Sunday, December 23, 2018

Blind Faith

It's best if your web site lists the works you are playing on a particular concert. I can't begin to tell you how much I won't buy a ticket if you don't even tell me in advance which composers are on the program.


Geo. said...

In certain contexts, I would actually disagree with this idea. For the SLSO's annual New Year's Eve concert, David Robertson started the 'tradition' of not announcing its content in advance. It's worked, as this SLSO NYE concert has pretty much sold out year after year. It even continued the tradition last night with Ward Stare taking the podium for the 1st post-Robertson SLSO NYE concert. However, in fairness, a lot of the choices were selections that had been done on past SLSO NYE concerts, e.g. Richard Rodgers' Carousel Waltz, the P.D.Q. Bach Beethoven Sportscast (albeit this time with Leonard Slatkin and Ozzie Smith as the concert 'commentators', unlike its previous outing with Robertson as commentator "Rob Davidson"), which in turn is because the SLSO did a pops concert just a few days before. So there is an element of practicality here in having to put together pieces that can't all be completely new to the orchestra. An example of the latter was 4 movements from Bernstein's Divertimento for Orchestra.

This is a long tangent, but the obvious point is that not announcing the program in advance can work, and can generate its own buzz. I understand that Ivan Fischer has done the same thing with the Budapest Festival Orchestra (when not dealing with the jerks in political power in Hungary), namely to offer concerts with the program not announced in advance. Plus, if you go to hear a jazz concert or a rock band, you don't know the exact songs that those musicians will do in advance, even if some element of "greatest hits" is expected. Once in a while, what's wrong with classical musicians doing a concert that way?

Lisa Hirsch said...

I've been in touch with the organization in question, and the absence of this information from their web site was clearly not part of a strategy - which you can tell from their web site because they are....generally lax...about listing the contents of all of their programs.

If it were a strategy - "we're having a mystery concert! We'll only tell you THIS about it!" - that would be one thing. Their current situation is more one of not having thought through the purpose of a web site and made careful decisions about it. (The web site itself looks like it was designed 15 years ago, also.) I will note that you cannot tell, from the web site landing page, when their next concert is, or where, or what will be on it.