Knowledge, Research and Innovation

Why a New OSR?

The new OSR survey is quicker to complete than the old OSR: it has up to a third-fewer questions than prior years', and orchestras that already submit data to the CDP will find that their OSR is already half complete!

The new interface is also much easier to use, offering participants the ability to select a preferred view format, as well as a ‘smart’ pre-population of previously provided data. And behind the scenes, automatically verified calculations will ensure a new level of data hygiene.

The range of benefits available to OSR participants has expanded, too. Participants will continue to receive the League’s detailed OSR benchmarking report, widely used by orchestras to inform strategy, planning and management. In addition, they will gain access to a top-tier suite of educational, analytic, and other business intelligence resources provided by DataArts.

The collaboration between the League and DataArts is especially significant because it connects the orchestra field with the largest and fastest-growing arts and culture data set in the United States. Through the collaboration, the League has the opportunity not only to extend participation in the OSR, but also to undertake new forms of comparative analysis for the benefit of the orchestra field. 

OSR: Orchestra Statistical Report

The League has been collecting data from the orchestral field since 1946, and its Orchestra Statistical Report (OSR) is the largest and most comprehensive orchestra data set in the United States. Only League members have the opportunity to contribute to – and use – this unique resource, which many rely on for planning, fundraising, management, and case making.

Beginning with Fiscal Year 2015, OSR data is being collected on the League’s behalf by DataArts. DataArts empowers the nonprofit arts and cultural sector with high-quality data and resources in order to strengthen its vitality, performance, and public impact. The Cultural Data Profile (CDP) is DataArts' flagship service, which thousands of cultural nonprofits use annually to report their financial and programmatic information. If you are one of these organizations, your OSR is already half complete! 

Click the buttons below to see step-by-step instructions for how to log into the CDP and add your OSR data. Need advice? Please contact the DataArts This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and consult our Three Top Tips.

The deadline to submit your completed survey is October 31, 2016.

Haven’t started your CDP15/OSR15? Click here.

2.	Started your CDP15 and want to add OSR15? Click here

Your information will be collected on the secure, confidential, and user-friendly DataArts platform, which features the ability to select a preferred view format, automatically verified calculations, and ‘smart’ pre-population of previously provided data.

And, having provided your data, you will have free access to a top-tier suite of business intelligence and analytic resources, as well as to the comprehensive benchmarking reports and customized analyses supplied by the League.

Please participate. You help all orchestras by helping your own.

Building Audiences for the Arts: Research from The Wallace Foundation

For 15 years, The Wallace Foundation has supported audience-building efforts by arts organizations and commissioned research to understand what works, what doesn’t and why.

Learn more about Wallace’s six-year, $52 million Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative to help arts organizations build audiences.

Taking Out the Guesswork: A Guide to Using Research to Build Arts Audiences

Market research expert Bob Harlow shows how arts organizations can use qualitative and quantitative research to attract and retain new audiences.

Watch the webinar.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Download the guide here.

The Road to Results ; Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences

The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences

This report identifies and examines nine practices of arts organizations that successfully expanded their audiences.

Converting Family into Fans: a Case Study

Converting Family into Fans: How the Contemporary Jewish Museum Expanded its Reach

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco moves to a larger space and secures a nine-fold increase in family visitors of all backgrounds.

Opening New Doors: A Case Study

Opening New Doors: Hands-On Participation Brings a New Audience to The Clay Studio

Short classes, flexible schedules, new communications and "Date Nights" help Philadelphia's The Clay Studio attract new, younger audiences.

Getting Past “It’s Not For People Like Us”: Pacific Northwest Ballet Builds a Following with Teens and Young Adults

Learn how the Pacific Northwest Ballet garnered new interest in traditional and contemporary ballet among teens and adults under the age of 25.

Extending Reach with Technology: Seattle Opera’s Multipronged Experiment to Deepen Relationships and Reach New Audiences

Learn how the Seattle Opera used technology including simulcasts, interactive lobby displays and behind-the-scenes videos to engage audiences.

Someone Who Speaks Their Language: How a Nontraditional Partner Brought New Audiences to Minnesota Opera

Learn how an opera company found new audience members among women age 35 to 60.

More Than Just a Party: How the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boosted Participation by Young Adults

Learn how the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boosted Participation by Young Adults.

Cultivating the Next Generation of Art Lovers

Cultivating the Next Generation of Art Lovers: How Boston Lyric Opera Sought to Create Greater Opportunities for Families to Attend Opera

Learn how Boston Lyric Opera sought to create greater opportunities for families to attend opera.

Building Deeper Relationships: How Steppenwolf Theatre Company Is Turning Single-Ticket Buyers Into Repeat Visitors

Learn how the Steppenwolf Theatre Company is turning single-ticket buyers into repeat visitors.

Attracting an Elusive Audience

Attracting an Elusive Audience: How the San Francisco Girls Chorus Is Breaking Down Stereotypes and Generating Interest Among Classical Music Patrons

Learn how the San Francisco Girls Chorus is breaking down stereotypes and generating interest among classical music patrons.

Learn more about The Wallace Foundation’s research on audience development for the arts.

These resources are made possible by The Wallace Foundation. The League is pleased to be working in partnership with the Foundation to help share ideas and practical solutions to problems in building audiences for the arts.

ORR 2010-2011

Repertoire Reports by Composer

These reports list all classical season works performed by orchestras during the specified season. The reports are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works. The reports include the orchestra, conductor, and soloist (if applicable) who performed the work, and the date of the first performance.  If an orchestra performed the work on a series that included multiple concerts, only the first concert is indicated.

Repertoire Reports by Meeting Group

These reports list all classical season works performed by orchestras during the specified season.  The reports are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works.  The reports include the orchestra, conductor, and soloist (if applicable) who performed the work, and the date of the first performance.  If an orchestra performed the work on a series that included multiple concerts, only the first concert is indicated.

Concert Programs by Meeting Group

These reports list the programming of each concert. The reports are organized alphabetically by orchestra, then chronologically by date of concert. The reports also include the conductor and soloist where applicable, and individual concert programming.

Soloist Appearances

These reports list all soloists scheduled to appear with orchestras throughout the 2009-10 season.  The reports are organized alphabetically by instrument of the soloist, then by last name of the soloist.  The reports include the first date of the concert(s), as well as the orchestra and conductor who accompanied the soloist. The reports also include the work performed on the concert.

Performances of Works by U.S. Composers

These reports list the performances of American composers. The lists are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works, and include the date first performed, conductor, orchestra and soloist (if applicable). The “performances” column on the right side of the page indicates the number of times the work was performed by each orchestra, while the “total performances” category indicates the aggregate sum of all orchestra performances. (Note that certain composers are not included on this list)

Performances of Works Composed within the Past 25 Years

These reports list the performances of contemporary works, composed within 25 years of the specified season.  The lists are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works, and include the date first performed, conductor, orchestra and soloist (if applicable).  The “performances” column on the right side of the page indicates the number of times the work was performed by each orchestra, while the “total performances” category indicates the aggregate sum of all orchestra performances.

Premiere Performances (World, U.S. and Canadian)

These reports list all premieres including World, US, and Canadian. Under each heading, the reports are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works and  includes who commissioned the work, the first performance date, conductor and soloist (if applicable) and the orchestra giving the premiere.

Technology News of Note

November 2013

  1. As Downloads Dip, Music Executives Cast a Wary Eye on Streaming Services

    As sales of CDs plunged over the last decade, the music industry clung to one comfort: downloads continued to sell briskly as people filled their computers and iPods with songs by the billions.  Now even that certainty seems to have disappeared, as downloads – after enjoying double-digit growth in the years after Apple opened its iTunes store in 2003 – head toward their first yearly decline.

    So far this year, total digital album and track downloads in the United States (using the industry’s standard yardstick of 10 tracks to an album) are down almost 1 percent from the same time last year, according to the tracking service Nielsen SoundScan.  Music executives and analysts disagree about exactly what is causing this slowdown, but many cite streaming music services like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube as one possible cause.   (Source: New York Times)

  2. From Flying Bows to Intent Faces, Verdi Via a Laptop

    The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s recent performance of the Verdi Requiem was streamed live from Orchestra Hall for the first time on its own Web site. It was also viewable on Facebook and other sites and beamed to an outdoor screen at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. (Source: New York Times)

  3. Digital piracy not harming entertainment industries: study

    A new study by researchers at the London School of Economics suggests the music and movie industries have been exaggerating the impact digital file sharing has had on their bottom line and found that for some creative industries, copyright infringement might actually be helping boost revenues.   (Source: CBC News)

  4. Facebook Radically Simplifies Ad Buying

    ad buyers have cause to celebrate, as the social network has unveiled a major overhaul of both its basic ad-buying platform, Ads Manager, and its more sophisticated offering, Power Editor, both of which now boast a more streamlined interface.  Previously, ad buyers were asked to choose from a range of ad options and then select their campaign objectives and optimization methods.  Now, more reasonably, advertisers are first asked to identify their objectives.  (Source: Mashable)

  5. How Spotify and its digital music rivals can win over artists: 'Just include us'

    How can digital music services win praise from musicians, rather than the kind of attacks recently aimed at Spotify by Thom Yorke and David Byrne?   For cellist Zoe Keating, it’s simple. "Just include us," she said during a debate organized by Virgin that brought musicians, managers and technology firms together for a discussion of music/tech disruption.  "An artist like me couldn’t exist without technology: I can just record music in my basement and release it on the internet," said Keating.  "But this is not just an excuse for services to replicate the payment landscapes of the past….and take advantage of those without power … Corporations do have a responsibility not just to their shareholders but to the world at large, and to artists."  Keating renewed her previous call for streaming services to share more data with musicians, as well as forging more links to other startups that help artists to connect directly with fans.    (Source: The Guardian)

  6. Spotify fight: artists threaten to sue labels over music streaming

    Proponents of music streaming as a viable business model often point to Scandinavia as proof. Sweden, the birth country of Spotify, saw music sales jump 13.8% in 2012 and 12% in the first half of 2013 – the turnaround in revenue is largely attributed to the streaming service.  So how come Swedish artists are far from cheering?  A number of Swedish artists are threatening to sue Universal and Warner Music over the paltry royalties they get from people streaming their music. If record labels don't agree to increase the share of the royalties distributed to artists from services such as Spotify, the artists will start demanding that their music is removed from the service, says Swedish Musicians' Union lawyer Per Herrey.   (Source: The Guardian)

  7. Merlin CEO: major labels are setting new music services up to fail

    Merlin, a UK-based organization that represents the global digital rights of indie labels from more than 35 countries, is currently negotiating with Beats Music and others about licensing its repertoire to their music subscription services.  But, Merlin’s CEO warned that it may not be able to reach an agreement.  The dispute turns on how much the new services are going to pay independent labels, which largely depends on the deals music services strike with the majors.   The big labels are demanding that new services pay them huge minimum guarantees, regardless of whether the music is actually consumed, or whether the service is even able to go to market. These demands Merlin’s CEO alleges are not leaving enough money on the table for independent artists.   (Source: GigaOm)

  8. Royal Opera House Plans Simulcasts in U.S.

    The Royal Opera House in London has announced that part of its lineup from the 2013-14 season will be simulcast for the first time in more than 500 movie theaters in the United States.  Tickets are at screenvision.com/roh.   (Source: New York Times)

  9. Vienna State Opera goes live stream

    For all those who can't come to the Vienna State Opera — it can now come to you.  The company is now offering what it describes as state-of-the art live streaming, with viewers able to switch between a view of the stage and close-ups with moving cameras. Innovations promised by the year's end will include apps providing subtitles in English, German and Korean and a synchronized score of the work being shown.  A live stream performance costs 14 euros ($20) while an on-demand stream from the archives will sell for 5 euros, or almost $7.  (Source: Yahoo)

  10. New York Philharmonic to Stream Video Performances

    The New York Philharmonic is revisiting a few highlights of its recent history, and inviting its fans to tune in and relive those events as well, by way of a five-day “I ♥ New York Philharmonic Festival,” to be streamed on the classical music video Web site medici.tv. The festival includes “A Dancer’s Dream” (a staging of Stravinsky’s “Fairy’s Kiss” and “Petrushka”, using a combination of film and live action), Stockhausen’s “Gruppen,” (performed in 2012 at the Park Avenue Armory), Lorin Maazel’s historic 2008 visit to North Korea for a concert in Pyongyang, a February 2013 “Chinese New Year” gala (conducted by Long Yu, with the pianist Lang Lang and the mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano as the soloists) and Lindberg’s “Kraft” (conducted by Mr. Gilbert in Dresden, Germany) (Source: New York Times)

  11. Keep Wireless Mics Interference-Free

    Decisions will soon be made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that could have a negative impact on wireless microphone users, including opera companies, orchestras and other performing arts organizations.  The League of American Orchestras and Opera America are urging their members to contact their members of Congress to ask them to go on record in support of the performing arts, by becoming a cosponsor of a bill that would protect performing arts wireless technology from potential interference.   The Wireless Microphone Users Interference Protection Act of 2013 has been introduced by Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL-01) and it asks the FCC to protect the existing space designated for wireless microphone users, so that users will not suffer interference during performances.   (Source: League of American Orchestras)

  12. Research Update #2: Creating Online Audiences for Orchestras

    The Arts Management and Technology Laboratory at Carnegie-Mellon University has been researching best-practice examples of efforts by symphony orchestras to create online audiences for their music beyond the walls of a traditional concert hall.  The latest installment inspects three of these orchestras—the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra (UK)—with a closer look at some of the tools they use, how these tools are being implemented, and the resulting opportunities they create.   (Source: AMTLab)

  13. Social media brings new orchestra, opera fans

    The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia have had recent audience triumphs radically revising old notions that Twitter and other social media work only for young millennials.  On Oct. 2, the Philadelphia Orchestra played to a full Verizon Hall on six hours' notice, aided by social media, after an engagement at Carnegie Hall was abruptly canceled. The strategy: Massive contacts via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.   Days before (Sept. 27), Opera Philadelphia drew 4,000 for an outdoor simulcast on Independence Mall of its season-opening Nabucco. Social media got the word out about the event. And once there, attendees tweeted their reactions on Twitter. The hashtag #onthemall was among the highest-trending tags in town that night.   That prompted the company's general director, David Devan, to consider establishing a "tweet zone" in the Academy of Music where listeners can do their electronic socializing during the show.  The point of social media, says Devan, is not the number of hits, but how the contacts generate discussion.   (Source: Philadelphia Inquirer)

  14. YouTube Close to Launching Subscription Music Service

    YouTube is preparing a premium on-demand music service -- akin to a Spotify, but with video -- to launch later this year.  The service, designed with mobile listening in mind, will have a free component and a premium tier that offers unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks similar to what's already available via YouTube's parent company, Google Inc., via its All Access subscription music service. Premium features would include the ability to cache music for offline listening and removing ads.  The free tier is likely to be unlimited, on-demand access to full tracks on all platforms, including mobile. In that sense, the paid tier is more of a "soft sell" as YouTube's primary goal is to continue to amass ears and eyes to its mobile platform to sell ads.   (Source: Billboard)

Youth, Education and Community

This section offers data and research on youth orchestras, music education, community engagement and more. For more information, visit the Youth, Education and Community section or check Advocacy and Government to see how you can become an advocate for music education.

Narrative Perspectives

This section offers a variety of insightful perspectives about the modern orchestra field.

National Arts Data

CPANDA, the Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive, is the world's first interactive digital archive of policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States. It is a collaborative effort of Princeton University's Firestone Library and the Princeton Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies

Arts and Economic Prosperity
This study by American for the Arts documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry, and their audiences, in strengthening our nation’s economy.

National Arts Index
This report by Americans for the Arts is a highly distilled annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the United States by using 76 equal weighted, national-level indicators of arts activity. This report covers an 11-year period, from 1998 to 2008.

Performing Arts Research Coalition
The Performing Arts Research Coalition (PARC) brings together five major national service organizations (NSOs) in the performing arts to improve and coordinate the way performing arts organizations gather information on their sector. For further analysis, click here.

Orchestra Library Resources

  • MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarian Association) Resources
    Founded in 1983, the Major Orchestra Librarians' Association comprises of over 270 performance organizations around  the world, represented by more than 450 librarians. The job of these performance librarians is to acquire, prepare, catalogue and maintain the music for each institution. Through MOLA, librarians share information and resources to help them in their daily work.

  • The Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music
    The world's largest lending library of orchestral performance material, with over 21,000 titles and growing. Owned by the Free Library of Philadelphia, you can hear pieces from the Fleisher Collection on the first Saturday of every month from 5:00 to 6:00 PM on WRTI-90.1 FM and wrti.org. Kile Smith, the Collection's curator co-hosts Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, which “uncovers the unknown, rediscovers the little-known, and takes a fresh look at some of the remarkable treasures of the Fleisher Collection.” Visit fleisher.org or The Free Library to learn more.

  • BMI Repertoire Search
    BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. As a global leader in music rights management, BMI serves as an advocate for the value of music, representing more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.

  • ASCAP Repertoire Search
    The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 470,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers of every kind of music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ASCAP also represent hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide. They are the only US performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from our membership.

  • SESAC Repertoire Search
    SESAC, Inc. was founded in 1930 to serve European composers not adequately represented in the United States. Though the company name was once an acronym, today it is simply SESAC and not an abbreviation of anything.  

    With an international reach and a vast repertory that spans virtually every genre of music, SESAC is the fastest growing and most technologically adept of the nation’s performing rights companies.

  • Composers You Should Know, from the Maag Library
    While this LibGuide was made primarily for Music History and Composition students, everyone can benefit from learning about at least a few representative composers from different time periods and countries.

  • Music Lending Library
    The Music Revitalization Project has a large selection of music and plan to continually expand our holdings. The lending library is offered to any area band, community or scholastic organization, within a fifty mile radius of Norton, MA.

Innovation and Technology

For more information, visit the Learning and Leadership Development section.