St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, appealing to younger concertgoers with social venues, lower ticket prices, programming

Posted on: May 22, 2018

“A line of food trucks was parked outside the concert venue,” writes Terry Blain in Friday’s (5/18) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “The crowd of 20- and 30-somethings sipped, nibbled and milled out [on the plaza outside Ordway Concert Hall]. They were about to catch one of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s recent ‘happy hour’ concerts. ‘Young people in particular have really responded to the more social aspect,’ said SPCO marketing director Lindsey Hansen…. The SPCO is ‘breaking the established conventions,’ said Douglas Hagerman, board chairman of the New York City-based League of American Orchestras.… SPCO principal violinist Kyu-Young Kim … was appointed SPCO artistic director in 2016 [placing] artistic decision-making firmly in the hands of SPCO players … giving musicians the autonomy to create interesting, unusual programs…. ‘Death and the Maiden,’ a 2017 album planned in conjunction with SPCO artistic partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja, won a Grammy Award this year. Meanwhile, the SPCO has slashed ticket prices.… The idea wasn’t necessarily about filling seats, Limbacher said…. ‘Our job is to share [the orchestra] with everyone, and price can be a huge barrier. We have worked to reduce the price so that it’s not beyond the reach of most people.’ ”

Posted May 22, 2018