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Interesting article about some of the changing face of classical music

musicprntmusicprnt 6216 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,253 Senior Member
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e6f45ae71ab34097b87b575cbf248658/san-francisco-symphony-wins-younger-fans-hip-nightclub

This is interesting, I think it shows some of how the lines with music may/will be blurring in the future. I had always been told that the SF Symphony had a younger audience (the LA Phil definitely does these days), but sounds like they have the same problem the NY Phil has...and I think this is unique. Doesn't surprise me MTT is doing this, they did similar things with the New World Symphony in Miami. One of the things this tells me is that musicians and those running the orchestras are going to have to get off their high horse about the orchestra and its members being these sacred figures on stage, deeming to play for the great unwashed, it tells me that the future might be a lot more personal, a lot more interactive, then the creaky 19th century protocol of the concert stage (not saying traditional performance is going to go away, it is more like things like this will feed the more traditional performances).
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Replies to: Interesting article about some of the changing face of classical music

  • DesignDadDesignDad 181 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    Very cool. It's stuff like this that gets me excited about my daughter's future as a musician - the new creative opportunities. I think that while musicians' careers will likely be tougher than they were 30 years ago, they also have a potential for variety and excitement that is just now starting to bloom.
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  • ScreenName48105ScreenName48105 495 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 517 Member
    Money talks. There's obviously been more and more pressure for performance groups to be financially sustainable. The idea that major orchestras are cultural icons that municipalities are responsible for maintaining at all costs is probably a thing of the past. Will we lose something in the process? Maybe. But, in the end, I do think it's a good trend for our kids who are aspiring musicians. Forcing classical musicians to become part of the commercial music "business" means forcing them to create new musical ideas and venue/performance genres with an eye to attracting new audiences.
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,274 Senior Member
    Our symphony has a series called "untaxed" which starts earlier, the program is shorter and dress is less formal. It is eared towards people who work downtown and might want a shorter program after work to miss traffic. I know older people who love it as well because they don't drive at night and it isn't quite the production to attend.
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  • compmomcompmom 10579 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,655 Senior Member
    This isn't a new thing really- alternative venues have been offered for some time. BMOP has been doing it in Boston for quite awhile. The big city orchestras are doing more and more of this, and it seems like a smart direction for many reasons.

    The other thing that orchestras have been doing, of course, is education, with lectures before concerts, to make music a little more accessible to the uninitiated. Time will tell if there is an adequate audience for symphony orchestras in the future.

    To draw young people to classical music in general, all kinds of gimmicks are used: in Boston, several years ago, the "Composers with Red Sneakers" had a big red sneaker outside the venue (usually a church) and there were discounts for those who wore red sneakers to the concert. There are small concerts in living rooms- not the fancy salon kind of thing either. Concerts in bars. Etc.

    Many young composers aren't even composing for orchestras anymore. Smaller venues like this may fit the work being produced well, for many who are writing music today. Plus the inclusion of electronics and visual media is a benefit of this new kind of venue.

    I imagine another factor here is that having adventurous "new music" in the main concert hall is a turn off for attendees who are donors, so having alternative venues helps with that too. The over 60 crowd isn't there to leave in a huff and take themselves off the mailing list.

    I regret that the articles on Soundbox focus so much on the space. There is no mention of the actual music played, which is a shame, because that is really the point. If you go on the website, you can see the programs since it started last December.
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