Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Taking Action: The Future Symphony Institute

Over the past decade or two, there has been much talk about the state of classical music. Will it survive in the future? How can we create an experience that is appealing to all generations? These are only some of the questions that music professionals are concerned about and The Future Symphony Institute is addressing them head on. Andrew Balio, principal trumpet at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, has gathered musicians and researchers to generate and promote innovative ideas about how to sustain orchestral music. The Institute is holding their first conference this weekend, September 27th and 28th, at the University of Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun wrote an article about Andrew Balio, this new formation, and the conference this weekend. There is one quote from Andrew Balio in this article that I would like to bring up for discussion: “Look at the Apple company,” Balio says. “Steve Jobs created demand where there was no demand. Apple doesn’t have a majority market share of anything, not even smartphones, but they are so solid in dominance of a group of people. We have to drive demand for classical music.”

I agree with Balio that for classical music to thrive in the future, we have to create some demand for it. Just like Steve Jobs, we need to convince the American population that this product (that being classical music) is vital to have in their lives. But is this comparison to Steve Jobs applicable? For me, it is and it isn’t. Technology is something all generations (or at least nowadays) are attuned to and because the technological industry was already beginning to thrive, it made it easier for Steve Jobs to make his mark. From statistics that have been recorded, a minimal percentage of the American population actually listens to or attends classical music concerts. Steve Jobs was working in an increasing market, where classical musicians are working in a decreasing market. As arts managers, how to we create demand for something that most people cannot identify with? I’m not saying that creating demand for classical music is harder than it was for Steve Jobs, it’s just different. I have mixed ideas about this quote, so I would love to hear your thoughts!

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2014 by .
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