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Times a'changing in the Olde Countrie too

0 Robert Levine

American orchestras are not the only ones feeling the need to adapt to the new millenium:

Traditional concerts with overtures, concertos and symphonies will continue to exist in years to come, according to the managing director of the German Orchestra Association, Gerald Mertens, but not at the exclusion of everything else.

“There will also be new types of concerts: commentated concerts, concerts that involve young artists, school classes, the handicapped and the elderly,” he said. “By tapping into new audiences, orchestras will open up an extraordinary potential for the future.”

Attracting young audiences is already seen as an important part of the work of most orchestras, and it is bearing fruit. But more can be done, for example in getting young people from migrant families involved, according to Mertens.

Two men look through the performance program before the start of a concertBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Orchestras are looking to diversify audiences

One way, he said, would be to incorporate more crossover projects with music from different cultures in the repertoires of the future. He would also like to see more contemporary music on concert programs.

German orchestras are already in a process of transformation, contracting by around 20 percent since 1990 as a result of closures and fusions. Financial pressures have mainly affected small and medium-size orchestras up to now.

I’d say they were about 20 years behind us, both in terms of concert modernizing and in terms of contraction.

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