First, which are the problems?
- Less attention for classical music in general and in schools in particular - the result of government policies.
- Economic crisis, leading governments to cut subsidies.
- The internet requires new business models.
When it comes to solutions, funding is an obvious first:
- Extra performances, provided the marginal costs are limited.
- Try to attract new audiences (without alienating existing ones).
- Increase income per listener (subscriptions, donations, CD sales, memorabilia, etc.).
- New subscription services.
- Serve children.
The internet forces orchestras and ensembles to redefine what they do:
- Hang on to core values (live performance, focus on specific genres) only.
- Follow your audience, looking for internet delivery (such as The Digital Concert Hall from the Berlin Philharmonic).
- Move away from specific windows (i.e. live performance) and make music available on demand. This could range from providing CD recordings of concerts, provided immediately afterwards. Other options: (internet) radio, streaming, YouTube live, YouTube channel, digital TV channel, Medici.tv.
- Build apps (e.g. NY Philharmonic, London PO, Detroit SO).
- Broaden the repertory.
Broadening the repertory:
- For instance, don't focus on avant-garde in a traditional sense, but on avant-garde music of all ages.
- Actively sollicit new music from any composer (a la Ensemble intercontemporain), instead of ordering new pieces from specific composers.
- Orchestrations of chamber music.
- Reductions of orchestral pieces for ensemble (e.g. Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen, Elmer Schönberger, Eberhard Kloke, David Matthews, Andreas Tarkmann).
- Newsletter (email).
- Sponsoring (friends of the orchestra).
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, SoundCloud, Spotify).
- Ambassadors (celebrities, politicians, corporate leaders).
- Engage friended international established musicians.
- Concerts, full season tickets.
- Supporters (friends).
- Soloists paying the orchestra for accompaniment (2-sided business model).
- New services to develop with peer ensembles (ASKO|Schönberg, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, MusikFabri/k etc.).
- Orchestra + ensemble concerts for pieces such as Britten - War Requiem, Dutilleux - Second Symphony, Escher - Summer rites at noon, Stockhausen - Gruppen etc.
- Multi-discipline concerts across different art forms (cf. AAA-series at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra).
Concerts for children:
- Don't just let the kids come to you, but ensembles can visit schools.
- Don't underestimate children. Wouldn't it be cool to confront them with Georg Friedrich Haas - In vain?