In Tuesday’s (8/18) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reflects on the Mann Center for the Performing Arts’ season. “During the season in which the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mann Center planned a summer program, parted ways, canceled artists already engaged, restored a certain number of concerts, and then restored some more, the orchestra’s audience turned out in numbers that were pretty much the same as usual. Attendance for the orchestra’s performances in Fairmount Park averaged 3,982 listeners. On a per-concert basis, that’s slightly higher than some years, slightly lower than others. But with only nine concerts—instead of the more typical 12—the total dropped slightly, to 35,838. … The summer’s biggest draw was the Lang Lang-Herbie Hancock concert, with almost 6,800 passing through the gates. … Though the Mann was opened in 1976 as a summer venue for the orchestra, the two are separate organizations. In a change from recent years, the orchestra and Mann adjusted their business relationship this summer so that the Mann presents the orchestra, taking the lion’s share of the risk or reward.”

Posted August 18, 2009