Peter sent this link with a suggestion to post and, as usual, he's right--this is a great piece from the Savvy Musician called "The Most Viable Instrumentation." Cutler's point is simple, that many concert music ensembles make the mistake of identifying and marketing themselves almost solely based on instrumentation:
Unless the demand for your traditional ensemble far outpaces supply (highly unlikely), or your wild configuration is fascinating and newsworthy in itself...don’t build a marketing plan around your instrument(s) alone. Much of the time, you may even want to de-emphasize this element. Focus instead on the unique talents of players, unusual programming, and other creative aspects of the show. Sell your story. Sell your message. Sell your theme. Sell your charm.
What's shocking about this advice is how revolutionary it sounds in our current state of concert music ossification. Regular readers of the LF Project know how heartily we endorse this perspective, and not just concerning marketing or presentation--for too long, musicians have allowed a priori sorts of ideas like standard instrumentation guide the artistic process in some very fundamental ways, causing many to make unexamined assumptions that place real, major constraints on their music-making.
For instance, we often start with assumptions and questions like: