Presenting and promoting classical music events comes with its own challenges, as we at the List will experience in living color when we launch our unSUNg series next summer. Greg Sandow, one of our favorite bloggers, has landed in the same philosophical vein that we’re embracing, but says it so much better: he believes that every concert should be “an event”, in the sense that organizations and individual performers need to connect with the way their concert makes the audience feel, bringing them unexpected touches that make them happy. This is the best way (and probably the only way) to attract the “non-classically inclined nonattender” (what we’re calling the NCINA), the same listeners that have seemed impossible to reach in the past.
But the indie classical movement is already proving that NCINAs are reachable — with well-documented examples such as Le Poisson Rouge in New York and ensembles here in Los Angeles such as What’s Next? and wildUP LA, presenters are building brand-new audiences by building events in usual spaces, combining the experience with great food and/or drink, encouraging dressed-down casual attire or a hipster vibe, and embracing fearless programming. It’s fusion with many formulas. Many of these elements were made part of the recent debut of Beyond the Stage Productions‘ Carmen at the beginning of this month, and all sorts of artists are exploring the unfathomable possibilities that will help art music evolve as the world’s rapid changes continue. When we’re not jumping into the fray ourselves, we’ll be cheering everyone on from the sidelines.
Take a look at Sandow’s post — it’s one of the most encouraging discussions of the topic we’ve seen in a while, and the multitude of comments have created quite a lively exploration of these ideas.
Sandow: Greg Sandow on the future of classical music
Concerts as events
If it happens to spark a little presenting fever in you, all the better — we’re accepting proposals for unSUNg now! (Click here for info)