In Friday’s (4/3) Miami Herald, Daniel Chang writes about a new performance initiative at the New World Symphony. “The Miami Beach orchestra will present three concerts, each lasting about 20 minutes, with ticket prices set at $2.50. You can attend one, two or all three—open seating, casual dress. The orchestra just hopes audiences will try out its latest experiment: presenting a musical art form steeped in—some would say bogged down by—tradition and history, and making it relevant to people today. … ‘2.50’ is a rare chance for an orchestra to test audiences and their expectations, said Judith Kurnick [vice president for strategic communications] for the League of American Orchestras. … New World is able to experiment with such radical prices and presentation formats in large part because its musicians are fellows, not professionals organized under a trade union. … But the symphony’s financial and organizational circumstances do not mean its experiments have nothing to offer professional orchestras. ‘While others might not do it the same way,’ Kurnick said, ‘it becomes a stimulus for experimentation, and it adds to the idea that this is something audiences are interested in.’ ”

Posted April 3, 2009

Photo: Michael Tilson Thomas leads the New World Symphony
Credit: Courtesy of the New World Symphony