NyPhil Poll Results

Last Friday’s New York Philharmonic poll generated some interesting data, although not so much in the final results as the change in responses ratios throughout the voting period…

Whether or not readers thought the New York Philharmonic’s DPRK
performance was a positive event for the ensemble wasn’t an issue, the
overwhelming majority of voters (82.5 percent to be precise) thought
the trip was a good thing. However, even though a similar percentage of
voters ended up thinking that the visit was good for the entire
business, for the first two days of voting that ratio was far less
certain with only approximately 60 percent in favor and 40 percent
against. During the same time span, the ratio of for/against votes
hovered around the 80-90 percent range for Question #1 throughout the
duration of the poll.

I’m not certain why a larger percentage of early respondents
had a negative view of how the trip would impact the business and if
any readers who voted "no" for Question #2 would care to elaborate on
why they voted that way in a comment, I think it would be a fascinating
discussion. The only additional data the polling software was able to
provide is how the votes broke down geographically (for those
interested in the data via Question #2, click here).

Question #3 was a fun little exercise in advocacy polling. If
nothing else, it was enormously satisfying to wake up during the days
immediately preceding and following the Oscars to see the New York
Philharmonic’s trip consistently draw better media coverage on
television news channels and the majority of "entertainment news"
headlines across the internet. In fact, three of the primary all-news
cable channels were running stories about the NYPhil simultaneously.

Ultimately, I do think all of the national media attention
around the NYPhill trip was good for the entire business and it moved
orchestras, even if only temporarily, closer to the center of the
cultural consciousness. So who wants to be the first U.S. orchestra to
tour the Middle East?

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 “NyPhil Poll Results”

  1. I have no research data to back up my opinion, but that has never stopped me, so here goes.

    The “aginners” — “I’m against it” — are always more vehement than the supporters. For example, post a blog that people agree with and they’ll nod and go on with other things. Post a blog that people disagree with, and they rush to express their opinions.


  2. For those that may have missed it, Loren Maazel was on The Colbert Report last night for a few minutes. He talked with Stephen about the trip. It wasn’t exactly an intellectual discussion, though Colbert and Maazel had an amusing exchange after Colbert asked Maazel if being a conductor made him feel like a dictator.

    The clip should be available somewhere on Comedy Central’s website.

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