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The word on the street is that American Orchestras are hurting. In 2009 both endowments and audiences have shrunk. This fall we’ve seen the Cleveland Orchestra announce a new residency with the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City and an innovative Friday concert series aimed at a younger crowd. Both moves are intended to reach new audiences and generate new revenue.
In Sunday’s Washington Post, Anne Midgette explores another audience-boosting tactic — the new, celebrity, conductor. Without doubt, the biggest hype of the season surrounds the arrival of Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles. Also this fall, the New York Philharmonic has welcomed maestro Alan Gilbert. It is still too early to tell whether new blood has increased the audience in these cities, but they have reason to be hopeful. Midgette points to Pittsburgh (Manfred Honeck) and Dallas (Jaap van Zweden) as recent examples of orchestras reenergized by new music directors.
Nigel Redden, director of Lincoln Center Festival, and Gary Hanson, executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, announced on Tuesday afternoon a new multi-year residency for the Orchestra at the Lincoln Center Festival to begin in 2011 and continue in 2013 and 2015.
From July 13-17, 2011, Franz Welser-Möst will conduct four concerts juxtaposing Bruckner’s Symphonies 5, 7, 8 and 9 with works by John Adams, and will also give a master class on Bruckner at the Juilliard School.
The 2013 and 2015 residencies will include fully staged productions from the Vienna State Opera with Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra in the pit of the David H. Koch Theater (Welser-Möst will become General Music Director of the VSO in 2010, in the same year as Dominique Meyer, currently of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysees in Paris becomes Intendant). The second and third residencies will also include concert performances and possibly ballet.
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