New strategies gain momentum at Philadelphia Orchestra

Posted on: September 16, 2010

In Tuesday’s (9/14) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes about the long-term planning happening at the Philadelphia Orchestra. “This is an unprecedented, put-everything-on-the-table moment. After decades of costs exceeding income, the orchestra has now decided that only profound change will bring a fix. In the coming months, a committee will fashion a new strategic plan covering everything from what the ensemble plays, to where, for whom, and how often. As the strategic plan and labor talks overlap, musicians undoubtedly will press the board to donate more. The board will repeat its demand that musicians be paid less. … Philadelphia Orchestra lovers in Tokyo and London deserve quality; at the same time, the orchestra needs to ‘reconnect with Philadelphia,’ as board chairman Richard B. Worley repeats, seeking a larger, as-yet-unknown audience in schools, parks, neighborhood concerts. … Despite frequent stumbles, the organization has actually been incredibly creative in matters of reach and presentation. It developed ‘Access’ concerts for curious but inexperienced listeners. It was the first major orchestra to do a live ‘cybercast’—in 1997, no less. Successful neighborhood concerts now have a 10-year record of intimate embrace.”

Posted September 16, 2010