Orchestras look to tweet seats as way to attract younger crowd

Posted on: October 24, 2012

In Sunday’s (10/21) Houston Chronicle, Colin Eatock writes, “Autumn is the time of year when orchestras and opera companies launch their new seasons. As in the past, plenty of Mozart, Verdi and Beethoven are on offer. But there’s also a growing sense of unease and insecurity. … Concerned about the ‘graying’ of their core audience, organizations that present classical music are looking for ways to update their images and attract a younger crowd. There’s a big push to modernize, innovate and embrace new technologies. But tweeting at the opera or at a symphony concert? … It’s a tentative development, and by no means is everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. … Opera companies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Kansas City and Nashville have recently experimented with tweet seats, in various ways. … For the past three summers, the Houston Symphony has presented a ‘tweetcert,’ a concert where people could follow real-time commentary on their mobile devices about the works being performed. … Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive officer of the New York-based League of American Orchestras, says tweet seats are intended to appeal to a youthful demographic. ‘It’s part of orchestras’ efforts to make concerts more in tune with the way young people expect performance events to be,’ he notes, ‘which is to say, highly interactive. We know that some people like to engage with others and transmit their experiences.’ ”

Photo by Leah Polkowske

Posted October 24, 2012