Archive | August, 2009

There are forces that attract and there are forces that repel.

Indianapolis’ Forces Of Attraction

I had an intriguing conversation with a colleague over the weekend about the ongoing situation at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) regarding the pros and cons of attracting a new music director. In particular, we were talking about the article by Kathleen McLaughlin in the 8/15/09 edition of the Indiana Business Journal. The article’s tag line purports “Symphony likely to have abundance of candidates” and it was that point that fueled our discussion. In particular, we were wondering whether or not an abundance of candidates means the right candidate will come knocking… […]

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Total expenditure compensation, sorted high to low.

A Solution In Search Of A Problem At Indianapolis

Over the past few weeks, much has been written about the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s (ISO) decision to not renew Music Director Mario Venzago’s contract after August 31, 2009. Although the sensitive phrase “not renew” was how the ISO described the decision, others across traditional and new media platforms have described it in less genteel language such as ouster, terminated, and fired. Although there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the decision through the Indianapolis community and abroad regarding motives and process (some of which will likely come to the […]

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Tony Macaluso

From Reflection To Relevancy: Part 2

In Part 1 we examined how the Grant Park Music Festival (GPMF) is using an institutional history publication to not only document the organization’s 75 year history, but how it can serve as an effective tool for defining how a performing arts organization grows and interacts with the community. Today’s final installment will look at the book’s production costs and what the authors would do differently if they could go back and do it all again… (more…)

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Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront: A Celebration of the Grant Park Music Festival

From Reflection To Relevancy: Part 1

Throughout the business, soul searching seems to be all the rage these days as orchestra stakeholders attempt to justify an institution’s value to the community and the art form in the wake of declining audience numbers and diminished public status. Typically, this process eventually manifests into some sort of institutional visioning and/or strategic planning process, the results of which can be mixed. But before looking too far into the future, orchestra stewards need to look at the institution’s past and one of the most effective methods for conducting a comprehensive review is […]

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Accountability, Performance Reviews, and Planning

Welcome Back!  Yesterday, we talked about trying to raise money after the concerts are done.  Today I want to focus in on accountability, performance reviews, and tactical planning. One topic I hear a lot about in the orchestra world is accountability.  In a very obvious way, musicians are accountable every time the orchestra plays.  They are held to extremely high standards; when they make a mistake, it’s often out there for everyone to hear. (more…)

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