our field; to have it be
timely, very helpful information, easy to use. And we want to do it at minimal or low cost to the user.” CHESTER LANE is senior editor of Symphony.
What They Say About League Webinars “The webinar is a great tool, incredibly economical; you can plug in at your convenience and share it organizationwide.” — Joshua Worby, executive director, Westchester (N.Y.) Philharmonic “My board treasurer shared the ‘Leading in Turbulent Times: 8 Smart Things Orchestra Boards Can Do Now’ webinar with me, and I intend to share it with my board president and possibly run it at a full board meeting. Excellent summary of how boards can be more engaged and effective in managing during the tough times.” — Jeff Collier, executive director, Bismarck-Mandan (N.Dak.) Symphony Orchestra “The League’s online learning provides a needed tool for people within the field to round out and update their knowledge base. It is good to have a source to turn to for filling in gaps in one’s experience, gaining confidence with terminology and concepts in order to advance an orchestra’s mission.” — Kevin Shuck, executive director, Boulder (Colo.) Philharmonic Orchestra “I just completed the ‘Leading in Turbulent Times’ webinar and loved it. Thank you for the opportunity to hear and learn about ways to improve our organization. Basically, I felt it was well worth my time.” — Judy McLeod, president, Round Rock (Tex.) Symphony Orchestra
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Benjamin Beilman United States Bronze Medalist
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At a feedback session during the Memphis Symphony Orchestaâ€™s 2009 EarShot reading, mentor composer Melinda Wagner (at left) works with composers Patricio da Silva and Andreia Pinto-Correia.
First by Frank J. Oteri
Hearings EarShot gives emerging composers the chance to work with musicians and conductors and hear their works performed by full orchestrasâ€”while helping bring new music to the fore.
t’s easy to forget when listening to such universally beloved treasures of the symphonic repertoire as Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony, and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings that each was created by someone who was in his twenties. The willingness of orchestras to take a chance on these early-career works was fundamental to their ultimately entering the canon. While nowadays there are greater numbers of emerging composers than at any other time in history, having a shot at an orchestral performance is still an all-too-rare opportunity. However, one of the ways that orchestras around the country are helping to nurture future masterpieces is by participating in EarShot, the national orchestral composition discovery network. americanorchestras.org
Memphis Symphony Orchestra
The value of direct musician communication with a composer during the creative process is great, as notation can be approximate, particularly in modern music. Instead of complete experimentation, we were able to rely on precise communication to create the desired sonic effects. Also, players’ personalities often translate into their playing; at the EarShot readings, it was interesting to witness the personality of a composer and look for the same phenomenon in their writing. –Todd Skitch, flute, Memphis Symphony Orchestra
appropriate and efficient ways to interact with the orchestra’s various branches.” Composers aren’t the only ones who value EarShot; musicians whose orchestras have participated in the program say that they enjoy working with contemporary composers. “The coolest part of the experience for me,” says Roger Wiesmeyer, who plays oboe and English horn in the Nashville Symphony, “was the shift from ‘curators of a gloried past’ to co-creators in a very collaborative process with some of the finest young composers on the scene today. Everyone—composers, Giancarlo [Guerrero], and the orchestra—brought to it their best game. I look forward to many more experiences like this in the future.”
A Memphis Symphony Orchestra percussionist marks his score during an EarShot orchestral reading in 2009.
EarShot provides orchestras with an interrelated set of services that facilitate new-music readings, composer institutes, and competitions. EarShot helps orchestras by organizing and collecting materials in calls for scores, setting up balanced and impartial score adjudication panels to select works, and offering mentor composers as well as administrative staff to work with prospective orchestras during the process. The network also offers the production and financial support that enables such events to occur. Most importantly, EarShot incentivizes the creation of tomorrow’s orchestral repertoire. And while it’s too early to know if the works that have been read as part of the year-old program will enter the repertoire, the composers who have participated have continued to write for orchestra and have honed their craft with the skill set they’ve developed from this process. “Participating in the EarShot Readings with the Nashville Symphony was truly one of the most important musical experiences of my life,” says composer Daniel Temkin. “It not only gave me experience hearing my music in rehearsal with a professional ensemble of tremendous caliber, it also gave me insights into the way modern orchestras operate. My hands-on work with Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, the orchestra’s players, the librarians, and the orchestra management shed light on the expectations and demands that modern orchestral composers face. And it helped all of the participants to better understand the most
EarShot is a partnership among the American Composers Forum (ACF), the American Music Center (AMC), the League of American Orchestras, Meet The Composer (MTC), and the American Composers Orchestra (ACO). (Full disclosure: I work for AMC and serve as the editor of its Web magazine, NewMusicBox, which has published blogs from EarShot participants.) ACO Executive Director Michael Geller says EarShot was a natural outgrowth of the new-music reading sessions that ACO has presented annually in New York City since 1990. (The sessions were formerly known as the Whitacre Readings and are now called the Underwood New Music Readings; Symphony reported on Underwood in 2008.) Past participants in ACO’s readings sessions include Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Jennifer Higdon and Melinda Wagner, as well as Sebastian Currier, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Huang Ruo, Derek Bermel, and Anna Clyne; these composers have gone on to forge substantial careers composing for orchestra. “ACO’s initial reason for being was to be an orchestra that plays American music— because nobody else was,” explains Geller. “But things have changed a lot; certainly more American music is being played. The ACO is now hitting our 20th year of readings, and composers have unanimously told us what a fantastic experience that was for them. So we thought, ‘Is there a way we can build on that and enlist others to help make that happen?’ ” The League of American Orchestras signed on as an early partner in the program. “EarShot helps orchestras play an important role in the development and creation of new repertoire,” says League
President and CEO Jesse Rosen, “and the League wants to help orchestras as much as we can. We’re interested in helping to support the ongoing artistic vitality of orchestras and build their creative capacity. Programs like EarShot, which give young composers the opportunity to hear their scores performed by professional orchestras, and to work with musicians and mentor-composers, are vital to the process of talent identification and development.” Keeping Score
Several significant orchestra reading programs have emerged in recent years. Among others, the Florida Orchestra, based in St. Petersburg, has conducted a reading program in collaboration with the University of South Many Florida, and the Los Angeles Philharorchestras monic’s Composer might be Fellowship Program reluctant to works intensively with initiate their a select group of high school-aged composown newers. Perhaps the most music reading nationally acclaimed program is the Minprograms nesota Orchestra due to the Composer Institute challenges (see Symphony, “Made in Minnesota,” Nov.involved. That’s where Dec. 2009), which has gone from being EarShot a series of orchestra
readings to an annual week of training and professional development workshops for composers, culminating in a subscriptionseries concert led by Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Still, many other orchestras might be reluctant to initiate their own reading programs due to the challenges involved. That’s where EarShot comes in. “We try to eliminate the stumbling blocks that are keeping orchestras from doing this kind of activity,” says the ACO’s Geller. “Maybe it’s the prospect of a huge administrative burden to make it happen. Maybe it’s the fear that they will be inundated with a huge number of scores which they will not be able to evaluate properly. Maybe it’s a concern regarding parts and communications with the composers and the music library. Maybe it’s not knowing where or how to get good adjudicators or how best to structure a program. So we try to come up with a tool kit that orchestras can avail themselves of, to help smooth those points of difficulty.” EarShot’s project manager is Cindi Hubbard, a San Francisco-based arts management consultant who formerly served as executive director for the Women’s Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Baroque and currently works for the League on artistic initiatives. Hubbard’s years of handson orchestra management experience make her an ideal person to handle a job that entails everything from explaining what EarShot is and convincing orchestras to sign
At At the the Nashville Nashville Symphony’s Symphony’s 2010 2010 EarShot EarShot sessions: sessions: in in front front row, row, mentor mentor composers composers Robert Robert Beaser, Beaser, Jennifer Jennifer Higdon, Higdon, and and Edgar Edgar Meyer; Meyer; in in second second row, row, Meet Meet The The Composer Composer President President Ed Ed Harsh Harsh and and EarShot EarShot Project Project Manager Manager Cindi Cindi Hubbard Hubbard
Memphis Symphony Orchestra
This event was a learning experience for me because the young composers actually received coaching from mentor composers during the process. Often, musicians offer the only feedback to a composer. EarShot combined that with encouragement for the composers to follow their muse, to be true to their artistic vision. –Jennifer Rhodes, principal bassoon, Memphis Symphony Orchestra
Delta David Gier leads the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in a 2009 EarShot reading.
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on to helping them navigate all of the minutiae once they have agreed to participate. The initiative was conceived for orchestras on all budget levels, though Hubbard acknowledges that she has more actively pursued orchestras that fall into the League’s Group 2 category because they generally have fewer resources for new-music readings. Still, Hubbard welcomes the involvement of orchestras of any size; a large part of her M.O. is to make sure that the entire orchestra community is aware of EarShot. “When we first envisioned this, we thought it would be primarily towards the relatively big orchestras but not the largest orchestras,” Geller explains. “Orchestras that have 30- to 32-week seasons might have split weeks where the players are doing some educational services, but there are other services where the orchestra doesn’t have any activities. We could overlay the readings onto such a week where there might be services available. And we had a couple of those orchestras. We’ve had Group 2 orchestras, but we’ve also had a Group 1 orchestra and a community orchestra. A per-service orchestra has shown interest, and we now have youth orchestras. So I’m pleased that the program is flexible enough to be applicable for different budget sizes and for different kinds of orchestras.” According to Hubbard, the process of americanorchestras.org
scoping out potential partner orchestras begins with paying close attention to what orchestras are programming; the top candidates are “orchestras that we see incorporating a lot of new music into their seasons.” The goal is to help each orchestra with the process and to follow their lead in aesthetic decisions. Additionally, one of the program’s aims is for orchestras to have a greater connection to the composers in their own community. So while EarShot provides mentor composers to help with the adjudication process, ideally there should be at least one local composer involved. “We’re pulling other people in by focusing on a regional or local call for scores, and making sure that it is promoted in the area,” Hubbard says. “This is a way for orchestras to have a deeper reach into the composer community. A big part of what we’re trying to do is to make connections locally and to incorporate one mentor composer who is local. If they don’t, then it happens with EarShot’s team. We usually provide one of the artistic directors from the ACO, whether it’s Derek Bermel or Robert Beaser, and then they’re on site as well. But we try to encourage local mentor composers to participate in the adjudication so they get familiar with all the composers and have a deeper commitment level.” Derek Bermel brings multiple perspec-
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Ji Won Kim, 2009 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year
tives to his work as one of EarShot’s mentor composers: while he is now ACO’s creative advisor, his own career as a composer was jump-started from a reading by the ACO when he was younger. “I know from personal experience that an orchestral reading can be quite overwhelming for a composer,” says Bermel. “I’ve tried to provide support, feedback, and perspective to EarShot participants during the half-thrilling,
For More Information Interested in being a part of EarShot? Visit the website at http://www.earshotnetwork. org/ or contact Project Manager Cindi Hubbard at email@example.com for detailed information about the program. There are no age or geographical restrictions, but composers should be at the early stages of their professional careers; composers based in the region where the readings are taking place will receive special consideration. Readings are open to U.S. citizens and non-citizens either lawfully and permanently residing in the United States or studying here full-time. Submitted works should be no longer than fifteen minutes (although movements from longer works will be considered) and scored for standard orchestral forces (up to triple winds and brass, timpani, two additional percussion, one harp, and strings), with no soloists, voices, or electronics. If a work is selected, its composer must provide a professional set of parts that conform to the guidelines established by the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association. Beyond these ground rules, there are no other limitations. “EarShot has no guidelines for stylistic or aesthetic considerations,” says mentor composer Derek Bermel. “Scores submitted and considered have involved improvisation, graphic notation, aleatoric concepts, and more.”
Nashville Symphony EarShot
How exciting to play the wonderful music being composed by our newest generation of composers. I see a bright future for orchestral music in the 21st century. And I was also very pleased at the enthusiastic response from our audience! –Julia Tanner, assistant principal cello, Nashville Symphony
At the Pioneer Valley Symphony’s 2010 EarShot readings, mentor composer Lewis Spratlan (left) confers with composer Ching-Mei Lin, Pioneer Valley Music Director Paul Phillips, and composer Wah-Hei Ng.
half-traumatizing process. EarShot helps composers to experience their works from three perspectives: composer, performer, and listener. First, and most important, composers hear their piece with their own ears. Second, they meet and consult with the performers, receiving valuable technical feedback and advice on instrumentation. Third, mentor composers function as an educated audience, initiating discussions about philosophical and aesthetic issues raised by the works.” “We want to encourage those behaviors,” Geller maintains. “It isn’t that an orchestra should play certain American composers because they have our stamp of approval, like we thought they were the next great composers. We’re just trying to create demand. The orchestras might even start using EarShot as a resource to identify composers they might want to take to the next level. In the old days, if an orchestra was interested in a new American composer, the way they would find out about it was pretty simple. There was a small handful of publishers that you would go to, and you would say, ‘Hey, who did you just put in your roster? Who’s coming up? Will he write for us?’ But of course now a lot of composers are self-published. You can’t necessarily go to the publishers. So maybe EarShot becomes a place to start. Not because ACO or the League or ACF or MTC said, ‘These
are the composers to watch.’ But because through a grassroots community effort amongst orchestras, these are composers we’re identifying.” Rising Visibility
The first orchestra to sign on to EarShot was the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, which did a series of readings with four composers—Jean Ahn, Christian Baldini, Patricio Da Silva, and Andreia Pinto-Correia—in May 2009. The Colorado Symphony followed in July of that year with readings of works by Yotam Haber, Angel Lam, Jeremy Podgursky, and Tim Sullivan. Then in April 2010, less than a month before the floods that wreaked havoc on their city and caused extensive damage to their new concert hall, the Nashville Symphony read works by Chiayu Hsu, Ryan Gallagher, Michael Rickelton, and Daniel Temkin. “We were delighted to take part in the EarShot New Music Readings,” remembers Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan D. Valentine. “It was both fascinating and rewarding to watch the creative process unfold, and everyone who took part came away from the experience feeling as though they’d learned a lot. It was especially exciting for the Nashville Symphony to host this event because we have an extraordinary commitment to the creation, performance, and promotion of new American symphony
music. EarShot gave us a chance to hear some of the work of the next generation of composers—and, appropriately enough, one of the participants, Michael Rickelton, happened to be a member of the Nashville community.” “EarShot is a wonderful program for upand-coming composers,” says Rickelton. “The opportunity to work with a professional orchestra during the early stages of a composer’s development is invaluable, and my experience with the Nashville Symphony was no exception. Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero and the musicians of the Nashville Symphony approached the work of four young composers with exceptional professionalism. This commitment to excellence was mirrored in the orchestra staff, administrators from the ACO and Meet The Composer, and the mentoring composers. All those involved worked to make our experience with the EarShot program successful and enjoyable. Since the reading, I have completed one piece for orchestra (Out of the Depths) and am in the process of writing another.” A week after the readings in Nashville, the Pioneer Valley Symphony, an allvolunteer community orchestra based in Greenfield, Massachusetts, participated in the program as well, reading scores by Ching-Mei Lin, Wah-Hei Ng, Katarina Kramarchuk, and Ethan Wickman. One of the works read by Pioneer Valley—Katarina Kramarchuk’s Shadows—proved to be so successful that it has been programmed as part of the orchestra’s 2010-11 concert season, which is a first thus far for an EarShot work. According to Pioneer Valley Music
At a New York Youth Symphony EarShot session in 2009, mentor composer Derek Bermel works with young composers Anteo Fabris and Amy Sham.
Director Paul Phillips, “After the EarShot readings this past April, numerous members of the Pioneer Valley Symphony told me that they thought it had been the highlight of their experience in the orchestra and one of the most intense and rewarding musical experiences that they had ever participated in, even though there was no public performance attached to it. Several told me that they would like the PVS to program all of the four pieces that we played. We seriously considered that idea, but since I had already committed to performing four other new works, realistically that did not leave enough room, so we decided to program one of the EarShot pieces. Although there were a couple of favorites among members of the orchestra, the piece that most of the orchestra members preferred was Shadows by Katarina Kramarchuk, so we proceeded to program that work to open our February 2011 concert, which includes music by Glazunov, Shostakovich, and the world premiere of Clifton Noble’s Canueon Cymru—A Suite of Welsh Folk Songs for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra.” “Shadows was my first orchestra piece,” says Kramarchuk. “It was also my graduation thesis at Manhattan School of Music. The EarShot experience was great, and I am so excited that Pioneer Valley Symphony has decided to program it for their concert. It’s a big encouragement for me, and it gave me many ideas and inspiration for my next orchestra piece, which I am writing right now. I didn’t want to experiment too much with my first orchestra piece; I wanted to have a clear and memorable idea and clear orchestration. My second one will be a lot different, I hope with more exploration of the orchestral colors.” Next on the EarShot calendar is the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which is doing a series of readings in February 2011 as part of its 75th-anniversary season. To date all of EarShot’s reading sessions have been free and open to the public.
EarShot aims to help orchestras present new music by emerging composers— and to forge connections to the composers in their own communities.
Celebrating The 125th Anniversary of the Celesta
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Patent drawing illustrating the invention with the metal bars stroke from above
Excerpt from the patent application by Victor Mustel on June 2th 1886, patent granted on October 8th 1886: “The invention for which a patent is being applied is a new musical instrument I name ‘Celesta’. The sound is produced by metal bars hit by piano hammers in a very special way (from above), as published in the drawing….” Victor Mustel also clearly excludes in his patent-writing the action of a vertical piano and the action of a grand piano in the construction of the Celesta. Be aware that a musical instrument using a grand piano action with the metal bars struck from the bottom is not a Celesta or Cel. Nowadays Schiedmayer is the only company worldwide manufacturing the Celesta as invented by Victor Mustel. Following models are available: 4 oct., 5 oct., 5.5 oct. Standard-Compact, 5.5 oct. Studio Other products: Keyboard-glockenspiel c2-g5, Glockenspiel for pipe organs c2-d5 After-sale service - Rentals - Repairs – Refurbished instruments For further information please contact Schiedmayer Celesta GmbH Schaeferhauser Str. 10/2 – D73240 Wendlingen/Germany Phone +49 (0)7024 / 5019840 www.celesta-schiedmayer.de firstname.lastname@example.org
s s e l r a Fe : s y e n Jour
ASCAP Award-winning composer and music journalist FRANK J. OTERI is composer advocate at the American Music Center and the founding editor of its web magazine, NewMusicBox.
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And, according to Hubbard, the audience response has been extremely positive: “It’s a fascinating process for them to observe.” All the same, the economic downturn is a concern; might it prove more difficult to convince orchestras to engage in something so filled with unknowns? “Everybody is concerned about expense right now,” admits Hubbard. “Every orchestra is taking a hard look at every single dime and where they’re spending it. I have a lot of orchestras telling me that they would love to do this. But if the orchestra doesn’t own their hall then they have to incur venue and production expenses that could be cost-prohibitive. Smaller orchestras have to pay their musicians per service on top of what they’re already doing—and that makes it challenging. Cost is the factor. The program provides a stipend of $2,500 for the readings. We’re trying to provide some financial support in addition to all of the administrative and staff support.” Of course, if orchestras don’t invest in their future, there might be no future. And it is clear that whatever the future of the orchestra is, it must involve the nurturing and performance of new repertoire. Economic realities have made it imperative to find ways to do things with fewer resources. But the opportunity to partner with other organizations and partake of their resources—both organizational and financial—is one way to continue to explore valuable new ideas. The people involved with EarShot hope that making their services available to orchestras will not only reduce the potential challenges involved with presenting new music, but will also reduce doubts about such a venture.
Does your orchestra work with composers in creating new works? Is there a value to composers getting direct feedback from your musicians and conductor?
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The League of American Orchestras is pleased to recognize the following orchestras on their noteworthy milestones: 100 years
Austin Symphony Orchestra Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra San Diego Symphony
Brevard Music Center Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Charleston Symphony Orchestra Danbury Symphony Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Midland Symphony Orchestra Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra
Asheville Symphony Orchestra Binghamton Youth Symphony DC Youth Orchestra Program Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra Huntsville Youth Orchestra The Jackson Symphony Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Meridian Symphony Orchestra San Luis Obispo Symphony Southwest Florida Symphony Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Utah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra
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Etowah Youth Orchestra Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra Linfield Chamber Orchestra Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey San Jose Chamber Orchestra Youth Orchestra of Bucks County
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Voices of by Ian VanderMeulen
What does it take to launch a classicalmusic career today? Six young soloists offer their perspective on the orchestra world, concert programming, and engaging with audiences. 30
How can we get younger audiences into concert halls? Hardly a week goes by that the question isn’t posed by someone in the orchestra world. Yet the voices of young people themselves are often absent from such discussions. From several time zones and distant cities, six globetrotting solo artists spoke by phone with Symphony Assistant Editor Ian VanderMeulen. Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, violinist Bella Hristova, accordionist and bandoneón player Lidia Kaminska, saxophonist Doug O’Connor, pianist Daria Rabotkina, and violist Jennifer Stumm—only a handful of the many brilliant up-andcomers Symphony tracks every year—participated in a lively two-hour discussion about everything from visual elements of performance to avoiding playing-related injury. Stumm, calling in from Berlin and five hours ahead of those on the U.S. East Coast, had to exit a few minutes early to attend a concert. For a more complete transcript of the conversation, visit the Symphony section of americanorchestras.org and click on “Outposts.” symphony
BELLA HRISTOVA Instrument: Violin Age: 25 Hometown: Pleven, Bulgaria Current city: Philadelphia
Change Ian VanderMeulen: People in our field often ask, “How can we get younger people more interested in classical music?” How did you all get involved in classical music? Bella Hristova: My mom started me out on violin. She is a pianist and my dad is a composer, so I was going to be in classical music, though I wanted to play the piano or percussion. But as far as getting young people interested I think outreach is the most important thing, just so they know that we’re their age and we’re hopefully somewhat cool. Maybe we like the same TV shows. If we bring it to them in simple terms it’s not like going to a concert hall—we’re americanorchestras.org
sort of bringing the music to them. Narek Hakhnazaryan: My parents are both classical musicians and they always wanted me to be a classical musician. Since about six years old I had this impression of classical music as something serious. Daria Rabotkina: A lot of kids, especially in the underprivileged part of our society, are depressed, and I think it’s important to show them that music can be this great outlet where they can pour their emotions and where they will feel satisfaction from working hard. Jennifer Stumm: My parents really liked music in general and took me to all kinds of
DOUG O’CONNOR Instrument: Saxophone Age: 27 Hometown: Hollywood, Maryland Current city: Rochester, New York LIDIA KAMINSKA Instrument: Accordion, Bandoneón Age: 32 Hometown: Przasnysz, Poland Current city: Philadelphia NAREK HAKHNAZARYAN Instrument: Cello Age: 22 Hometown: Yerevan, Armenia Current city: Boston DARIA RABOTKINA Instrument: Piano Age: 29 Hometown: Kazan, Russia Current city: New York City JENNIFER STUMM Instrument: Viola Age: 32 Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia Current city: London
think it would be the same kind of exposure that you might get as a young child in a community situation. I spent a lot of time in Latin America this summer and saw the El Sistema model, and a lot of our colleagues are now going into urban centers here and trying to replicate that model. So actually, the greater thing we can do is to be advocates for the importance of culture in largescale educational environments. Doug O’Connor: Maybe we shouldn’t focus on classical music per se. Because as a kid, classical means about four different composers, right? But classical music today is so varied and there’s a sense of excitement in how much variety there is. VanderMeulen: Doug, Lidia, and Jennifer, you play instruments without much orchestral solo repertoire. I’m curious whether the lack of repertoire gets frustrating, or whether you see it as an opportunity to develop something new.
cultural events, but they had absolutely no plans for their child to be a professional. So my first experience with classical music was actually in school. If every classical musician, every day of the week, did some kind of outreach, we could make a dent, but I don’t
Stumm: This is one of the greatest misconceptions—at least with my instrument—that there’s this great lack of repertoire. There are so many amazing viola concerti that I would die to play, but they won’t get programmed because they’re written after a certain date or certain time. So I have to get out there and kind of kick in doors and say, “There are these great pieces of music written for my instrument that you haven’t heard yet.” Lidia Kaminska: I play two instruments: accordion, and now bandoneón for about three years. And I have to say throughout playing accordion for about 23 years, I didn’t get as many jobs as with bandoneón because the music of Astor Piazzolla is so popular now. Tomorrow I’m playing a Piazzolla concerto with the Duluth Superior Symphony and then in two weeks I’m playing Piazzolla again. But definitely I would love to introduce some accordion concertos. When I say accordion people think about folk music, but I say, “Oh my gosh, no more polkas!”—because I was trained classically. O’Connor: One of the challenges that Lidia is referring to I really identify with, and that’s getting your instrument type-cast. Composers have a hard time letting go of the saxophone as a jazz instrument, which can be very frustrating. Basically I started playing the instrument because I loved it. And when you’re young, you assume it’s kind of on a level playing field for all instruments. But the repertoire for violin and piano is just amazing! It’s such a pain, a heartache, that I can’t play these pieces without facing the sort of philosophical and identity issues of doing transcriptions. The prevailing mentality in the saxophone world is that learning transcriptions at home is cool, and performing them is not. Hristova: Well, if you feel strongly enough about it, maybe you could be the first to make them think it’s okay to perform these pieces. O’Connor: You bring up an interesting point. I talk about this often with my girlfriend, who’s a cellist from Cleveland. She says, “Remember, if you played the cello or the violin, you would have very little chance of setting a new mark in your instrument, while the saxophone is so young.” We don’t have anyone like Heifetz that we can only dream of playing that well. Stumm: There may be a connection between the question about younger audiences
and the future of what we’re doing, and the question of variety in instruments and the challenges we face. Variety is so normal for younger people—they’re on the internet and their attention span is what, five seconds a page? The amount of variety in almost everything that a young person has is just astounding. And sometimes I feel like the amount of variety in what we do is pretty unastounding. VanderMeulen: What do you all think of socalled alternative venues like Le Poisson Rouge, where there is a lot of variety in the programming? Stumm: I’m in Berlin right now and one of the earliest things was called Yellow Lounge, funded by Deutsche Grammophon. At first we thought it was this mysterious phenomenon, but there would be like fifty young people somewhere in East Berlin waiting to get into an abandoned factory. If you see that many people who maybe wouldn’t go to a normal concert waiting in line and interested in hearing classical music or basically anything—I’m 100 percent for it. Rabotkina: As long as there is respect for what people are listening to, that’s fine with me. If they’re coming to look at the circus, I have a problem with that. Hakhnazaryan: Maybe this is a little oldfashioned, but each style of music must stay in its style. Because now so many performers are just mixing styles—they’re playing some classical pieces like jazz. Mixing in the program is great to show variety, but we need to stay in the styles of those pieces we’re playing. Hristova: Like not add a hip-hop track to Bach. O’Connor: I went to a couple of lectures recently. One guy was saying that the problem is that the rest of the entertainment industry is delivering this synaesthetic experience—it’s not just sound, it’s sight, it’s lots of different things—and that the concert tradition, the classical tradition, hasn’t really kept pace with that. We’ve got to find a way that feels artistically sound to us that makes it a more full-blown experience. Rabotkina: It might work for some styles. I’m not sure if you’re playing Beethoven that it would work as well. It would be a distraction for me as a listener. One of the most fulfilling experiences, in my opinion, is to close your eyes and listen. symphony
LIDIA KAMINSKA José Franch-Ballester
senters were unapologetic. I really feel like in America we apologize in advance, we sneak modern pieces in between Beethoven and Brahms. From a sales perspective you never would sell a product to anyone that way. If a presenter transmits their joy in presenting those things to the audience, the audience eventually will grab hold. Aldeburgh is another place where I’ve spent a lot of time. Here’s a festival that was in the middle of a field in one of the most conservative parts of England, and you see old people lined up to hear Boulez played with electronics at 10 p.m.—I mean, what?! O’Connor: That’s crazy! Stumm: It’s crazy. But I was talking to one of the great presenters we have right now and he was saying, that’s what Benjamin Britten started, which was just saying, “This is a part of what “I’ve gotten we do, you’re a part of the experience, your reconcerts sponse to these pieces out of is a part of the experirelationships ence.” Rabotkina: I find that have it’s very helpful to informed troduce the music to audiences first. I speak through about pieces and I get Twitter. so much positive feedConcerts back about this. Hristova: It’s easier come from to take a chance with strange recitals. For someone places these who’s just starting out you’re playing with a lot days.” —Violist of regional orchestras, Jennifer Stumm so you end up playing Brahms and Tchaikovsky, and they would be hesitant to program even something like Stravinsky or Bartók. I have a project this year working with composer Kevin Puts that’s very exciting. I played a piece by Michael Daugherty. I’d like to do more but I just don’t know how at this stage of my career. O’Connor: Lidia, you’re such a rock star and I personally think you’ve nailed it, and Angela Morris
Stumm: Maybe the larger question about visual elements is the quality we put forward. I heard this incredible thing in New York last year which was put on by the Aldeburgh Festival in England, where they united Schubert’s Winterreise with the poems of Beckett. It was sort of like an old-fashioned radio show and they had sound effects during the songs. There was so much skill behind how that was crafted that I found it to be an incredible experience. O’Connor: Yeah, there are a lot of really good ideas on shaking things up. But they have to be executed with the same kind of skill that people have been executing Schubert from a musical angle for centuries. Stumm: I was at this Proms concert when the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra first performed in London, and I’ve never seen an audience respond to anything that way. But look at what’s happening on the stage—you see people moving, passionate about what they’re doing. And you see the average symphony orchestra and the experience is just not the same, so why would you expect the response to be the same? Hristova: I’d like to bring back something Jennifer said earlier about programming new works and how orchestras may be reluctant to do that. I think some audience members have just decided that they won’t like anything past, I don’t know, early 1900s. So how do we get audiences excited about music that’s been written even in the last three or four or ten years? Stumm: I lived in Amsterdam for a few years and almost every time there was a premiere, that concert sold out. And I realized that there was a concert culture where pre-
that your audiences love you the way folk and rock star audiences love them. And you play an unusual instrument. Kaminska: There are a few things that help me. First of all my pictures! I was talking today to the marketing director of the Duluth Superior Symphony, and she told me it’s so much easier for the marketing department to have great photos. Because so many photos of classical musicians are so outdated. Stumm: Oh my god, they’re horrible. Kaminska: My photo was featured in Symphony. It wasn’t an article about me, but there was a photo I think on the second page [ January-February 2009 Table of Contents, p. 3 –Ed.] And I got a job because of the photo! It’s unbelievable. Also, articles in the newspaper help people to know the artist. VanderMeulen: I know some of you use social media. Is this something that your managers encourage or is it more for personal use? O’Connor: I’m a reluctant Facebook user. I use it a bit, but when people send me messages on it, it takes me a month to get back to them. But YouTube is really great. I played this piece called Jungle by a wellknown saxophone composer named Christian Lauba. Hours after I put it up online, I got an email from him saying he liked my performance of it. This eventually turned into him writing a piece for me as a gift. Stumm: I’ve had kind of the same experience with Twitter. I’ve gotten concerts out of relationships that have formed through Twitter. Concerts come from strange places these days. Hristova: But what happens when you want Facebook just for private use, for
VanderMeulen: Let’s talk a little about touring lifestyle—and some of its challenges. Hristova: I’m sort of going through a crazy month because I’m doing five different concertos in five consecutive weeks, plus a recital two days ago. That’s the most I’ve done in a short amount of time, ever. I flew back from New Zealand on Sunday and when you fly back it takes, like, 28 hours. I got to my hotel in Missouri by midnight, and then the next morning at 9:15 I was picked up to go do outreach. And I felt absolutely awful. The recital the following day went OK. Now I’m in Louisiana and I got to sleep for twelve hours last night. So I feel better now. But it’s very hard, especially in places like this—there’s nowhere nearby to buy fresh fruit. So I have gummy bears and peach rings from Target. O’Connor: About the difficulties—I’ve been playing the saxophone for about twelve years now. I’ve never been injured, until now. I’ve just started playing again today. This piece that Christian Lauba wrote for me, he
wants to include a re- “There are a cording of it in the back lot of really of the music. So you buy good ideas the music and it’s for solo saxophone and you get a on shaking definitive recording of things up. the piece. So I practiced But they this piece, which uses a lot of awkward hand pohave to be sitions and things, a lot executed in the space of a week, with the and got a good recording out of it, but basically same kind hurt myself doing that. of skill that How do people who are people playing more than me not get hurt? have been Hristova: I don’t executing know how it is for wind Schubert players, but for me it’s very important to do from a a good warmup and musical stretches. And also masangle for sage therapy. I’ve been hurt before, but I think centuries.” I’ve learned how to take —Saxophonist Doug O’Connor my time warming up. Hakhnazaryan: Some major problems come up, like some little, little pain somewhere in a part of your hand. But many musicians are just practicing, practicing, and don’t pay attention until it becomes a big problem. Listen to what your body is telling you. If it hurts a little, maybe your body is saying, “Man, you’re do-
Left to right, Lidia Kaminska, on bandoneón, pianist Michael Mizrahi, violinist Jennifer Curtis, and saxophonist Doug O’Connor perform for students at Wilson Middle School in Philadelphia.
friends? I use it personally and it’s difficult to think that there are presenters on there who can see profiles. So, what, you’re supposed to have two separate accounts? O’Connor: It’s an interesting issue. There are sites like LinkedIn, which would be another option. Supposedly I would have my personal stuff on Facebook and my professional stuff on LinkedIn. Except the problem is, who uses LinkedIn?
ing something wrong with me!” Rabotkina: Absolutely. I think if something doesn’t feel good, you are not doing something right. O’Connor: This makes me think about the whole athletics and music thing. When you see a picture on the cover of The New York Times sports section, what’s the picture going to be? It’s going to be a picture of some guy sweating, reaching, straining. There’s a lot of drama in that. Conveying that drama, that athleticism of what we do, is really exciting for people. Hristova: Oh yeah, like if you play a really fast piece you’ll get comments like, “Oh, I really enjoyed watching your arm go so fast—is it tired?” It’s like, well, yeah, it’s tired! Rabotkina: Or people will come up and ask you, are you working out? What do you do for your regimen? I say, “I practice.”
VanderMeulen: Do you ever get burned out psychologically or feel like, I just need a mental break? Rabotkina: Well, performing is an outlet for me, I never get tired of that. But traveling—you bet! Stumm: I think the business can also really be a drain. The amount of time that I spend on the computer can compete with the amount of time I spend playing the viola. I find that I really have to structure that time, otherwise it can totally take over the day. And because of email, everybody can demand something in that moment. Sometimes I want to just be like, “Well, do you want me to play well at this concert, or do you want me to send you emails?”
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that you have to check it then.” Hakhnazaryan: I have an easier situation because I’m going to the concert with my cello and looking like, “Excuse me, can I have pre-boarding please?” With the size of the cello you have no problems with that. That’s one of the few good things being a cellist. Hristova: Then you have to get two tickets. Hakhnazaryan: Yeah, that’s one bad
parts to a concert—intermission and the concert—there are three parts always.The third part is always the most challenging for me—mingle. O’Connor: I come across as a pretty extroverted guy. But in high school I took a Myers-Briggs personality test and I was as extreme an introvert as you can get. And all that means, I guess, is that you get energy from being by yourself or from doing things on your own. And I think that might be a common musician thing—you get energy in the practice room. I was thinking about the loneliness—going to these places and not even getting really much of a chance to get to know anybody. Do the rehearsal, the performance, and then off to the next thing. Hristova: I actually like being by myself. But it’s the traveling, the actual flying, that is the hardest part for me. If I ask to board early, the flight attendants will say, “You can’t, you have to board with your zone.” And then I’ll say, “But if I board with my zone and there’s no room for the violin, I can’t check it, therefore your flight will be delayed.” And they say, “Well the rules are
Hakhnazaryan: I was talking recently with violist Kim Kashkashian and I asked her, “When is performance over?” And she said a great thing: “Performance is over when you close your hotel room door.” Sometimes it can be very tiring—all those receptions, official stuff. Sometimes after a performance you want to just be alone, you know? But you need to hang out for two or three hours. I was very impressed when Kim said that. Hristova: There’s a story about Fritz Kreisler that I really like. He was asked to play at some dinner party and the presenter said, “What’s your fee?” And he said, let’s say, four thousand dollars. And then the lady said, “But Mr. Kreisler, I want you to know that you are to take the service elevator and you’re to unpack backstage and not talk to any of the guests and then you’re to leave before dinner.” And he said, “In that case, two thousand.” It’s part of the job, talking to the audience and mingling, and I do enjoy it, but it’s tiring. Rabotkina: Yeah, my good friend always instructed me that there are not only two
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VanderMeulen: What has surprised you as you all have started to launch your careers? Hristova: That it’s not as glamorous as it seems. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not rewarding, it’s just—I’m eating peach rings from Target. O’Connor: When you’re a student it’s all about just getting through repertoire and learning all this newAd_Layout stuff and 6it’s9/28/10 very 10275 Astral Symphony exploratory, very exciting. And the actual
world of basically locking into a few pieces and performing them 40 times is really a different thing. Hakhnazaryan: This season I’m going to perform the Dvořák concerto with orchestra ten times.
Guiding and promoting the nation’s most extraordinary emerging classical musicians
We know how to pick ’em! BENJAMIN BEILMAN, violin 1st Prize, 2010 Montréal Competition ILYA POLETAEV, piano 1st Prize, 2010 Leipzig Bach Competition JONATHAN BEYER, baritone 1st Prize, 2010 Marguerite McCammon Competition KORBINIAN ALTENBERGER, violin 2nd Prize, 2010 Montréal Competition ALEXANDRE MOUTOUZKINE, piano 2nd Prize, 2010 Naumburg Competition
2010–2011 ROSTER Korbinian Altenberger, violin | Susan Babini, cello | Benjamin Beilman, violin | Jonathan Beyer, baritone Jasmine Choi, flute | Julietta Curenton, flute | Sara Daneshpour, piano | Harrison Hollingsworth, bassoon Angel Hsiao, flute | The Jasper String Quartet | Lidia Kaminska, accordion | Andrea Lam, piano Dísella Làrusdóttir, soprano | Kristin Lee, violin | Saeka Matsuyama, violin | Benito Meza, clarinet Michael Mizrahi, piano | Alexandre Moutouzkine, piano | Doug O’Connor, saxophone Ilya Poletaev, piano | Yulia Van Doren, soprano | Di Wu, piano
VanderMeulen: What changes do you see for the orchestra world or classical music in fifteen or twenty years? Rabotkina: The modern repertoire will slowly integrate into the standard repertoire. Because I hear more and more people asking me, why wouldn’t you play this or that lessknown concerto? And some of them I’ve played, but not regularly. O’Connor: In fifteen years we’ll see more variety of programming in concerts with orchestras—more unusual instruments, variety of every kind, and hopefully more variety in the audience as well. Kaminska: I agree with Doug—I would love for orchestras to be open to new works, and of course unusual instruments. I think it would benefit the audience and the orchestras. Hakhnazaryan: I think it’s going in the right direction. Aren’t orchestras now playing more modern repertoire than they used to play fifteen years ago? Which means that probably in another fifteen years it will be even more. We just need time for all that major change. We need enough good, smart, talented, young people to move these big machines forward. IAN VANDERMEULEN is assistant editor of Symphony.
230 S. Broad Street, Suite 300 | Philadelphia, PA 19102 215-735-6999
VanderMeulen: By the eighth or ninth time, does it ever grow old? Hakhnazaryan: I’ve never done the same concerto ten times in a season, so that’s new for me—I will tell you at the end of the year. Probably the last two times will be a little bit boring. But after a two-month break, you play the same piece and have fresh ideas, and you’ll love it again. Rabotkina: Another way is to just open the score. Most of the time I practice without a score because I know it since such a young age. But then you open a score— suddenly you discover things that can turn around your perspective and definitely freshen up the whole thing. Hristova: I think it’s just about music in the end, and we’re sort of showing the music to the 11:13 AMaudience. Page 1 It’s not about us. We’re just trying to do the music justice.
thing. The most stupid thing is I can’t even get bonus miles for the cello, because there is no person. Hristova: Do you get a second meal? Hakhnazaryan: You’re laughing, but sometimes I say, “Can I have a Pepsi, and actually cello wants orange juice.” Kaminska: Now that I play accordion and bandoneón, sometimes I have to take two instruments. My accordion is huge— it’s 35 pounds. For smaller places that only small planes fly to I have to buy an extra seat for my instrument. I think the weight of my accordion is the biggest challenge, because I have to carry it on my back. I can’t roll it or anything.
Got an opinion? Join the discussion! How does your orchestra discover or select emerging talent? Are there career challenges unique to the current generation of emerging soloists?
Click on the Discussions tab below to comment. symphony
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 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 of American Orchestras.
Conductors Courtesy Harwood Management
Richard Carsey Harwood Management Group, Inc.
harwood-management.com 212 864 0773
Conductor: opera, orchestra, pops concerts; Pianist; Arranger; Artistic Director, Skylight Opera; Music Director, Little House on the Prairie National Tour and Minister’s Wife at Lincoln Center.
Robert Franz Diane Saldick, LLC robertfranz.com
Carlo Ponti Diane Saldick, LLC carloponti.com
Evan Rogister IMG Artists imgartists.com
Ensembles Performing with an Orchestra Cavatina Duo – flute and guitar duo Dan McDaniel, LLC
danmcdanielmanagement.com 708 408 8843 or 708 352 3034
This season, The Cavatina Duo—Eugenia Moliner, flute, and Denis Azabagic, guitar—have presented the Javier Abella
European and American debut of Alan Thomas’s newly composed Concerto for Flute and Guitar.
Courtesy Sciolino Artist Management
Harlem Quartet – string quartet Sciolino Artist Management
harlemquartet.com 212 721 9975
As performers, teachers, and orchestral collaborators, this widely acclaimed string quartet advances diversity in classical music while bringing excitement to repertoire ranging from Ravel and Haydn to Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea. Duo Prism – violin and piano duo Sciolino Artist Management
riekoaizawa.com 212 721 9975
Violinist Jesse Mills and pianist Rieko Aizawa bring their finely honed artistry to double concerti from three centuries as well as the duo literature and collaborations with wind players and percussionists.
Ensembles Performing with an Orchestra (continued)
GUITAR DUO Brasil Guitar Duo Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org
Instrumentalists Peter Kolkay – bassoon Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200 x16
Avery Fisher Career Grant awardee called “stunningly virtuosic” by The New York Times. Featured engagements: South Carolina Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, Green Bay Symphony, and Russia’s Chamber Orchestra Kremlin. Sebastian Bäverstam – cello Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200 x16
Praised by The Strad for his “powerfully expressive style,” Sebastian Bäverstam’s featured engagements include: Boston Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Boston Civic Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony, Brockton Symphony, and Concord Symphony.
Alexander Fiterstein – clarinet Barrett Vantage Artists
barrettvantage.com 212 245 3530
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein’s playing has been praised by The New York Times for possessing a “beautiful liquid clarity.”
Kornel Wolak – clarinet Summers International
sumarts.com 416 362 1422
Robert M. DiVito
“Elegant expressivity is what makes Wolak shine” Toronto Star. As soloist, Kornel has performed with the Quebec and Charleston Symphonies, Toronto Sinfonietta, Poland’s Poznan Philharmonic, and the Polish Radio Orchestra. Most recently recorded Mozart and Weber with the Slovak Sinfonietta in Canada. Marco Sartor – guitar Fisher Management
marcosartor.com 843 607 2951
First-prize winner of major guitar concerto competitions in the U.S. and soloist with national and international orchestras. To find out more about Marco Sartor, please visit fishermgt.com.
Instrumentalists (continued) Nareh Arghamanyan – piano Arts Management Group
arghamanyan.com 212 337 0838
Winner of the 2008 Montreal Competition, Arghamayan makes her debut with the Vienna Symphony this season. Upcoming North American engagements include the Vancouver and Kitchener-Waterloo symphonies. Michael Brown – piano Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200 x16
2010 CAG Competition first-prize winner lauded as a “vividly characterized” and “free-spirited” player (The Kimberly Hsu
New York Times). Featured engagements include The Juilliard Orchestra with Alan Gilbert at Alice Tully Hall.
Ching-Yun Hu – piano Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200 x16
Rubinstein Piano Competition winner recognized for “superstar quality ... Musical, energetic and full of flair” (The Jerusalem Post). Featured engagements: Israel Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Aspen Concert Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), Taipei Philharmonic, and Johannesburg Philharmonic. Haiou Zhang – piano Summers International
sumarts.com 416 362 1422
“Zhang is, without a doubt, on the cusp of a great career” Toronto Star. In 2010, he toured ten cities with Sabina Przybyla
the Slovak State Symphony, performing Beethoven. Other tours followed with the Heidelberg and Warsaw symphonies performing Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky Concerti. Juan Miguel Hernandez – viola Sciolino Artist Management
samnyc.com 212 721 9975
Winner of the Sphinx, Canadian Music, and International Brahms competitions, and founding violist of the Dana Ross
Harlem Quartet, Hernandez has electrified audiences and students from Carnegie Hall to the Middle East.
Uwe Arens/SONY Classical
Mayuko Kamio – violin Barrett Vantage Artists
barrettvantage.com 212 245 3530
Japanese violinist Mayuko Kamio, the gold medalist of 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition, is widely praised for her luxurious buttery, silken, tone; long, seamless phrasing; and virtuoso technique.
Hye-Jin Kim – violin Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200 x16
Yehudi Menuhin International Competition first-prize winner recognized for “supremely musical playing” (The Strad). Featured engagements: Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, and Hannover Chamber Orchestra.
J. D. Nimerfroh, JDN Photography
Elena Urioste – violin Sciolino Artist Management
elenaurioste.com 212 721 9975
Winner of the Sion International Violin Competition, London Music Masters Award, and Sphinx Competition, Urioste combines critically acclaimed artistry and poise as an orchestral soloist with a passionate commitment to outreach.
ACCORDION/BANDONEÓN Lidia Kaminska Astral Artists astralartists.org BASSOON Harrison Hollingsworth Astral Artists astralartists.org CELLO Susan Babini Astral Artists astralartists.org Narek Hakhnazaryan Young Concert Artists yca.org CLARINET José Franch-Ballester Young Concert Artists yca.org Benito Meza Astral Artists astralartists.org FLUTE Claire Chase Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org Jasmine Choi Astral Artists astralartists.org
Julietta Curenton Astral Artists astralartists.org Aleksandr Haskin Young Concert Artists yca.org
Christopher Houlihan Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists concertartists.com PIANO
Charlie Albright Young Concert Artists charliealbright.com
Robert Belinic Young Concert Artists yca.org
Tanya Bannister Diane Saldick, LLC tanyabannister.com
HARP Emmanuel Ceysson Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com Bridget Kibbey Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org MARIMBA Pius Cheung Young Concert Artists yca.org Naoko Takada Young Concert Artists yca.org ORGAN Isabelle Demers Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists concertartists.com
Sara Daneshpour Astral Artists astralartists.org Ran Dank Young Concert Artists yca.org Alexej Gortlatch Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com Chu-Fang Huang Young Concert Artists yca.org Gleb Ivanov Young Concert Artists yca.org Ran Jia IMG Artists imgartists.com Andrea Lam Astral Artists astralartists.org
Di Wu Astral Artists cliburn.org
PIANO (continued) Jan Lisiecki IMG Artists imgartists.com
Benjamin Beilman Astral Artists astralartists.org Caroline Goulding Young Concert Artists carolinegoulding.com
Michael Mizrahi Astral Artists astralartists.org
Doug O’Connor Astral Artists astralartists.org
Benjamin Moser Young Concert Artists benjaminmoser.com
Hahn-Bin Young Concert Artists hahn-bin.com
Bella Hristova Young Concert Artists yca.org
Phyllis Chen Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org
Alexandre Moutouzkine Astral Artists astralartists.org
Noé Inui Young Concert Artists noeinui.com
Ilya Poletaev Astral Artists astralartists.org
Jennifer Stumm Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org
Daria Rabotkina Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org
Kristin Lee Astral Artists astralartists.org
Saeka Matsuyama Astral Artists astralartists.org
Korbinian Altenberger Astral Artists astralartists.org
Louis Schwizgebel-Wang Young Concert Artists louisschwizgebelwang.com
be the First to book the best
“the stars of the next generation.” – the WAshington Post
F i r s t P r i z e W i n n e r s , 2 0 1 0 Y o u n g C o n C e r t A r t i s t s i n t e r n At i o n A l A u d i t i o n s Narek Arutyunian
Charlie Albright Ran Dank Chu-Fang Huang Gleb Ivanov Benjamin Moser Louis Schwizgebel-Wang
Hahn-Bin Bella Hristova Noé Inui
Pius Cheung Naoko Takada
Benjamin C.S. Boyle Daniel Kellogg Chris Rogerson
Jeanine De Bique MEzzO-SOPRANO
Young ConCert Artists 250 West 57 Street, Suite 1222 New York, New York 10107
www.yca.org (212) 307-6657
Vocalists Courtesy Harwood Management
Benjamin Bloomfield – baritone harwood-management.com Harwood Management Group, Inc. 212 864 0773 Benjamin Bloomfield, Chinese-American baritone. Metropolitan Opera, Castleton Festival, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lindemann Program guest artist, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra. Oratorio soloist with many choruses on the East Coast and graduate of Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music. Sarah Wolfson – soprano Concert Artists Guild
concertartists.org 212 333 5200 x16
Lyric soprano called “a keenly intelligent artist” singing “with luminous sound” (The New York Times). Featured orchestral engagements: American Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, International Sejong Soloists, and Bowdoin Festival Orchestra.
Jonathan Beyer Astral Artists piperanselmi.com
Ariana Chris Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com
Mischa Bouvier Concert Artists Guild concertartists.org
Jennifer Johnson Young Concert Artists yca.org
Jason Switzer Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com
Margaret Peterson Harwood Management Group, Inc. harwood-management.com
BASS Jeremy Milner Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com BASS-BARITONE Justin Hopkins Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com
Katherine Pracht Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com SOPRANO Reyna Carguill Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com
Jeanine De Bique Young Concert Artists yca.org Dísella Làrusdóttir Astral Artists astralartists.org Yulia Van Doren Astral Artists schwalbeandpartners.com TENOR Cody Austin Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com Lawrence Jones Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com
Rebecca Davis Robert Gilder & Co. robert-gilder.com
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The Eastman Theatre on sale now!
F ULFILLING G EORGE E ASTMAN ’S D REAM
he long-awaited book celebrating the history and renovation of
the Eastman Theatre, in Rochester, New York, is now available! This
stunning 208-page hardcover book, authored by noted historical writer Elizabeth Brayer, is richly illustrated with period imagery as well as
breathtaking new photography by award-winning photographer Andy Olenick. All proceeds benefit the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
I NTRODUCTION 2
The Eastman Theatre: Fulfilling George Eastman’s Dream
E VERY D IRECTION : The Founding of a theatre, school, and orchestra
A Spiritual Necessity: George Eastman and Music
The Marriage of Music and Film
Frozen Music: George Eastman and his Architects
Music in Every Direction
A Community of Listeners
PART T WO
T HE M AGIC E NDURES : The Eastman Theatre after Eastman 90
Eastman School of Music: Howard Hanson and Beyond
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: Directors, Players, and Guest Artists
PART T HREE
T HE M AJESTY G ROWS : Renovation and Expansion 140
Community Momentum, 1985-2007
A New Wing, 2008-2010
A New Hall, 2004-2009
hat we do during our
what we have;
what we do in our leisure hours determines
Lillian Norton, “parsonette” of St. Paul’s Church, was a frequent witness to Eastman’s need to hear music.
George Eastman’s famous dictum became even more his own formula for living during the 1920s. He phrased it as a rhetorical question when discussing with a reporter his grand new music scheme and its connection to the gradual shortening of the work day: “What is going to be done with the leisure thus obtained? Do not imagine that I am a reformer—far from that. I am interested in music personally and I am led thereby, merely to want to share my pleasure with others.” At a time when the ﬁve-day week was only a working-man’s dream, Eastman saw it coming. He felt precious leisure would be wasted unless new forms of recreation were provided.
Eastman reinforced Lillian Norton’s metaphor when he said that same year: I am not a musician. I come pretty close to being a musical moron because I am unable to whistle a tune, to carry a tune, or remember a tune. But I love to listen to music and in listening I’ve come to think of it as a necessary part of life... There are no drawbacks to music: you can’t have too much of it. There is no residual bad effect like overindulgence in other things.
Those who shared in his pleasure could find the experience fatiguing. “GE is absolutely alcoholic about music,” an exhausted Lillian Norton declared upon returning from a whirlwind visit to New York. Twelve times in six days the trio of host plus “Parson and
Later his young music school director, Howard Hanson, would describe in more lofty tones Eastman’s latest project, that of combining a collegiate institution for talented musicians with a community school dedicated to musical training from childhood on, both supported by proceeds from the com-
An 1889 portrait photograph taken by the famous photographer known as Nadar
PART ONE: M
On the opposite wall, paintings by Barry Faulkner (below) symbolize sacred, hunting, pastoral, and dramatic music. Faulkner, who studied with Abbott Thayer and George De Forest Brush, would specialize in historical murals—he is perhaps best known for his murals for Rockefeller Center and of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution for the National Archives.
Parsonette,” as Eastman called the rector of St. Paul’s Church and his wife, had trotted oﬀ to the opera and theater as well as to the Morgan Library and Frick Gallery. Twice they had trekked to the movies, and once they enjoyed a midnight supper at the Roosevelt Hotel. “The rest of the time we loafed,” Eastman joked.
working hours determines
what we are.”
Pageantry from a Giant Gazebo
A SPIRITUAL NECESSITY: GEORGE EASTMAN
U S IC
V E RY
The BR AY Failed ER Flutist
mercial booking of ﬁlms: “Here indeed is the epic of the man who needed music, a man for whom music was a spiritual necessity, a man who believed that the entire community might be enriched by the art which had brought so much to him. Here, then, is his monument, the beautiful Eastman School of Music and Theatre, for the enrichment of community life. Long may they endure.”
’S D R
At age thirteen, George Eastman bought a flute for three dollars and spent the next two years learning to play “Annie Laurie”—badly. A second flute was purchased three years later in 1871, this one for fourteen dollars as Eastman’s
The other half of Eastman’s “great music project” for Rochester which would “aﬀord this community all of the beneﬁts of music in every direction” stemmed from his belief that “the trouble with this country is that it has too few listeners. There are probably enough performers already,” he said shortly after the Eastman School opened and began adding to the ranks of performers. The schooling of listeners “must start with school children,” he vowed. And so when the “Director of Music in the public schools came [in 1918]...and said: ‘Mr. Eastman, the City is willing to furnish all the teachers that are required but it is diﬃcult, if not impossible, in the present state of the city ﬁnances, to get appropriations for band and orchestra instruments...Will you help out?’” he was ready with a check for $15,000 that provided 250 band and orchestra instruments. The instruments would be owned by “the School of Music, which is about to be aﬃliated with the Rochester University.” Eastman realized that “these bands and orchestras in the public schools are primarily to produce performers but they also are powerful inﬂuences in training and interesting listeners.”
neat and carefully executed ledger for 1871 shows. But his performing abilities did not improve and fortyeight years later he decided to concentrate his fortune and hands-on efforts on training listeners as well as performers.
Years later, Eastman’s neighbor, George D. B. Bonbright, grumbled, “The trouble with you George is that you should
Two questions continue to intrigue. First, just how tone deaf was Eastman? He loved to foster that impression and generally, everyone agreed with him. Once the Eastman School was opened he bragged to have ﬂunked the tests used as part of the entrance examination. And when invited to join a “company of music sharks” in New York City, he declared he “should not dare to mix up with them.”
PART ONE: M
have learned to play the banjo. No girl would marry a man who plays the flute as badly as you do.”
U S IC
V E RY
P A RT T W O
The Magic Remains
Portrait medallions set into the balcony rail and ceiling honor seventeen celebrated composers. Pictured at left is Franz Schubert.
e Ea stma nT heat
P A RT O N E
PART O NE
Painted during the full flush of early twentieth century romanticism, Ezra Winter’s four colorful paintings (below) on the left wall of the Eastman Theatre looking toward the stage represent festival, lyric, martial, and sylvan music.
For circular niches above and guarding the main emergency exits on the orchestra level near each side of the stage, youthful sculptor Leo Friedlander created heroic double life-sized gilded busts of Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was not a favorite of George Eastman, who compared his music to “sawing wood.” Portrait medallions set into the balcony rail and ceiling honor seventeen celebrated composers. Mozart is fifth from the left. The proscenium arch generously ornamented with masks of tragedy and comedy features a shield with the legend “U of R” supported on either side by an unusual winged classical figure holding a torch. Interestingly, the most expensive seats in the house, the orchestra seats, did not get the benefit of all of this dec-
Bas reliefs (below) above the murals in the form of children and musical instruments were created by the German-born American art deco sculptor Carl Paul Jennewein. Jennewein won a Prix de Rome and studied at the American Academy in Rome with Howard Hanson, Barry Faulkner, and Ezra Winter.
oration and had the worst acoustics to boot. The acoustical failures have been corrected by the 2004 to 2010 renovations but the murals, chandelier, and glorious ceiling are still most visible from the balcony level.
(above) Ludwig van Beethoven has short tousled hair.
(left) Johann Sebastian Bach wears a curly long haired wig.
(below) Arabesque patterns of harps and shields, scrolls, griffins, and winged sea-horses decorate the cornices of the theater.
P A RT T H R E E
The Magic Grows
: THE M
A G IC
A I N S
: THE M
A G IC
A I N S
A NEW WING: 2008-2010
n George Eastman's outer oﬃce was a large ﬂat cab-
as if did not interfere with the plan and if costs
inet of the kind found in an architect's oﬃce—full
were kept in check.
of blueprints for buildings planned, currently
“What has happened in the matter of the School of
under construction, or recently erected. “One of his
Music?” inquired architect Burt Fenner of his for-
greatest interests,” wrote Marion Folsom, Eastman's
mer colleagues, Gordon and Kaelber, in July 1919.
administrative assistant in the 1920s who would
“We are all much interested in knowing whether it
later be the Secretary of Health, Education and Wel-
is going ahead.” Fenner, a native Rochesterian, was
fare in the Eisenhower cabinet, and who for a while
with the nationally prominent ﬁrm of McKim,
occupied an oﬃce adjoining this architectural an-
Mead and White, whose man on the job he had
teroom, “was the careful scrutiny of these plans,
been during the construction of Eastman House,
which very often resulted in important changes.”
1902-1905, but he kept in chatty touch with his Rochester acquaintances in hopes that the famous
E NTER M C K IM M EAD & W HITE
New York ﬁrm would land another Eastman projYoyo Ma performs at the
Even as an amateur, Eastman was an inspired con-
ect. By 1919 Charles McKim had died, Stanford
Eastman Theatre with the
White had been murdered, and William Ruther-
tributor to factory architecture, one of the great
ford Mead had retired to Maine where he re-
unheralded and unrecorded contributions of
Orchestra in May 2008
mained in close consultation with his old ﬁrm, the
America to the history of world architecture. He
principals of which now included William Kendall
may never of heard of Louis Sullivan (although one
and Lawrence Grant (“Larry”) White, Stanford's
of his architects, Claude Bragdon, wrote exten-
son. The Eastman Theatre and School of Music
sively about Sullivan), but he certainly adhered to
would be Larry White’s ﬁrst major project and he
Sullivan's famous dictum, “form follows function”
was determined to make it a showcase success.
for factory buildings and pragmatic projects such 16
Fenner soon learned to his dismay that “Mr. East-
as the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Rochester. For more aesthetic projects,
man with Ed Gordon and Will Kaelber, the local
such as his mansion or the Eastman Theatre and
architects, has been at work since February over
School of Music he employed nationally known
plans. They have visited theaters and music halls
“slipcover” architects after he and a sympathetic
all the way from Boston to the Mississippi River,” Fenner wrote to senior sage Mead, “and have got-
local architect had worked out the plans together.
ten all the practical details of the auditorium con-
The plan and program was the important part. Then if an academically trained Beaux Arts architect wanted to add a fancy cornice or Gothic tower
Andre Watts performs with the
struction worked out to the last inch, but the
result is an abominable plan which is architec-
Orchestra in October 2008
turally impossible. If they had only gotten us into
to hide the elevator shaft, that was all right as long
it at the start,” Fenner sniﬀed, “I am sure we could
PART THREE: THE M
U S IC
n a sense George Eastman is still there:
every mural, marble block, and chandelier is a reminder of his meticulous supervision.
Order books online at WWW.RPO.ORG/EASTMANTHEATREBOOK
Crowds in Hanoi watch jumbo screens of Music Director Alan Gilbert leading the New York Philharmonic’s Vietnam debut, October 2009.
by Jennifer Melick
Orchestras are expanding the definition of cultural diplomacy—at home
Young Iraqi musicians Honar Ali (left) and Rebin Ali (right) currently play on scholarship at the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
n a Friday evening just over a year ago, I sat inside the historic Hanoi Opera House in Vietnam, surrounded by government dignitaries, businessmen, music students, friends of the New York Philharmonic, and U.S. embassy officials, listening to the Philharmonic perform. Outside the sold-out house, even the city’s omnipresent motorbike riders stopped to watch the concert on screens set up for the occasion. The all-Beethoven program was followed by three encores, and, after several minutes of rhythmic clapping, the Egmont Overture, whose epic sweep seemed to satisfy the audience’s need for something grandiose and befitting the occasion. As a public symbol of reconciliation, it would be hard to find a better example than a Philharmonic concert
in Vietnam’s capital, uniting two countries formerly at war and now at peace. But for many people, the predominant recent memory of cultural diplomacy may be the New York Philharmonic’s groundbreaking February 2008 trip to North Korea. During the visit—covered by 100 journalists flown in for the occasion, and broadcast on U.S. television—the Philharmonic performed Gershwin, Dvorák, Wagner, Bizet, and Bernstein, plus the Korean folksong “Arirang.” The flags of the two countries, estranged since the Korean War and increasingly so during the past decade, were draped onstage. The Pyongyang visit was one of the biggest news stories of the year for an orchestra, and it still comes up in conversation, with symphony
and abroad. opinions sharply divided on its impact on international relations. Nevertheless, as Eric Latzky, the Philharmonic’s vice president of communications, asserts, the Pyongyang visit “codified a role that the New York Philharmonic has played historically, and certainly in the second half of the twentieth century,” citing appearances like the one in Dresden in 2005, when the Philharmonic performed at the rededication of the city’s landmark Frauenkirche, destroyed during World War II. Tours like these sometimes happen between countries that are well along in the process of rapprochement and reconciliation—like the Vietnam and Germany visits. In other cases, as with North Korea, they happen amidst fierce debate about the message that might be conveyed americanorchestras.org
by playing music in a country whose policies the U.S. strongly opposes. Clearly, there are risks to stepping—even lightly—into the potentially thorny area of cultural diplomacy, so why do orchestras do it? Sometimes it is done to spark a diplomatic conversation, using the “international language” of music as a conduit. It can be a way to share Western classical music and American culture with parts of the world that may not have a positive view of the United States. For young musicians at home and abroad, playing side-by-side with musicians from ethnically, politically, or religiously opposed groups can lead to reduced tensions down the road. Altruistic motives are behind efforts by musicians to fill educational gaps in war-ravaged countries: places
where teachers, instruments, sheet music, and the basic infrastructure of music education are lacking. And sometimes cultural diplomacy stems from a desire to simply ease the pain of survivors of a physical catastrophe by raising money to help rebuild homes—or just playing Brahms or Mozart as a way to let people know someone cares. The tradition of high-profile international orchestra tours during politically fraught times is a longstanding one. During the height of the Cold War, in 1956, the Boston Symphony Orchestra toured the Soviet Union, with conductors Charles Munch and Pierre Monteux, and the New York Philharmonic’s visit to that same country under Leonard Bernstein took place in 1959. If you’d been in Beijing or Shanghai
Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra perform at the World Expo in Shanghai, China, May 2010.
Cultural-Diplomacy in Action: Highlights The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs backs numerous performing-arts exchanges connecting American artists with their counterparts abroad. More information is available from the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Programs Division; updates are posted regularly at the advocacy and government area at the League of American Orchestras’ website, which also includes information on funding opportunities. American violinist Allegra Klein, founder of the nonprofit Musicians for Harmony, has moved to Baghdad to become a full-time member of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. Klein wrote about her work with Musicians for Harmony in the November-December 2007 issue of Symphony. Daniel Barenboim was awarded the Westphalia Peace Prize ($70,000) in October 2010 at a ceremony in Berlin attended by musicians from West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the “orchestra without borders” he founded with scholar Edward Said and which includes young musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and other Middle East regions. Previous winners of the prize include conductor Kurt Masur and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. On July 16, more than 65 musicians from Turkey and Armenia performed in the inaugural concert of the Turkish Armenian Youth Orchestra at Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul. On July 26, the first symphony orchestra made up of performers from mainland China and Taiwan made its debut in Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, in a program of music by composers from Taiwan and mainland China. The orchestra was co-founded by the China Symphony Development Foundation (mainland China) and New Aspect Cultural and Educational Foundation (Taiwan). The Unity Rural Music Project in China, created by Fulbright scholars David Borenstein and Jon Kaiman, organized music-themed summer camps in 2010 in Sichuan and Guangxi Provinces, providing instruments, textbooks, and teacher training. The goal was to lay the foundation for sustainable music programs. Camp Unity, Ryan White’s 2008 documentary about an arts academy in the Kurdish region of Iraq, follows more than 600 Iraqi students as they study classical music, jazz, orchestra, ballet, hip-hop dance, Broadway, and theater with eight American teachers. On February 26, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra will co-host, along with the St. Louis Arts roundtable, a one-day seminar on cultural diplomacy. Among the participants will be Cynthia Schneider, U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands from 1998 to 2001; David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician; and local speakers. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will make a seven-city U.S. tour from February 19 to March 1, 2011, celebrating its 75th anniversary and drawing attention to its role as a symbol of cultural diplomacy.
in September 1973, you would have witnessed the Philadelphia Orchestra become the first U.S. orchestra to perform in China, a milestone that made front-page news. And it’s not just orchestras: jazz musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Dave Brubeck toured internationally with the U.S. State Department-sponsored America’s Jazz Ambassadors program beginning in the 1950s. Dancers from the Alvin Ailey company gave foreign audiences their first look at a uniquely American dance style beginning in the 1960s. In July 2009, the U.K.’s Royal Ballet Company became the first foreign ballet company to visit Cuba since the Bolshoi’s 1980 visit; the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and American Ballet Theater also visited Cuba this past October and November, and the New York Philharmonic hopes to visit Cuba this win-
ter, after receiving long-awaited permission from the U.S. Treasury Department. For orchestras and classical musicians, media-worthy tours to places like Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea are just a small piece of what’s happening today with cultural diplomacy. Many American youth orchestras tour internationally, providing their young musicians with a life-changing experience as they learn about a foreign culture. Cultural diplomacy also encompasses more grassroots efforts by “citizen diplomats,” many of whose efforts are conducted closer to the ground and with much less public attention, everywhere from Iraq and Afghanistan to Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. Daniel Barenboim (see sidebar, above) continues to take annual tours with his young musicians, who come from Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Perhaps more
surprisingly, the definition of cultural diplomacy increasingly includes efforts to bring together disparate groups in our own diverse communities here in the U.S. Planned Meetings, Impromptu Encounters
Repeat visits by an orchestra to a foreign country can lay the foundation for establishing trust between two nations. They also give members of the orchestra a bird’s-eye view of economic and political changes over time, as percussionist Anthony Orlando can attest. Over more than three decades, he has been on four tours to China with the Philadelphia Orchestra. “In 1973 when we rode from the Beijing airport to the hotel,” he recalls, “the streets were lined almost every block for maybe ten or twenty miles, applauding the arrivals from America. It was very scripted. When we went to the Great Wall, we were the only ones there.” Orlando remembers China’s undeveloped city and road infrastructures in 1973, that there were “almost no cars” on the road, just buses and bicycles. In 1993, it seemed to him like “San Francisco during the gold rush,” with towers and cranes everywhere. The Philadelphia Or- “We don’t live chestra’s June 2008 visit in a melting took place less than a pot so much as month after the Sichuan earthquake, which spurred in some kind Phil Kates, a violinist with of crazy quilt the orchestra, to visit the where people badly damaged city of really don’t Mianzhu. Kates’s visit was covered in the Philadelphia mix,” says the Inquirer, and Kates wrote Sacramento about it in his own blog. At Philharmonic’s Hua Xi Hospital, where he Marc played for children, Kates wrote that “Regardless Feldman. “And of physical or emotional sometimes the condition (and some were orchestra can glum or rightfully angry be a wonderful at the state of their lives), each child had a smile on spot for it.” her face before I left the room. Any doubt I may have had as to the value of my making this trip evaporated at such moments.” Philadelphia Orchestra musicians also contributed $5,000 to an effort to build symphony
earthquake-proof schools and in 2010, when the orchestra toured China again, Kates and three other Philadelphians attended the dedication of the Philadelphia Orchestra Project Hope Classroom in the new Du Jiang Yan Tian Ma School in Dujiangyan, not far from Mianzhu. But this time, that side visit had the financial backing of the Pennsylvania Center, a division of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, which works to establish relationships between China and Pennsylvania’s business community. One orchestra that has been successful in getting the business community to back its cultural diplomacy efforts is California’s Sacramento Philharmonic. In April 2008, the Philharmonic performed its first “Songs of Hope” concert in Sacramento, focusing on different aspects of the shared cultures of the U.S., Egypt, and Israel and featuring performers, composers, and instruments from all three countries. The lead sponsor for the concerts was the Delegata Corporation, an international e-business and technology consulting company based in Sacramento, whose CEO is Egyptian businessman Kais Menoufy. Sacramento Philharmonic Executive Director Marc Feldman says building bridges has become “a personal issue” for him, particularly here in our own U.S. communities. “We don’t live in a melting pot so much as in some kind of crazy quilt, where people really don’t mix,” says Feldman. “And sometimes the orchestra can be a wonderful spot for it.” For the 2008 concert, he notes, “We had a Palestinian, an Israeli, an Egyptian, an American. It’s getting people together who normally wouldn’t be together. The people that were the most interested in coming to the concert were the Muslims in our community.” More recently the orchestra has presented programs focusing on Russianspeaking and Armenian immigrant communities in the Sacramento area. “Even if it’s a drop in the bucket,” says Feldman, “there’s a philosophy behind it for orchestras these days: we’re all searching for relevancy, for something beyond the ivory tower of the symphony orchestra. To make an orchestra into a cultural meeting place has become important to both Music Director Michael Morgan and myself. With all the discussion these days about the Muslim community, there is a lot of distrust. But there are also a lot of people who don’t believe in that disamericanorchestras.org
trust. This has become a forum for people who say, ‘You see, we can get together in our community.’ ” Young Idealists
Young musicians are at the heart of several grassroots cultural-diplomacy efforts. In 2010, violinist Mikhail Simonyan, a 24-year-old with Russian-Armenian roots, started holding fundraising concerts for his Beethoven Not Bullets project, which
is working to bring Western music back to Afghanistan by sponsoring young musicians to study music at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Simonyan’s immediate goal is to sponsor 50 music students for one year, at a cost of $360 per student. Most of that cost goes to replace income the children bring their families by selling newspapers or candy on the street. “By getting them into the school,” says Simonyan, “what we are doing is the education of the next
The U.S. may make a few more friends around the world, thanks to improved visa-processing times for foreign musicians touring the U.S. In July, officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services promised that average processing times for regularly filed artist visa petitions will not exceed 14 days. Previously, approvals had taken up to 120 days to process, an obstacle for orchestras and other organizations seeking to engage foreign guest artists. The League of American Orchestras was among the organizations leading efforts to improve the visa process. More information is available at the Artists From Abroad website and by contacting the League’s government affairs office.
generation. What are these kids seeing in their lives? Dead bodies, bullets, and fighting and shooting and killings and screamings, and just pretty much living in hell. We are providing them with something completely different and pure, which is music.” When it comes to young U.S. orchestra musicians, international youth-orchestra tours present opportunities that are virtually “built for goodwill,” says League Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan. Last summer, Steven Payne, executive director of Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, took his most advanced musicians on a two-week tour of China, where they performed in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong. Payne says these trips take place every two to three years and are “an incredible motivator” for the kids. The kids in the less advanced orchestras figure out when the next scheduled tour is going to be, what age they might be, and plan to go. Payne cautions that for youth orchestras it’s important for the concert experiences to be “phenomenal,” and there’s “got to be a way for them to meet other kids from that country. “It also dawned on us,” says Payne, “that there is a whole potential of the business community wanting to associate themselves with kids doing a positive thing—a huge pride factor in the community.” Local newspapers ran stories about the trip, and some musicians, like sixteen-year-old violinist Michael Vybiral, blogged about the tour. “The question people always have,” says
Payne, “is ‘These tours are great, but are they really necessary? It’s very expensive.’ I had those same doubts myself before I went on these trips with the kids, and saw the change it made in them.” Payne says the orchestra is working to find ways to make it possible for more kids to apply for financial assistance, to create a compelling case for donors to sponsor individual students. One youth orchestra with a strong cultural-diplomacy focus is the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Marc Thayer, the SLSO’s vice president for education and community partnerships, runs a program for music students from Iraq to study and live in the U.S. The program is run in partnership with St. Louis University, which gives fulltuition scholarships for the students to come and be part of the ESL program. The students perform in the string orchestra at the university, which Thayer conducts, and also are members of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. “They don’t have advanced schools available” in Iraq, says Thayer, meaning students cannot advance past a certain level without some kind of assistance or intervention. “They’re literally prisoners in their own country. Without outside support they cannot get a student visa or a tourist visa to go just about anywhere outside of the Middle East, because these countries are concerned they won’t return home.” During his summers, Thayer also works with an organization called American Voices, a nonprofit that trains young musicians in what it calls “post-conflict areas” of the world. Like San Antonio’s Payne, Thayer sometimes has had to defend the work he is doing with orchestras and musicians in Iraq. “I’ve had people ask me, if we don’t have enough electricity and the daily needs that we all assume we need, why are these people studying music and art? Why are they spending time on these extracurricular or luxury items? And I say, that’s often the best part of their lives—the only beauty they have in their life.” Dollars and Cents
When the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq met for the first time in the summer of 2009, they rehearsed in a building in the Kurdish capital of Erbil where Peshawar guards—the Kurdish military—marched up and down the halls with AK47s. Daunting and valid as such security concerns are, almost equally challenging for that orchestra symphony
Two young Lebanese musicians at one of the summer youth academies run by the nonprofit American Voices program in summer 2010 in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria.
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is getting funding, a difficulty that is shared by most organizations engaged in cultural diplomacy. Paul MacAlindin, a native of the U.K. who serves as NYOI’s music director, has been able to drum up enough support for the 42-member chamber orchestra to rehearse and perform in Iraq for a two-week pe“What are riod during the past two these kids in summers. The musicians Afghanistan are aged 14 to 29. The seeing? NYOI, the brainchild of 18-year-old Iraqi pianist Dead bodies, bullets—pretty Zuhal Sultan, convened in 2010 for rehearsals much living in and a concert with fundhell. We are ing from the Kurdish providing them Regional Government, with something the British Council, and Germany’s Goethe Incompletely stitute. different and Fundraising, says MacAlindin, has been pure, which is especially difficult in the music,” says recession; lack of funds is violinist Mikhail the reason the orchestra Simonyan. has not toured yet. But the primary goal, he says, is to improve the level of playing and teaching in a country where “most young musicians’ lives can be summed up as sitting at home, playing alone with no teacher” americanorchestras.org
after top music teachers fled in 2003. The two-week sessions in 2009 and 2010 took place in Kurdistan, chosen because it is safer than southern Iraq. In 2010, among the attendees at the final concert were the prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, several of his ministers, plus members of the British Council, the British Ambassador, and assorted VIPs. “In terms of bringing Kurds and Arabs together,” says MacAlindin, “they could see the potential of allowing this orchestra to flourish—to be a symbol of the reconciliation between these two groups, and also a possibility for dialogue with other countries.” Beyond diplomacy, there is great satisfaction for MacAlindin in regaining the trust of Iraqis: “A lot of people simply didn’t apply at all, because they never believed the orchestra would happen. They thought it was another fairy tale. They’re very used to organizations coming in and saying, ‘Yes, we will set this up for you.’ And then the money disappears down some official’s back pocket, and it never happens.” Applications from musicians wanting to play with the orchestra nearly doubled in 2010 over 2009—from 53 to 97. Funding was one of two big hurdles for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to go to Cuba this October, following an invitation from the Cuban Music Institute in late 2009. JALC Executive Director Adrian Ellis calls the trip the culmination of a longtime dream, possible only with permis-
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Troy Peters, music director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, signs autographs at the Shangmao School in Hangzhou, China, during July 2010 tour.
sion from the U.S. Treasury, and then with funding from five foundations. Among the things he hoped the trip would achieve, Ellis says, were to have “great music generated by the interaction between Cuban and American musicians; the opportunity to reinvigorate what would have been historical musical connections over the years; and an increased public awareness of those connections and their importance.” Projecting Demographic Diversity
Aimee Fullman, an international arts and cultural policy consultant with American Voices, says support in the last five years for cultural-diplomacy programs has been “really tough, tougher than it’s ever been.” John Ferguson, executive director of American Voices, emphasizes the importance of “sustained engagement, not one-off concerts and masterclasses,” while acknowledging the funding difficulties associated with these long-range programs. Instead of American Voices’ ten-day-long summer YES academies, “I wish we were doing a nine-month program,” he says. Fullman says that many of the larger national programs supporting this kind of work have withdrawn from it, and that there hasn’t been anyone stepping in to take their place. Fullman feels that the “key to fundraising for this kind of work” will be the broadening of the definition of international arts exchange to include things that arts groups are doing with diverse communities in the U.S. The heyday has passed for U.S. government funding of big cultural-diplomacy tours, exemplified by programs such as Jazz Ambassadors, which sent big stars around
the world at the height of their fame in the 1950s. Still, says Fullman, even at levels that are drastically reduced from then, the government “funds a lot, more than we can even record. It’s important that they do support it to some extent. Our entire system of arts funding is a matching-grant model. It’s a leveraging model, a public-private partnership.” Fullman, who worked last summer with American Voices’ YES academies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, says, “I can tell you from being in the field: people love jazz. But they don’t only love jazz. They love hiphop. But they don’t only “People love love hip-hop, either. Our string program last sum- jazz—but they mer was more robust than don’t only love our jazz program! I think jazz. They love in general across the board, hip-hop—but that the United States is not doing a very good job they don’t only of connecting to its im- love hip-hop. mense demographic di- Our string versity and thinking about program last our changing audiences at home and how that con- summer was nects to cultural-diplomacy more robust work internationally.” than our jazz As in other areas of the program!” says arts, funding is generally dependent on being able Aimee Fullman. to demonstrate public impact. For Sacramento’s Marc Feldman, the simplest indicator of public impact was that the first “Songs of Hope” concert sold 67 percent of the house, while for the symphony
second concert three nights later attendance went up to 80 percent. The orchestra’s concerts and panel discussions got a fair amount of press, too, including a local PBS documentary and a spot on TV news. “Funders do like to know that they’re being talked about,” says Feldman. Behind every orchestra or musician struggling to keep these cultural diplomacy efforts afloat during a notoriously challenging funding climate is a passionate spokesperson. Motivations range widely, though perhaps the one common goal is the quest for relevancy in a rapidly changing world. For violinist Mikhail Simonyan, cultural diplomacy is all about what he terms the “healing power of music” and “soft-power operations” that can bring music to children in war-torn Afghanistan. For Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Ellis, jazz is particularly effective when it comes to cultural diplomacy, “both because its origins are uniquely American and because of its social history, and because of the metaphors that are built into the music. It’s a powerful diplomatic tool for America.” For NYOI’s Paul
MacAlindin, it’s about helping Zuhal Sultan, a “teenager who wants to change the world,” achieve her dream of a youth orchestra in Iraq. For San Antonio’s Steven Payne and Saint Louis’s Marc Thayer, who have to struggle with assumptions that music and arts are luxury items, it’s about finding ways to help young musicians from the U.S. and from abroad have a lifechanging experience, and giving members of their own communities something to be proud of. For the New York Philharmonic’s Zarin Mehta, it’s about using music to “give a different dimension of peoples” and changing the “prototypical attitude and opinion of Americans.” Meanwhile, in California, Feldman is working to bring the Sacramento Philharmonic to Egypt and Israel—an expensive proposition that has been on hold since the recession hit. That hasn’t dampened Feldman’s enthusiasm for the orchestra’s continued work in Sacramento. For its “Fire and Romance” concerts in October 2010, Feldman says some members of the target Russian-speaking and Armenian communities
were “very, very conservative. I’ll be blunt: some of them don’t stand for the things that we might personally stand for. But Michael Morgan said, ‘All the more! If you really want to build community, let’s hook up with them.’ And music can be that spot where we all get together and agree that we can celebrate their culture. We don’t have to celebrate what they think politically, but we can celebrate their culture and bring them into the community.” As to the larger question of whether you can create peace through music, says Feldman, “All I can say is, yes, for an evening you can!” JENNIFER MELICK is managing editor of Symphony.
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The Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview and Music Director Search Seminar February 15–17, 2011 New Orleans, LA Music Director Search Seminar February 15 –16 Are you currently in a Music Director search? Do you want to see the brightest emerging conducting talent? Come to New Orleans for an in-depth exploration of the music director search process with leading experts in the field. Stay to experience gifted conductors showcasing their artistry with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Save the date now and don’t miss out—the Seminar and Preview are only offered every two years, and will not be held again until 2013. For more information or to register, visit americanorchestras.org. This seminar is made possible by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Argosy Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., and National Endowment for the Arts.
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A familiar scene: North Carolina Symphony musicians boarding the buses
Orchestra Iowa performs in twelve venues in eastern Iowa, including Brucemore, an amphitheater and historic site in Cedar Rapids.
he North Carolina Symphony has been a “bus band” since the 1940s, not only performing in its home base of Raleigh but in farm towns and mountain hamlets across the state. Associate Principal Double-Bassist Bob Anderson, who has been with the orchestra since 1971, loves recounting tales of the road, like playing in tobacco barns in the old days, or in an airplane hangar just last season. “About 25 years ago,” Anderson recalls, “we were playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade in a school gymnasium in Southport, this little fishing town, and all the lights went out just before the end. So people in the audience rummaged around the school and went out to their cars, gathering up flashlights. Then they all stood behind us and shined the flashlights on our music
stands so we could finish the piece. It was a strange way to end a concert, but everybody loved it. We were all in it together.” Besides the North Carolina Symphony, symphony orchestras in New Jersey, Vermont, and Virginia also lead peripatetic existences, criss-crossing their states as a matter of mission, often to overcome geographic challenges. Another group, Orchestra Iowa, turned a natural disaster into the chance to evolve from a local ensemble into a regional one. These groups deal with the downsides of varying acoustics and onerous travel in order to enjoy the upsides—such as the bonding with listeners that develops because, as Anderson says, “you’re bringing music to people rather than expecting them to come to you.” What these traveling bands do is different symphony
by Bradley Bambarger
from the strategies of orchestras that seek to expand their audiences—as well as the audience for classical music in general—by taking up residence in states beyond their own. The Cleveland Orchestra’s home away from home since 2007 has been Miami, while the Washington, D.C.-based National Symphony Orchestra has had a popular stateby-state American Residencies program for eighteen years. The American Residencies project takes the NSO to states that don’t have a Group 1 ensemble, according to League of American Orchestras classifications by budget size, or much visiting classical music. The program started with the most remote state: Alaska in 1992, with then-music director Mstislav Rostropovich and musicians taking “puddle jumpers” to Alaskan villages. Since then, the project has brought the orchestra to 20 states for week-long residencies that allow the musicians to do a complete range of concerts, children’s events, chamber-music performances, and masterclasses. There are extensive follow-up programs, to boot. According to Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner for West Virginia’s Division of Culture and History, nearly 11,000 experienced the NSO during its 2010 residency there; the events also raised more than $100,000 for state arts organizations. In 2011, the residency will be in Kentucky.
“One night, a hall is reverberant. The next, a different hall might be dry and dead. The players have to be used to reacting,” says Vermont Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jaime Laredo.
For the Cleveland Orchestra, its annual Miami residency is a way for the group to reach more listeners outside of its rustbelt home. The orchestra spends three weeks every January through April in South Florida, performing a three-program, sixconcert series at the 2,200seat Knight Concert Hall in the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of MiamiDade County, plus a family concert, masterclasses, and other educational offerings. (The Miami Symphony, a Group 6 orchestra founded in 1989, performs in multiple venues in the greater Miami area, under Music Director Eduardo Marturet.) Yet a big orchestra having a home away from home is different from a mid-sized ensemble choosing to be at home on the road, as with orchestras in North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, Vermont, and Iowa. It’s a special challenge and a special opportunity, from the big things to the little. The North Carolina Symphony’s
Some U.S. orchestras maximize audiences by playing in multiple communities, taking music to the people. americanorchestras.org
The Trapp Family Lodge Concert Meadow in Stowe is one of several venues where the Vermont Symphony Orchestra performs.
Courtesy Vermont Symphony Orchestra
At Home on the Road
Anderson has a smile in his voice when he talks about “esprit de corps” on the bus and “floating poker and backgammon tourneys.” Jonathan Spitz, principal cellist of the New Jersey Symphony, echoes him, saying: “Getting on a bus may not be what you want to do all the time, but social opportunities definitely arise that wouldn’t happen if you just showed up for the concert and left afterward. We have a camaraderie that other orchestras might not have.”
The North Carolina Symphony has long been a leader in statewide service among American orchestras. The group—which has a $12.5 million annual budget and 68 full-time players—plays 180 events a season. The orchestra ranges from its base of Meymandi Hall in Raleigh to perform subscription-series concerts in Chapel Hill, Southern Pines, New Bern, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Cary, not to mention fullorchestra concerts in schools and special events across the state—a schedule including as many as 35 venues a season. North Carolina surpassed New Jersey in 2005 to become the 10th most populous state in the union (with about 9.4 million people now), but the southern state is nearly seven times the size in square miles. Part and parcel of its mission of taking music to a far-flung public is the North Carolina Symphony’s unusually close public-private partnership with its state government. The North Carolina Symphony is billed as the first U.S. orchestra to receive continuous state funding (in 1943), and the state currently invests $2.25 million annually in the group, still some of the largest state funding for any of the nation’s orchestras. “Our tradition is embedded in the values of this state,” says David Chambless Worters, president and CEO of the North Carolina Symphony from 1999 to 2010. (Worters recently left to head the Van Cliburn Foundation.) “The downturn in the economy has only underscored our mission to be a statewide resource; people realize that the North Carolina Symphony can’t just be for Raleigh. And it’s not only state support: our private donors invest in the orchestra precisely because of our music education programs and our commitment to statewide service.” The North Carolina Symphony began as a volunteer group in 1932, first performing
From Tobacco Road to the Research Triangle
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs in seven cities, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Reaching beyond the college town was part of the ensemble’s identity from the start; by the mid-’30s, the orchestra had already played in more than 50 communities across a state where most people lived on farms or in small towns. Children’s concerts and other educational events became a priority early on, too. Key to the development of the orchestra was building a vast statewide network of local chapters for selling tickets and raising money at the grassroots level—not to mention supplying boxed meals for the traveling musicians. “In the old days, we would go out for four days or a week at a time, traveling to towns on roads that weren’t always paved so well,” Bob Anderson, the double-bassist, recalls. “It would be bus, concert, hotel, bus, concert, hotel. We’ve played gymnasiums and churches in towns so small that they didn’t have a hotel big enough to accommodate all the musicians, even in our so-called ‘Little Symphony’ days of traveling with just 35 players. We play about 20 overnights a year now, down from about 60 in the ’80s. We don’t play the tiniest little towns anymore, because there are more regional auditoriums now at colleges around the state. But we still get around more than any other orchestra I know.
“Despite all the extra effort of our schedule, playing for a farmer or a kid who only gets a chance to hear an orchestra once a year is always special,” Anderson adds. “An audience like that might not be the most sophisticated one, but they’re really excited. In some sense, we’re a missionary group. I’m convinced that the way the North Carolina Symphony does things is good for the audience and the art form. Getting out and playing for people is never a bad thing for any musical group.” Having been dedicated to a statewide mission for more than three-quarters of a century means that “this orchestra has raised generations of North Carolinians on classical music,” Worters says. “Rarely did a day go by in this job that someone didn’t tell me a story about the day the orchestra came to town. So many people have said that hearing the orchestra in the flesh for the first time led to a lifelong love of classical music. For a person working in this profession, that’s an incredible inspiration.” Local Love, Logistical Headaches
Worters admits there is “a significant tension between artistic excellence and statewide service.” Acoustics and stage setups vary widely among halls on the road, so the repertoire and methods of performing it do, symphony
too; and musicians have to deal with these variables after the annoyances of traffic and the fatigue of travel. Then there are the production costs for buses, gear, trucking. Scheduling is a mammoth undertaking, too, with the job of artistic administrator a far more demanding role at the North Carolina Symphony and other statewide orchestras than for one-venue ensembles. A similarly sized operation to the North Carolina Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra plays to more than 150,000 people annually. The group performs concert series not only at its home hall in Newark (the acoustically and aesthetically lovely New Jersey Performing Arts Center, which seats 2,200 for NJSO concerts), but also in New Brunswick, Morristown, Princeton, Red Bank, Englewood and Trenton, with each subscription program being heard in at least three of these. The NJSO has its roots in the 1920s Montclair Orchestra, with that community ensemble soon stretching out to the Oranges and Maplewood; by 1937, the orchestra was calling itself the New Jersey Symphony to denote its greater reach. In 1965, the now-professional NJSO established a home base in Newark, radiating out to roughly a dozen communities across the state and playing high-school auditoriums in some of them. Eventually dropping such cities as Atlantic City and Hackensack from its schedule, the NJSO settled into a circuit concentrating on the state’s best halls and biggest audiences. New Jersey is the country’s most densely populated state, and one with an enduring history of community orchestras, choirs, and opera companies. Moreover, New Jersey sits between New York City and Philadelphia—and their renowned orchestras and attractions. So there is a lot of competition for music lovers in the Garden State, as well as a lot of traffic. A New Jersey orchestra with the ambition to play 61 concerts in a season (as the NJSO is doing in 2010-11) has to tour the state to do it. “New Jersey is a very diverse state, with each of our communities having their own identity and a lot of local pride,” says André Gremillet, president and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony since 2007. “People in Morristown or Red Bank really love the fact that the New Jersey Symphony comes to their town. And it’s definitely worth it americanorchestras.org
for us, even with the tricky logistics and extra marketing costs involved in trying to reach audiences in different cities.” The NJSO’s schedule is a yearly puzzle, with its planners having to work around each venue’s non-NJSO lineups (including such local ensembles as the Princeton Symphony Orchestra)—as well as to accommodate the calendars of star soloists and guest conductors. Even the musicians can get confused. Jonathan Spitz, a member of the orchestra since 1984, recalls: “In my first year with the orchestra, I thought a concert was in Englewood only to drive there and find out it was in Red Bank. I scrambled through traffic, but missed the first piece.” To make things easier for concertgoers, the NJSO offers a flexible ticket policy so they can exchange tickets for different nights at different venues. Gremillet also studied ticket-sales patterns at the orchestra’s various venues, aiming to fine-tune the offerings to each community. This included a “best of ” series—shorter concerts featuring excerpts of popular works by the most famous composers, often at an earlier time on weekday evenings to appeal to seniors and working couples. It increased audiences in Red Bank and Englewood, but it didn’t help in the state capital, Trenton, a bleak, crime-troubled urban area with a steadily declining classical audience. Admitting some defeat, the NJSO cut back its performances there from six per season to four. Neeme Järvi, the NJSO’s music director from 2005 to 2009, believed in the statewide mission and was vocal about enjoying all the different audiences in the state where he and his family lived in the ’70s just after he emigrated from Estonia. But while he adored performing at NJPAC (just across the Hudson River from his Manhattan apartment) and eventually performed at each of the orchestra’s venues, the veteran conductor was less than thrilled about the statewide travel or the varying stage setups and amenities for musicians. The orchestra’s new music director, Quebec native Jacques Lacombe, took up residence in Newark and is fully on board with the NJSO’s far-flung purview; he will be performing in each of the orchestra’s venues during his first season, even leading some “best of ” concerts. For JoAnn Falletta, the ever-upbeat music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 1991, there are always far
“People in Morristown or Red Bank really love the fact that the New Jersey Symphony comes to their town,” says NJSO President and CEO André Gremillet. “It’s definitely worth it for us, even with the tricky logistics and extra marketing costs involved.”
more pros than cons to wider state service. “The practical downside is that between rehearsals and concerts the musicians are driving all the time—and a lot of cities in southeast Virginia are separated by water,” she explains. “That’s what makes the area beautiful, but it also means that there are bridges and tunnels that add to the traffic and travel time. We all grumble when we’re tired or stressed. But management tries to take care of our musicians, making sure that refreshments are there for them when they arrive and parking is available.” The Virginia Symphony came together as a professional orchestra in the late ’70s from an amalgamation of community orchestras in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Newport News, all in the state’s Hampton Roads region. But the orchestra kept playing in each of these towns (as well as in Williamsburg and reaching up to Richmond and Fairfax), so local listeners never stopped thinking of the ensemble as “their” orchestra. More than ever, this leads to the upside to all the orchestra’s travel, Falletta says: “Now, we have multiple homes in different communities, and the audiences understand what we have to do to get there. If we get stuck in the tunnel up to Newport News and the concert starts a couple of minutes late, the audience is patient. It’s nice to feel valued and loved.” From its founding in 1934, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra has always aimed to help knit together a very rural state with a sparse population (the second-least populated after Wyoming). Alan Jordan, the orchestra’s executive director, explains: “In a state like ours, there are geographical and topographical limitations, with mountains, bodies of water, only two Interstates that don’t even serve all four corners of the state—and then there is the winter weather here. Everyone can’t just come to Burlington to see us play. So we go to more than 20
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communities across the state, performing for 60,000 people every year—which is 10 percent of Vermont’s population.” The Vermont Symphony plays halls as small as the 290-seat Vergennes Opera House (built in 1897), about 20 miles south of Burlington, as well as venues that are more like community meeting rooms that sit atop libraries and police stations. When a chamber-sized version of the orchestra goes on its annual tour of historic venues in small towns, musicians usually stay in patrons’ homes, which “promotes a feeling of family between the artists and the audience,” Jordan says. “That’s something you would never have just playing in one venue in the state’s biggest city.” Acoustical Adventures
Life for an orchestra on the road is “an acoustical adventure,” says Jaime Laredo, music director of the Vermont Symphony (who also maintains a distinguished career as a solo violinist and violist). “One night, a hall is reverberant; the next, a different hall might be dry and dead. When a hall is dead, I ask chords to be held longer, the strings to play with longer bow strokes. When it’s reverberant, I ask the opposite. The players have to be used to reacting. But then our players are real troupers about everything—they have to be.” Playing in one venue would make life easier for the NJSO’s musicians, says Spitz, “but it wouldn’t necessarily make it better. For one thing, playing all the different venues with the different acoustics demands such flexibility and spontaneity from the orchestra that the NJSO has become a very versatile group over the years.” To underscore the NJSO’s versatility, Gremillet points to a series of concerts in 2009. “The differences between Olli Mustonen playing and conducting a Mozart piano concerto with the orchestra in NJPAC in Newark versus in the 800-seat Richardson Auditorium in Princeton were exciting. The NJPAC interpretations were grander; the Richardson ones were more like chamber music. The NJSO was able to make the most of the music in each hall.” For the Virginia Symphony, the acoustical challenges mean that they have to strive for a chamber-music ideal—and that’s a good thing, Falletta says: “The acoustics are so different when we’re playing one concert in a college auditorium in Virginia Beach
and another in a church in Williamsburg. Different lines project, and you hear different balances; so we have to listen to each other constantly and adjust the sound. It keeps the orchestra listening like a string quartet, and all those different sounds we hear also help keep the concerts fresh.” Making a Virtue of Necessity
Robert Massey, executive director of Orchestra Iowa, arrived on the job ten days before the eastern Iowa flood of June 2008. He didn’t even know where the electrical panel was when emergency responders told him to cut the power to the Paramount Theatre, the orchestra’s home. That building was ruined by the calamity, along with the group’s administrative office and hundreds of other structures in Cedar Rapids. But the disaster seems to have been a blessing in disguise for the group, founded in 1921 and one of the oldest orchestras in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. According to Massey, with audiences declining in Cedar Rapids, the orchestra had already realized that it needed to broaden its focus. The orchestra had begun developing a long-term plan for this, but he says “the flood really pushed us forward,” including a name change from the Cedar Rapids Symphony to Orchestra Iowa. Because the city-owned Paramount Theatre, a 1920s vaudeville house, wasn’t going to be ready to re-inhabit until 2012, Orchestra Iowa was forced to branch out not only to Sinclair Auditorium at Coe College in Cedar Rapids but to multiple venues in Iowa City, 20 miles away, and other nearby communities. The orchestra didn’t cancel a single performance because of the flood, but it wasn’t easy. “It was a logistical burden on everyone, taking the players out of their comfort zones,” Massey says. “Musicians used to know where they were going to park before a concert, but now virtually every rehearsal and performance is in a different location—twelve of them here in eastern Iowa. We lost a lot of subscription patrons, due to some not wanting to follow us to Sinclair, a less attractive space that’s further away from the downtown restaurants. We couldn’t accommodate all our listeners at Sinclair anyway, which seats about 1,000 whereas the Paramount seated 1,900. We had to expand our number of performances and our geographical footprint quickly.” symphony
Orchestra Iowa began performing at the Englert Theatre and West High School in Iowa City, and a woodwind quintet from the orchestra started playing preschool concerts at town libraries in the area, along with string and brass ensembles. Iowa ranks 46th in state arts funding, so Orchestra Iowa—which operates on a $2.5 million annual budget, with 82 players on per-service contracts—couldn’t look to much aid there. But the orchestra doubled its schedule to about 170 events a year. Production expenses went up accordingly, though it helped that the college and high-school venues waived rental fees. “Our service numbers have gone up 69 percent since the flood, to more than 50,000 listeners a year,” Massey says. “We doubled our audience in Iowa City in just a year, and the concerts pay for themselves now. The orchestra is more diversified, and we’re more financially stable than we were before the flood. We’re not generating surpluses, but we’re not running the same deficits, either. The annual deficits were near 5 percent expenses over income; they were down to 3 percent last season and are projected at 2 percent this season.” With Orchestra Iowa eventually returning to a new, improved home, all the change will have proved more than worth it, Massey believes: “The Paramount will be a lot better technically and acoustically after the restoration. We’ll even be expanding with a building next door for education and administration. But all the dislocation spurred us to change our status quo in many ways. We were able to get rid of a lot of bad habits very quickly, like an incredibly inefficient rehearsal schedule. Necessity can breed opportunity. We’re an orchestra that brings more music to more people than ever.” BRADLEY BAMBARGER, a longtime music critic for The Star-Ledger newspaper of New Jersey, has also written for publications from Billboard and Relix to Gramophone and Listen. He lives in New York City.
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A drawing of a Boston Pops performance, circa 1900, captures the audience fashions of the time.
Violinist Nigel Kennedy is known for his distinctive sartorial style.
Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives
The gently non-traditional clothing worn by Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the early 1970s hinted at social and sartorial changes.
What to Wear, The look of orchestra concerts—onstage and among audiences—is changing. As orchestras rewrite dress codes, where are we headed?
The letter arrived without a postage stamp or return address. In red outline at the top center were the initials ER with a small Roman numeral II and the image of a crown. The gold-bordered card inside, embossed with the badge of the Prince of Wales, invited me to Buckingham Palace for a concert featuring the Philharmonia Orchestra led by my husband, conductor Hugh Wolff, and featuring violinist Joshua Bell, followed by dinner. A separate sheet indicated that the dress would be black tie.
When you mention to anyone that you’re going to Buckingham Palace, the first thing asked is what you’re going to wear. Dress was a fraught matter for the musicians, too. Although the invitation indicated black tie, the Philharmonia decided to go white tie— the reason being that when the dress code changes from the standard white to black tie, someone always forgets, and people have to scurry around to find black tie. The Palace was bathed in the bright light of early evening when I arrived, the gold
tips of the gate glimmering like jeweled scepters. As I approached the wide marble steps of the Grand Entrance, limos disgorged guests trailing swaths of chiffon and gauze and white ermine and beaded silk. At the performance, Wolff wore a collarless white shirt and tails. Bell appeared in his usual concert outfit: black pants and black open-collar shirt with shirttails out. No one gasped or fainted. The monarchy failed to collapse. People swooned over the enchanting sounds of Tchaikovsky and symphony
Jeff Roffman Photography
In trendy attire, members of eighth blackbird take a bow after a performance of On a Wire by composer Jennifer Higdon (in pantsuit) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the League of American Orchestrasâ€™ 2010 National Conference.
What to Wear
by Judith Kogan
During part of the 1970s, members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, shown here with thenMusic Director Dennis Russell Davies, wore blue crushed velour with ruffled shirts.
White and Black Tie
A consideration of the history of dress at orchestra concerts seems a logical place to start. For the last couple of centuries, there has been a general consensus that orchestra musicians, comprising an artistic entity that transcends its parts, should dress alike. Orchestras arose in the Baroque era with royal and aristocratic patronage. The allmale orchestra musicians were employees of the court and demonstrated the magnificence of the court with their dress. Musicloving princes competed with one another to maintain the biggest, best-dressed, and best-sounding orchestras. Haydn’s contract with the Esterhazy court stipulated that he and his musicians were to appear in uniform: gray with silver or gold trim, white stockings, white linens, and with hair either in a long braid or under a wig with tied curls. The musicians of Napoleon’s court wore green, red, and yellow; their uniform was completed with powdered hair and a sword. The clothing of the court audiences was similar, but a cut above: opulent, lay-
the goal of uniformity. Updated dress codes, steering women toward homogeneity, narrowed their choice of fabrics, sleeve and hem lengths, hosiery, shoes, jewelry, and even cleavage visibility. The pros of formal dress: it looks professional and creates a sense of occasion. The cons: it’s anachronistic, and can be intimidating, alienating, and uncomfortable to perform in. Orchestra musicians come out on both sides of the debate. New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Ravel. And at the end of the evening of intoxicating visual splendor, the image that lingered longest was of Bell in his relaxed concert attire. If it’s okay in the world’s most renowned bastion of tradition, maybe it’s time to rethink dress codes at the symphony, both onstage and in the audience. The debate about what to wear at a symphony orchestra concert is decades old. But in our increasingly visual world, where young people—whom orchestras are avid to attract—find formal dress off-putting; where less formal entertainment options have exploded; and where the very future of orchestras is in question, a reconsideration of orchestra “dress code” seems necessary. What do current dress codes—on both sides of the footlights—say about where we are and where we’re likely headed? What are dress codes for, anyway? They provide a sense of occasion, and are social guideposts whose absence can lead to frustration and confusion. But the codes that fortify and comfort some repel others. If we redesign the “look” of an orchestra concert, how can we make it appeal to the large and diverse audience we want to attract? And how do we make that change without alienating the core audience?
Joshua Bell wore his usual concert outfit— open-collar dark shirt and dark pants—for the opening concert of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 201011 season; the musicians wore formal concert dress.
Tremors from the social and political upheaval in the 1960s and ’70s permeated even the hidebound world of the symphony ered, and enhanced by ruffles, buckles, and orchestra. Conductors like Seiji Ozawa other ornaments. Often the latest fashions (white turtleneck under traditional black were on display. tailcoat) and André Previn (black vest over Orchestras eventually moved out of white shirt) set themselves sartorially apart courts and into concert halls. Cut off from from the rank-and-file, ushering in a trend aristocratic largesse, the musicians had to that now almost seems the norm. Some put together a living, often performing with male concerto soloists, who had dressed like more than one orchestra. In the late 1700s, orchestra players, veered in new directions. men’s fashion shifted from bright colors Think Nigel Kennedy (distressed punk) and to dark. Outer garments became plainer, Ivo Pogorelich (leather pants). The dress of without ornamentation, surface design, or female soloists evolved from gowns of Myra decorative textures. The musician’s uniform Hess (plain black) to Jacqueline DuPré of a plain black tailcoat looked like those (colorful) to the flash and flesh typically commonly worn by middle-class men and bared by today’s soloing women. Anne-Soenabled them to blend into any ensemble. phie Mutter prefers strapless gowns. Sarah For wealthy men of the Victorian era, Chang says she dresses to reflect the repwhen dress codes were rigid, white tie and ertoire: whereas the Brahms concerto gets tails became the formal dress The pros a substantial, robust dress, the standard. For men of a certain dress for a Carmen Fantasy conof formal cert can be what Chang terms social station, this attire—a dress: it looks “red and hot and fun.” starched white shirt, with attached collar and bow tie and If conductors and soloists can professional tailcoat—was worn in the eveflout tradition, why not an enand creates tire ensemble? Even accepting ning, even at home. a sense of the need for a uniform, why forOver time, the democratization of fashion weakened conoccasion. mal black and white? In his first ventional distinctions between season as music director of the The cons: it’s New York Philharmonic (1958social classes. And so it was anachronistic 59), Leonard Bernstein opted that orchestra musicians began to dress like their male patrons. and can be for less formal attire for the caWhen female musicians began sual “Preview Concerts,” where to infiltrate the orchestras, they uncomfortable. the conductor would address Musicians the audience before or between wore black dresses that blended in. But as the number of come out on works, and occasionally address women in orchestras swelled, the orchestra. The custom-made both sides of uniform for orchestra members the diversity of dresses and acthe debate. consisted of a Nehru-type jacket coutrements butted up against symphony
The Other Side of the Footlights
From the birth of the orchestra until the mid-20th century, concerts were court or society events, where decorum and the display of fashion were as central as the music americanorchestras.org
most live musical events. Rock, rap, gospel, performed. In a letter written in 1829, afand country western shows all have unwritter hearing Verdi’s Otello in London, Felix ten dress codes. Although one dresses for a Mendelssohn referred to “six tiers of boxes rock concert mindful of a mosh pit or exit with crimson curtains, out of which peep the stampede, blending in is the primary goal. ladies, bedecked with great white feathers, Each genre calls for sartorial nuances that chains, jewels of all kinds.” In 1910, decowould look outlandish at another. A cowboy rative hats worn by patrons of the Boston hat at a country western show or low-slung Symphony Orchestra—in violation of a city loose jeans at a rap concert might elicit nods ordinance that hats be removed “in places of of approval. Wear each into the other arena public amusement”—caused such a stir that and you’re liable to be mocked. the mayor threatened Symphony Hall with Orchestra websites help the uninitirevocation of a license if it didn’t enforce the ated or insecure with advice ranging from law. In the 1950s, the Boston Symphony relatively conservative (Boston Symphony went so far as to issue skirts to those who Orchestra, New York Philharmonic) to sat on the lawn at Tanglewood in less decorelatively liberal (Philadelphia Orchestra, rous attire. In the first half of the twentieth Los Angeles Philharmonic). The New York century, it was unthinkable for an audience Philharmonic’s website states that “most member sitting in a box or the orchestra people consider a concert by the New York to wear anything less formal than “evening Philharmonic to be a special event, and tend dress,” but as the century progressed, eveto dress for the occasion.” The Los Angeles ning dress evolved from formal to semi-forPhilharmonic’s site takes a more laid-back mal (1930s) to dark suits for men and street approach: “Never let your wardrobe keep dress or suits for women (1950s) to any suits, you from a concert. Your experience of the a sport jacket and tie (1960s) to leisure suits music is what’s important, so wear what(!) and turtleneck sweaters (1970s). The culever makes you feel comfortable.” The Fort tural shift applied in all public spheres, inWorth Symphony Orchestra indicates that cluding baseball games, town meetings, and the average attire is business or church-style religious ceremonies, where a suit or coat and tie for men had been de For its Rug Concerts in the 1970s, the New York Philharmonic encouraged casual dress for audience members. rigueur. A question, looking at the stage: Why do orchestras continue to wear 19th-century formal attire when audience members no longer do? Mary Davis, author of Classic Chic (University of California Press, 2006), a study of the connection between music and fashion in early-20thcentury France, surmises that orchestra dress has remained fixed because neither the core repertory nor feelings about the relationship of the audience to the orchestra have changed much. “It fulfills expectations about the music and its place in the culture,” Davis says. “The position of the musicians is elevated by the severity and formality of their dress.” A question, scanning a symphony orchestra audience: Are any dress protocols left? Dress protocols exist for
New York Philharmonic Archives
that one player likened to a hotel bellhop’s. Worn until January of that season, the uniform was never again seen onstage. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, promoted as a hip, young ensemble, opted for blue crushed velour with ruffled shirts when Dennis Russell Davies was music director (1972-80). The women of the BBC Philharmonic wore dark green dresses from 1997 to 2001. But none of these departures was destined to go the distance; all of the above orchestras returned to formal evening wear. Most major American orchestras now have “alternative” dress codes for daytime and “casual” concerts, but they are, for the most part, semi-formal. The San Francisco Symphony wears dressy all-black (jackets not required) for pops, theater, and film presentations. The Cleveland Orchestra’s Fridays @ 7 and Minnesota Orchestra’s Inside the Classics series achieve a more relaxed uniformity with black top/black pants (jeans permitted). The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Casual Classics rejects a uniform entirely: musicians wear whatever they want (no rips, please). But for most orchestras most of the time, it’s still formal black and white. Formal attire was once the standard for all professional classical musicians but most of them, other than symphony orchestras, have moved on. Many early-music and most contemporary ensembles have adopted an entirely different look. The London Mozart Players do conventional tails for the men, but red dresses/skirts/trousers for the women. The Academy of Ancient Music and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment do all-black. The Mozart Festival Orchestra, another U.K. organization, performs eighteenth-century classics in full period costume—wigs included—in an evocative candlelight-style setting. At Boston’s venerable Handel and Haydn Society—the oldest orchestra in the U.S., dating from 1815—the new dress code for women encourages color accents (restricted to maroon/purple/blue) on blouses or scarves. Contemporary ensembles seem to wear mostly black. New York City’s Bang on a Can All-Stars dress like rock stars: t-shirts, untucked button-downs, jeans, whatever.
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Advertiser There are patrons who wouldn’t dream of clothing—presumably not intended for attending an orchestra concert in anything those who wear jeans or sweats to church. less than formal attire, but many come in In truth, there no longer is an audience business clothes and many students come in dress code at orchestra concerts. The perjeans or whatever they happen to be wearformers dress formally; the audience, howing that day. ever it wants. There is a growing movement to make While some see formal attire as elegant the classical concert less traditional. New and respectful, others find it antiquated and Yorker music critic Alex Ross, an advocate elitist. Patrons can get sniffy not only about for breaking down the invisible wall between what’s worn onstage—some write disapperformer and audience, has proving letters when musicians suggested—beyond abandress less than formally—but also Why do doning what he perceives as about what other audience mem- orchestras outdated concert dress—loosbers wear. They might find a suitening restrictions on applause able spokesman in Clinton Kelly, continue during multi-movement co-host of the television show What to wear works, more speaking from Not to Wear, who writes in Freakin’ formal attire the stage, and not dimming Fabulous (Simon & Schuster, 2008) about the importance of etiquette in when audience the house lights. In This Is Your Brain on Music (2006), theater, opera, and ballet. Among members no the neuroscientist Daniel his cardinal rules of basic courtesy: longer do? Levitin writes that decorous “Wear something nice. Your fellow concert protocol runs counter to our evolutheatergoers are paying for the entire expetionary history: for thousand of years, man, rience, which includes being surrounded by excited by music, clapped, hollered and fabulous people.” danced—whether he was performing music But there’s no turning the clock back. or listening to it. Levitin has called for conAppropriate concert dress, a topic covered cert halls in which audiences can move in for over a century, disappeared from etiresponse to the music, the way children do quette books over a decade ago. before it is “civilized” out of them. Onstage, it’s hard to know where we’re Elements of Style headed. It’s liberating to hear a top-notch People go to orchestra concerts for a variety orchestra rehearse in street clothes, but we’re of reasons. Some enjoy them as prelude to probably not ready for that seismic shift. dinner at a restaurant. Some go to experiWe could build on the notion of concerts ence the hall, some because they’re curious with different degrees of formality, inviting about the music, some because they know people to attend where they’re most comand adore it—but most come to hear orfortable. Or we could trade in 19th-century chestra music live. The orchestra means attire for a newly designed uniform that is different things to different people. John black, elegant, comfortable, and timeless. Spitzer and Neal Zaslaw, authors of The Any of these could breathe fresh life into Birth of the Orchestra (Oxford University the orchestra concert experience. More Press, 2004), point out that over time, the young people might give it a chance. Even orchestra has been likened to a heavenly Buckingham Palace might embrace it. body, a machine, the human body, an army with its general, a place of order and discipline, and a model of participation and Judith Kogan is a harpist and journalist social solidarity, with people working sidewho writes frequently about the performing arts, by-side toward a common goal. “In the with a focus on classical music. twenty-first century,” they write, “the orGot an opinion? Join the discussion! chestra can and should mean many things. It can mean culture and absolutism, but also Do you think orchestral musicians the rise of the middle class. It can mean should wear traditional clothing? Have musical innovation and invention, or it can you seen changes in audience attire in mean the conservation of cultural heritage.” the past ten or twenty years? Davis thinks that the diversity of dress Click on the Discussions tab below in audiences suggests that the music has a to comment. broader appeal than is generally recognized.
ASCAP................................................... 6 Astral Artists......................................... 36 Azusa Pacific University School of Music................................. 49 BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.).................. 5 Boston Symphony Orchestra................ 19 Boston University................................ 123 Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra............. 4 Charlie Chaplin....................................... 2 CHL Artists, Inc. ................................. 73 Classical Action..................................... 44 Classical Kids Live!............................. 114 Colorado College Summer Music Festival..................... 60 Concert Artists Guild........................... 37 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis....................................... 21 Dan Kamin Comedy Concertos............ 27 Ed Keane Associates............................. 13 Ronnie Kole Productions...................... 20 League of American Orchestras.28, 29, 44, 51, 53, 54-55, 61, 62-63, 72 National Arts Centre Orchestra............ 50 OnStage Publications............................ 68 Orchestra of St. Luke’s.......................... 60 The Packard Humanities Institute........ 14 Robinson Marketing for Orchestras...... 15 Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra....... 45 Schiedmayer Celesta GmbH................. 28 Schott Music Corporation/ European American Music Distributors, LLC.... 52 Sciolino Artist Management, LLC....... 35 Stephenson Music, Inc.......................... 11 Symphony Services International.......... 25 John Tesh (via Hyperion Productions).....c2 Yoichi Udagawa, conductor................... 19 Elisabeth Von Trapp.............................. 61 Warner Shelter Systems Ltd................. 12 White Pine Music . .............................. 50 Word Pros, Inc...................................... 51 Yamaha Corporation of America............ 1 Young Concert Artists, Inc.................... 42
LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS Annual support from individuals, corporations, and foundations helps to sustain the League of American Orchestras and its programs and services. The League of American Orchestras gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the following donors who contributed gifts of $600 and above as of November 12, 2010. To learn more about supporting the League, please call (212) 262-5161 or write us at Annual Fund, League of American Orchestras, 33 West 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023. NATIONAL LEADERSHIP $150,000 and above
Julie F. & Peter D. Cummings, Palm Beach Gardens, FL § The Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI § Ford Motor Company Fund, Dearborn, MI Jan & Daniel R. Lewis, Coral Gables, FL § The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY § MetLife Foundation, New York, NY National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC The Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation, New York, NY
$50,000 – $149,999
American Express Foundation, New York, NY Argosy Foundation, Milwaukee, WI § Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, GA ‡ Dr. & Mrs. Malcolm Brown, Winston-Salem, NC § Mr. Richard W. Colburn, Northbrook, IL John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, Atherton, CA § The Hearst Foundation, Inc., New York, NY Shirley Bush Helzberg, Kansas City, MO § Mrs. Martha R. Ingram, Nashville, TN § John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami, FL Cynthia M. Sargent, Northbrook, IL §
NATIONAL COUNCIL $25,000 – $49,999
Richard & Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN § Bruce & Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Chicago, IL § The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York, NY Henry & Frances Fogel, Chicago, IL *†§ The Phoebe W. Haas Charitable Trust A as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno, Philadelphia, PA § The Irving Harris Foundation, Chicago, IL
$10,000 – $24,999
Nancy & Ellsworth Alvord, Jr., M.D.^, Seattle, WA § Trish Bryan, Cincinnati, OH †§ John & Janet Canning, Westport, CT §
Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ § John Gidwitz, New York, NY *†§ Ellen & Paul Gignilliat, Chicago, IL § The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Warren, NJ Mark Jung, Menlo Park, CA § Catherine & John Koten, Barrington Hills, IL †§ Shirley D. McCrary, Mooresville, AL § Catherine & Peter Moye, Spokane, WA § Lowell & Sonja Noteboom, Minnetonka, MN § Cathy & Bill Osborn, Chicago, IL § John & Farah Palmer, Cincinnati, OH § Patricia A. Richards, Salt Lake City, UT § Mr. David Rockefeller, New York, NY Drs. John & Helen Schaefer, Tucson, AZ †§ Connie Steensma & Rick Prins, New York, NY †§ Ms. Ginger B. Warner, Cincinnati, OH § The Simon Yates & Kevin Roon Foundation, New York, NY †§ Anonymous (1) §
$5,000 – $9,999
Artsmarketing Services Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada Arup, New York, NY BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), New York, NY Mr. & Mrs. William G. Brown, Hobe Sound, FL Nicky B. Carpenter, Wayzata, MN †§ CCS, New York, NY Classical Movements, Inc., Alexandria, VA Corporation for International Business, Barrington, IL DCM, Inc. – Consulting and Teleservices for the Arts, Brooklyn, NY Patricia C. Dunn, Orinda, CA § Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, San Francisco, CA Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York, NY Mr. Cannon Y. Harvey, Denver, CO Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation, Saint Paul, MN § Camille & Dennis LaBarre, Cleveland, OH § Lee Lamont, Longmont, CO *† The Lerner Foundation, Highland Heights, OH § Peter B. Lewis, Coconut Grove, FL § W. Curtis Livingston, Nantucket, MA † Jim & Kay Mabie, Northfield, IL § Lee R. Marks & Lisl Zach, Philadelphia, PA §
The League of American Orchestras extends special gratitude to members of the American Orchestra Foundation who generously support the League with annual gifts of $50,000 or more. Foundation members share an extraordinary commitment to symphony orchestras and the music they perform.
Argosy Foundation, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. & Mrs. Malcolm Brown, Winston-Salem, NC Mr. Richard W. Colburn, Northbrook, IL
Julie F. & Peter D. Cummings, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
The Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, Atherton, CA Shirley Bush Helzberg, Kansas City, MO Mrs. Martha R. Ingram, Nashville, TN
Jan & Daniel R. Lewis, Coral Gables, FL Cynthia M. Sargent, Northbrook, IL
New York State Council on the Arts, New York, NY James B. & Ann V. Nicholson, Detroit, MI § Charles & Barbara Olton, New York, NY †§ Palomino Entertainment Group, Williamsburg, VA Mary Carr Patton, Orange Park, FL Peter Pastreich, San Francisco, CA *†§ SD&A Teleservices, Inc., Los Angeles, CA Charlotte Shultz, San Francisco, CA § TALASKE | sound thinking, Oak Park, IL Penelope Van Horn, Chicago, IL †§ Mr. & Mrs. Albert K. Webster, New York, NY *§ Adair & Dick White, Atlanta, GA §
NATIONAL FRIENDS OF THE LEAGUE Benefactor ($2,500 – $4,999)
ASCAP, New York, NY Ms. Marin Alsop, Baltimore, MD Bennett Direct, Milwaukee, WI Richard J. Bogomolny, Gates Mills, OH § Mr. David Bohnett, Beverly Hills, CA Dr. Roland M. Carter, Chattanooga, TN Bruce Coppock, Mendota Heights, MN § Fisher Dachs Associates – Theater Planning and Design, New York, NY Emma E. Dunch & Elizabeth W. Scott, New York, NY ·§ Mrs. Charles Fleischmann, Cincinnati, OH † Mr. James M. Franklin, Inverness, IL § Jeanne & Gary Herberger, Paradise Valley, AZ § A.J. Huss, Jr., Saint Paul, MN § IMS, Madison, WI James D. Ireland III, Cleveland, OH § Loretta Julian, Oak Brook, IL § Joseph H. Kluger, Gladwyne, PA § Judy & Scott McCue, Evanston, IL +§ Terje Mikkelsen.com, Oslo, Norway Patron Technology, New York, NY Mr. Seymour Rosen, Valhalla, NY † Deborah F. Rutter, Chicago, IL †§ Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Stegman, Cincinnati, OH § Rae Wade Trimmier, Birmingham, AL § James Undercofler, Philadelphia, PA § Alan D. & Connie Linsler Valentine, Nashville, TN § Anonymous (3)
Sustainer ($1,000 – $2,499)
Douglas W. Adams, Dallas, TX § Alberta Arthurs, New York, NY § Brent & Jan Assink, San Francisco, CA § Audrey G. Baird, Milwaukee, WI *§ Frances & Stephen Belcher, Severn, MD · William P. Blair, III, Canton, OH *†§ Elaine Amacker Bridges, San Angelo, TX Fred & Liz Bronstein, St. Louis, MO ·§ Thomas Brown, Hopkins, MN § Wayne S. Brown & Brenda E. Kee, Washington, DC *•†§ Michelle Miller Burns & Gary W. Burns, Chicago, IL ·§ Cabot Creamery Cooperative, South Duxbury, VT Catherine M. Cahill, Philadelphia, PA ·§ Morton D. Cahn, Jr., Dallas, TX The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Chicago, IL NancyBell Coe, Santa Barbara, CA Colbert Artists Management Inc., New York, NY Robert Conrad, Cleveland, OH § The Cooking Group, Dallas, TX Martha & Herman Copen Fund, New Haven, CT Gloria dePasquale, Narberth, PA § John Farrer, Bakersfield, CA Scott Faulkner & Andrea Lenz, Reno, NV § Aaron A. Flagg & Cristina Stanescu Flagg, New York, NY § Michele & John Forsyte, Santa Ana, CA ·§ Mr. & Mrs. F. Tom Foster, Jr., Brentwood, TN § Catherine French, Washington, DC *•†§ Edward B. Gill, San Diego, CA §
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. Clive Gillinson, New York, NY †§ Joseph B. Glossberg & Madeleine Condit Glossberg, Chicago, IL § Ms. Marian A. Godfrey, Philadelphia, PA § Michael S. Gordon, Newport Beach, CA Gary Hanson & Barbara Klante, Cleveland, OH § Mark & Christina Hanson, Milwaukee, WI ·§ Daniel & Barbara Hart, Buffalo, NY ·§ Jennifer Higdon & Cheryl Lawson, Philadelphia, PA § Dr. & Mrs. Claire Fox Hillard, Albany, GA Mr. Michael J. Horvitz, Cleveland, OH § Jerome & Beverly Jennings, Winston-Salem, NC Mr. Russell Jones, New York, NY § The Jurenko Foundation, Huntsville, AL Ms. Polly Kahn, New York, NY § The Joseph & Nancy F. Keithley Foundation, Shaker Heights, OH § Erwin A. Kelen, Minneapolis, MN § Mr. & Mrs. Norman V. Kinsey, Shreveport, LA Larry & Rogene Kirkegaard, Chicago, IL Judith Kurnick, Penn Valley, PA § Mr. & Mrs. Wilfred J. Larson, Naples, FL † Christopher & Margo Light, Kalamazoo, MI *† Fred Levin & Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation, Mill Valley, CA § Robert & Emily Levine, Glendale, WI § Stephen Lisner, New York, NY Mr. & Mrs. Phillip N. Lyons, Newport Beach, CA § Alex Machaskee, Cleveland, OH § Annie & William Madonia, Cleveland, OH § Steve & Lou Mason, Dayton, OH †§ Paul Meecham, Baltimore, MD § Zarin Mehta, New York, NY § LaDonna Meinders, Oklahoma City, OK § Phyllis J. Mills, New York, NY § Beth E. Mooney, Cleveland, OH § Michael Morgan, Oakland, CA § Thomas W. Morris, Cleveland Heights, OH § Diane & Robert Moss, Key Biscayne, FL § James W. Palermo, Chicago, IL ·§ Graham Parker, New York, NY Anne H. Parsons, Detroit, MI ·§ Mrs. Alfred M. Rankin, Gates Mills, OH § Mr. & Mrs. Alfred M. Rankin, Jr., Waite Hill, OH § Peggy & Al Richardson, Erie, PA †§ Ms. Barbara S. Robinson, Cleveland, OH § Jesse Rosen, New York, NY § Robert & Barbara Rosoff, Glens Falls, NY § Mr. & Mrs. H.J. Rossmeisl, Jr., Birmingham, AL +§ Don Roth, Davis, CA *†§ Roger Saydack & Elaine Bernat, Eugene, OR † Schiedmayer Celesta GmbH, Wendlingen, Germany Sciolino Artist Management, LLC, New York, NY Fred & Gloria Sewell, Minneapolis, MN § Helen P. Shaffer, Houston, TX Mr. Richard P. Simmons, Sewickley, PA Joan H. Squires, Omaha, NE ·§ TRG Arts, Colorado Springs, CO The J. Stephen Turner Foundation, Nashville, TN Matthew VanBesien & Rosie Jowitt, Houston, TX ·§ Allison Vulgamore, Atlanta, GA ·§ Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO ·§ Dr. Charles H. Webb, Bloomington, IN § Franz Welser-Möst, Cleveland, OH § Stacey Weston, New York, NY § Neil Williams, Atlanta, GA † Anonymous (2) §
Patron ($600 – $999)
AT&T Foundation, New York, NY Lois H. Allen, Columbus, OH Sandra Sue Ashby, Jacksonville, FL Dr. Richard & Janet Barb, Indianapolis, IN Mr. Robert A. Birman, Prospect, KY David Bornemann, Scottsdale, AZ Mr. Frank Byrne, Kansas City, MO § Mr. Chuck Cagle, Franklin, TN Katherine Carleton, Toronto, ON, Canada § Judy Christl, Bonita Springs, FL § Ms. Katy Clark, New York, NY ·§
Margarita L. Contreni, Brookston, IN Mr. D. M. Edwards, Tyler, TX § Susan Feder & Todd Gordon, Irvington, NY Ryan Fleur & Laura Banchero, Memphis, TN †·§ Natalie Forbes, New Haven, CT Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Cincinnati, OH § Karen Gahl-Mills & Laurence Mills-Gahl, Syracuse, NY § The GE Foundation, Fairfield, CT Michael Gehret, Lawrenceville, NJ Mr. Kareem A. George, Detroit, MI ·§ Maryellen Gleason & Kim Ohlemeyer, Phoenix, AZ Kathie & Ken Goode, Cincinnati, OH § Richard Gray, Chicago, IL Mr. André Gremillet, Jersey City, NJ Howard Herring, Miami Beach, FL Mr. Robert E. Hoelscher, Cedar City, UT Lauri & Paul Hogle, Atlanta, GA § Patricia G. Howard, Cazenovia, NY + Holly H. Hudak, Chicago, IL § Mrs. H.T. Hyde, Tyler, TX Ms. Helena Jackson, Duluth, MN James M. Johnson, New York, NY § Wendy Kelman, Beverly Hills, CA JoAnne & Don Krause, Brookfield, WI Ann Koonsman, Fort Worth, TX Andrea Laguni, Los Angeles, CA Carolyn & Wayne Landsverk, Portland, OR David Loebel, Lebanon, NH Hampton Mallory, Glenshaw, PA † Fred & Lois Margolin, Denver, CO Terri McDowell, Lookout Mountain, TN Charlotte W. McNeel, Jackson, MS Evans Mirageas, Minnetrista, MN Steven & Donna Monder, Cincinnati, OH † Parker E. Monroe, Oakland, CA Heather Moore, Dallas, TX Gerald Morgan Jr., Midlothian, VA J.L. Nave, III & Paul Cook, Fort Wayne, IN ·§ Brenda Nienhouse, Spokane, WA ·§ Ms. Mary Ann & Dr. Thomas Okner, Sunfish Lake, MN Steven C. Parrish, Westport, CT Kristen Phillips & Matt Schreck, Hartford, CT Vicky & Rick Reynolds, Cincinnati, OH § Brian A. Ritter, Albany, NY William A. Ryberg, Hailey, ID Jo Ellen Saylor, Edina, MN § Mr. Louis Scaglione, Philadelphia, PA § Grace & Jim Seitz, Naples, FL + Ms. Rita Shapiro, Arlington, VA R. L. Sias, Oklahoma City, OK † Mr. Ari Solotoff, Portland, ME ·§ Barbara J. Soroca, Stamford, CT § Mr. John Stahr, Corona Del Mar, CA Mr. Gideon Toeplitz, Richmond, MA Melia & Michael Tourangeau, Salt Lake City, UT Jeff & Melissa Tsai, Pittsburgh, PA ·§ Dr. Jane Van Dyk, Billings, MT § Robert J. Wagner, Maplewood, NJ § Edward Walker, Oklahoma City, OK § Pamela J. Weaver, Greer, SC Linda Weisbruch, Charlotte, NC Melody Welsh-Buchholz, Crestwood, KY § Gary & Diane West, West Chester, OH Melinda Whiting & John Burrows, Riverton, NJ Paul Winberg & Bruce Czuchna, Eugene, OR Lisa M. Wong, M.D., Newton, MA Carol Sue Wooten, Fort Smith, AR † Rebecca & David Worters, Raleigh, NC § Edward C. Yim, New York, NY ·§ Paul Jan Zdunek, Pasadena, CA Anonymous (1) * Charter Member † Directors Council (former League Board) · Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni • Donald Thulean Fund for Artistic Excellence + Includes Corporate Matching Gift ‡ In-Kind Donation § Includes Campaign Gift ^ Deceased
W. Curtis Livingston, co-chair, Nantucket, MA Nina C. Masek, co-chair, Sonoita, AZ Janet F. & Dr. Richard E. Barb Family Foundation, Indianapolis, IN Wayne S. Brown & Brenda E. Kee, Washington, DC John & Janet Canning, Westport, CT Richard & Kay Fredericks Cisek, North Oaks, MN Martha and Herman Copen Fund, Mt. Carmel, CT Myra Janco Daniels, Naples, FL Samuel C. Dixon, Morrow, GA Henry & Frances Fogel, Chicago, IL Susan Harris, Ph.D., Ann Arbor, MI Steve & Lou Mason, Dayton, OH Shirley D. McCrary, Mooresville, AL Lowell & Sonja Noteboom, Minnetonka, MN Charles & Barbara Olton, New York, NY Peter Pastreich, San Francisco, CA Rodger E. Pitcairn, Rockville, MD Robert & Barbara Rosoff, Glens Falls, NY Robert J. Wagner, Maplewood, NJ Tina Ward, Saint Louis, MO Mr. & Mrs. Albert K. Webster, New York, NY Anonymous (1)
NATIONAL COUNCIL The League of American Orchestras is grateful to its National Council members for their generous support. Dr. & Mrs. Malcolm Brown, co-chair, Winston-Salem, NC Richard & Kay Fredericks Cisek, co-chair, North Oaks, MN Nancy & Ellsworth Alvord, Jr., M.D.^, Seattle, WA Mr. & Mrs. William G. Brown, Lake Forest, IL Trish Bryan, Cincinnati, OH John & Janet Canning, Westport, CT Nicky B. Carpenter, Wayzata, MN Melanie Clarke, Princeton, NJ Bruce & Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund, Chicago, IL Henry & Frances Fogel, Chicago, IL John Gidwitz, New York, NY Ellen & Paul Gignilliat, Chicago, IL The Phoebe W. Haas Charitable Trust A as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno, Philadelphia, PA The Irving Harris Foundation, Chicago, IL Mr. Cannon Y. Harvey, Denver, CO Mark Jung, Menlo Park, CA Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation, Saint Paul, MN Catherine & John Koten, Barrington Hills, IL Lee Lamont, Longmont, CO The Lerner Foundation, Highland Heights, OH Peter B. Lewis, Coconut Grove, FL W. Curtis Livingston, Nantucket, MA Jim & Kay Mabie, Northfield, IL Lee R. Marks & Lisl Zach, Philadelphia, PA Shirley D. McCrary, Mooresville, AL Catherine & Peter Moye, Spokane, WA James B. & Ann V. Nicholson, Detroit, MI Lowell & Sonja Noteboom, Minnetonka, MN Charles & Barbara Olton, New York, NY Cathy & Bill Osborn, Chicago, IL John Palmer, Cincinnati, OH Peter Pastreich, San Francisco, CA Mary Carr Patton, Orange Park, FL Patricia A. Richards, Salt Lake City, UT Mr. David Rockefeller, New York, NY Drs. John & Helen Schaefer, Tucson, AZ Connie Steensma & Rick Prins, New York, NY Penelope Van Horn, Chicago, IL Ms. Ginger B. Warner, Cincinnati, OH Mr. & Mrs. Albert K. Webster, New York, NY Adair & Dick White, Atlanta, GA The Simon Yates & Kevin Roon Foundation, New York, NY
J. Matthew McKern
hey’re a natural trio: kids, person she knows only by once-a-year music, and stories. And I’m birthday and Christmas cards—and is lucky to be involved in all transformed by music and the discovery of three as CEO and occasional her own musical talents. substitute trombonist of Stringz (Westside Books, 2010), my the Walla Walla Symphony, one of the most recent young-adult novel, tells finest small-town orchestras west of the For most teens, there are just two Mississippi, and as a published author of kinds of music: good and bad. Kids three books for kids. I wish I could say will gravitate toward their own that incorporating music as a theme in kinds of music and sounds, but my novels was part of some grand plan hatched back when I first tried my hand that doesn’t mean they instinctively at writing fiction some 25 years ago, but disdain classical music. I can’t. And yet, writing and music have always been passions, so it was probably the story of Jace Adams, an Africannatural that they would eventually come American teenager who plays the cello together. instead of one of the more popular I stumbled across the idea for my first musical instruments—guitar, bass, or book, Elizabeth’s Song (Beyond Words drums—and loves to surf instead of Publishing, 2002, illustrated by Cornelius shooting hoops with his pals. Van Wright), while reading an article One of my secret fears, even after my about the folksinger, songwriter, and guitarist Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten in Smithsonian magazine. What caught my eye was learning that Cotten wrote her best-known song, “Freight Train,” when she was just eleven years old. That nugget became the heart of my picture book. Michael Wenberg shares the joys of the trombone with a young My second book, a young- listener. adult novel titled Seattle Blues (Westside publisher picked up Stringz, was that Books, 2009), was inspired by a challenge teenagers—my target readers—might be from my twelve-year-old daughter, turned off by the references to classical Marieka: “Dad, write something I’d like music in the book. Thank goodness I was to read.” So I came up with a story about wrong. After spending a few months visiting a girl who is sentenced to spend her entire various middle-grade schools and talking summer vacation with her grandma—a about the book, music, and writing, I think
I now know why. For most teens, there are just two kinds of music: good and bad. Of course, kids will gravitate toward their own kinds of music and sounds, but that doesn’t mean they instinctively disdain classical music or even classify it as “bad.” In fact, most of the kids I’ve talked with have never listened to what we would consider traditional classical music. The closest they might have come would be music in a movie or video game. So they’re blown away when I play YouTube clips of kids their own age playing Bach on the cello, and then follow that up with the same young musicians playing a contemporary piece from a group they might recognize—the Red Hot Chili Peppers, for example. Not only is Bach a new kind of music, the rich cello sound is like nothing many of them have ever heard before. If reading Stringz and some of my other stories helps turn a glimmer of interest into a love affair with classical music down the road, so much the better. They may not remember what it is called, but they’ll remember what they like. So what’s my next writing project for kids? I don’t want to reveal too much, but rest assured that any story I write will include a fair dose of music, and perhaps a little fantasy as well. I’m not above taking advantage of the current interest in ghouls, vampires, and zombies…a magicwand-wielding maestro who does double duty as a wizard might make for an interesting main character. Or better yet, an oboe-playing vampire. MICHAEL WENBERG is CEO of the Walla Walla Symphony in Washington State. His books Stringz, Seattle Blues, and Elizabeth’s Song have received several awards and commendations.
Cover illustration by Lori McElrath-Eslick; cover design by David Lemanowicz.
Walla Walla Symphony CEO Michael Wenberg’s books for young people aim to share classical music with a new generation of listeners.
Cover design by David Lemanowicz