“Marcelo Lehninger, Music Director at the Grand Rapids Symphony, is working to bring music and community together in new ways,” writes Grant Kammer in Wednesday’s (5/1) Rapid Growth (Grand Rapids/western Michigan). “As Grand Rapids continues to grow, attracting a new generation of young professionals and families, innovative voices within the symphony, like Lehninger’s, are asking how to best appeal to a wider audience. Changes to formats, blending genre, informal educational opportunities, and more community-focused events are on the horizon.… Lehninger, who is currently finishing up his third season, [says], ‘It’s my mission as a musician to connect with a younger audience,’ Lehninger says… ‘We [the symphony] need to think of the future.’ … For Lehninger, it’s about recognizing that, ‘we aren’t only entertainment. Orchestras need to be for the community,’ he says…. [Recently the orchestra] performed nine mini-concerts featuring brand new music by four young and emerging composers.… A recent outreach initiative … has Lehninger inviting community stakeholders for an informal discussion on the future of the Grand Rapids Symphony. This outreach committee may form the prototype for future meet and greets, where conductors or musicians have the opportunity to bond with their audience directly over their shared passion: music.”

Posted May 3, 2019