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Tags: Business models

The NFL jumps the shark

1 Robert Levine

While this story doesn’t have an exact analogy in our business, it’s nonetheless revealing of a phenomenon that has begun to appear in our field: The NFL reportedly asked Katy Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay, their top choices to play the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show, if they would be willing to pay the league in

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Newsflash: conductor doesn’t like unions

3 Robert Levine

In this week’s edition of The New Yorker (paywalled, unfortunately) is a fascinating piece by Alex Ross on Iván Fischer, the Hungarian conductor and founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. While the piece focuses largely on his unhappiness with the current rightward lurch of Hungarian politics, Ross also reports on Fischer’s views on the orchestra

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Madame Butterfly is not a business strategy

0 Robert Levine

After 50 years, the San Diego Opera is shutting down because… it’s just too hard: The San Diego Opera shocked many in the arts world by announcing it will cease operations at the end of the current season, citing a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales. The company’s board voted to shut down rather

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Michael Kaiser’s Arts in Crisis Symposium

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Michael Kaiser has been called “the turnaround king” because of his success with several arts organizations, including the Kansas City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, and London’s Royal Opera House. Indeed, his 2008 book is titled The Art of the Turnaround: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Organizations. In this article from

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Alias: A New Kind of Ensemble

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In 2007 we posted an article entitled, Alias: A New Kind of Ensemble.  Looking back with 20/20 hindsight it can easily seen that Alias was, and still is, part of a trend—a movement among musicians to form “alternative ensembles.” In an effort to understand more about this trend, the Eastman School of Music recently inaugurated

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Paul Boulian: The Economic Reality of Orchestras

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For this Editor’s Choice I decided to look back at some interviews we recorded in years past. There are some real gems here. The one I chose to feature this time around is a conversation between Paul Boulian and Greg Sandow discussing the economic reality of orchestras. Though it was recorded in February 2009, it

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Explorations of Teamwork: The Lahti Symphony Orchestra

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My Editor’s Choice for this time around is a look-back to a 2002 article in Harmony by Tina Ward and Robert Wagner.  In it they write about their experiences with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. It’s an inspiring story about a small town orchestra in Finland that, at that time, was making big waves in its

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Re-Imagining the Orchestra

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The fact that many American orchestras struggle to survive is no secret. In the past few years, top-tier ensembles in Philadelphia, Syracuse, Honolulu, Detroit, Louisville, Dallas, and New Mexico have cancelled concerts, issued pay cuts, declared bankr…

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Building Your Portfolio Career Part 1: Imagining the Mix

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Portfolio career is the term used to describe a professional path involving multiple streams of income. This profile is commonly adopted by artists of all stripes. I, for one, have developed a portfolio career, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
 

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Dumbing Down or Smartening Up?

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It’s been an exciting week!  Since my article What Professional Orchestras Should Learn from YouTube was posted, many conversations have erupted, debating the question of whether initiatives embraced by YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra are appropriat…

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Dumbing Down or Smartening Up?

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It’s been an exciting week!  Since my article What Professional Orchestras Should Learn from YouTube was posted, many conversations have erupted, debating the question of whether initiatives embraced by YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra are appropriat…

Read More →

Are orchestras like newspapers?

0 Robert Levine

Anne Midgette, Washington Post music critic, has her own take on the Michael Kaiser article of a few days ago: Michael Kaiser, in the Huffington Post, has this week addressed the elephant in the living room: some orchestras are not going to make it. There are striking parallels between orchestras and newspapers in this recession.

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