Opinion: when selecting music director, ask the audience what they want

Posted on: March 30, 2015

On Friday (3/27) at classical radio station WQXR’s website, WQXR General Manager and Vice President Graham Parker writes, “Are we looking in the right place for the next music director for the New York Philharmonic? … Critics and pundits will continue to debate the merits of possible candidates but I have another proposal: let’s ask the audience who they might want.…  The audience, in this case, are: current patrons of the New York Philharmonic; future audiences who like classical music but don’t buy tickets; folks who don’t yet like classical music but have a latent reason to like it at some point; and then the wider audience of New York.… A successful music director needs to please and inspire musicians of the orchestra, the board, the donors and the critics, but that group is secondary to building an audience who is will to show up, pay for and evangelize the actual output. More could be done to solve problems in the arts if our audiences were as enthusiastic as sports fans—willing to do whatever they could to tell everyone around them to support their team. That only happens when the teams and the players resonate with folks.”

Posted March 30, 2015