The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Minnesota Orchestra will try performing shorter and more informal concerts next season. What do you think? Should that be tried here in Madison and elsewhere? | November 16, 2014

By Jacob Stockinger

You may remember that at the beginning of November, The Ear posted a series of 10 suggestions  to improve orchestral concerts (below bottom) intended to draw in bigger, newer and younger audiences.

concert

The suggestions were made by conductor Baldur Bronniman (below).

Baldur Bronniman

I added two suggestions of my own: Make concerts shorter and make tickets cheaper.

The post drew a lot of strong responses, mostly con but some pro, from readers. You should check them out.

Here is a link:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/classical-music-an-orchestra-conductor-suggests-10-ways-to-improve-concerts-the-ear-adds-two-more/

Now I see that, with the help of a grant, the Minnesota Orchestra will try putting on some shorter and more informal concerts. The orchestra recently returned from the brink of bankruptcy and disaster under Finnish Grammy-winning music director Osmo Vanska, who took the same percentage pay cut at his players. (He is below and at bottom in a YouTube video conducting symphonies by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius), 

osmo vanska

While The Ear proposed 90-minute concerts without intermission, it seems the Minnesota Orchestra will try out the 60-minute formula in three concerts between this coming January and June. The programs look pretty good.

(Thanks for directing me to the story goes to Steve Kurr, below, the Middleton High School  music teacher and conductor of the Middleton Community Orchestra, which generally follows a short and more informal programs  for its concerts.)

Steve Kurr conducting

I will be anxious to see the results. So will a lot of other orchestra maestros and administrators, I suspect.

Just maybe we are beginning to see the start of a trend in bringing concert hall practices up to – or down to? — the standards of a high-tech and very busy society that is both timed-deprived and driven by a shorter attention span.

Here is a link to the story:

http://m.startribune.com/entertainment/music/280257972.html

What do you think of the ideas in general and the experiments in Minnesota?

The Ear wants to hear.

 

Advertisements

4 Comments »

  1. If it’s such a good idea, why does it require a special grant in order to make it affordable to do it?

    Comment by Steve Rankin — November 16, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

  2. The Madison Symphony Orchestra has not compromised its programming….as John DeMain has said, others should study MSO’s model. It is flexible and thriving, and audiences get the full evening of music they enjoy and appreciate. … immersion sans electronic diversion.

    Comment by Dean Schroeder — November 16, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  3. Ronnie,
    Thanks for reading and responding.
    I couldn’t agree more.
    When the culture changes, so must the ways of presenting it.
    Jake

    Comment by welltemperedear — November 16, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  4. Whatever encourages new listenership is worth a try. I don’t view this as dumbing down at all.

    Comment by Ronnie Hess — November 16, 2014 @ 10:25 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,093 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 1,724,243 hits
%d bloggers like this: