2009 Orchestra Website Reviews: Reader Ratings

The basics.

You can submit one star rating for each orchestra and leave an unlimited number of comment reviews. You do not need to leave a comment in order to submit a star rating but you are encouraged to do so.

What criteria should I use to rate orchestra websites?

There are no hard and fast rules and you are encouraged to use whatever criteria is most important to you. The official Orchestra Website Review criteria is based entirely on quantifiable elements that contribute to how well a website presents their concert schedule, sells tickets, facilitates making donations, provides organizational information, utilizes dynamic content, and on overall content and functionality. However, you are free to include elements such as color schemes, font selection, etc.

What makes a good comment review?

  • Don’t submit unqualified judgments. Saying “I like it” or “I hate it” isn’t as useful as saying why and how you arrived at your conclusions.
  • User experience is subjective based on hardware and software. As such, leave some basic information about your point of contact with each website, the big three include: computer (Mac/PC), operating system (Mac OS X, Windows Vista, etc.), and browser (FireFox 3.5, Internet Explorer 8, Safari 4, etc.)
  • Write a one-two sentence summary and use that as your first paragraph; include the name(s) of the orchestra and the date(s) you visited the site and additional details thereafter.
  • Be fair and honest in your judgments. It isn’t likely that you’ll go through every page of an orchestra’s website so make sure to mention which pages you visited and that your rating/review is based on those parameters.
  • Do not accept payola to leave a good rating/review. This includes complimentary concert tickets.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest: If you work for or receive compensation from an orchestra you’re reviewing, mention it. There’s nothing wrong with a stakeholder leaving a review of their respective orchestra’s website; in fact, taking pride in your organization is something to be proud of.

How long can my review be?

There is no limit, but most of your fellow readers won’t take the time to read exhaustively long reviews.

Can I reply to someone else’s review?

Absolutely, in fact; if you represent an orchestra discussed in a review and wish to respond with additional information, etc. click the “Reply” link located immediately below the respective comment. This will insert your reply immediately below the original comment. You can keep track of new comments by subscribing to the comment RSS.

If you disagree with someone’s review, you can post your own review with your perspective. Healthy debates are encouraged but remember the basic rules of good comments. Be civil, be polite, and be articulate.

How can I get my picture to show up next to my reviews/comments?

This is super easy, just getting a Gravatar account; click here for more details.


Alabama Symphony

Atlanta Symphony

Austin Symphony

Baltimore Symphony

Boston Symphony

Buffalo Philharmonic

California Symphony

Charleston Symphony

Charlotte Symphony

Chattanooga Symphony

Chicago Symphony

Cincinnati Symphony

Cleveland Orchestra

Colorado Springs Philharmonic

Colorado Symphony

Columbus Symphony

Dallas Symphony

Dayton Philharmonic

Delaware Symphony

Detroit Symphony

Elgin Symphony

Florida Orchestra

Fort Wayne Philharmonic

Fort Worth Symphony

Fresno Philharmonic

Grand Rapids Symphony

Harrisburg Symphony

Hartford Symphony

Honolulu Symphony

Houston Symphony

Huntsville Symphony

Indianapolis Symphony

Jacksonville Symphony

Kalamazoo Symphony

Kansas City Symphony

Knoxville Symphony

Las Vegas Philharmonic

Long Beach Symphony

Long Island Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Louisville Orchestra

Memphis Symphony

Milwaukee Symphony

Minnesota Orchestra

Mississippi Symphony

Naples Philharmonic

Nashville Symphony

National Symphony

New Jersey Symphony

New Mexico Symphony

New York Philharmonic

North Carolina Symphony

Omaha Symphony

Orchestra Iowa

Orchestra of St. Luke’s

Oregon Symphony

Pacific Symphony

Philadelphia Orchestra

Phoenix Symphony

Pittsburgh Symphony

Rhode Island Philharmonic

Richmond Symphony

Rochester Philharmonic

Saint Louis Symphony

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

San Antonio Symphony

San Diego Symphony

San Francisco Symphony

Santa Rosa Symphony

Sarasota Symphony

Seattle Symphony

Spokane Symphony

Symphony Silicon Valley

Syracuse Symphony

Toledo Symphony

Tucson Symphony

Utah Symphony

Virginia Symphony

West Virginia Symphony

Wichita Symphony

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra


Calgary Philharmonic

Edmonton Symphony

Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony

National Arts Centre Orchestra

Orchestra London Canada

Orchestre Metropolitain

Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal

Symphony Nova Scotia

Thunder Bay Symphony

Toronto Symphony

Vancouver Symphony

Victoria Symphony

Windsor Symphony

Winnipeg Symphony

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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