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The New York Philharmonic
Old 11th June 2017
  #31
RPC
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I think you left off a biggy. The potential audience members really don't care about classical music.
Based on my own experience, caring may not be the issue. My spouse and I had an orchestra subscription until our first child was born. She was kind of a protective parent; the only person she'd allow to babysit was her mother, who lived 60 miles away. So between that and increased expenses we gave up. Once the youngest kid turned ten, we subscribed again. Now my eldest is at university; between that expense and increased health insurance premiums we just can't afford to go. Just one data point, but I'll bet we're not that uncommon.
Old 11th June 2017
  #32
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPC View Post
Based on my own experience, caring may not be the issue. My spouse and I had an orchestra subscription until our first child was born. She was kind of a protective parent; the only person she'd allow to babysit was her mother, who lived 60 miles away. So between that and increased expenses we gave up. Once the youngest kid turned ten, we subscribed again. Now my eldest is at university; between that expense and increased health insurance premiums we just can't afford to go. Just one data point, but I'll bet we're not that uncommon.
Point well taken.

I have some friends who use to have Artist Recital season tickets to that series of events here at Oberlin. They were loyal supporters of the series for years then the husband retired and his wife became ill. The prices for the season ticket skyrocketed and they had to give up their 30 year subscription. I am sure there are others in the same boat.

FWIW
Old 11th June 2017
  #33
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Its no good for these organisations to be worried about the poor older folk who are becoming infirm and unable to come to concerts or continue their subscriptions anymore. The radio will be their friend in the autumn and winter of their lives.

But the radio is also a strategic partner of the orchestra as well. It already has a target audience listening and is an excellent channel to get upcoming concert details out to interested folk, I cannot think of a better way.

But marketing to young people to get the next generation to come to concerts seems the important area to concentrate on for obvious reasons. Our most successful classical music organisation and marketing machine in Aus, the Australian Chamber Orchestra are very good at attracting younger audience. Invariably full concerts, healthy corp sponsorship, frequent media and radio exposure, frequent live broadcasts reminding one, in no uncertain terms, how superb they are, but above all they just have a workforce of extremely competent people, the musicians, the marketing team, the managers, the board etc. Just like any organisation, one needs top notch people. The ACO seem to have a much younger mean audience age than the symphonies and this focus cannot be underestimated.

But if young people are sitting on FB all day and not educating themselves about classical music and the many other finer things in life then it will all die. Ultimately it must be about education and cultural emphasis/significance creating a fundamental demand.
Old 12th June 2017
  #34
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Its no good for these organisations to be worried about the poor older folk who are becoming infirm and unable to come to concerts or continue their subscriptions anymore. The radio will be their friend in the autumn and winter of their lives.

But the radio is also a strategic partner of the orchestra as well. It already has a target audience listening and is an excellent channel to get upcoming concert details out to interested folk, I cannot think of a better way.

But marketing to young people to get the next generation to come to concerts seems the important area to concentrate on for obvious reasons. Our most successful classical music organisation and marketing machine in Aus, the Australian Chamber Orchestra are very good at attracting younger audience. Invariably full concerts, healthy corp sponsorship, frequent media and radio exposure, frequent live broadcasts reminding one, in no uncertain terms, how superb they are, but above all they just have a workforce of extremely competent people, the musicians, the marketing team, the managers, the board etc. Just like any organisation, one needs top notch people. The ACO seem to have a much younger mean audience age than the symphonies and this focus cannot be underestimated.

But if young people are sitting on FB all day and not educating themselves about classical music and the many other finer things in life then it will all die. Ultimately it must be about education and cultural emphasis/significance creating a fundamental demand.
I have three interns working here. One is a recent graduate of a university course in audio, one is a classically trained trumpet player who is still in school and one is a recently graduated physics major from the local college. All are great people and the best when it comes to working here. The only one of them that I can discuss classical music with is, as you may imagine, the trumpet player. The other two know a lot about a lot but classical music is not in their sphere of reference. They all come from great families with parents who are professionals. None of them took any courses in music appreciation when they were in school.

How is anyone going to be exposed to classical music if they never are offered the chance to learn?

Growing up my parents would have Sunday brunch around the dinning room table while we listened to classical music. When I went to my Grandparents house we would listen to whole operas while sitting in the living room. I was also exposed to classical music in elementary school, again in junior high and high school and in college where I did the Metropolitan Opera broadcast on Saturday afternoons for the campus radio station. Classical music has always been a large part of my life.

I fear I am dwindling breed because today most young people are more interested in FB, their cellphones and playing video games 8 hours a day.

FWIW

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 12th June 2017 at 01:12 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 12th June 2017
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Ultimately it must be about education and cultural emphasis/significance creating a fundamental demand.
Exactly right.

I started my formal music education at the age of four, with music theory, history, aural training, vocal training and language education. When I moved to the city at age 9, most of my year had already started formal training at age 3, some on two instruments (two children were receiving training on three different instruments from 3 different mentors). This was standard and not considered unique or out of the ordinary by any of the 8 children in my class, nor by any of the older children in the other years.

By age 16, most children were well versed in composition, arrangement, and orchestration. Musical training was simply a part of the formal education system, as much as mathematics and science were considered essential skills. The concept of the Polymath was not something foreign as each child in the class across multiple years exhibited the skills and knowledge.

Ultimately, religion was the impetus, as the music school provided the required Chapel Choir and Orchestra members, in order to supply the music for the daily, weekly and fortnightly services, along with the many religious festivals throughout the year. This core group of musicians also fed in to the other general musical activities, such as the many Vocal groups, Wind Ensembles, String Ensembles, Chamber Ensembles, Symphony Orchestra, Theatre Orchestra for stage plays and operettas, Big Band, and Marching Band. The Eisteddfod was a required part of the yearly curriculum which then led to performances and competition participation on a regional, national and international level. Everything was a product of religion and education.

Consider Prague in the 17th and 18th century, where, due to its unique formal musical education programme, was considered the most musically literate society in Europe. Again the main impetus was religion, which affected other areas of the musical landscape, especially with the Bohemian emigration to the rest of Europe due to the oversupply of highly skilled, and experienced musicians in Prague. Bohemian musicians were in high demand, and in many cases even more so than their Italian counterparts.


Quote:
But the radio is also a strategic partner of the orchestra as well. It already has a target audience listening and is an excellent channel to get upcoming concert details out to interested folk, I cannot think of a better way.
Emphasis required here, as this can't be stated enough.

According to the EBU, 85% of European citizens still listen to the radio, only dropping to 83% for the youth demographic.









And just for interests sake and somewhat related to the above image:


Last edited by reynaud; 12th June 2017 at 04:43 PM..
Old 26th June 2017
  #36
Lives for gear
 

Thought I would throw some additional information to ponder over:

Old 26th June 2017
  #37
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Class and civilization indicated right there in no uncertain terms.
Old 26th June 2017
  #38
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Uncle Russ's Avatar
The statistics are very disturbing. Here is something to think about regarding schools:

A high school teacher I know said many of his students had heard a piano on the radio or Internet but never seen anyone play one live. When he brought in a classical performer the students stood behind him and were in awe. Not only had they never seen a pianist perform up close but rarely or never had heard classical music.

BUT ... the teacher also said the best way to kill interest in any kind of music is to teach it in the classroom. (I couldn't agree more.)

What if musicians (like me) were to donate an hour or two a month to performing at schools in voluntary concerts? Students could choose between going to class or attending hour long classical and/or jazz concerts. There would be no tests and any classroom discussion about the music would be casual and off the record.

When I proposed the idea to the jazz guys I play with they turned up their noses at the idea of playing "for free". Fools. Any businessman knows you need to establish a market before you can sell a product or service. Every entrepreneur starts at a potential loss and it usually takes about three years before he sees a profit. If the music community, including audio engineers, wants to fight the downward trend affecting us, we need to get off our butts and create a demand.

No doubt the schools would balk because schools are funded by politicians who dictate the number of hours students must endure standard classroom subjects. The "salesmen" among us should start thinking about how to overcome objections.

Unless schools, the music community, and students somehow come together to make listening to traditional genres of music an enjoyable experience, those who record it are likely to continue dealing with frustration.
Old 27th June 2017
  #39
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Thread Starter
Russ, the idea is wonderful. Give them a taste of what music is and what it can do. It can change their lives. It sure did change mine and I am not unique.
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