With all the attention these days on orchestras needing to get out of their primary venue and into unconventional spaces it is easy to forget that this is not exactly a unique idea. In fact, it’s been around for a lot longer than most folks realize and a recent trip to a favorite historic stock photo site drove that point home in a way that only photographs can do.
Case in point, here are a couple of photos of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra performing at a factories. The photos cover the orchestra’s factory concerts from the 1930s through 1940s and I’ll save you the trouble of Googling it; yes, the group is still very much in action.
For reference, here’s a shot of the orchestra during a live broadcast performance from 1939.
As an aside, if you’re every looking for copyright free historic photos, New Old Stock is one of the absolute best resources around. It beats the stuffing out of most stock photo sites and you can’t beat the price.
6 thoughts on “Everything Old Is New Again”
Throughout the 1940s-1960s Sir John Barbirolli would often take the Halle Orchestra into factories, warehouses, city halls, and parks, too (something else about him I have long admired).
Last year I read a fascinating piece about the Orchestra performances that regularly happened in Department stores in the US during turn of the 20th century. For anyone interested:
“Commerce and Poetry Hand in Hand”: Music in American Department Stores, 1880-1930
Linda L. Tyler
Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 45, No. 1 (Spring, 1992), pp. 75-120
I do remember the Milwaukee Symphony doing a concert at a large record store (Peaches, a long gone chain) in the late 1970s.
In 1919 and 2008 (and possibly other times as well) the Philadelphia Orchestra played in the Wanamaker dept. store (now Macy’s) in conjunction with its famous landmarked organ.
Did you read about this German orchestra that is based in a school in a bad neighborhood in Bremen? http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32381815
I did, fascinating stuff.