Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Are Orchestras Going to Do?

And the answer is....retrenchment. At least the big organizations. After the University of Michigan orchestra summit, it sounded to me like the large urban orchestras are retreating to "core audience" values, which is another way of saying that they are responding to the fiscal crisis by reverting to the most conservative repertoire, 19th century and European music. "Special projects" such as partnerships with civic arts initiatives and commissions are out of the question for them in light of huge deficits.

The word from the medium and smaller orchestras was that they are making moves to become relevant to their communities as a nexus for K-12 music education, private lessons, and "community enrichment" activities.

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