Looking At Seattle From A Different Point Of View

By now, most folks inside the classical music world have heard about what’s going on at the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO).  But in case you haven’t beep keeping up, here’s the synopsis: the SSO made the decision to not renew 20 year veteran concertmaster Ilkka Talvi’s contract for the 2004-2005 concert season. Since the SSO announced the decision there have been a few articles appearing in the local Seattle newspapers discussing …

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Mediocre Sex

Ok, the headline was a lure.  What I’m talking about is using sex to sell mediocre musicians playing music that would aspire to be called mediocre. I published an article today in my Neo Classical column at The Partial Observer that examines how cross over and selling classical music with sex can sometimes go well and sometimes go very, very bad (think “Bond”). From a manager’s point of view, these are …

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How Do You Get On The Board?

In the wake of the Columbus (OH) Symphony Orchestra board chair resigning due investigations by the SEC, Connie from Columbus wrote in to ask: “How do people get on an orchestra board?” What a great question. The answer has been the subject of numerous books, scholarly papers, and articles for the past century. But before I digress, I’ll do my best to provide an academic answer (special thanks to a few …

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Do you think this is worth $74,425?

I’ve been digging around orchestra form 990’s at GuideStar lately and I came across what I thought was an unusually high expense under the “Compensation Of The Five Highest Paid Independent Contractors For Professional Services” category in the Phoenix Symphony 2002 return. The Phoenix Symphony paid $74,425 that year to a company called Contact Designs for what the orchestra listed as “website design”.  That’s $8,997 more than what the orchestra paid …

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More About Milwaukee – Marketing Department

At the conclusion of yesterday’s article, it promised to examine the direction the MSO marketing department is taking since the arrival of their new marketing director, Sean McBryde. In Tom Strini’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article from September 4th, 2004 he reported that the MSO has suffered a big hit in ticket sales since 1999.  According to the article, ” the biggest loss has been on the pops side, 61%. The classics audience …

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