League of American Orchestras Conference Delves Into
“The New Work of Orchestras”
Spotlighting Field’s Artistry, Organizational Collaboration, and
Video of Conference Now Posted Online!
New York, NY (June 18, 2015) More than 1,000 orchestra staff, musicians, board members, volunteers, and business partners explored “The New Work of Orchestras” at the League of American Orchestras’ Conference, June 27-29, 2015 in Cleveland. Video, transcripts, and presentations are available on the League’s website: http://americanorchestras.org/conferences-meetings/conference-2015.html
A photo album of sessions, events, and participants can be found on the League’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153948686217067.1073741835.9651527066&type=3
The Conference was hosted by The Cleveland Orchestra, which gave an extraordinary performance of the Strauss opera Daphne at Severance Hall. The Orchestra’s staff and musicians also participated in a variety of Conference sessions that illustrated their organization’s commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration, and audience building.
With a nod to David Letterman, League President and CEO Jesse Rosen‘s address at the League’s Luncheon and Annual Meeting took the form of a “Top Ten” list defining “The New Work of Orchestras” (transcript and video: http://americanorchestras.org/conference2015/sessions/league-luncheon-and-annual-meeting/). A speech by National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu further underscored the Conference theme with a speech highlighting the power of arts to build communities.
General and Elective Sessions
An unprecedented number of research reports previewed at Conference included a League-commissioned analysis of subscription trends, as well as studies on digital strategy, audience development, donor relations, and changing concert formats. Other key areas of Conference content included diversity, governance practice, and sustainability.
Two community-based panels bookended the Conference: in the Opening Session, government, business, community, and artistic leaders shared perspectives on how orchestras can develop relationships with their communities and use music to address community needs; the Closing Session explored community impact from an artistic perspective, with a panel of creative minds showcasing community-connected projects utilizing the full orchestra, often on the main stage. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO), conductor Brett Mitchell, and cellist Alisa Weilerstein, a COYO member from 1992-1994, were also featured in the Opening Session. Full post-Conference content can be found here: http://americanorchestras.org/conferences-meetings/conference-2015.html
Awards and Honors
Recognizing her “lifetime of passionate support for music, enlightened leadership of the Fidelity Foundation, and wise, sympathetic counsel to numerous musical leaders,” Mark Volpe, managing director, Boston Symphony Orchestra, presented the League’s highest honor, The Gold Baton Award, to Anne-Marie Soullière, retired president, Fidelity Foundation. Given annually since 1948 for distinguished service to America’s orchestras, the Gold Baton has recognized individuals and institutions whose far-reaching contributions to the field serve to champion and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country.
Jennifer Boomgaarden, executive director, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, received the Helen M. Thompson Award for her exceptional leadership, dedication, and accomplishment as an executive director. The award is given to orchestra managers and music directors in alternate years, and was created in 1981 to celebrate the life and work of Helen M. Thompson, who dramatically advanced and promoted the cause of the symphony orchestra in the United States. The award particularly recognizes Thompson’s support and encouragement of managers and music directors early in their careers.
The League of American Orchestras is grateful to all its sponsors and funders for their support of the 2015 Conference: http://americanorchestras.org/conference2015/sponsors-and-funders/
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community orchestras, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org to learn more.
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