Ten commandments for building classical-music audiences

Posted on: August 6, 2013

On Wednesday (7/31) at his “Audience Wanted” blog at ArtsJournal.com, Matt Lehrman speaks to Holly Hickman—a  music-marketing consultant who has come up with a list of ten Commandments of Classical Music Audience-Building—about the challenges of building audiences for classical music. “I look at relevance for classical music organizations as understanding your community and different audience segments and being able to connect with them where they are,” Hickman says. “It should be a collaborative journey, rather than a one-way street.” Among the organizations Hickman cites for their work in this area are the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Colorado’s Boulder Philharmonic. “I think many classical organizations are successfully creating a balance between honoring and continuing treasured traditions, while exploring new territory. One example is The Knights, a New York-based orchestra founded by musicians and brothers Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen.” Hickman’s ten commandments include: Thou shalt not assume that your internal likes, dislikes, habits, traditions and expectations are better than those of the patrons you serve. Thou shalt not try to cut your way to success. Thou shalt reflect your community’s unique culture in your programming, collaborations, and outreach programs. Thou shalt participate in transparent communication, planning, and decision-making processes.

Posted August 6, 2013