Orchestras head for storefronts, bars, subway stations

Posted on: December 9, 2013

“Imagine you’re walking past a bar one evening as a young couple opens the door to head in. You catch the sound of the act inside, but it’s no punk band—it’s a small orchestra playing Jimi Hendrix,” writes Jenna Fisher in Friday’s (12/6) Christian Science Monitor (Boston). “ ‘There’s something very important happening, no question,’ says Jesse Rosen, president of the League of American Orchestras. ‘To me, it looks like an explosion of creativity and a broadening of the palate.’ … Alternative venues and innovative chamber orchestras [are] … changing classical music’s image. From Portland, Ore.-born Classical Revolution PDX to New York City’s The Knights, forward-thinking chamber orchestras have developed distinctive profiles in their repertoire, their roles, and their connection to community. In Boston, A Far Cry … has experimented with programming for children and educational institutions. They rehearse in a storefront open to the public and use outdoor speakers to pipe their music out to the street. The most successful orchestras, says David Ludwig, a composer and a dean at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, ‘are finding new ways to let the audiences in to what we’re doing … and people in the audience respond really positively to that.’ ”

Posted December 9, 2013