4th International Orchestra Conference in Montreal is on the way

From May 11 to 14 the international orchestra community is gathering in Montreal. 300 delegates from more than 40 countries will discuss cutting edge topics of the industry.

International Orchestra Conference

Created in 2008 by FIM (International Federation of Musicians), the International Orchestra Conference takes place every three years. The previous editions took place in Berlin (2008), Amsterdam (2011) and Oslo (2014). The aim of this dedicated conference is to give symphony orchestra or opera musicians down to the smallest ensemble orchestras the opportunity to share their experiences, concerns and initiatives on issues such as improving working conditions, consolidating employment, risk prevention where health and safety are concerned, developing audiences or public or private financial perpetuation.

A place of exchange for musicians and managers

Since its first edition in 2008, the International Orchestra Conference has invited administrators to take part in panels alongside musicians’ representatives. This open approach enables us to address issues of common interest together, without excluding controversy.

Financing methods, the impact of digital on the way orchestras operate and their relationship with the public, taking risks into account where occupational health is concerned, the involvement of musicians in elaborating artistic projects – these are but a few examples of the numerous issues which musicians and managers address. We need to take up issues and submit them for debate.

Orchestras: an essential cultural mission

In February 2014, musicians’ representatives meeting at the 3rd International Orchestra Conference stated: “Support for symphony and opera music, which are a precious and fragile part of our cultural heritage, is a prime responsibility of national, regional and local governments“. In what has become known as the Oslo Call, they also called on political decision makers “to honour this responsibility, by providing orchestras with the means that are necessary to pursue their missions and thus contribute to, and enhance artistic, social and economic life“.

This public service mission for orchestras reaffirmed here fulfils our societies’ need for culture, providing them with both artistic excellence and social bonding.

Find programme here.

#Classical #music 2017 business is more vibrant than ever

It’s not fake news. It’s true: the classical music business seems to be more vibrant than ever before. “A few decades ago, I would not have put money on the survival of the concerto, except as an antiquarian curiosity. Celebrity soloists continued milking the classics, but the rest of the music world seemed to have moved on from all that gladiatorial bravura, the individual versus the collective story line that made the genre such a Romantic-era staple”, writes Justin Davidson about the topic situation in New York.

 

Tenthousands of people listen to classical music – Oper für alle – Berlin

In Germany there are more crowds joining classical live music pereformances, festivals and events than the national soccer league, according to a STRAD report. A couple of new concert halls and music theatres in Bochum, Berlin (Pierre Boulez Hall at Barenboim-Said Foundation), Dresden and of course Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie) as well as refurbished venues in Munich, Dresden and other German cities (topic issue of the magazine “das Orchester”) show the refreshed power of classical music on major markets. German orchestras have doubled their education and outreach activities since 2004. For example: last week West German Radio Orchestra Cologne rushed out of the concert hall.13 chamber music ensembles visited some 100 primary schools in 55 cities in Northrhine-Westfalia and reached out to 20.000 kids. In one week! This is good news!

US Orchestras loose subscribers and audiences

The League of American Orchestras has released Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014, the organization’s first comprehensive longitudinal study of American orchestra finances and operations.

Survey says: US orchestras loose subscribers and audienees

Survey says: US orchestras loose subscribers and audienees

Using an extensive variety of organizational and external data sources, the study depicts the enormous breadth and scope of the American orchestra field, along with the complexities and resiliencies inherent in the art form’s business model. With its focus on the nine-year period from 2006 to 2014, including topline trends, five-year trends, and one-year snapshots, Orchestra Facts examines the effects of the recent recession, as well as broader trends around audience attendance, orchestra finances, and accessibility.

Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 reveals a remarkable breadth of activity and commitment of resources on the part of orchestras in service to their communities,” said League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “Our first-ever longitudinal study provides an authoritative fact base for analyzing orchestras’ finances and operations, as well as new metrics for understanding orchestras’ education and community engagement activity.” The report finds that the scope and scale of the orchestra field in the United States is vast: in 2014, 1,224 orchestras contributed $1.8 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted a total audience of nearly 25 million. Two out of every three orchestras operated with annual expenses budgets of under $300,000. Cost barriers traditionally associated with attending orchestra performances are coming down: the number of free concerts has increased, while the cost of purchasing paid-for tickets fell.

 

An 18% growth in the number of households subscribing shows that demand for subscriptions is still growing, even if spend per subscriber is down. Overall, audiences declined by 10.5% between 2010 and 2014, broadly in line with other performing arts sectors. However, audiences for classical series concerts declined by 5.5% (corresponding roughly to a 3% decline in the number of classical series performances offered). The report also finds that orchestras’ work continues outside the concert hall through a wide array of education and community engagement activities for diverse audiences.

Generally, the report confirms recession recovery for the field as a whole, but individual orchestras may have different experiences. The study also illustrates the complexity of the orchestra business model as orchestras balance multiple forms of earned, contributed, and investment revenue. Looking at Change in Unrestricted Net Assets (CUNA), defined as the difference between unrestricted income and total expenses, the proportion of orchestras reporting deficits dropped from 40% in 2010 to 18% in 2014.

 Report Highlights*:

See report’s Key Findings (pp 4-5) and Conclusions (p 20) sections for more details.

Download the Full Report Here

 

For the first time, this report publicly reveals a detailed picture of the scope and scale of the orchestra field in the United States:

  • In 2014, the orchestra field contributed $1.8 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted a total audience of nearly 25 million.
  • That same year, there were 1,224 U.S. orchestras, distributed widely across all 50 states, and two out of every three orchestras operated with annual expenses budgets of under $300,000.

Orchestras perform, but also teach, lead, facilitate, and train.

  • Their work drives a vast array of education and community engagement (EdCE) activities.
  • A segment of the report analyzes survey responses from 98 orchestras EdCE activities: these 98 orchestras alone reported 19,000 EdCE performances, musical activities, and events, with 2.1 million people participating in these EdCE events.
  • Two thirds participated without charge.
  • Thirty-eight percent of the EdCE participants were African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaskan Native. Sixty-two percent were white.

Cost barriers traditionally associated with attending orchestra performances are coming down:

  • Between 2010 and 2014, the number of free concerts increased, while the cost of purchasing paid-for tickets fell.

Orchestras find themselves at a moment of transition:

  • 2013 saw a significant shift in the traditional orchestra business model as – for the first time – income produced by single ticket and group sales was higher than that earned from subscription revenues.
  • The subscription model remains important: an 18% growth in the number of households subscribing shows that demand for subscriptions is still growing, even if spend per subscriber is down.
  • Overall, audiences declined by 10.5% between 2010 and 2014, broadly in line with other performing arts sectors.
  • However, audiences for classical series concerts declined by 5.5%, corresponding roughly to a 3% decline in the number of classical series performances offered.
  • The stability of contributed income through the recession years and the large number of small gifts made to orchestras (around 75% of the gifts made by non-trustee individuals were under $250) indicate a broad base of continuing community support for – and appreciation of – orchestras’ work.

The orchestra business model is complex but resilient:

  • Orchestras depend upon a complex portfolio of revenue sources that includes multiple forms of earned, contributed, and investment income.
  • Orchestras successfully maintained contributed income levels through the recession while containing growth in expenses.
  • Many orchestras rely on investment income, though this makes them more vulnerable during leaner times.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, total asset value increased by 4% while liabilities decreased by 7.5%, having peaked at the recession’s height. Consequently, net assets grew at a rate exceeding inflation by 6.6%.
  • In general terms, these measures indicate improved organizational stability over time, despite the impact of recession on the field.
  • Looking at Change in Unrestricted Net Assets (CUNA), defined as the difference between unrestricted income and total expenses, the proportion of orchestras reporting deficits dropped from 40% in 2010 to 18% in 2014.
  • It’s important to note that the report confirms recession recovery for the whole field; individual orchestras may have different experiences.

Orchestra Field-wide 2014 Snapshot: 1,224 orchestras in the NCAR and OSR data sets for financial year 2013-14

Orchestra Field 2006-14, 9-year Trends: The 547 orchestras with annual expenses of $50,000 or more that submitted data each of the five financial years from 2005-06 to 2013-14

The OSR data set was also exclusively analyzed in the following two ways: OSR2014 Snapshot: The 107 League member orchestras participating in the Orchestra Statistical Report for financial year 2013-14;  OSR 2010-14, 5-year Trends: The 65 League member orchestras participating in the Orchestra Statistical Report for each of the five financial years from 2009-10 to 2013-14

Figures in the report are adjusted for inflation.

Orchestras surveyed include both professional and semi-professional orchestras, but do not include school, college, or military orchestras.

Youth orchestras are partially represented in the data sets, and are identified by footnotes throughout the report.

Read the full press release here.

#Orchestras in #Asia on the move

The international orchestra scene is on the move. From 5th to 7th October 2016 orchestra managers from Russia and Asia met for the 11th AAPRO summit in Tokyo. “AAPRO” stands for Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras.

AAPRO unites orchestras from the Asia-Pacific region

AAPRO unites orchestras from the Asia-Pacific region

Hosted by the Association of Japanese Orchestras participants discussed several topics, latest developments in South Korea with its 30 professional orchestras or the role of orchestras at Olympic Games. Rudolph Tang, Chinese journalist from Shanghai, reports in depth here.

Next AAPRO summit will be hosted by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in August 2018 in Shanghai.

Five Years of @ClassicalNEXT – Opening in Rotterdam – 2017 Dates and Location

Congratulations! Classical:NEXT, the global meeting for all art music innovators, opened its 2016 edition on May 25 with a ‘Dutch Mountains’ gala opening in de Doelen concert hall, including keynote speeches by Dr Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon; Hans-Hermann Rehberg of the Berlin Radio Choir; and Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects, as well as the star conductor Michael Tilson Thomas via video.

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, gathering music professionals from 45 countries from all over the world for four days of conferences, showcase concerts and networking at the expo. The registration numbers were up by more than 10% before the event even started, with more one thousand participants confirmed by organisers Piranha Arts – exact numbers are to follow with the final press release on Saturday.

Immediately embraced by many labels and distributors when it was initiated in 2012, the Classical:NEXT community has expanded considerably within five editions, as the live sector and music media have also made it their international platform. Meanwhile, the event has developed into the biggest meeting for artists, entrepreneurs and multipliers from all branches of the classical and contemporary music scene.

This year marks the second time Classical:NEXT, which is organised by Berlin-based Piranha Arts, takes place in Rotterdam with the main venue and local production partner being Rotterdam’s renowned de Doelen concert hall and congress centre.

“It is truly amazing to see the development of Classical:NEXT – it appears to flourish in its Dutch home,” believes Classical:NEXT Director Jennifer Dautermann. “Not too surprising, actually, considering the context of the optimal conditions offered by our hosts, the city and the cultural scene in the Netherlands overall.”

Neil Wallace, programme director of de Doelen and also producer of this year’s opening enthuses: “This year feels even more exciting than last year – you can literally feel the Classical:NEXT vibe throughout the city, running into international artists and classical music professionals networking everywhere.“

Dutch Mountains Opening presents Netherlands’ finest

After Austria, Luxembourg and Canada, this year’s opening country was the Netherlands. The ceremony was produced by Classical:NEXT 2016 hosts De Doelen, who are also celebrating their 50th anniversary this month.

For a country renowned for its flatness, the heights the Netherlands’ art music were very much on show at the Classical:NEXT 2016 gala Opening. The “Dutch Mountains” Opening featured a wide range of Dutch talent. The concert was heralded by contemporary marching band 9 x 13 and featured classical guitar innovator Aart Strootman (who performed the world premiere of his ‘Counterpoint 21’), sonic adventurers Ensemble Klang, boundary-breaking collective LUDWIG (who tonight announced the inclusion of Barbara Hannigan as a member of its collective), celebrated proponent of ‘pianism’ Ralph van Raat and anti-traditional percussion ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag all took to the stage. These glimpses into the Dutch art music world were connected and interwoven with specially-commissioned work by pioneering video-maker Jules van Hulst of the acclaimed 33⅓ Collective. A tutti performance of Louis Andriessen’s piece ‘Workers Union’ wrapped-up the tightly-curated evening that brought together such disparate  as operatic spinning tops, jawbones-as-percussion and tales of Buddhist moss-gardens.

The opening was produced on behalf of, and with the support of, Dutch Performing Arts. The opening artists were selected by De Doelen, advised by young Dutch curators Masa Spaan, Shane Burmania and Floris Kortie.

“Create works that tell the story of our time”: Keynotes give food for thought – Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music announce new cooperation

A highlight of the evening was the keynote address, which was split four ways: statements were made by Dr Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon, Hans-Hermann Rehberg of the Berlin Radio Choir, and Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects, and a specially-recorded video message was delivered by world-famous conductor and orchestral director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Acknowledging Classical:NEXT as one of the industry’s most important events, Trautmann exclusively announced Deutsche Grammophon’s new initiative with Apple Music, creating a curated online space which can become a “prime destination for veteran followers, as well as new listeners”. (More details will follow in their press release on Thursday 26 May).

A prominent topic of the keynote was the need for continuing accessibility and relevance. Morrison urged the art music world to “create works that tell the story of our time”; Trautmann gave advice for the assembled Classical:NEXT delegates: “Stay curious, stay hungry and stay paranoid. As we know, only the paranoid survive. But most importantly, have fun!”; and Rehberg summarised the core tennet of Classical:NEXT in proclaiming “the reason why I am here is to talk to many of you in order to get new ideas, be inspired and create something new for both the Berlin Radio Choir and its audience”.

For downloadable press photographs from the Opening concert, see below.

New Programme Items, New Networks and Fellowships

New features this year include focuses on “NEXT:Tech” and music theatre, with extra conference programme as well as Operadagen Rotterdam and the Music Theatre Now competition being held parallel to Classical:NEXT, next door. New networks are also present at Classical:NEXT and engaging with the programme, e.g. with Codarts (Rotterdam’s renowned conservatory and university for the arts) and PRS for Music Foundation (the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development across all genres) starting a Classical:NEXT Fellowship programme for young composers and artists. The two organisations have both selected three outstanding talents and are enabling them to visit Classical:NEXT 2016 in Rotterdam to engage with more than 1,000 classical music professionals.

Ongoing network initiatives include and international orchestra network as well as an “indie classical” network. The world’s largest distributor and classical label Naxos held their meeting earlier in the week of Classical:NEXT and both organisers announced that they will continue to find the most convenient solution possible for international delegates to attend both events. Head of Naxos Klaus Heymann will speak in a talk, which will be part of the public Classical:NEXT Festival. The Festival will feature eleven international showcase acts, plus further Dutch talent and an appearance of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and a Classical Music Rave from Thursday until Saturday. The final day of the event will see proceedings come to a close with the ceremony of the second Classical:NEXT Innovation Award for outstanding projects, which were voted on by the Classical:NEXT online community.

Classical:NEXT 2017 – in Rotterdam again

With the success of what are now two editions and the location very well accepted among delegates and artists alike, Piranha Arts and de Doelen have agreed to hold Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam again next year; the dates of this sixth edition will be 17 – 20 May 2017.

Useful links for press

You can find photographs from tonight’s Opening concert at the dedicated Dropbox folder, as well as more from the event to be updated throughout the week, at the Classical:NEXT 2016 Press Photos Dropbox.

More downloadable media, including audio and video to come, can be found in the press section of the Dropbox.

For more information on the Classical:NEXT 2016 Opening concert, visit the Opening page at classicalnext.com.

@ClassicalNEXT is ready to start May, 25

Classical:NEXT is a professional forum for classical and art music, the next edition of which will take place in Rotterdam from 25 – 28 May 2016.

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT

It is planned as an annual event that aims to unite the international art music community. The event’s structure consists of three sections – Showcase, Conference and Expo: Showcases will present artists and productions in a series of short concerts or video screenings. The event is on its way to become one of the most exciting international platforms and marketplaces for the future of  classical music.

Conferences will offer presentations, seminars, thinktanks, mentoring, matchmaking and other formats. The Expo is an exhibition place for companies and institutions and offers a meeting point for hundreds of delegates. Classical:NEXT is initiated by CLASS and produced by WOMEX.

Find more information here!

Help sacked MPO players to fight their case at court!

A Malaysian court has tweaked the law to deny basic rights to seven foreign players who were summarily dismissed by the Malaysian Philharmonic, as reported earlier. The orchestra remains under an international musicians boycott.

This appeal comes from one of the disenfranchised seven. Please support this appeal if you can and forward this message.

“I am one of the seven musicians fired three years ago by the Malaysian Philharmonic. After an interminably long wait, the judge has finally delivered her verdict: despite our many years of dedicated work with the orchestra, including long service bonuses and contractual retirement clauses, and despite our unblemished employment records, we were all in fact fixed-term, temporary employees, and had no right to expect continued employment. She decided that the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra had every right to terminate our employment at the end of our current contracts, without giving any notice or reason.

From all the legal advice we have since received, and the case readings we have done, this decision goes completely against the Malaysian Industrial Relations Act, and against just about every precedent that has been set by previous cases. If allowed to stand unchallenged, it will affect every current and future employee of the Malaysian Philharmonic, and seems to give Malaysian employers the right to terminate any employee at will as long as they have implied their “intention” to use a fixed-term contract. Up until this case, under Malaysian law, the burden of proof was always on the employer to establish that the recourse to the fixed-term engagement of the workers was genuinely related to their establishment or undertaking. That appears to be the case no longer.

We believe that an injustice has been done, and are determined to exhaust all of our options to make it right. The legal fees involved are substantial, however, and all of us have had our future earning potential severely affected by our dismissals. To that end, we have established a fundraising campaign to help our supporters contribute, and would like to invite your readers to participate.

Donations can be made anonymously, and we pledge to be completely transparent with the use of those funds, and with our progress. Everything we receive will go to our legal fund, and at the end of the case, if we win a monetary award, we will either return your donation to you in full (if you wish), or make a lump sum donation of the full amount collected to a worthy youth orchestra.”

To support, please visit: www.gofundme.com/MPO7LegalFund