Innovations On Stage

Organized by Liz Sklaroff, program officer, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; presented by Alan Brown, principal, Alan S. Brown & Associates; Aaron Dworkin, president, Sphinx Organization; Howard Herring, president and CEO, New World Symphony; and Murry Sidlin, conductor.

More and more orchestras are experimenting with new concert formats and enhancements that make classical music relevant to a wider audience. This session focused on program innovations in the orchestra field and the critical role of funders in stimulating and reinforcing innovation. Alan Brown, who directed the Classical Music Consumer Segmentation Study for Knight Foundation, opened the session with a summary of consumer trends affecting demand for classical concerts. Participants shared examples of new concert formats and concert enhancements, including contextual programming, dramatization of music, visual enhancements and interpretative aids. The second half of the session allowed for participant discussion and interaction with panelists. Do these new concert enhancements add up to an important shift in programming direction? Should innovation be a priority for orchestras and their funders? How can funders most effectively sew the seeds of innovation?


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