May 2015

May 2015
Women on the Podium
Interviewing conductors, journalists, and musicians, Stephen Hegg delved closely into the complex issue of gender and conducting in a story on Tacoma WA’s KTCS TV. Of Sarah Ioannides’s recent appointment as principal conductor and music director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, music critic Melinda Bargreen says, “It’s tearing down some of those old cultural stereotypes.” Watch more here.
Tod Machover at The Henry Ford museum, recording the kitchen sink engine.
Photo Credit: Corinne Wiseman
A Season of Premieres

Orchestras large and small are displaying a strong commitment to new music in the 2015-16 season, many with a home-grown focus. Ten American composers are writing works for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s celebratory 100 th season. In Detroit, works by six American composers will receive premieres, including Tod Machover’s “Symphony in D,” highlighting sound submissions from the people of Detroit. Click here for a compilation of many 2015-16 season overviews from The Hub, and explore more about new music commissioning in Symphony.
Harpist Doug Rioth
Photo Credit: Stefan Cohen
In San Francisco, Backstage Rehearsal Space Transforms into Sound Sculpture
Soundbox, the San Francisco Symphony’s new experimental music space, merges videos, socializing, intense electronics, and a diverse array of music. It’s like “a happening from the ’60s, with videos on big screens and sound sculpture,” says KQED Radio correspondent Cy Musiker.The giant converted backstage rehearsal room is equipped with 50-foot ceilings, cocktails, floor cushions, and "a network of 25 microphones and 85 speakers tucked away above our heads."  And it’s attracting a whole new audience, many attending for the experience of the venue, itself, according to music director Michael Tilson Thomas. Read more here.
Photo Credit: Pete Checchia
Philadelphia Orchestra
Orchestras Respond to New Audience Preferences
More opportunities to socialize; establishing closer connections to musicians; a more interactive experience… there are many ways in which orchestras are reinvigorating the traditional concert experience in the wake of new audience preferences, says League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. A recent interview on Philadelphia radio station WRTI with reporter Meridee Duddleston touches upon trends in audience development and orchestra innovation. Listen here.
Urging Congress to #Act4Good

Orchestras are joining the full array of nonprofit organizations such as Feeding America and the United Way of the USA in asking Congress to #Act4Good by making permanent charitable giving incentives that expired at the end of 2014. Pictured left, Los Angeles Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda speaks with House Ways and Means Committee Member Representative Xavier Becerra, just before he was to be honored by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials reception on February 19.  Visit the League’s tax policy advocacy center to add your voice to this effort to restore the IRA Charitable Rollover and other giving incentives.
Changing Lives Through Music

“YOSA changes kids’ lives through music here in San Antonio,” music director Troy Peters says. “We work with hundreds of kids throughout the city on unleashing their own musical potential… Music is a remarkable tool for learning.” Watch a video spotlighting Youth Orchestra of San Antonio here.
What next practices will orchestras embrace to be an increasingly vital part of America’s cultural and civic landscape in the years to come? Join us for the League’s Conference In Cleveland, May 27-29! We’ll explore this question from a variety of perspectives – artistic, financial, technological, and more. More information here.
Did you know? The League has launched The Orchestra Governance Center, offering a comprehensive range of support, strategies, and programs designed to strengthen governance practice in orchestras.  Newly developed regional seminars for board chairs, orchestra CEOs, and development staff, such as those recently presented by the League in Cleveland and New York City, are a cornerstone of the Center's activities. Check here for more on The Governance Center.
Just announced: Building an Effective Fundraising Board, a seminar on July 16, 2015 at LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Join nationally renowned board development expert Chuck Loring as he leads discussion on the ways and means of best to unlock board members’ fundraising potential. Register here