Report: decrease in premieres by U.S. orchestras and opera companies in 2011

Posted on: September 23, 2013

“The shock of the new reverberated less frequently in America’s opera houses and concert halls in 2011, according to the latest National Arts Index report,” writes Mike Boehm in Friday’s (9/20) Los Angeles Times. “The 145-page report, issued this week by the advocacy group Americans for the Arts, aims to give a year-by-year reading on the state of the arts scene’s health by boiling down a bevy of statistics into a single number. While the overall index showed just a slight dip in 2011, one sobering finding was a steep decrease in the number of new works premiered by American opera companies and orchestras. Orchestras performed 124 new works in 2011, down from an average of 154 premieres the three previous years. American opera companies launched 10 new operas after having averaged 21 the three preceding years…. Jesse Rosen, president of the [League of American Orchestras], didn’t take the 2011 decline in orchestral premieres as a sign of crisis. ‘It’s my sense that year-by-year fluctuations in commissioning are not unusual, but that there has been a longer-term trend towards increasing commissions and new works,’ he said, citing new series by the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony.”

Posted September 23, 2013