Archives

News

What Does It Mean When an Orchestra Closes?

Last week, Anne Midgette reported for the Washington Post that the Maryland-based National Philharmonic "had run out of money and would close." Midgette shares the reactions she received from Post readers, plus her thoughts about orchestra closures and the current state of the classical-music world: "People get very agitated about orchestra closures. It signals, to some, the decline of society and all they hold dear. ... You know what kind of news doesn’t interest people? News about orchestras doing well. Or, indeed,...

Read More

#MondayMotivation

#MondayMotivation: Sometimes the Most Obvious Thing Is the Most Important Thing

Looking for a little #MondayMotivation? We’re pulling out past stories that are still just as relevant today. Here’s a pearl from Jim: Programming Decisions Should Be Reconsidered Every Couple Centuries. A lot of discussions occur about how to save classical music institutions, but I think the one that is so obvious that it almost avoids being discussed at all is content. This article makes the point that there are a handful of “Great Men,” as the author calls them, whose music...

Read More

#MondayMotivation

#MondayMotivation: We Sing Along Because We Care

Looking for a little #MondayMotivation? We’re pulling out past stories that are still just as relevant today. Here’s a pearl from Jim: The Great Thing About a Live Event Is It Includes You. I had fun reading this article, in which the author complains about her recent trip to an Elton John concert. The problem was that people were singing along to Elton’s songs so much that she couldn’t even hear Elton sing. I sympathize, kinda. But not really. Because the last thing...

Read More

#MondayMotivation

#MondayMotivation: Now That You’re Dead, What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?

Looking for a little #MondayMotivation? We’re pulling out past stories that are still just as relevant today. Here’s a pearl from Jim: What Reinvention Sounds Like. Slate‘s Mark Vanhoenacker has declared classical music “dead” in America. I’m not sure if there are other continents or republics where it’s all the rage, but here in the U.S.A., it’s not just in trouble. It’s deceased, passed on, bereft of life. As John Cleese would say, it’s an “ex-parrot.” This, of course, is an exaggeration, but...

Read More

Experience

Is There a Right Way for Audiences to Behave?

Kaya Oakes got shushed at a Yo-Yo Ma concert, and she wrote an article about how the churchlike atmosphere that audiences expect at these concerts is killing classical music. Oakes shares how disruptive the shushing is (the woman does it to others in the audience) and about how the day before Yo-Yo Ma had performed at a strikingly different venue: a street party. Oakes writes, "I wish I could tell the shushing woman we need ways of experiencing classical music other...

Read More

#TBT

#TBT: The “Great Performance” and the “Better Mousetrap”

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: The "Great Performance" and the "Better Mousetrap." I'd like to share something that's been on my mind: the idea that the only thing that’s important is a “great performance.” Here’s what I have to say about that: • A "great performance" is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It’s more accurate to say that without a great performance, you’ve got nothing and no chance, but saying that all you need is a “great performance" is...

Read More

Experience

Classical Music and Crypts: The Appeal of Unexpected Venues

Classical music performed in a crypt: It's a literal take on underground music -- and the brainchild of Andrew Ousley of Unison Media. The series is called The Crypt Sessions, and it features classical musicians performing in the crypt at the Church of the Intercession at 155th Street and Broadway in New York City. The monumental Gothic revival church is where Ed Koch and Alexander Hamilton are buried, and it was also a shooting location for the TV series 666...

Read More

Marketing

Ocean, Desert, Sea: What One View of Success Looks Like

Here's a marketing tip for orchestras from Scott Cantrell, classical music critic at The Dallas Morning News. His article, Toward livelier orchestra programs: Pick a theme," argues that "orchestras need to find a new marketing thrust — to some extent, in fact, new identities. A good place to start is more-imaginative programming." His example of an exciting program: "Consider this triptych, which the Seattle Symphony performed in May at Carnegie Hall’s “Spring for Music” festival: Become Ocean, by contemporary American composer...

Read More

News

What Reinvention Sounds Like

Slate's Mark Vanhoenacker has declared classical music "dead" in America. I'm not sure if there are other continents or republics where it's all the rage, but here in the U.S.A., it's not just in trouble. It's deceased, passed on, bereft of life. As John Cleese would say, it's an "ex-parrot." This, of course, is an exaggeration, but only technically. Both financially and in terms of cultural relevance, it's bad, and there are very few arrows pointing up. But here's my theory. Death...

Read More

Bright Ideas

Programming Decisions Should Be Reconsidered Every Couple Centuries

A lot of discussions occur about how to save classical music institutions, but I think the one that is so obvious that it almost avoids being discussed at all is content. This article makes the point that there are a handful of "Great Men," as the author calls them, whose music is the only music that orchestral institutions tend to play, at least if they're expecting to be taken seriously. Without even touching the questions of sexism or cultural elitism...

Read More


Sign Up for Emails

VIEW PAST ARTICLES