During the last few years many orchestras were forced to rethink their business model. Reasons had been diverse: shrinking and/or grey-hair audiences, lack of (public, corporate or private) funding, growing expenditures for musicians and staff.

Some orchestras were (or are) in turmoil, such as the Baltimore Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra and many smaller ones.

Smart orchestra mangers and boards have tackled these problems, others didn’t.

✅ The Checklist is not that sophisticated:


⚠️… the mission and vision statement (MVS) of the orchestra? (Your orchestras doesn‘t have got one – start to think about it immediately!) Has it been discussed with staff & musicians, as well as updated, recently?

➡️ Reality check: ask the 2nd bassoon, a viola player, a board member and the chief conductor about the MVS. If you get 4 different answers: now you do know that there’s a problem. ✅

⚠️ … the real relevancy of the orchestral organization for the community? Is it written in the MVS, only? Or do you really have tightened the ties with peoples, stakeholders and peergroups around you? Is there a management strategy for doing so?

⚠️ … artistic and personal planning? Is there an overall long-term strategy, which is independent from the topic chief conductor? If not, how should it look like?

⚠️ … equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues?

⚠️ … a marketing, PR and digital strategy and resources?

⚠️ … a intelligent subscription strategy which is incorporated into the audience development?

⚠️ … a sustainability strategy, which covers answers on the engagement on #ClimateChange, for #Environment and organizational sustainability itself?

If you do have positive answers on all of these questions, you‘re a lucky guy, working in the perfect orchestra. ✅

If not, start working on a priority list for change. ✅