Successfully finding younger audiences in the Boston arts ecosystem

Posted on: May 3, 2016

“At a time when orchestra audiences nationwide are growing smaller and grayer, nearly 30 percent of Boston Symphony Orchestra concertgoers this season have been under the age of 40,” writes Maureen Dezell on Monday (5/2) at Boston radio station WBUR. “BSO managing director Mark Volpe is quick to point out that the symphony’s extraordinary growth in youthful attendance came about as a result of some ‘aggressive pricing strategies’ aimed not only at attracting but keeping young attendees. ‘In any given year we’re selling thousands of tickets to people under 40 through college cards and the “20under40” program,’ which offers $20 seats … Volpe said. The BSO has launched a suite of special programs to encourage those concertgoers to come back, including a Casual Fridays series.… These cost between $25 and $45 and include live music before and after the main program, plus an invitation to use BSO-supplied iPads in a designated seating section.… ‘Our marketing is reaching a lot more households, [but] it’s more work and it is a more cluttered marketplace,’ ” Volpe said. The article also discusses Boston’s American Repertory Theater, Huntington Theatre, and a new ten-year master plan by the city of Boston that will include the arts.

Posted May 3, 2016

Pictured: The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to reach new audiences include a subscription series for young professionals including parties and special performances. Photo by Hilary Scott / Boston Symphony Orchestra