Cleveland Orchestra attracting more young people to concert hall

Posted on: January 22, 2013

In Saturday’s (1/19) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Zachary Lewis writes, “There was a time when Gary Hanson’s vow to build the youngest audience in the nation for the Cleveland Orchestra seemed chimerical. Impossible, even. Now, the promise by the executive director isn’t just coming true. It’s doing so years ahead of schedule. Long before Hanson’s pledge for 2018, the orchestra is seeing attendance and ticket revenue skyrocket, mostly as a result of new programs aimed at children and students.  ‘I feel that we’re well on the way to what the vision was,’ said Ross Binnie, the orchestra’s chief marketing officer. … In November and December, over 47,500 people bought tickets to Cleveland Orchestra concerts. That’s 28 percent more than the number of ticket buyers during the same period in 2011. … As Binnie suggests, some of the success may be attributable to an improving regional economy. Most of it, though, probably stems from active steps taken by the orchestra and its Center for Future Audiences to make tickets more affordable. A majority of those in the new student wave are members of the free ‘Student Advantage’ program or holders of $50 ‘Frequent Fan’ cards. They’re buying either $10 tickets the week before concerts or [through the Frequent Fan card] getting one free ticket to as many individual subscription concerts as they wish.”

Posted January 22, 2013