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January 2014
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October 2014

Going to the orchestra will help get you laid?

According to Ben Folds, orchestral music is a great aphrodisiac. Which I don't disagree with, but the article also has a more salient point: community engagement by meeting listeners where they are culturally has been a boon for the St. Louis Symphony:

[S]ince launching its Live at Powell Hall series -- a collection of performances that focus on music icons, current entertainers and scores from film and television -- and other special initiatives in 2008, the St. Louis Symphony has seen significant growth in ticket revenue, from $4.84 million in 2008 to $6.57 million in 2013, with more than 39,000 new ticket buyers.

The article also gives some detail on Folds' new piano concerto, his first concert work in a very successful musical career that has thus far only covered the popular realm.

Battling Artistic Entitlement

As the General and Artistic Director of a small regional opera company in Modesto, CA, I have watched the situation with San Diego Opera unfold with a combination of amazement and bitterness.  I am amazed that a company that presents four productions annually with a $15 million budget and no debt would close down voluntarily, and I am bitter at the thought of the work our company could do for our community with a tiny fraction of that annual budget.  But this decision, made at the urging of their senior management, has helped bring into focus something I think has been a widespread problem for some time now, one which harms the sustainability of many performing arts organizations:

Artistic Entitlement.

Continue reading "Battling Artistic Entitlement" »