on the record

We've been hearing about the death of classical music and the aging of the audience for many decades. Not true!

In fact, the first time I saw imminent death predicted for classical music was in a 1962 editorial in Stereo Review, which observed (without evidence) that the audience was aging significantly, and that if something wasn't done soon we would see some major orchestras folding.

Guess what? We're still here, and doing better than ever. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "reports of our death are highly exaggerated." The truth is, while orchestras (like other cultural institutions) face tremendous challenges as a result of our ever-changing society, we are embracing these challenges in many innovative and exciting ways.

This blog is about the vitality of America's orchestras and will paint a realistic portrait of orchestras in their communities as well as the way they are keeping alive the art and tradition of symphonic music.

When I became the President of the American Symphony Orchestra League in 2003, I made it my mission to literally go out and visit as many orchestras as I could in order to assess firsthand the national situation. Since that time I have traveled all over the country visiting orchestras of all shapes and sizes. Typically, I spend a day or two with each orchestra I visit, meeting with musicians, trustees, and staff, and almost always attending a concert (or at least a rehearsal).

This experience has been an uplifting education about the scope, diversity, and variety of today's American orchestral scene as well as its basic health and vitality. As of this writing, I have visited 93 different American orchestras since July, 2003.

The ways in which the New York Philharmonic, the Boseman (Montana) Symphony Orchestra, and the Reno Chamber Orchestra interact with their communities are astonishingly varied, and it is my hope to illuminate those interactions, and at the same time the remarkable level of performance that can be found in the most unexpected places.
September 30, 2006 9:33 PM |



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas McLennan published on September 30, 2006 9:33 PM.

Henry Fogel was the previous entry in this blog.

Welcome! is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.