The Arts World
:: Economics of the Arts

Bruce Ridge  

Book review: "The Perilous Life of Symphony Orchestras: Artistic Triumphs and Economic Challenges" by Robert J. Flanagan (Yale University Press, 2012)

Bruce Ridge
March 4, 2019

No one is going to read this book.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate. A handful of people will read this book, and maybe a few will actually make it all the way to the end. Such brave souls will earn my admiration, because reading this book is like shaving with a cheese grater.

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Bill Cahn  

Social and Economic Issues in 2011
and Their Impact on Music and the Arts

Bill Cahn
September 19, 2019

"In the 20th century world of specialization, artists found their position in society as the purveyors of new possibilities through open and free thought - from Picasso and Stravinsky to Jackson Pollock and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Having broken away from the intellectual boundaries of the Victorian era..."

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Robert Levine  

Lobbying for a piece of the stimulus pie

Robert Levine
January 27, 2019

"We wanted to make sure arts were not left out of the recovery," said Robert L. Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, a national lobbying group. "The artist's paycheck is every bit as important as the steelworker's paycheck or the autoworker's paycheck."

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Symphony Orchestra Economics: The Fundamental Challenge

William Baumol
December 2, 2019

Thirty years ago, William J. Baumol and William G. Bowen, then professors at Princeton University, coauthored Performing Arts: The Economic Dilemma (1966). The book provided a comprehensive, historical review of the economics of various performing arts institutions, including symphony organizations.

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Douglas J. Dempster  

The Wolf Report and Baumol's Curse: The Economic Health of American Symphony Orchestras in the 1990s and Beyond

Douglas J. Dempster
September 11, 2019

Author Douglas Dempster revisits the 1992 Wolf Report. He begins with a recapitulation of the report's history and conclusions. He then adds to the mix an explanation of "Baumol's Curse," the classic analysis of performing arts economics published in 1966, and an underlying tenet of the report's conclusions.

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Leila Kelleher  

Spotlight on Australian Symphony Orchestras: the past, the present, the future

Leila Kelleher
March 28, 2019

Australia is a country with roughly the same landmass as the continental United States, but only has a population of just over 20 million. There are six states (New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Queensland) and two territories (Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory), although the bulk of the population lives on the eastern edge of the country. In each state, the largest city (in Australia, this is always the capital) is more than twice the size of the second largest, a phenomenon which is known as the primate city. This means that larger regional centers do not have populations large enough to support major arts organizations and rely on 'the big smoke' to provide them.

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Robert Levine  

l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal

Robert Levine
November 17, 2019

The first, and most important fact to know about the Montreal Symphony/Orchestre de Montréal (OSM) is that it's a wonderful orchestra. But the OSM's recent history has been extraordinarily turbulent. Nonetheless, things seem to be turning around for them.

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Ann Cohen  

Katrina and the Louisiana Philharmonic

Ann Cohen
August 28, 2019

August 29, 2019 — the newest of infamous days in US history. Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, leaving great destruction throughout the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coasts. We had been through hurricane evacuations before. No big deal; you pack for two days, you grab your instruments and head north, east or west to wait it out. Although we didn't know it immediately, this time was different.

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Cheryl FippenDavid Roth  

Book Review "And the Band Stopped Playing: The Rise and Fall of the San Jose Symphony" by Thomas Wolf and Nancy Glaze

Cheryl Fippen & David Roth
April 10, 2019

And the Band Stopped Playing is an account of the demise of the San Jose Symphony, written by Thomas Wolf of Wolf, Keens & Company and Nancy Glaze of the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, who funded the research for the book.

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