League Conference’s “Red Alert!” session urges orchestras to ask tough questions

Posted on: June 8, 2011

In Wednesday’s (6/8) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “Nearly 1,000 delegates will hear a heavy dose of reality in Minneapolis this morning, as the League of American Orchestras convenes a special session at its 66th national conference. Titled ‘Red Alert!’ the meeting focuses on severe challenges facing the orchestra world, such as the recent bankruptcy filing in Philadelphia and the Detroit strike that resulted in huge cuts in musician salaries. Beyond that, audiences have declined, and orchestras have cut back programming. ‘I’m going to point to the urgent need to address these challenges,’ said Jesse Rosen, League president, when asked Tuesday about what he would say to delegates at the Minneapolis Hilton. ‘The percentage of the population that attends one concert a year has fallen 29 percent between 1982 and 2008.’ … Rosen said orchestras also are receiving a smaller share of philanthropy and facing declines in income derived from ticket sales. Yet he also saw some reasons for optimism, citing the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra initiative to lower ticket prices, which he described as ‘a game changer.’ ”

Posted June 8, 2011