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Tags: Audiences

Why Orchestra Management is Hard

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In 2010 Robert Levine posted this blog on Polyphonic–”Why Orchestra Management is Hard.” Robert was referring to a blog of Joseph Horowitz and he took issue with some of his points. But that isn’t why I’m making this blog an Editor’s Choice. I love the xtranormal video link that Robert included in the last sentence.

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About that New Republic article

0 Robert Levine

It’s not surprising that a recent article by Philip Kennicott in the New Republic by the title of “America’s Orchestras are in Crisis” got some favorable play in the musician community. The writer, who is Art and Architecture critic for the Washington Post, focused very heavily on what he believed was the League of American

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New York Times Sunday Dialogue: Is Classical Music Dying?

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About ten days ago, Les Dreyer, a retired violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, had his letter to the editor published in the New York Times. Evidently his writing generated some interest—in fact, enough interest to be featured, along with 12 or so others in “Reader’s Reactions.” Mr. Dreyer’s letter is the focus of this

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League Conference: Plenary Session Speeches, Part 1

0 Ann Drinan

The opening Plenary Session on June 7 presented three speakers discussing “Creating an Environment for Innovation.” Larry A. Wendling,  Ph.D., VP of the Corporate Research Laboratory at the 3M Center in Minneapolis opened the session with a historical video of the evolution of 3M from a failed mining company to a highly successful, large multi-national

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How not to make audiences feel

2 Robert Levine

I know that audiences can be annoying, and clueless, and distracting, and all the rest – but come on, folks: I just have to write a letter concerning the recent performance of the Abilene Philharmonic. Abilenians are a welcoming group who are quick to applaud, and even provide a standing ovation. Yet a beautiful performance

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Are we figments of Mahler's imagination?

0 Robert Levine

Norman thinks that Mahler invented the American symphony orchestra. He makes a good case: Mahler split the Carnegie season into four subscription blocs, each with a thematic base, something no conductor had tried before. As well as a Regular Series, he put in a Beethoven cycle “for the education of lovers of classical music, for

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Why orchestra management is hard

1 Robert Levine

Joseph Horowitz doubled down on his remarks about musician compensation in a later blog post (analyzed by Drew McManus here): If I sound unsympathetic to the musicians, it’s because I’ve heard one too many times the strident union litany blaming ignorant boards and incompetent managers. Running an orchestra is a thankless task. I’ve done it.

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The times they are a'changin…

0 Robert Levine

I went to my local Borders today to kill some time while a prescription was filled. It’s a bi-level store, but I hadn’t gone downstairs since last year this time, as it was mostly CDs and it’s been a long time since I could count on finding something I wanted to listen to on a

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The moralistic approach to orchestra scheduling

2 Robert Levine

Interlochen Public Radio did a piece yesterday on the DSO strike; in particular the service conversion proposals that management has put on the table. The whole thing is worth reading. But I was particularly struck by comments made by Joseph Horowitz: …there are those in the industry who argue this discussion is way overdue. Joe

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The price was right

0 Robert Levine

One of the most damaging misconceptions about orchestras is that we raise money because we don’t make enough on ticket sales to cover the total expense of the concerts. The reality is very little of the fixed expenses of orchestras is covered by ticket sales, which typically cover, at most, the marginal expenses of putting

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Another take on Met HD

0 Robert Levine

After having written about the LA Phil’s upcoming experiment with broadcasting live to movie theaters and comparing it to the Met HD project, I was interested to come across another take on the whole concept from a Canadian professor of management: Recently I attended my first Live in HD broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s das

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Something to Divert You from Today's Game

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Here’s a Ciara Pressler blog from fracturedatlas.org.  Makes sense to me.  And so timely. . .

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What he said

0 Robert Levine

Alex Ross of the New Yorker wrote an absolutely brilliant summary of the recent studies by the League of American Orchestras and the National Endowment for the Arts on the state of classical music audiences. It’s in print in the magazine’s February 8th issue, which is unfortunately behind a paywall. But Ross blogs about it

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Saving money by pissing off the patrons

0 Robert Levine

Concerts get cancelled all the time, but usually not high-profile concerts conducted by the music director two weeks in advance of the concert: The Honolulu Symphony board has done something unprecedented that will shock some patrons while possibly giving encouragement to people who have written big checks for the orchestra. It has canceled a concert

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