Social media, the Internet, and mobile technology are considered to be key to connecting, interacting, and building relationships between Millennials and arts organizations. Read more of my research on engaging Millennial generation audiences and donors in my latest blog post. Continue reading
“The Millennials’ Orchestra” series of blog posts are not meant to be opinion pieces, but rather founded in research, which I gathered and reported as part of my graduate Capstone project from 2012-2013. This is a personal blog and does not represent the views or opinions of my employer.
The Millennials’ Orchestra: From The Millennial’s Perspective
Symphony orchestra concerts – Where are the Millennials? Why aren’t they in our audiences? What are they interested in and what would excite them to attend classical orchestra concerts?
So many orchestra managers have lost sleep over these types of questions – including myself. As a Millennial and self proclaimed orchestra-lover, I knew there had to be others out there like me who love the art form, but perhaps they chose to participate in symphonic music in different ways than in the traditional sense of attending a concert… With these questions and more, I set out on a mission for answers. From there, my graduate research survey was born.
Through this survey, I was able to gain valuable insight into the current public sentiment around classical music and symphony orchestra performance in the 21st century and across the U.S. The survey was distributed on social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress – which may account for the lack of responses from the two oldest generations. Within ten days, however, 110 people had voluntarily participated in the survey. Out of those 110 respondents, 62 had identified themselves as Millennials. (Here’s where it gets really interesting!)
Millennials Speak Out:
What in your opinion are the biggest challenges facing symphony orchestras, especially when it comes to engaging younger audiences in live performance?
- Approximately 60% of Millennial survey participants selected “lack of interest” as their response. When answers such as, “all of the above” or “combination of expense and lack of interest” are also included, that figure increased by nearly three percentage points (to 62.9%). Across all survey participants, however, “lack of interest” was clearly the outlier (45% selected this answer).
- The second most prevalent answer among Millennials was “concert experience” (10 out of 62, or ~16%).
Contrary to common belief, “expense” is not the biggest concern for Millennials when it comes to orchestra concerts. Albeit it’s still an important and influential factor, only 6 out of 62, or ~9.7% of Millennial survey takers selected this as their answer. It appears that Millennials place greater value on relevance and appeal when making the decision to attend a symphony orchestra concert.
So where are the audiences? The young people?
Thought-Leaders Share Their Opinions:
Greg Sandow, author of The Future of Classical Music ArtsJournal blog, believes that the concert experience is at the heart of the lack of Millennials in attendance at classical symphony orchestra concerts. Other limiting factors face U.S. symphony orchestras. With increasing reliance on social and handheld technology in our modern society, Engaging Art contributing authors highlight how the interests and expectations of contemporary audiences have changed, as well as the nature of arts participation. Dan Laughey, author of Music & Youth Culture, emphasizes the connection of “youth culture”  to the energetic, social atmosphere of music clubs and other pop culture environments. Mark Shugoll, of Shugoll Research outside of Washington, D.C., suggests that aligning program offerings with such inclinations can help arts organizations become more relevant and appealing to the elusive Millennial generation patrons.
What do you think, readers?:
What is the key to symphony orchestra appeal in the eyes of our Millennial populations?
What do you think it will take for symphony orchestras in the U.S. to inspire recurring attendance among these coveted audiences?
 Catherine Starek, “Graduate Research Survey 2013 – Classical Music and Symphony Orchestra Performance,” Google Form, 2013.
 Greg Sandow, (ArtsJournal blogger), interview by Catherine Starek.
 Steven Tepper and Bill Ivey, 2008, Engaging Art.
 Dan Laughey, Music & Youth Culture, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd, 2006.
 Mark Shugoll, “BSO’s Symphony with a Twist,” interview by Catherine Starek, 2013.
By Catherine Starek – Classical Music Contributor, Gen Y Hub’s Millennial Magazine
Classical music…it’s stuffy, boring, and something that only old people enjoy, right? I beg to differ (and I’ll prove it to you)! While the term “classical” may be misleading, classical music is actually a very exciting, inspiring, and powerful musical genre. Millennial musicians are not only embracing the past, they are also shaping the future of classical music performance and putting a fresh twist on what it means to be a classical musician. As a fellow Millennial and modern classical musician, I am happy to shine a growing spotlight on a hand-selected list of young classical superstars. Stay tuned throughout the Millennial Classical Musicians mini-series to get the scoop on all eight of these fantastic modern musicians.
• Jourdan Urbach – 21, violin
• Nicola Benedetti – 25, violin
• Alisa Weilerstein – 30, cello
• Nadia Sirota – 30, viola
• Gustavo Dudamel –
31 32, baton
• Lang Lang – 31, piano
• Hilary Hanh – 31, violin
• Cameron Carpenter – 32, organ
When talking about classical music, however – an era of music that emerged around 1750 – it’s difficult to keep history out of the conversation. Don’t worry though, I promise to keep it brief! The classical music era extends from the mid-18th to the early-19th centuries (c. 1750 – c. 1830). This era is often associated with the works of Beethoven and Mozart, two of the most well known and respected classical musicians and composers in the world.
Modern Classical Musicians
Fast-forward to the 21st century and classical music is still widely heard, appreciated, and performed. Millennial musicians are mastering the classical style, while infusing their personalities, passions, and interests into their performances. The first of eight musicians in the Millennial Classical Musicians line up is 21-year-old, American concert violinist Jourdan Urbach.
JOURDAN URBACH – Musician, Composer, and Philanthropist
Jourdan Urbach was born in December of 1991. Just seven years later, Jourdan hit the stage, making his professional debut on the violin. For comparison, Mozart premiered around the age of five. Music critics delight in Jourdan’s “buttery smooth” sound and the brilliance and technical acuity of his playing. Recognized as a child prodigy, this young superstar has already become a Grammy-winning concert violinist. He has even had the rare opportunity to perform – twice – as a featured artist at Carnegie Hall, an internationally renowned concert hall in Manhattan.
The pressure to succeed is understandably intense in these high-profile performances. His strong love of music, however, and positive attitude helps to carry him through. He reflects on the performing experience and his mindset as a modern classical musician in a 2011 interview with Charles Osgood, “I get a huge rush out of performing,” he shares, “and I can tolerate the practice because I know it leads up to that.”
Jourdan Urbach performing Aerion:
The Cherry On Top
Jourdan Urbach is not only a tremendously talented musician, he’s also passionately philanthropic and participates in what he calls “Responsible Music.” According to Jourdan, “music is designed to be heard, but it is also to be used to further the greater good.” In this spirit, he founded Concerts for a Cure (originally Children Helping Children) when he was just seven years old. Over the past 14 years, his charity has raised more than $5 million through classical music, benefiting children in New York hospitals and the international medical community. Jourdan’s musical and philanthropic passions play an important role in his service as an international representative of the United Nations’ Arts for Peace program that he promotes on his website, “As a Goodwill Ambassador and Artist-in-Residence for UN (Arts for Peace), Jourdan serves as a cultural link between the UN community and the artistic community in NY and abroad.”
Jourdan actively impacts the world through his music and dedication to society. As a modern classical music performer and composer, he is vibrant, successful, and clearly high in demand. I look forward to watching his music career and charitable efforts grow and evolve, affecting the hearts and minds of people around the world.
Claim to Fame: Grammy-winning concert violinist; Contemporary composer; Founder of Children Helping Children
As we move on to the second remarkable Millennial classical musician on the list, you’ll see how she impacts society through her music and advocacy efforts as well, and has risen to classical stardom with modern flair.
NICOLA BENEDETTI – The Silver Violinist
Introducing the ravishing, young classical violinist, Nicola Benedetti. This beautiful, Scotland native has already captured the hearts (and ears) of audiences throughout Great Britain and across the world. She will turn 26 in July.
Nicola’s musical journey began when she started violin lessons at the age of five. Approximately ten years later, she entered the Yehudi Menuhin School (YMS) in Surrey and studied with the acclaimed violin professor Natalia Boyarsky. After leaving YMS, she continued to develop her musical talent as a student of the Polish and Russian violinists, Maciej Rakowski and Pavel Vernikov, respectively. Her talents have been featured with professional symphonies and among prominent music festivals and events all over the world. And when she’s not touring, she enjoys playing regularly in her chamber trio with cellist (and also boyfriend of 10 years) Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk.
Nicola is also fiercely dedicated to music education and participates as a “Big Sister” and Board Member for Sistema Scotland. In recognition for her service to music and charity, she was appointed by the Queen of England to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours.
Since the launch of her career as a modern classical musician, Nicola has managed to accumulate a spectacular list of accomplishments:
- BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2004, performing the unconventional Szymanowski Violin Concerto
- Recipient of the Classical BRIT Award for Young British Classic Performer in 2008
- Debuted at the 2010 BBC Proms
- Signed exclusively with Decca Classics in 2011
- Best Female Artist at the Classic Brits in 2012
- Listed as Classical “Best Female Artist” in iTunes Best of 2012
- Released a tremendously successful CD, The Silver Violin
The Silver Violin on SoundCloud:
Bringing Sexy Back to Classical Music
Nicola produces the warmest and most heartfelt violin tones. She plays the Gariel Stradivarius (c. 1717), which is considered to be one of the highest quality and most valuable violins in the world – it’s considered the Gucci of instruments. Her modern-day patron, bank executive Jonathan Moulds, purchased the Strad for her to play for a mere £10 million, or the equivalent of nearly $15.5 million today.
Although she is known for her performance of classical music, she is also unafraid to dive into a wide variety of repertoire. Her latest album The Silver Violin is Hollywood gold, bringing the iconic sounds of the silver screen to her Silver Violin. The enormous success of her CD led to The Silver Violin Tour, which took place this past March in nine venues across Scotland.
Claim to Fame: Best Female Classical Artist; plays the Gariel Stradivarius; Sistema Scotland – Big Sister and Board Member
Facebook: Nicola Benedetti Violin
Millennial musicians, such as violinists Nicola Benedetti and Jourdan Urbach, are taking the world’s stage by storm; challenging convention; and providing amazing classical music performances for growing audiences, excited listeners, and a variety of populations across the globe. Through music, modern classical musicians are conveying a message of passion and beauty, education and healing, and perhaps most of all, a message of encouragement and hope.
The next article in the Millennial Classical Musicians mini-series will feature a pioneering violist, and one of the greatest advocates for El Sistema, a revolutionary music education program originating in Venezuela; His weapon of choice – the baton.
Originally Published June 28, 2013 – genyhub.com
AU Arts Management Master’s Capstone Presentations – Spring 2013
Emerging arts leaders from American University’s Arts Management program discuss more than a year’s worth of research and work on their Master’s Capstone projects. Presentations were made Thurs – Fri, May 2-3 & Mon, May 6, 2013.
Read next page
Did you find this story interesting? Be the first to
like or comment.
Sit back and enjoy the sprightly, enthusiastic, thoughtful, and talented tail-wagging fun. (All taught with positive reinforcement and relationship-based training!) 😀
“Facebook still has a massive lead, but Google+, with 343-million active users, is now the second most popular social network.” – ZDNet
Not too long ago, I wrote about Google+ taking the bronze in social media and its potential for enhancing community engagement with nonprofit arts organizations. It was recently reported that Google+ has now taken second place, claiming the silver medal in social media.
- What are you ideas for Google+ engagement in the arts?
- Have you taken advantage of Google+ Communities and/or Hangouts with your audiences?
- What are your goals regarding social media arts engagement for the new year?
Can’t wait to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by.
Based on original post by Chase Jarvis on January 8, 2013
There’s one thing about classical music that I’ve always believed: it is far better to see it performed than to hear a recording of it. While this is true for just about all kinds of music, the multi-layered nature of classical compositions (especially pieces that call for large orchestras) make in-person performances even more appealing.
And when those performances occur in public spaces, the experience is all the more radical. Breaking out of the confines of concert halls with perfect acoustics and controlled environments and moving into the chaos that is a flashmob — here are six of my favorite classical hit-and-run performances from all over the world.
Ode to Joy in Catalonia
One hundred people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs came together in a square in Catalonia, Spain, to perform Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. It was beautifully filmed and as far as flashmobs go, this performance ranks up there with the best of them.
Peer Gynt on a Metro
The Copenhagen Philharmonic surprised metro passengers with a performance of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt in a fairly crowded compartment. The looks of sheer pleasure on many of the passengers’ faces are just as entrancing as the music.
The CPHPHIL strikes again
The Copenhagen Philharmonic apparently likes this sort of “art in the public sphere” thing. Here they are again, with a performance of Ravel’s Bolero.
Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi in Indy
Lest you think all good things only happen in Europe, we present a string company from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, rendering a masterful performance of pieces from Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi in the Keystone Fashion Mall in Indianapolis. Classical music in the Midwest? For. The. Win.
The Canadians Handel Business Too
North of the border, our Canadian cousins got a nice surprise when a bunch of vocalists popped up in a mall food court and belted out Handel’s Hallelujah chorus.
… and back to Europe
Those Europeans may not have all the classical flashmobs, but they seem to have some of the best. This list comes to a close in Vienna, Austria, where Solistinnen, Chor und Orchester der Volksoper Wien renders an absolutely stunning performance at the Westbahnhof Wien. Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana has been performed many times before, but I doubt those performances had dancers who went undercover as janitors or rail officials.
Do you have a favorite performance you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments below!
Young musicians in Paraguay, South America make beautiful music with a collection of unconventional instruments. Colá, a local professor, transforms aluminum and other discarded materials into respectable, recycled symphony orchestra instruments. The idea for this magnificent initiative comes from Maestro Szarán. The orchestra’s educational offerings have expanded to include this innovative instrument building program, ultimately improving the emotional and intellectual well-being of these young musicians and overall cleanliness of the community.
Another example of urban musical creativity comes from the mechanical clatter emitted by the DC Metro.
Listen to the escalator engines’ meditative rhythm, cool and even like a sleeping drum machine. Listen to the impatient patter of human footsteps quietly rebelling against the escalator’s master tempo.
Even if Metro ever gets all of its escalators running this smoothly, they’ll never lose their secret music. We’ll only have to listen more carefully.
The Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators on SoundCloud captures the unique musical experience:
Chris Richards is a music critic for the Washington Post, and after years of ignoring the wailing and screeching of the much maligned, often broken escalators in the DC Metro, he began to hear them in a new way. He began to hear them as music.
Share your urban music experiences:
What and where are urban sounds creating music in your community?
What other examples or ideas would you like to recommend or explore?
I look forward to hearing your stories. Please share your comments below!
If you’re planning to get engaged in the New Year, consider Google+…for business, that is. Businesses who wish to commit to long-term relationships with their fans should consider the newest upgrades to this increasingly popular social media platform.
Google+ is changing for the better, with The Next Web reporting that Google+ Business Pages now have the ability to interact with all Google+ users, regardless of whether users have added the business page to one of their Circles. Furthermore, Google has also indicated that a new Google+ analytics platform is on its way, slated to be launched ‘in the coming weeks.’
Google+ Business Pages will now have the ability to interact and engage with any and all Google+ users, opening up more engagement opportunities for marketers, and possibly increasing the chances that users will add businesses pages to their Circles.
What will the new Google+ analytics platform offer? Measuring your business’s social influence on Google+ will include several useful features, allowing you to identify influencers, create social reports, and listen to your fans.
Google+ Ripples will provide a visual guide enabling businesses to trace and learn from online interactions with their page. Businesses can develop a better understanding of their social ROI — how Google+ influences your social impact online — with standard and custom social reports. Information about who the users are and how they are interacting with your page, as well as their demographics and social activities (+1’s, shares, and comments) will be made available.
Coupled with their closed-loop marketing analytics, marketers should have much greater insight into how effective their Google+ efforts are, and be able to drill down into the individual types of content and updates that resonate (and what doesn’t) with their Google+ audiences.
Nonprofit arts organizations can benefit from this type of online interaction and social impact measurement as well. Increased engagement via Google+ has the potential to foster relationships with and build greater rapport among current and new arts patrons. Audiences all over the world can begin to learn and interact with your organization, ideally becoming some of your greatest advocates among their families and friends.
The full effect of Google+ and its online engagement features are not yet fully realized or understood, but the possibilities are certainly exciting. Give your audiences a backstage pass to engaging arts activities in the performance hall and online. Get creative. Get engaged!
* * *
If you have any ideas or experiences with Google+ for the arts or business in general, I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts below.
You can also find me on Google+>>
SilverPop – a digital marketing technology provider – decided to research trends in social media growth among the top 20 social networking sites. The usual suspects topped the list: Facebook takes the gold with a mere 1 billion users and Twitter comes in second with 500 million registered users. Another somewhat unexpected player has joined them on the winners podium, however. Coming in third, Google+ gets the bronze.
On Nov 27, 2012, SilverPop announced their findings (data as of Nov. 15, 2012), using a nifty infographic to illustrate the rapidly evolving social networking landscape. Participants were ranked, in most cases, by total registered users and then grouped into 5 different clubs according to growth patterns.
At the top, social media celebrities Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ mingle in The 100 Million User Club; the increasingly popular location-based, photo-sharing, and microblogging platforms, Foursquare, Instagram, and Tumblr, shine among The Rising Stars; from XING (never heard of it), to Yelp, and LinkedIn, let’s not forget to acknowledge The Steady Freddies, showing steady growth over the past 3 to 5 years; The Child Prodigies of social media, Pinterest, Soundcloud, and Path, have achieved a meteoric rise to fame despite their young age (between 2 and 4 years old); Friendster, MySpace, and Orkut, which were launched in 2002, 2003, and 2004 respectively, have taken a seat in the Cooling Off club in regards to popularity.
By mid-September of this year, Google+ reached 400 Million users. Less than three months later, Google+ now has more than 500 million members, which is on par with Twitter in SilverPop’s 100 Million User Club.
* * *
Despite initial skepticism, Google+ has grown from 40M users in Oct 2011 to 500M users as of Dec 2012. Google+ is definitely on the rise and I would like to share my ideas with you for using this growing platform as an effective promotional tool for nonprofit organizations (particularly the arts)!
In recent news, Google+ has also launched Google Communities, encouraging groups to gather around common interests, connect using Google Hangouts and the Google+ mobile app, and explore current or new passions with your communities.
As an emerging arts leader, I am excited at the prospect of using Google+ Hangouts and Google Communities to connect with symphony orchestra and other performing arts enthusiasts. I think Google+ will prove to be an innovative and effective tool for building relationships with current and future audiences, donors, administrators, board members, volunteers, etc.
Will you join the club?