|Posted by The Fourth Wall on May 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM|
Posted by Greg
Hilary, Neil, and I all really enjoy playing with orchestras both back in our respective sections and in front as soloists. There is nothing quite like the musical bear hug that comes from performing with 60, 70, 80+ other musicians! The orchestra world, however, has been facing pretty serious challenges over the last few decades with strikes, financial shortfalls, and the ever present need to build donors and new audiences. This is why I get so excited when I read about some of the creative new initiatives like what the Seattle Symphony did a couple weeks ago.
I highly recommend Dana Wen's article linked above, but in short, the orchestra presented a chamber concert of NEW MUSIC featuring works by three members of the orchestra alongside great pieces by Chinary Ung, Anna Clyne, and John Luther Adams (whose house we visited when we were in Fairbanks!). I love this for two reasons: one, NEW MUSIC, the Ung, Clyne, and Adams are great pieces that are seriously fulfilling musically while at the same time have a lot of audience appeal! Two is that this program give audiences an intimate introduction to some of the humans who dwell within the orchestra. Very little is more exposing than composing and hopefully this program and the pieces by Krimsky (principal bassoon), Anderson (principal bass), and Hausmann (principal oboe) will entice audience members to return to see the full band in action. Furthermore, giving patrons a personal connection to individual members within an orchestra draws their attention and allows them to focus more closely the next time they see a show. Way to go, Seattle Symphony!