Posted at 12:33 PM on September 30, 2008
by Gillian Martin
"Outreach" is a big watchword for orchestras these days; that's why the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra performs in several different locations, and the Minnesota Orchestra has its UPbeat Greater Minnesota program. They want to go to the audience sometimes, rather than relying on the audience to always come to them.
I'm sure that's why the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra found themselves wedged between women's shoes and handbags in the Macy's store in downtown Philadelphia last week, performing with the world's largest pipe organ, which is permanently installed there. Read more about it here.
And at Bloomingdales, Cosmetics & Joshua Bell...
Hi - Interesting post - thank you.
I suspect this trend has more to do with not really grasping how to get out of the hall beyond holiday events (eg: Christmas or fourth of July, or Summer in the park). There are other ways to generate interest and buzz that don't include showing up at shopping plazas or doing educational community event (both hallmarks of orchestra outreach programs).
People (and paying people) are more and more sitting behind their computers - there is a huge younger generation that is craving a "cultural authentic" experience, but it has to be done on their terms. Which is, increasingly, online.
I have yet to see any orchestra explore online vehicles for promotion outreach or experiencing music. Philly made some archive recordings available a while ago, but that's about it.
Do you know of any?
The most notable incidence of online outreach that I've heard of happened in September, 2007, when the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic gave a concert in Second Life.