In The Right Place At The Right Time

“There has never been a better time to be in this business” – I’ve said that for the past few years and it’s still true. Moreover, that adage is especially applicable for select group of professional orchestras…

I’ll be publishing an article tomorrow which will announce that group of orchestras which have the greatest amount of potential among their peers to make tremendous gains in the next seven years. Nevertheless, for those of you who enjoy spoilers, I’ll give you a sneak peak at the ensemble in the top slot:

The orchestra with the greatest amount of potential over the next seven years is the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Between plans for a $400 million performing arts center (designed by the proven design team of David M. Schwarz and Akustiks that recently finished up Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center), a 49 percent increase in budget from 2003/2004 to 2005/2006, a new music director, and an ideal target population that multiplies like rabbits on Viagra, this organization has all the right conditions to become one of the highest budget ROPA ensembles by the 2013/2014 season. Or, dare I say, one of the newest members of ICSOM.

To give you some perspective, that means if the Las Vegas Philharmonic were a $7 million budget ensemble today, it is anticipated that they will need to be a $9.6 million budget ensemble by the 2013/2014 season. That works out to about a 300 percent increase in expendatures from where they were in 2005/2006 ($1.7 million) but don’t let those goals seem daunting, remember, they have demonstrated the ability to bump up their budget by a 49 percent increase in the space of two seasons and that was before anyone announced a new $400 million venue.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out which other ensembles are on the Adaptistration “Great Expectations” list. In the meantime, which orchestras do you think have the greatest amount of potential over the next seven years?

Postscript: Part 1 is now published: click here

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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2 thoughts on “In The Right Place At The Right Time”

  1. XyloGuy: you make it sound as though I’m suggesting “he who spends the most wins” and that couldn’t be farther off target. Spending money for the sake of spending is reckless at best and damning at worst.

    Instead, tomorrow’s blog is about reaching untapped potential. Will growth include increased expenditures? Naturally, but it also means finding sustainable sources of revenue, building an adequate endowment, insisting on artistic and administrative accountability, and consistently filling concert halls with enthusiastic listeners.

    It’s time this business remembered that looking up doesn’t mean glance to the left or right…

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