Franchise Orchestras

Here’s a crazy idea, why not apply the for-profit business practice of franchises to orchestras? Specifically, I’m thinking about a chamber orchestra that has the flexibility to perform chamber music as well as ballet and opera productions that offer a high quality artistic product for a lower than normal user fee (ticket price). You could either build on a successful established program or start a program that can be easily reproduced. From a bottom line standpoint, you can save a considerable amount of money on expenditures that relate to education, outreach, marketing, artistic operations, insurance, and accounting costs. Additionally, you can lower expenses by contracting guest artists, composers, and conductors for multiple dates and locations at one time.

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Reader response: Getting back to our roots

I’ve received a great deal of communication about this topic but one reader points out an omission on my part. A member of the Cleveland Orchestra wrote in to say: “Don’t forget parents of young students. I see my students’ (and my wife’s students’) parents at concerts all the time. In many cases their interest was developed or rekindled by their kids’ burgeoning interest in orchestral music.” Our reader is absolutely …

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Enabling Patrons

Faithful reader Frank in Alexandria and I had a productive communication last week. Frank is very passionate about revitalizing classical music in his lifetime and he brings a refreshing analytical approach thanks to his years as a research scientist. Here’s what Frank had to say: “Progressive groups will be will become stronger if they communicate and cooperate. One of the ways any committed person like me can help is to gather …

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Getting back to our roots

When did our orchestras stop acting like a grass roots organization? Nearly all American orchestras originated from nothing more than a desire among community members to create a performing arts ensemble. American orchestras are not the result of aristocratic privilege and wealth from 200 years ago like their European cousins. Even the mighty New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony started life as small humble ensembles, having to be content with playing …

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Good news in San Antonio

The San Antonio Symphony is going to get a boost to its New Year. Ron Noble, symphony musician and AFM Local 23 President sent word that there is gong to be a New Years Eve Concert to benefit the symphony. The San Antonio Lyric Opera and the San Antonio Symphony League are sponsoring the event that, up until the orchestra suspended its performances, was and annual tradition. It’s good to see …

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