Saturday, June 10, 2006

Old and New Concert Marketing

I'm fascinated by this review of this recent chamber orchestra concert on Manhattan's Lower East Side. From what I can tell from the review, it's an example of young professional classical musicians being innovative, bringing in a different kind of audience in a different kind of setting. Of particular interest is Bernard Holland's (the reviewer) empasis on the quality of the playing, and also his interesting observation about the physicial circumstances of classical concerts.

As Greg Sandow keeps writing about on his book-in-progress blog as well as his general blog, the future of classical music lies at least in part in creating new performance circumstances.

As far as old performing circumstances go, I was saddened to receive a letter yesterday from the Inidianapolis Symphony offering me 20% off for tickets for next weekends season-ending subscription concert. Obviously, ticket sales aren't going well.

Ironically, I'm planning to go anyway. The soloist is the up-and-coming cellist Alban Gerhardt, whom I want to hear. (And, wow, one of the review quotes says he "oozes" passion. Never seen passion "ooze" before--certainly don't want to miss that!)

The letter focuses on Gerhardt. It was sent to my home address, meaning it's from a database of past ticket buyers, not one of cello teachers (unless they bought the American String Teacher Association mailing list for this area). I did buy 5 or 6 tickets to a Lynn Harrell concert with the ISO last fall, and took some students. That may be why I got the letter--it's the first such letter I've received.

I was planning to see if I could get a comp ticket from a friend in the ISO. But as I know from running my own little chamber music series, every dollar helps. So I may buy a ticket!

It's been a great season for cello soloists with the ISO, by the way. The opening concert featured Arkady Orlovsky, the orchestra's wonderful principal cellists, playing Bloch's Schelomo. Then in early December came Lynn Harrell playing the Dvorak concerto. And now Gerhart.

And, unfortunately, plenty of seats available for all three. Now, that's nice if you need to get a ticket at the last minute, and it's nice to get 20% off anything. But it doesn't suggest things are going all that well with the ISO in terms of getting people to come to the concerts.


Anonymous said...

Eric, that seems like an awesome group... wish I had known about em before... hopefully I can catch their next event

-Mike Lunapiena

Anonymous said...

Are you going to the ISO Friday or Saturday night? I'll be there Saturday night with my parents, perhaps I'll see you!

Jennifer Riddle