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CHAMBERMUSICINALTERNATIVEVENUESINTHE21STCENTURYU.S.

:
INVESTIGATINGTHEEFFECTOFNEWVENUESONCONCERTCULTURE,PROGRAMMING
ANDTHEBUSINESSOFCLASSICALMUSIC

by

SarahMayRobinson

BachelorofMusic
UniversityofIllinoisatChampaignUrbana,2001

MasterofMusic
RooseveltUniversity,2003

_______________________________________________

SubmittedinPartialFulfillmentoftheRequirements

FortheDegreeofDoctorofMusicalArtsin

MusicPerformance

SchoolofMusic

UniversityofSouthCarolina

2013

Acceptedby:

JenniferParkerHarley,MajorProfessor
ChairmanExaminingCommittee

MichaelHarley,CommitteeMember

RebeccaNagel,CommitteeMember

JohnFitzRogers,CommitteeMember

LacyFord,ViceProvostandDeanofGraduateStudies


CopyrightbySarahMayRobinson,2013
AllRightsReserved.

ii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

IwouldliketoexpressmydeepestappreciationtoDr.JenniferParkerHarleyfor

hersupportandexpertisethroughoutthepreviousfouryearsofworkonthisdegree.

GuidanceinresearchingandwritingthisdissertationbyDr.MichaelHarleywasgreatly

appreciated.IwishtothankmycommitteemembersDr.RebeccaNagelandDr.Fitz

Rogersfortheirthoughtfulfeedbackandsuggestions.SusanRobinson,JamesRobinson,

MaryRobinsonandPhilPophamhaveallbeenenormouslyhelpfulinbringingthis

researchtocompletion.Finally,Iwouldliketothankeveryonewhowasinterviewedfor

thisproject.Yourparticipation,insightandgoodwillmadethisdissertationpossible.

iii

ABSTRACT

Thisstudyinvestigateschambermusicperformancesoutsideoftraditional

concertvenuesintheU.S.inthe21stcentury.Theliteraturereviewtracestheuseof

nontraditionalvenuesthroughouthistoryfromBach'scoffeehouseconcertstothe

galleryandloftconcerts,whichfirstemergedinthe1950sand60s.Theliterature

reviewwillalsolookatthebusinessofclassicalmusicestablishedinthe20th

century.

Thestudyexploreswhethernewvenueshavechangedthelandscapeof

classicalmusicbyinterviewingplayersandconcertpromoterswhopresent

concertsinnontraditionalvenuesaswellasownersofpopularmusicvenues,

whichhostclassicalmusic.Usingtheseindividuals'experienceinpresenting

concertsinbothtraditionalandnontraditionalvenues,thestudyarticulatesthe

changeinconcertatmospherebetweenthesetwotypesofvenues.Italsoilluminates

howmusicianschangetheirprogrammingandconcertpresentationfornewvenues.

Finally,thestudyinvestigatesthefinancialarrangementsbetweenaudience,

performers,presentersandvenuestodiscoveranydifferencesinthissystem

betweentraditionalandnontraditionalvenues.

iv

TABLEOFCONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS......................................................................................................iii

ABSTRACT...........................................................................................................................iv

CHAPTER1:INTRODUCTION...............................................................................................1

CHAPTER2:AHISTORYOFALTERNATIVEVENUES.............................................................4

2.1ALTERNATIVEVENUES15001950..................................................................5

2.2HAPPENINGS...................................................................................................14

2.3LOFTS..............................................................................................................17

2.4ARTGALLERIESANDMUSEUMS......................................................................21

2.5DEDICATEDPERFORMANCESPACES...............................................................26

2.6PUBLICSPACES................................................................................................33

CHAPTER3:THESTATEOFMAINSTREAMCLASSICALMUSIC...........................................36

3.1BUDGETINFLATION........................................................................................37

3.2THENONPROFITBUSINESSMODEL...............................................................39

3.3DECLINEOFPUBLICSUPPORT.........................................................................44

3.4FINANCIALSURVIVALFORMUSICIANS...........................................................46

3.5THEAUDIENCE................................................................................................49

CHAPTER4:ALTERNATIVEVENUESINTHE21STCENTURY..............................................57

4.1PIONEERS........................................................................................................57

4.2ALTERNATIVEVENUEPERFORMANCEORGANIZATIONS................................60

4.3VENUES...........................................................................................................62

4.4ALTERNATIVEVENUESGOMAINSTREAM.......................................................66

4.5THENEXTALTERNATIVEVENUE:PUBLICSPACES...........................................67

CHAPTER5:THEDRAWOFALTERNATIVEVENUES...........................................................70

CHAPTER6:THEBUSINESSOFALTERNATIVEVENUES.....................................................75

6.1FUNDINGSYSTEMS.........................................................................................75

6.2REVENUE.........................................................................................................78

6.3COSTS..............................................................................................................80

6.4SUBSIDIZEDCONCERTS...................................................................................81

6.5MARKETINGANDPUBLICRELATIONS.............................................................84

6.6VENUEPARTNERSHIPS....................................................................................88

CHAPTER7:THEAUDIENCEATALTERNATIVEVENUES....................................................93

7.1DEMOGRAPHICS..............................................................................................93

7.2NEWAUDIENCES.............................................................................................95

CHAPTER8:THEEVOLUTIONOFCONCERTCULTURE.......................................................98

8.1STAGESANDPERFORMANCEAREAS...............................................................99

8.2AMPLIFICATIONANDACOUSTICS.................................................................100

8.3NOISELEVELS................................................................................................102

8.4ATTENTIONANDENGAGEMENT...................................................................104

8.5CHANGESINCONCERTPRESENTATION........................................................106

CHAPTER9:REPERTOIREINALTERNATIVEVENUES.......................................................111

9.1NEWMUSIC...................................................................................................112

vi

9.2ELECTROACOUSTICANDMULTIMEDIAPERFORMANCE.............................113

9.3THEEFFECTOFCONCERTATMOSPHEREONREPERTOIRE............................113

9.4COLLABORATIONSWITHPOPULARGROUPS................................................115

9.5CHAMBERMUSICINFLUENCEDBYPOPULARMUSIC....................................116

CHAPTER10:CONCLUSION.............................................................................................118

BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................................124

APPENDIXALISTOFINTERVIEWSUBJECTS..................................................................131

APPENDIXBINTERVIEWQUESTIONS:PERFORMERS/ENSEMBLES.............................133

APPENDIXCINTERVIEWQUESTIONS:PRESENTERS.....................................................135

APPENDIXDINTERVIEWQUESTIONS:VENUES............................................................137

vii

CHAPTER1

INTRODUCTION

Classicalmusiciansinthefirstyearsofthe21stcenturystormedpopularmusic

venuesandbegantousethemasanalternativespaceforclassicalperformance.By

2006,twoorganizationsdedicatedtoclassicalperformanceinbarsandclubsemerged:

ClassicalRevolutionandOperaonTap.In2008(Le)PoissonRouge,aNewYorkCityclub

createdtohostbothclassicalandpopularmusicopeneditsdoors.Onceanextremely

rareoccurrence,todayclassicalmusiciansperformregularlyatthesealternativevenues

inmostmajorU.S.cities.Thepurposeofthisresearchistoprovidetheclassicalmusic

industrywithaclearunderstandingofclassicalmusicperformanceinbarsandclubs.It

investigateswhyclassicalmusiciansaredrawntothesevenuesandhowtheyaffectthe

businessofclassicalmusic,whethernewaudiencesforclassicalmusicareattractedto

theseconcertsandhowtheseperformancesdifferfromthosegiveninconcerthalls.

Finally,thestudyexploreshowrepertoireperformedinalternativevenuesisdifferent

fromthemusicprogrammedinconcerthalls.Alternativevenuespushclassicalmusicin

anewdirectionthatcouldaidthesurvivaloftheartforminthefuture.

Toplacethesefindingsinhistoricalcontext,thesecondchapterdefines

alternativevenuesandtracestheirusethroughouthistoryfromBach'scoffeehouse

concertstogalleryandloftconcertsinthe1970s.Thethirdchaptersurveysconcert

culture,theclassicalmusicbusinessandrepertoireintraditionalconcerthalls.Chapter

fourfollowstherecentriseofpopularmusicvenuesasanalternativespaceforclassical

concerts.Thefollowingchaptersanswertheessentialquestionsofthestudyregarding

thebusiness,audience,concertcultureandrepertoireinalternativevenues.

Thisstudyinvestigatesthetopicofalternativevenuesthroughinterviewswith

playersandconcertproducerswhopresentconcertsinthesespaces.Ownersand

managersofpopularmusicvenueswhohostclassicalmusicwerealsointerviewed.A

certainamountofinformationonrecentalternativevenueconcertsisavailableon

ensemble,concertseriesandvenuewebsites,aswellasinnewspaperreviews.These

sourcesarelimitedandfarfromcomprehensive.Thosedirectlyinvolvedwithpresenting

theeventsarethebestavailablesourceofinformationonalternativevenueconcertsin

thelast12years.

Itis,ofcourse,beyondthescopeofanystudytocreateacompletely

comprehensivepictureofalternativevenueconcertsbecauserecordshavenotbeen

consistentlykept.Tomakethestudyasrelevantandhelpfulaspossibletotheclassical

musicindustry,itfocusesonleadersinthefieldofalternativevenuepresentation.

Performers,ensembles,concertpresentersandvenueswereinvitedtoparticipatein

thestudybaseduponthefrequencywithwhichtheypresentclassicalconcertsin

alternativevenuesandthequalityoftheconcertspresented.Participantsinclude

owners,musicdirectorsandmanagersoftheRevolutionCafe,(Le)PoissonRouge,

BarbsandtheWaypost.Thesevenueshostsomeofthelongestrunning,most

prominentseriesforclassicalmusiciansinbarsandclubs.Representativesofanumber

ofleadingclassicalornewmusicensemblesthatperformregularlyinalternativevenues

participated.TheseensemblesincludeProjectTrio,Victoire,AlarmWillSound,theJACK

Quartet,theDegenerateArtEnsemble,BangonaCanandtheInternational

ContemporaryEnsemble.SoloistandalternativevenuepioneerMattHaimovitzalso

tookpart.Finally,representativesfortheorganizationsClassicalRevolutionandOpera

onTap,whichspecializeinalternativevenueperformance,alsosharedtheir

experiences.Theseparticipantspresentawiderangeofperspectivesonandwealthof

experienceinalternativevenueperformance.Afulllistofstudyparticipantsand

interviewquestionsisincludedintheappendix.Thesequestionswereaskedofeach

participantalthoughinterviewsubjectsweresometimesaskedtoexpandupontheir

answers.Mostinterviewswereconductedviavideocallorphone.Thefirstcitationof

eachinterviewisnotedwithafootnoteandsubsequentattributionsappearinthebody

ofthetextonly.

Theclassicalmusicbusinesshassufferedfromlackoffundinganddwindling

audiencesinrecentyears.Concertspresentedinalternativevenuesappeartobeoneof

theonlyaspectsoftheindustrythatisgrowingandgrowingveryquickly.Classical

musiciansandartsadministratorsneedaclearunderstandingofhowtheseeventswork

andwhethertheyarefinanciallyandartisticallysuccessful.Thoseintheindustrycould

potentiallyusethisinformationtohelpsustainthelivesandartisticprojectsof

musicianslivingtodayandexpandtheaudienceforclassicalmusic.

CHAPTER2

AHISTORYOFALTERNATIVEVENUES

Throughouthistory,unconventionalvenueshavearisentoprovideanalternative

totraditionalspacesformusicperformance.Alternativevenuesareplaceswhere

classicalmusicisperformedlessoftenthanintraditionalspaces.Theytendtobenew

spacesforperformanceandprovideanovelconcertatmosphereforbothperformers

andaudience.Performancesatthesevenuesaregenerallynotsponsoredbythelarge

organizationsthatsupportclassicalmusicandareusuallymoreopentostruggling

artists.Often,thesespacesinspirenewstylesofmusic.Overthecourseofhistory,each

newalternativevenuerodeawaveofpopularitythatcoincidedwithitsnovelty.

Eventually,asaudiencesbecameaccustomedtoanontraditionalspace,iteitherfellout

offavororbecamepartofconventionalmusicallife.

Inthe16thto18thCenturies,traditionalspacesforchambermusicincluded

courts,smallpublicconcerthallsandchurches.Duringthistimemusiciansalso

performedinalternativevenueslikecoffeeshops,tavernsandpleasuregardens.Bythe

19thcentury,largeconcerthallsbecamethemosttraditionalvenueforchambermusic.

Smallgatheringsinprivatehomes,knownassalons,wereapopularalternativevenue

duringthe1800s.Bytheturnofthe20thcentury,traditionalchambermusicvenues

includedconcerthalls,privatehomesanduniversities.New

alternativevenuesaroseintheformoflofts,galleriesandartspacesinthe1950sto

1970s.Thesealternativevenuesforchambermusic,likemanybeforethem,werethen

sweptintomainstreamclassicalmusicallife.

2.1AlternativeVenues15001950

Thefirsttraditionalspaceforchambermusicwasthecourt.Thereisevidenceof

chambermusicinthecourtsofItaly,EnglandandSpainstartinginthe1500s.1InVienna

inthe1700s,mostnoblehomeskeptastaffofmusicians,inadditiontothemusiciansat

theImperialCourt.2HaydnwrotechambermusicfortheEsterhzyfamilyfor"festive

socialoccasions."3MuchofMozart'schambermusicwaswrittenforthecourtofthe

ArchbishopofSalzburgandBeethovenalsowrotesomeearlychambermusicforthe

courtinBonn.4Chambermusicbeganasaprivateaffairatthehomesofthenobility.

InstrumentalmusicinthechurchdatesbacktotheMiddleAgesorearlier.

Churchesrepresentoneofthemosttraditionalhomesforchambermusicthroughout

thehistoryofwesternmusic.Thereisevidenceofinstrumentsbesidestheorgan

accompanyingpolyphonyintheMiddleAges.5DuringtheRenaissance,churchservices

oftenincludedperformanceswithinstrumentsandvoicetogetheraswellas

1
A.HyattKing,ChamberMusic(London:M.Parrish,1948),10.

2
Ibid.,28.

3
Ibid.,40.

4
Ibid.,4142.

5
RobertJ.Novotny,"InstrumentalMusicandtheliturgy,"CaeciliaVolume89.No.2,
Summer(1962):55.

performancesbyinstrumentsalone.6Usuallyatthattime"thesamemusicianswho

playedforcourtdancesandentertainmentwouldbefoundwiththeirinstrumentsinthe

courtchapel."7Instrumentsbecameevenmorecommoninchurchservicesinthe

Baroque.BachfrequentlywrotecantatasforSt.Thomas'church,whichcombinedvoices

andinstruments.Tothisday,musicwithinstrumentsisanimportantpartofthemusical

lifeofmostchurches.

ConcerthallsfirstemergeasatraditionalvenueforchambermusicinLondon.In

the1670s,severalchambermusicsocietieswereformed,whichhostedmusicbothat

musicclubsandinprivatehomes.8Thefirstpublicconcerthallisclaimedtobethe

HolywellmusicroominOxford,openedin1748,whichcanseat300.9Earlypublic

concertspaceswerethesamesizeasaspaciousroomwithinaprivatehomeandthe

audienceswereofahighsocialclass,similartotheaudiencesatcourt.10"Therewasin

factnoessentialdifferencebetweenthemusicalrecreationsofgreathousesandthe

earliestpublicconcerts.Players,singers,andprogramwerelargelyfluid.Theremightbe

solos,duets,trios,concertos,choruses,andsymphoniesgiveninquitecasualorderin

thesameprogramme....Thewholeatmospherewasfarmoreintimateandpersonal,the

6Ibid.,57.

7
Ibid.,58.

8
King,ChamberMusic,25.

9
GeorgeDyson,TheProgressofMusic(London:OxfordUniversityPress,1932),153.

10
Ibid.

standardofperformancemorecasual,thanwearenowaccustomedtoinpublic."11The

firsteventsinconcerthallsgrewdirectlyoutofchambermusiceveningsatcourtandin

privatehomesand,despitethechangeofvenue,atfirstresembledmorecasual

chambermusicparties.

Alternativevenuestocourts,churchesandconcerthallsexistedeveninthe

1700s.Smallbandsofprofessionalmusiciansperformedconcertsininnsandtaverns

aroundEngland.12Usuallytheseperformancestookplaceina'longroom,'alargeroom

withinthetavernthatwasrentedouttoprivateparties.13TheSt.CeciliaSociety,a

chambermusicsocietythatgavesubscriptionconcertsinCharleston,SouthCarolina,

gaveperformancesinthelongroomsofseveraltavernsandcoffeehousesbetween

1766and1820.ThesespacesincludedDillon'sTavern,theCarolinaCoffeeHouseand

theCityTavern.14Someofthetavernsandcoffeehouses,whichhostedmusicinthe

18thcentury,becamepublicmusichalls.15

Pleasuregardensbecameapopularalternativevenueinthistimeperiodaswell.

Theseareoutdoorpublicgardensdedicatedtotheenjoymentofthegeneralpublic.For

example,theVauxhallGardensinLondon,openedin1742,hostedmusicalconcertsas

11
Ibid.,154.

12
King,ChamberMusic,25.

13
NicholasMichaelButler,VotariesofApollo(Columbia,SC:UniversityofSouthCarolina
Press,2007),113.

14
Ibid.,113123.

15
Dyson,TheProgressofMusic,161.

wellasotherentertainments,includingtightropewalking.16Inthe18thcenturythere

werepleasuregardensinmostmajorcitiesinEurope.BothMozartandBeethoven

performedinthesevenuesduringtheircareers.17

TheCollegiumMusicuminLeipzigfrequentlyperformedincoffeeshopsduring

the18thcentury.TheCollegiumMusicum,foundedbyTelemannin1701,wasastudent

musicperformancegroup.18J.S.Bachtookovertheleadershipofthegroupfrom1729

1737andagain17391741.Atthistime,theprimaryconventionalvenueforchamber

musicinLeipzigwasSt.Thomas'Church.BachwrotemostofhisLeipzigcompositions

forservicesthere.However,duringthistime,Bachalsoperformedincoffeeshopswith

thestudentsoftheCollegiumMusicum.Thegroupperformedweeklytwohour

concertsduringhistenure.InthewintertheyplayedatZimmermann'sCoffeeHousein

townonFridaynightsfrom810pm.TheCollegiumperformedatZimmermann'sCoffee

GardenoutsidethecitygatesonWednesdaysfrom46pminthesummer.Theyadded

anadditionalTuesdayeveningperformanceduringthethreeannualLeipzigtradefairs.19

CoffeehouseswereinvogueinLeipzigandaroundEuropeatthistime."In

Bach'sday,drinkingcoffeewasverymuchanadultandgalantactivity,associatedwith

16
Ibid.,159.

17
Ibid.,160.

18
RaymondErickson,TheWorldsofJohannSebastianBach(NewYork:AmadeusPress,
2009),163.

19
GeorgeB.Stauffer,"Musicfor'CavaliersetDames':BachandtheRepertoireofHis
CollegiumMusicum"inAboutBach,ed.Butler,Gregory(Urbana:UniversityofIllinois
Press,2008),135.

readingnewspapers,livelyconversation,andlisteningtomusic."20Thekindsofconcerts

theCollegiumMusicumgaveatZimmerman'sCoffeeHouseduringBach'sdirectorship

fittheatmosphereofthissocialactivity.Likecoverchargesattoday'sclubs,the

audiencewaschargeda3groschenadmissioncharge,whichisabout$9intoday's

currency.21Therewerenoprogramsfortheconcerts,andtheyprobablytooktheform

ofreadingsessionsinwhichtheexactprogramwasnotplannedinadvance.22J.S.Bach

wroteworksforthesesessions.Mostoftheworksofothercomposersfeaturedinthe

concertswereinthegalantstyle.GeorgeStaufferconjecturesthatthissimplerstyle

"appealedtothecoffeedrinking,tobaccosmokingaudiences...thatattendedthe

Collegiumconcerts."23Stauffersuggeststhatperformancesatcoffeeshopscontributed

toashifttowardsthesimpler,preclassicalstyle.

Aspublicconcertsinconcerthallsbecamemoreandmoretraditionalinthe19th

century,themusicalsalonemergedasanalternativespace.Theintimatesettingof

houseconcertsbecame,atthispointinhistory,alternativetotheprimaryvenueofthe

concerthall.Themusicalsalonwasameetingforbothsocialandartisticactivitiesinthe

homesofthenobilityanditsoriginsdatebacktotheBaroqueandRococoperiods.24

20
Erickson,TheWorldsofJohannSebastianBach,158.

21
Stauffer,"Musicfor'CavaliersetDames':BachandtheRepertoireofHisCollegium
Musicum,"136.

22
Ibid.

23
Ibid.

24
ErnstHilmar,FranzSchubertInHisTime(Portland,Oregon:AmadeusPress,1988),23.

Thereissomedebateabouthowseriouslythemusicwasconsideredatthesemulti

functionalsocialevents.ErnstHilmararguesthatmusicsalonsinViennaaround1800

wereforentertainmentandthatthemusicwasnot"seriouslycultivated,"because

amateurnoblemansatinwiththeprofessionalmusicians.25However,GeorgeDyson

arguesthattheseamateurmusiciansamongthenobilitytooktheartofmusicvery

seriously.Hostingchambermusicwasverymuchinvogueandthe"noblepatronswere

menwhoknewthemusicfromtheinside...itwasadirectandpersonaldevotiontothe

art."26Ineithercase,hostingmusicinasalonsettingbecamealltheragebythe

beginningofthe19thcenturyandthosetakingpartwouldhavehadarangeofinterests

fromsocializingtoseriousmusicmaking.

Schubertiadeswereprobablythemostfamoussalonsinhistory.Thetermwas

coinedwhencourtsecretaryJosefWilhelmWitteczekorganizedaseriesofconcertshe

called"Schubertiaden"tofeaturethemusicofSchubert.27Theseconcertswereheldin

arotatinggroupofhomesamongthesamesocialgroupand"mostlylikelytheprimary

objectivewassocial"tolistentomusicanddanceamongfriends.28Theevenings

includedpartnerdancingandnocriticaldiscussionofthemusic.Schubertplayedhis

ownworksbutalsoaccompaniedthedancing.29

25
Hilmar,FranzSchubertInHisTime,24.

26
Dyson,TheProgressofMusic,81.

27
Hilmar,FranzSchubertInHisTime,26.

28
Ibid.,28.

29
Ibid.,2831.

10

ComposersincludingSchubert,Chopin,SchumannandMendelssohntailored

piecestotheintimacyandpartyatmosphereofthesalonsetting.Miniaturesbecame

popularforsolopiano,pianoandvoice,andforsmallchambergroups.Composers

"merelyadjusted...toacultofthesmallformwhichwasbasedupontheexistenceofthe

salon."30Thesalonwas"amerryplacewheremusicfunctionedasaristocratic

entertainment."31Thesalonvenuehadasignificantinfluenceonthemusicwrittenfor

it.

Partofthevaluetoattendeesofsalonswasthesocialprestigeofaninvitation.

Thesalonwasfor"relativelysmalleliteaudiences."32Duringthesecondhalfofthe19th

century,printedmusicandtheriseofpianomanufacturemadeitpossibleformany

middleclasshomestohosttheirownsalons.Atthatpoint,thesalonlostits"cach"and

"elite"character.33Thesalonwasnolongerasignofsocialprestigeandthe

phenomenonfelloutoffavoramongtheelite.

Inthesecondhalfof19thcenturythelargepublicconcerthallbecamethe

dominanttraditionalvenueforclassicalmusicperformance.Severalfactorsprecipitated

thisshift.First,thankstotheindustrialrevolution,agrowingmiddleclasshadmoneyto

30
HeinrichEduardJacob,FelixMendelssohnandhisTimes(EnglewoodCliffs,N.J.:
PrenticeHall,1963),181.

31
RichardTaruskin,MusicintheNineteenthCentury(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,
2010),78.

32
Ibid.,75.

33
Ibid.,79.

11

spendontickets.34Also,thegrandpianowasbecominglouder,morepowerfuland

bettersuitedtoahallratherthanalargeroom.35Finally,virtuosoperformerslike

PaganiniandLisztattractedlargeaudiencestotheirperformances,necessitatinglarger

spaces.LargeconcerthallswerebuiltalloverEurope.Amongthesewerethe

MusikvereininVienna,builtin1870,whichseats2,000,RoyalAlbertHall,builtin1871

withacapacityof6,500,andCarnegieHall,openedin1891,whichseats2,645.36These

hallshostedsymphonicmusicaswellassoloistsandchambermusic.

Theerectionofthesegreatconcerthallscoincidedwiththe"canonization"of

thegreatclassicalcomposersinbothsymphonicandchambermusic.37Forexample,in

1858,thepopularconcertseriesatSt.JamesHallinLondonincludedthemusicof

Beethoven,Haydn,Mozart,MendelssohnandWeber.38By1870,80%ofthemusicbeing

performedwasbydeadcomposers,ascomparedto1800,when80%ofthemusic

playedwasbylivingcomposers.39Performingmusicthatwastimetestedensuredhigh

audienceturnoutand,asRichardTaruskinpointsout,"Venerationofthemasters,

34
Taruskin,MusicintheNineteenthCentury,676.

35
King,ChamberMusic,5457.

36
Taruskin,MusicintheNineteenthCentury,676679.

37
Ibid.,79.

38
Ibid.,680.

39
Ibid.

12

moreover,conferredacachetnotonlyonproducersandpurveyors,butonconsumers,

too."40

Bythelate19thcentury,conventionalvenuesforchambermusicspanneda

largevarietyofsettings.Forexample,thismusichadmovedintolargepublicconcert

halls.ApopularchambermusicseriestookplaceinSt.JamesHallfrom18581898.41St.

JamesHall,openedin1858,hadaseatingcapacityof2,127.42Chambermusicwasstill

presentedinmoreintimatesettings,includingprivatehomesandsmallerpublicplaces.

TheSouthPlaceSundayConcertsinLondon,achambermusicseriesintheNational

Gallery,spannedfrom1887to1946.43IntheU.S.,Mrs.ElizabethSpragueCoolidge,an

importantpatronofchambermusic,establishedchambermusicconcerts,starting

around1917,intheauditoriumintheLibraryofCongressandinafestivalinthe

Berkshires.44Agreatnumberofchamberconcertsinthe20thcenturytookplaceat

collegesanduniversities,wheremanycomposersandperformerswereemployed.45

Chambermusicintheearly20thcenturyplayedinhomes,concerthalls,libraries,

museums,outdoorfestivalsandcolleges.

40
Ibid,681.

41
King,ChamberMusic,67.

42
Taruskin,MusicintheNineteenthCentury,676.

43
King,ChamberMusic,67.

44
Ibid.,66.

45
Ibid.,67.

13

2.2Happenings

Themiddleofthe20thcenturysawtheemergenceofexperimentalperforming

artsinunconventionalspaces.Oneofthefirstexamplesofthisiswhatcametobe

knownasthefirst"happening."Thiswasanuntitledeventin1952atthedininghallin

BlackMountainCollege.46Theperformanceconsistedofaseriesofunrelated

performancesofsolodance,film,slides,paintings,records,poetryreadingandpiano.47

Agroupofartistsinresidenceatthecollegeputtogethertheevent,includingthe

composerJohnCage,choreographerMerceCunningham,choreographer/poetCharles

Olsen,pianist/composerDavidTudorandvisualartistRobertRauschenberg.48Between

35and50peoplewereinattendance,includingstudents,facultyandlocals.The

audiencewasseatedinchairsarrangedintofourtriangles,formingasinglesquare,and

mostofthe"performances"occurredoutsidethisarrangementofchairs.49Althoughthe

audiencewasseated,theirattentionwasnotdirectedtowardsasinglestagearea.Cage

andOlseneachgavelecturesfromthetopofaladder.Amovieandslideswere

projectedonoppositesidesoftheroom.TudorperformedpianoandCunninghamand

46
WilliamFetterman,JohnCage'sTheatrePieces:NotationsandPerformances
(Amsterdam,Netherlands:HarwoodAcademicPublishers,1996),97.

47
Ibid.

48
MelanieKloetzelandCarolynPavlik,SiteDance:ChoreographersAndTheLureOf
AlternativeSpaces(Gainesville,Florida:UniversityPressofFlorida,2011),7.

49
Fetterman,JohnCage'sTheatrePieces:NotationsandPerformances,9798.

14

theotherdancersmovedaroundtheroom.50Severalfeaturesofthisperformance

becamehallmarksofexperimentalperformancesgiveninthe1950sthrough70s.The

eventwasmultimediaandstrovetocreateanewperformancecontext.Movingaway

fromavenuewithaformalstage,thephysicalrelationshipoftheaudienceand

musicianschanged.Inaddition,bymovingoutofaconcerthallandintoadininghall,

performanceisseeninanewcontextnotpresentedinaconcerthallbuilttovenerate

theoldmastersbutinaplaceofeverydayliving.

JohnCageneveradoptedtheterm"happening"forhisownevents,buthedidgo

ontostagemanymoretheatrepiecesincollaborationwithMerceCunningham.The

detailsoftheeventswereoftendeterminedbychanceprocedures.Theyoccurredin

cafeterias,museums,plazasandgymnasiums.51Cagedevelopedaseriesof

performancesthathenamedaMusicircus.AMusicircus,likeahappening,wasa

simultaneousperformanceofseveralmultimediaevents.InMusicircusVariationsI

VIII,writtenbetween195867,Cageaddressedtheissueofperformancespace.For

example,inthescoretoVariationsIV,hegivesthefollowingoptionsforaperformance

space:"1.atheatre(witheitheronefloororwithbalconyorbalconies),2.abuilding

withoneormorefloors,3.anapartmentorsuite,4.aclosedspace(i.e."acave"),or5.

anoutdoorspace."52

50
MichaelNyman,ExperimentalMusic:CageandBeyond(Cambridge:Cambridge
UniversityPress,1999),72.

51
KloetzelandPavlik,SiteDance,9.

52
Fetterman,JohnCage'sTheatrePieces,125.

15

Clearly,CagewasopenendedaboutwhatkindofvenuecouldholdaMusicircus

orothertheatrepiece.Cageperformedmanyofthesepiecesatartgalleries,including

thePalmerGalleryinLAin1964andtheSculptureCourtoftheArtGalleryofTorontoin

1966.53Sincetheworksweremultimediawithvisualartelements,itisnotsurprising

thattheywereoftenstagedingalleries.Musicircuseswereheldinmoreunusual

locationsaswell,liketheMusicircusperformedattheStockPavilionattheUniversityof

IllinoisatChampaignUrbanain1967.54Cagewasalsoinvolvedinputtingonanallnight

concertin1963atthePocketTheaterinNewYork,aformerpornographytheater.The

performancewasofSatie'sVexations,an87secondpiece,repeated840times.Andy

Warholwasamongtheattendees.Eachwaschargeda$5admissionfeebutoffered5

centsbackforeverytwentyminutestheystayed.55Cagecontinuedtostagemultimedia

eventsingalleriesintothe1980s.56Cagewaspioneeringinmixingnewformsof

expressionwithnewvenues.Withinthenextgenerationofartistsweremanyadmirers,

whowereinfluencedbyhiswork.

Happeningsbecamepopularinthe1960s,andwerestagedinlofts,stores,

galleriesandotherincreasinglyunconventionalvenues.Thoseorganizinghappenings

deliberatelyavoidedraisedstagesinordertoencourageinterminglingbetween

53
Ibid.,125135.

54
Ibid.,138.

55
StevenWatson,FactoryMade:WarholandtheSixties(NewYork:PantheonBooks,
2003),107.

56
Ibid.,122,153.

16

audienceandperformers.57From195864,happeningsinNewYork"wereascommon

andimportanttothedowntownartcommunityasmoretraditionalgallerydisplays."58

Soonmuseumsbegantocommissiontheseperformanceevents.In1962theWalkerArt

GalleryinMinneapolisinvitedKaprowtohostanevent,andalsoin1962Claes

OldenburgwasinvitedtoperformaneventattheDallasMuseumofContemporary

Art.59ThehistorianBarbaraHaskellconjecturesthatoncehappeningswere

commissionedandbroughtintothecommercialrealm,theyquicklylosttheir"veneerof

chic"andfelloutoffavorbytheendofthedecade.60

2.3Lofts

Anewperformancespacethatemergedinthe1960sintheNewYorkCity

neighborhoodofSoHo,wastheloft.Artistslivedinthe"industrialslum"ofSoHoforthe

cheaprentsandlargespaces.61Theloftsmanyfavoredwereabovefactoriesand

warehousesandgavevisualartiststhespacetheyneededtowork.Atfirsttheyresided

thereillegally,becauseSoHowasnotzonedtoberesidential.Startinginthemid70s,

SoHowasstillzonedformanufacturing,butacertificationsystemwasputinplaceto

57
KloetzelandPavlik,SiteDance,8.

58
BarbaraHaskell,Blam!TheExplosionofPop,Minimalism,andPerformance19581964
(NewYork:WhitneyMuseumofAmericanArt,1984),42.

59
Ibid.,47.

60
Ibid.

61
RichardKostelanetz,Soho:TheRiseandFallofanArtist'sColony(NewYork:
Routledge,2003),3.

17

makeexceptionsforartists,playwrightsandcomposerstolivethere.62Bythemid1970s

about3,500people,mostlyartists,werelivinginSoHo.63

In1960,YokoOnohostedaseriesofconcertsinherloftinSoHo,organizedby

thecomposerLaMonteYoung.From196061,Youngpresentedeightprogramsin

Ono'sloft.Youngsaidthisseries"wasperhapsthefirsttotakeplaceinaloftinNew

YorkCity,thusrepresentingoneofthebeginningsofalternativeperformancespaces."64

Onodecidedtogiveconcertsinherloftbecause,asshesaidinaninterviewwithKyle

Gann,inthosedays,therewasonlyTownHallandCarnegieHall.65Ganndeclaredthe

startofthisseriesasthebeginningofthedivisionbetween"uptown"and"downtown"

music.Uptownmusic,newmusicperformedinTownHall,CarnegieHallandLincoln

Centerwas"acontinuationoftheEuropeantraditionprimarily,the12tone

tradition."66Hedefineddowntownmusicasnewmusic,oftenwrittenforspacessouth

of20thStreetinManhattan,whichemphasizedpersonalexpressionovertradition.67

TheconcertsinOno'sloftbecameaplaceforemergingandexperimental

performanceartistswhowerenotwelcomeonthebigstagesofuptownNewYork.

62
Ibid.,17.

63
Ibid.

64
KeithPotter,FourMusicalMinimalists:LaMonteYoung,TerryRiley,SteveReich,
PhilipGlass(Cambridge,UK:CambridgeUniversityPress,2000),50.

65
KyleGann,MusicDowntown:WritingsfromTheVillageVoice(Berkeley:Universityof
CaliforniaPress,2006),4.

66"BreakingtheChain:AnEssayonDowntownMusic,"KyleGann,accessedMarch

27,2013,http://www.kylegann.com/downtown.html.

67Ibid.

18

ProgramsincludedYoung'sComposition1960#,whichcalledforaBnaturalandFsharp

tobeheldforalongtime,"andYokoOno's"WallPieceforOrchestra,"inwhich

performersbangtheirheadsagainstawall.68Eventuallymanyoftheartists,poets,

musiciansandperformersinvolvedintheseearlyloftconcertscametobeknownasthe

performancegroupFLUXUS,ledbyGeorgeMaciunas.69

LaterLaMonteYounghostedrehearsalsandperformancesintheloftheshared

withMarianZazeela.Theloftbecameameetingplaceformusiciansandvisualartists.70

RehearsalsfortheensembleTheatreofEternalMusicwereheldthereaswell.71The

groupstartedtoincorporateelementsoftheloftenvironmentintotheirdronepieces.

Forexamplethedronetheaquariummadebecamepartofthemusic.72LaterYoungand

Zazeelamovedintothe"DreamHouse"onHarrisonStreet,andin1979openedthe

houseforperformances,recordingsandgallerydisplays.73

Bythe1970s,loftconcertswerehappeningalloverSoHo.PhilipGlassgave

unadvertisedconcertsonSundayafternoonsinhisownloftonBleekerStreet.74The

PhilipGlassEnsemblealsoperformedhisMusicwithChangingPartsattheloftof

68
Ibid.

69
Haskell,Blam!,53.

70
Potter,FourMusicalMinimalists,53.

71
Ibid.,6164.

72
Ibid.,70.

73
Ibid.,99.

74
Nyman,ExperimentalMusic,303.

19

minimalistsculptorDonaldJudd.75MeredithMonkpresentedherperformanceart

worksinherownloftatthistimeaswell.76Althoughalmostalltheperformancesgoing

oninloftsinthe1970swereofexperimentalnewmusic,therewereexceptions.For

example,RobertBeacherfoundedtheSoHoBaroqueOperaCompanyinhisownloft.

BeacherpresentedoperasherevivedbyRameau,Telemann,CimarosaandGaluppi,and

wouldsometimescombinetheseperformanceswithnewlycommissionedworks.77

Performersandcomposersinthe1970sgaveloftconcertsforbothpracticaland

artisticreasons.Performinginyourownorafriend'sloftwasfree,animportantfactor

tostrugglingartists.Theloftswerealsoarelativelysmallspace,perfectforasmall

audienceoffriendsandfellowartists.78Thechoiceoftheloftasaperformancespace

wasalsoanaestheticone.Composersweredetermined"toreintegratetheirmusicinto

thenormalflowofdailylife.Inthemostobviousrespectthismeantrejectingthe

formalityofclassicalorchestraconcerts,thetuxedosandthedistantproscenium

stage."79PhilipGlasssaidinhiscompositionsatthetimethathewas"tryingtoalterthe

traditionalstaidconcertsituation."80

75
K.RobertSchwarz,Minimalists(London:Phaidon,1996),125.

76
KloetzelandPavlik,SiteDance,15.

77
Kostelanetz,Soho,107.

78
Ibid.

79
Gann,MusicDowntown,3.

80
RichardKostelanetzandRobertFlemming,WritingsonGlass:Essays,Interviews,
Criticism(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1999),41.

20

Loftconcertsrepresentedpartofthe"local,insider'sphenomenon"ofartsin

SoHointhe60sand70s.81WhencomposerslikeSteveReichandGlassstartedtogain

moreattention,theyleftthissceneforlargerhallsandlargeraudiences.WhenGlass

performedinloftsitwasfor,ashesaid,"thecommunityofvisualartiststhatlivedin

downtownNewYorkCity,theaterartists,peopleindance,somemusicians."82Forboth

artisticandeconomicreasons,Glassmovedontolarger,moreconventionalhalls.83

Also,inthe1980s,asSoHobecamebetterknownandmorepopular,rentsrose,forcing

manyartistsandgalleriesoutofthearea.Thiseffectivelyendedtheuniqueartist's

colonythatthrivedinSoHointhe60sand70s.84

2.4ArtGalleriesandMuseums

Artgalleriesandmuseumsalsoemergedasnewalternativeperformancevenues

inthe1960sand70s.VisualartistsandmusicianslivedandworkedtogetherinSoHo,

andmusicalperformancesmadetheirwaytovenuestraditionallyreservedforvisual

art.Theminimalistcomposersusedartgalleriestohosttheirperformancesandfound

theartscommunitymorewelcomingtotheirmusicthantheclassicalmusiccommunity

atthebeginningoftheircareers.PhilipGlasssaidthatinhisearlycareerheplayed

"countlessgalleryandloftconcerts"andthat"itwasthevisualartspeoplewhowere

81
Gann,MusicDowntown,xiv.

82
KostelanetzandFlemming,WritingsonGlass,195.

83
Ibid.

84
Kostelanetz,Soho,212224.

21

reallybehindtheseeventsandwhosolidlysupportedthem."85EarlyinSteveReich's

career"thepersonal,aswellasaesthetic,connectionshemadewiththeartworldinthe

1960sallowedReichaccesstoartgalleriesasperformancespaceslongbeforehe

becameacceptedinWesternclassicalmusiccircles."86

Astaggeringnumberofconcertsandperformanceeventsweregiveningalleries

andmuseumsinthe1960sand70s.MeredithMonkperformedofteningallerieswhen

shefirstcametoNewYorkbecauseshewasunhappywiththeraisedstagesof

theatres.87MonkgavethefirstperformanceofJuice,amultimediaeventatthe

GuggeinheimMuseum,whichshechoseforbothitsacousticandarchitectural

features.88ShealsogaveperformancesatthegalleryspaceoftheJudsonChurchinNew

York,theSmithsonianMuseumofNaturalHistoryandtheChicagoMuseumfor

ContemporaryArtbetween1967and1969.89TerryRileyparticipatedinanumberofall

nightconcertsatgalleries,includingoneofthefirstin1967atthePhiladelphiaCollege

ofArt.90HeplayedhisAnAllNightFlightforsolosaxophone,whichlasted8hours,30

85
PhilipGlassandRobertT.Jones,MusicbyPhilipGlass(NewYork:Harper&Row,
1987),23.

86
Nyman,ExperimentalMusic:CageandBeyond,174.

87
KloetzelandPavlik,SiteDance,,31.

88
Ibid.,37.

89
Ibid.,31.

90
WimMertens,AmericanMinimalMusic:LaMonteYoung,TerryRiley,SteveReich,
PhilipGlass(London:Kahn&Averill,1988),42.

22

minutes,includingbreaksforRileywheretapeloopsofhisperformancecontinuedto

play.91

SteveReichandPhilipGlassbothpresentedgalleryandmuseumconcerts

regularlyfromthelate60sthroughtheearly80s.Reichdevelopedarelationshipwith

theParkPlaceGallery,anartistcooperativerunbyPaulaCooper,andpremieredPiano

PhasethereinMarch1967.92Alsoin1967,ReichpremieredatapepiececalledBuyArt,

BuyArtforagalleryshowinPhiladelphia,createdfromrecordingsofvariousartists

saying"buyart."93GlassandReichhadajointperformingensemble,latertoevolve

separatelyintoSteveReichandMusiciansandthePhilipGlassEnsemble,which

performedattheWhitneyMuseum,theGuggenheimMuseumandtheWalkerArt

CenterinMinneapolisfrom196970.94Reichwouldcontinuehisrelationshipwiththe

Whitney,givingthepremiereofMyNameIs:EnsemblePortraittherein1981.95

Startinginthe1980s,thenumberofperformanceeventsinmuseumsand

galleriesbegantodecline,especiallyinSoHo.AsmanygalleriesleftSoHoforChelsea

andotherlessexpensiveareas,"thekindsofconcertspresentedintheirspaces

disappearedaswell."96Performingartistsalsosoughtnewvenuesthatcould

91
Ibid.

92
Nyman,ExperimentalMusic,173.

93
Ibid.

94
Ibid.,197.

95
Ibid.,173.

96
Kostelanetz,Soho,112.

23

accommodatelargeraudiences.PhilipGlass,TerryRiley,SteveReichandMeredith

Monkmovedtobiggerperformancespacestoaccommodatetheir"largeand

enthusiasticaudiences."97PerformanceartistLaurieAndersenworkedprimarilyin

galleriesinSoHo"untilthedesireforbetteracousticstookhertoothervenues."98

However,concertsingalleriesandmuseumsstillhappenfrequentlytoday.Althoughthe

explosionofperformancesinthesevenuesslowedstartinginthe1980s,concertseries

attheWhitneyMuseum,theWalkerArtGalleryandcountlessothermuseumsand

galleriesaroundthecountrycontinuetothrivetoday.Infact,theseconcertsareso

commoninthe21stcenturythatgalleriesandmuseumscannowbedefinedas

"traditional"venuesforchambermusicperformance.

Inthe1970s,artgalleriesandmuseumswerenovelplacestohostconcerts.

Theywereopentoyoungandexperimentalartistswithnewideasbutlittleprior

experience.Nowmanyoftheseoncerevolutionaryconcertspaceshavehostedconcerts

formanyyears,andhaveallthetrappingsofaconcerthallseries,includingartistic

directorsandestablishedfunding.Accordingtoitswebsite,theWhitneyMuseumhasa

"longstandinghistoryofperformingarts"and"formallybeganpresentingmusicinits

galleriesinthe1960s."99Theycontinueperformancestodayand,alongwithpresenting

97
Adams,HallelujahJunction:ComposinganAmericanLife(NewYork:Farrar,Strausand
Giroux,2008),119.

98
MarkJ.Prendergast,TheAmbientCentury:FromMahlertoTrance:TheEvolutionof
SoundintheElectronicAge(NewYork:Bloomsbury,2000),346.

99
"TheWhitney,"accessedJanuary30,2013,http://whitney.org/Performances/History.

24

emergingartists,continuerelationshipswithperformerslikeSteveReich,whohasbeen

establishedinhiscareerfordecades.Whilesomeestablishedmuseumandgalleryseries

continuetosupportyoungartists,thecompetitiontoperformattheseeventsisnow

muchhigherthanintheirbeginnings.Longrunning,establishedconcertseriescanbe

foundinmuseumsandgalleriesallovertheUnitedStatestoday.

Classicalandcontemporaryartistsworkingtodayinbothtraditionaland

alternativevenues,tendtocategorizemuseumandgalleriesastraditionalvenues.

FoundingmemberofSoPercussion,DougPerkinsexplainedtheyplayedmanyofthese

concertswhenestablishingtheensemble."Idon'tthinkwethoughttheywere

alternativebecause,well,certainlythemusicthatweweredoing,SteveReich'smusic

cameoutofanartgallery.So,forusthatfeltnotalternativebutinfactitfeltlikeat

home.Themostappropriatevenuewastheartgalleries."100GavinChuck,Managing

DirectorofAlarmWillSound,acontemporarymusicchamberorchestra,mentionedthat

theensemblehas"playedinmuseumsbeforebutIwouldn'tconsiderthose

unconventionalornonconventional."101Galleriesandmuseumshavebecomea

standardlocationformusicperformancesintheclassicalgenre,especiallythesubgenre

ofcontemporarymusic.

Althoughthesearenowestablishedvenues,theycanstillmaintainsignificant

differencesfrommostconcerthalls.Somegalleryconcertsareticketedeventswith

standardrowsofseats,anestablishedstarttimeandthesameexpectationsfromthe

100
DougPerkins,interviewbyauthor,November6,2012.

101
GavinChuck,interviewbyauthor,August30,2012.

25

audienceasanyconcerthall.Othergalleryandmuseumconcertshaveamoreopen

format.SaschaJacobsen,bandleaderandcomposerfortheSanFranciscobasedMusical

ArtQuintetnotes,"Thegreatthingaboutmuseumsisthatoftentimespeoplecanjust

walkinandoutastheyplease.Youdon'thavetositforthewholeshow.There'skids

thatcancomeandrunaround."102Inadditiontoafreerconcertformat,museumsand

galleriescanbringnewaudienceswhowouldn'tseekoutaclassicalconcertinahall.

KennySavelson,executivedirectorofBangonaCan,foundthatwhentheorganization

performsingalleriestheyfind"peoplewhoassociatemorewithvisualart"thanwith

newmusic.103Artgalleriesandmuseums,whichhavegrownintoapartofclassical

music'sestablishment,continuetoenrichtheartwithdifferentformatsandnew

audiences.

2.5DedicatedPerformanceSpaces

SoHointhe60sand70salsosawthecreationofseveralnewalternativevenues

specificallycreatedtohostperformances.Thesewerespacesforthepresentationof

multimediaperformancesandweregenerallywithoutthetypicalraisedstageof

concerthallsandtheatres.Packedintoa5x5blockareawithmultiplegalleriesinSoHo

in1975weretheperformancespacesThePerformingGarage,TheKitchen,theDia

DanceSpace,TheByrdHoffmanSchoolofBirdsandtheRedSpotOutdoorSlide

Theater.104Thesespaceswereusuallyconvertedbuildings.ThePerformanceGarage,for

102
SaschaJacobsen,interviewbyauthor,October15,2012.

103
KennySavelson,interviewbyauthor,November16,2012.

104
Kostelanetz,Soho,1.

26

example,wassimplyanopenspace,convertedfromanoldtruckgarage,withnostage

andnochairs.105

TheKitchenCenterforVideo,Music,Dance,Performance,FilmandLiterature

wasfoundedin1971inthekitchenoftheMercerArtsCenterintheBroadwayCentral

Hotel.Thegroupwasforcedtomovefromitsoriginallocationwhentheroofcollapsed,

butkeptthenameTheKitchenwhentheymovedtoaloftspaceonBroomeStreetin

1973.106Thisnewspacewasalargeopenroomwithcastironcolumns,largewindows

andblackoutcurtainsthatwasconstantlyrearrangedforneedsofperformancesand

installations.107In1986thecentermovedtoWest19thStreetwhereitisstilllocated

today.108

TwofoundersoftheKitchen,SteinaandWoodyVasulka,wrotethatthey

foundedthevenue"toperformanexperiment"fornewsoundscreatedthrougha

synthesizer.109Experimentalismintheartshasbeenahallmarkofthisinstitutionever

since.Fromsomeofthemusicians'standpoint,therewasalsoapracticalreasonfor

gettinginvolvedwithTheKitchen.GarrettList,oneoftheearlymusicianstoperformat

105
Ibid.,20.

106
LeeMorrissey,TheKitchenTurnsTwenty:ARetrospectiveAnthology(NewYork:
KitchenCenterforVideo,Music,Dance,Performance,Film,andLiterature,1992),1.

107
Ibid.,48.

108
Ibid.,1.

109
Ibid.,5.

27

thecenter,said,"wewerequitesimplylookingforaplacetoplay."110Thefirstmusic

performanceatTheKitchenwas"ACageSamplingHeardatTheKitchen"in1973.111The

centerhosteddifferentgenresofexperimentalmusicbyincludingjazzandavantgarde

rockbythelate70s.112AsTheKitchenbecamemoreestablishedintheartsworld,

however,itwasmoredifficulttokeepitsdoorsopentonewandstrugglingartists.John

Kelly,comingtoNewYorkintheearly80swondered,"howtoinfiltratetheIvoryTower

deceptivelyknowbythemundanetitleof'TheKitchen?'"113

Manyofthealternativespacesformedinthe60sand70sdidnotsurvivethe

difficultyoffundingthoseinstitutionsthroughthe80s.Significantperformancespaces

thatwereforcedtoclosetheirdoorsincludetheFilmmaker'sCinemathque,TheByrd

HoffmanSchoolofBirdsandtheRedSpotOutdoorSlideTheater.Thosethatdidsurvive

intothe21stcenturybecamepartofmainstreamclassicalmusic.Twoorganizationsthat

startedasinformal,artistrunspacesinthe1970shavegrownuptobecomevenerable,

establishedNewYorknewmusicdestinations:TheKitchenandRoulette.TheKitchen

todayisstillarelativelysmallconcertspacewithamaximumcapacityof200.Itnowhas

alobbywithaticketdesk,10rowsofriserseatingandsophisticatedbuiltinsoundand

lightingequipment.Thestageisnotraisedandthespacelookssomewhatlikeablack

boxwarehouse.Maintainingsomeofitsdoityourselfspirit,beerissoldoutofgiant

110
Ibid.,23.

111
Ibid.,16.

112
Ibid.,19.

113
Ibid.,97

28

bucketsinthehallwaytotheaudienceseating.Althoughthereissomedifferencein

characterfromaconcerthallcertainlythedecorismoreindustrialthansumptuousthe

standardauditoriumseatingdoesencouragealisteningexperienceverysimilartoa

concerthall.

TheKitchen'scurrenthomeisamuchmoresophisticated,andexpensive,

concertspacethaninitsoriginallocation.Accordingtoitswebsite,theKitchenemploys

13staffmembers,including5curators.114Ithasbeenanonprofitorganizationsince

1973andhasa24memberboardofdirectors.115TheKitchenlistsasfundersonits

website28foundations,theNationalEndowmentfortheArts,3stateandcityagencies

and13banksandcorporationsincludingUBS,GoldmanSachs,HSBC,Sotheby's,Time

WarnerandBankofAmerica.116TheKitchenisusingthesamefundingmodelasmost

symphonyorchestras,byrelyingheavilyongrantsandcorporatedonationstocover

costs.TheKitchenisstillaplaceforexperimentalworkbutnowthisworkmustpleasea

largeboardofdirectors,5curatorsandasubstantialbodyofcorporate,privateand

governmentfunders.

Rouletteisaperformancespacethatgrewfromaloftspaceintoaconcerthall.

AccordingtoAmandaDavis,aprogramdirectoratRoulette,theconcertseriesstartedin

JimStaley'sloftinTribecain1978,movedtoaspaceonGreenStreetandthentotheir

114
"TheKitchen,"accessedJanuary31,2013,http://www.thekitchen.org/page/23/1.

115
"TheKitchen,"accessedJanuary31,2013,http://www.thekitchen.org/page/163/3.

116
"TheKitchen,"accessedJanuary31,2013,http://www.thekitchen.org/page/167/.

29

currenthomeinthetrendyParkSlopesectionofBrooklynin2011.117ThenewRoulette

isanauditoriumspaceinaYWCAbuilding,rentedona10yearleasebythe

organization.Thespacehasacapacityof400seatedand600standing.Accordingto

Davis,theorganizationmadesomeadjustmentstothespacebyaddingasecond,lower

stage,creatingamultileveleffect,andinstallingsophisticatednewsoundandlighting

systems.Whentheyrentedtheauditoriumitalreadyhadanopenmainfloor,where

chairscanbeplacedandremoved,andtheaterchairsonthebalconylevel.Althoughthe

mainfloorspaceisflexible,Davissaid"wewantedtohaveaconcerthall,soit'susually

seated."Theyhaveusedtheflexibilityofthespacetoputperformersintheaudience

areainthepast,though.Thereisabarinthelobby.Audiencemembersarefreetobring

foodanddrinkinsidetheauditoriumbutareexpectedtomaintaintotalsilenceduring

theperformances."Theaudienceisreallygood.Sometimesourpiecesaresoquietthat

youcanhearapindrop,"explainedDavis.Rouletteisnowaconcerthallwithsimilar

expectationsfortheaudienceasyouwouldfindinanyotherclassicalmusichall.

Roulettehasalsobecomeestablishedasanorganizationandinitsfunding

structure.AccordingtoitsSpring2013program,Roulettehasa17memberboardof

directors,a24memberstaffand5interns.Itlists26foundations,thecityofBrooklyn,

theNewYorkCityCouncil,NewYorkCommunityTrust,NewYorkStateCouncilforthe

ArtsandtheNationalEndowmentfortheArtsasfunders.Theprogramalsolistsprivate

individualsgivingthousandsofdollarseachtofundthecurrentseason.Severalboard

membersarelistedashavinggivenover$1,000toRouletteforthecurrentseason,

117
AmandaDavis,interviewbyauthor,Brooklyn,NY,January12,2013.

30

includingonelistedashavinggivenover$10,000.Rouletteusesafamiliarmixoffunding

sourcesincludingfoundations,governmentagenciesandwealthyindividuals,someof

whomoverseetheorganizationasmembersoftheboardofdirectors.Accordingto

Davis,Roulettederivesadditionalfundingfromrentingthespaceseveralnightsaweek

andfromtheproceedsofthebar.

ThisestablishedfundingsystemhelpsRoulettemaintainaconcerthallspaceand

payartistsflatfees,whilekeepingticketpriceslow.Roulettestrivestokeeptheir

concertsaccessiblefinanciallyandoffersmosteventsfor$15.Theorganizationalso

strivestosupportyoungartists.TheyhaveagrantthroughtheJeromeFoundationto

hostemergingartistsandDavissaidtheyutilizetheiryoungerstafftofindnewacts.Jim

Staley,thefounderofRoulette,stilldoesmostoftheprogrammingandDavismentions

thatthey"getalotofthesameperformersperforming"multipletimesfromseasonto

seasonalthoughnewsubmissions"mixesthepoolalittlebitwider."Thecomposerand

founderoftheensembleVictoire,MissyMazzoli,seesitasoneofseveral"typical

concertvenues"fornewmusicinNewYork.118Whileitstillcaterstoanichemarket

withintheclassicalmusicindustryofnewmusiclovers,Roulettehasbecomean

establishedconcertorganizationgivingperformancesinatypicalconcertsettingfor

classicalmusic.

JohnZorn'stheStone,aspaceforexperimentalmusicinNewYorkCity,isan

interestingcaseofarelativelyyoungandantiestablishmentdedicatedartspace.John

Zornisacomposerandsaxophonist,activeintheNewYorkCityavantgardescenesince

118
MissyMazzoli,interviewbyauthor,November13,2012.

31

the1970s.119A2005NewYorkTimesarticleannouncingtheopeningoftheStone

explainshowthespaceworks."TherearenodrinksormerchandiseattheStone,and

theclubisgivingallthedoorproceedstothemusicians,eachmonth'ssixnightsaweek

programmingwillbebookedbyasinglemusician...andtheoperatingcostswillbe

coveredbyZorn'srecordmakingonhisownlabel,Tzadik."120Thecuratingpositionis

rotatedonamonthlybasis.TheStone'swebsitestatesthat,"theStoneisbookedpurely

onacuratorialbasis.Wedonotacceptdemosofanykind."121Therefore,ifyoudonot

knowoneoftheassignedcurators,orcometotheirattentionthroughpublic

performancesorconnections,youcannotapplytoplayattheStone.AccordingtoJoe

Merolla,avolunteerworkingthedooroftheStoneonJanuary13th2013,theStoneis

nonprofitandentirelyrunbyvolunteers.Thedonationsfromamonthlyjazzimprov

sessionhelptopaytherentforthestorefrontspace.

TheStoneisasmallspacewithacapacityforaround3540seatedand70

standing.Thedoorpriceissetat$10pershow.Youngandlessestablishedartistsare

abletobookperformancesattheStone,forexample,composerandperformerLeah

Paul,whohasasmallfollowingandconnectionswithmanyexperimentalartistsaround

NewYork.Thespaceitselfishardtofind.AtthestreetcornertheStone'swebsitelists

119
"AllMusic,"accessedMarch13,2013,http://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnzorn
mn0000239329.

120
BenRatliff,"ForJazzMusiciansandFans,a(Tiny)RoomofTheirOwn,"NewYork
Times,April5,2005,accessedJanuary16,2013,
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/05/arts/music/05ston.html?_r=0.

121
"TheStone,"accessedJanuary17,2013,http://thestonenyc.com/.

32

asitslocation,thereisaconveniencestoreononesideofthestreetandwhatappears

tobenothingontheother.Oncloserinspectionofthisseeminglyabandonedcorner,a

smallglassdoorhas"thestone"printedonitinaround18pt.font.Musiciansarriving

latetoperformcanbeheardfrominsidetheperformancespacesaying,"thisisit...no,

really?"AsmusicianandtheStonevolunteerJoeMerollaputit,"Itwouldn'tbe

undergroundmusicifitwereeasytofind."122

Despiteitssmallsize,difficultytofindandtinybudget,theStoneisstillbuilton

thesamemodelofconcertspaceasmostoftheperformancespacesemergingfromthe

1970s.Chairsareoftenplacedinrowsandtheexpectationfortheaudienceissilence

duringperformances.Thisisaformalconcertsettingwheretheartistsperformandthe

audiencesitssilentandstill,onlyapplaudingwhentheendofaclassicalworkis

indicated.Themusicprogrammedatthisspaceisuninhibitedbylargeprivateand

corporatedonationsorgovernmentfundingbutthesettingismuchmoreinlinewith

thealternativespacesofthe1970sthanoftoday.Thisspacestandstodaybetween

alternativeandtraditionalconcertsettings.

2.6PublicSpaces

Manyperformershavetakentheirtalentstothestreet.Performancesinpublic

spacesserveseveralfunctions.Theyofferemergingartistsanaudiencetheymightnot

otherwisebeabletodrawtoperformances.Theyalsogivethegeneralpublicthe

opportunitytoencounterartintheireverydaylives.OneofLaurieAnderson'sfirst

famousworks,calledPerformanceArt,wasperformedonaNewYorkCitystreetin

122
JoeMerolla,interviewbyauthor,January13,2014,NewYork,NY.

33

1975.Andersonplayedtheviolinontopofaniceblock,wearingiceskates.Thepiece

lasteduntiltheicemelted.123MeredithMonkusedaparkinglotinSoHotostagea

performance.124Theinnovativedancerandchoreographer,TwylaTharpperformedin

outdoorspaces,includingCentralParkin1969.125RichardKostelanetz,walkingthe

streetsofSoHointhe70s,foundacellistplayingJ.S.BachSuitesandabrassquartet.126

WendyChambersorganizedoutdoorpublicactivitiesincludingStreetMusic(1978).

ArtistRobertMoranputonactivitiesinvolvingentiretowns.127InSanFranciscointhe

1970s,JohnAdamssaidthat,"withmyfriendsImadeavantgardemusicinevery

imaginablelocationthroughoutthecity;inundergroundculverts,inanarboretumin

GoldenGatePark...indankstorefrontsandbookstorelofts."128

Animportantorganizationinthehistoryofalternativevenuesfrom19791992

wastheNewMusicAmericafestival,ayearlyeventthatbeganatTheKitchen.129The

festivaltookplaceinadifferentcityeachyearand,in1992,featuredseveralcities

simultaneously.In1981inSanFrancisco,musicforthefestivalwashostedatthe

123
Prendergast,TheAmbientCentury,346.

124
KloetzelandPavlik,SiteDance,15.

125
Kostelanetz,Soho,80.

126
Ibid.,201.

127
EricSalzman,TwentiethCenturyMusic:AnIntroduction(UpperSaddleRiver,NJ:
PrenticeHall,2002),197.

128
Adams,HallelujahJunction,80.

129
IrisBrooks,NewMusicAcrossAmerica(Valencia,California:CaliforniaInstituteofthe
ArtsinconjunctionwithHighPerformanceBooks,1992),7.

34

Exploratorium.InChicago,thefestivalputoneventsatthezoo,thepierandthe

harbor.130Inthelate80s,festivalsinPhiladelphia,MiamiandMontrealincludedsound

installationsinsubways.131In1992,oneofthemostinnovativecitiesintheuseof

alternativespacesintheNewMusicAcrossAmericafestivalwasPortland,ME.The

festivalinvolvedapianodroppedbyacraneintothemainsquareforaconcert,concerts

atnightclubs,andshowsputoninstorefrontwindowswiththemusicpipedouttothe

audienceonthestreet.132Streetperformancesremainalternativetothisday.Concerts

thatsurprisethepublicbyturningupinunusualplacesstillstandoutsidethenormof

theclassicalmusicindustry.Severalexamplesofthistypeofperformancewillbe

exploredinfuturechapters.

Alternativevenuesstandapartfromthemainstreamofclassicalmusic.They

oftenfeaturedifferentmusic,catertoanalternativeaudienceandcreateaunique

atmosphere.Theyemergewithadifferentsetofrulesandexpectationsthanastandard

venue.Ineveryera,thealternativevenuehasbeendefinedtoacertaindegreebywhat

itisnot:traditional.Understandingthemilieufromwhichanalternativevenue

emerged,isvitaltotheappreciationofthatvenue.

130
Ibid.,9.

131
Ibid.,30.

132
Ibid.,92.

35

CHAPTER3

THESTATEOFMAINSTREAMCLASSICALMUSIC

Beforeinvestigatingtheeffectsofnewvenuesonclassicalmusic,itishelpfulto

considerthestateoftheindustryinthe20thand21stcenturies.Mostclassicalmusicin

21stcenturyalternativevenuesischambermusic,largelybecauseboththestagesand

concertbudgetsaresmall.However,organizationstrackingtheclassicalmusicindustry

havebeenmosteffectiveattracingthelargestorganizations,usuallysymphony

orchestras.Thereforethischapterwillprimarilyfocusonthebestdocumentedaspect

of20thcenturyclassicalmusic,theorchestra.Mostlargeclassicalmusicorganizations

arefacingdecreasingrevenuefromgovernmentandprivatesources.Meanwhiletheir

audienceshavesteadilybecomesmallerandoldersince1980.However,intherelatively

recentpast,classicalmusicwasapopulargenrewithfinanciallyhealthyorganizations.

Duringthelate19thcenturyandearly20thcentury,classicalmusicwasa

popularartformwithorchestrasfundedprimarilybyticketsales.133Orchestrasatthe

turnofthe20thcenturyregularlyperformedforlarge,enthusiasticaudiences.Atthe

premiereofDvorak'sSymphonyNo.9theperformancewassoldoutandthepolice

133
NormanLebrecht,WhoKilledClassicalMusic?Maestros,Managers,andCorporate
Politics(Secaucus,NJ:BirchLanePress,1998),23.

36

werecalledtocalmthosethatcouldnotattend.134Afterwards,Dvorakwas"mobbedby

musiccriticseagertocongratulatehim."135ThePhiladelphiaOrchestragave9

performancesofMahler'sSymphonyNo.8in1916foratotalof25,000people.136Inthe

192930season,theMetropolitanOperamadeaprofitof$90,937,orabout1.2million

intoday'sdollars.137However,beforeadropinattendanceinthelate20thcentury,the

costoforchestralperformancegrewexponentially.In1946,theaveragelargeU.S.

orchestrabrokeevengiving100concerts.In1991theaverageorchestragave200

concertsandoperatedatanaveragelossof$735,000.Thebusinessmodelforartsin

theUnitedStatesbecameto"losemoneywisely"asWilliamSchumann,thefirst

presidentofLincolnCenter,putit.138

3.1BudgetInflation

Aprimaryreasonthatorchestra'sbudgetsgrewsorapidlyinthesecondhalfof

the20thcenturywasfeestoconductorsandsoloists.AnAmericanSymphonyOrchestra

Leaguestudyfoundorchestra'sbudgetshadrisen8timesbetween1971and1992,with

themajorityoftheincreasegoingtosoloistsandconductors.139Thefeesforconductors

134
AliceGoldfarbMarquis,ArtLessons:LearningfromtheRiseandFallofPublicArts
Funding(NewYork:BasicBooks,1995),151.

135
JosephHorowitz,ClassicalMusicinAmerica:AHistoryofitsRiseandFall(NewYork:
W.W.NortonandCompany,2005),537.

136
Marquis,ArtLessons,143.

137
Lebrecht,WhoKilledClassicalMusic?,23.

138
Marquis,ArtLessons,33.

139
Ibid.,174.

37

andsoloistsrose3550%from1990to1995alone.140AuthorJosephHorowitz

conjecturesthatthecultofgreatconductorsandsoloists,whichemergedafter1930in

theU.S.,sidelinedthesupportforlivingcomposersandpushedorchestralprogramming

inaconservativedirection.141Orchestraslargelyabandonedtheideaofperforming

popularmusicoftheirtime,evenastheypouredmoreandmoremoneyintostarswith

highfees.

Atthesametimeasorchestras'budgetswerefaroutpacingincomefromticket

sales,from1950to1980,theartssectorintheUnitedStateshad"exponentialgrowthin

financialandlaborresources."142An"artboom"occurredintheU.S.inthe1960s,when

halfofallorchestrasworldwidewerelocatedintheU.S.From1966to1974,thenumber

ofconcertsgivenbyorchestrasintheU.S.grewby80%.143From1965to1984the

numberofartsorganizationsintheU.S.increasedby700%andthenumberof

orchestrasincreasedfrom58to145.144Notonlyweretheremanymoreorchestrasin

theU.S.bythe1980s,buttheywerealsogivingmanymoreconcertsperseason.This

140
Ibid.,192.

141
Horowitz,ClassicalMusicinAmerica,537.

142
JohnKreidler,"LeverageLost:TheNonProfitArtsinthePostFordEra,"InMotion,
February16,1996,accessedOctober14,2012,
http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/lost.html.

143
Marquis,ArtLessons,144.

144
Ibid.,200.

38

boomcoincidedwithalargeincreaseinthenumberofAmericansgoingtocollegeand

morefreetimeforAmericansduringtheirworkingyearsandwhentheyretired.145

AliceGoldfarbMarquisinherbook,ArtLessons,callsthis"theriddleofinsolvent

artsorganizationsinthemidstofapublicclamoringformorearts."146Asthe

MetropolitanOperawasfacedwithfinancialproblemsandconsideredcancellingtheir

seasonin1960,mediatorArthurGoldbergsaid"theartseconomiccrisiswasnotcaused

bydeclinebutbyunparalleledgrowth."147JosephHorowitzexplainedthat,"Orchestras,

alltold,hadmoresalariedplayers,moreconcerts,moretours.Asof1950,symphonic

seasonsoftwentytothirtyweeksweretypicalinlargecities.So,however,weredeficits

and'savethesymphony'campaigns."148Duringthe1960s,manyU.S.university

campusesbuiltlargeandexpensiveconcerthallswiththeassumptionthat"presenters

neededpublicfundingbecauseticketpricesthatwouldbehighenoughtocoverallcosts

woulddriveawaytoomuchoftheaudience."149

3.2TheNonProfitBusinessModel

Bythe1950stheartsindustryhadsettledintoabusinessmodelwhichreliedon

grantsandindividualandcorporatedonationstobridgethegapbetweenticketsale

incomeandthecostofpresentingconcerts.Bythe1990s,artsorganizationsmade

145
Ibid.,25.

146
Ibid.,34.

147
Ibid.,54.

148
Horowitz,ClassicalMusicinAmerica,411.

149
Marquis,ArtLessons,155.

39

roughlyhalftheirbudgetthroughticketsalesandhalfbydonations,mostlythrough

wealthyindividualsandfoundations.150By2000,performanceincomeatsymphony

orchestrascoveredanaverageofonly45%ofperformanceexpensesaloneat32U.S.

symphonyorchestras.151Inartsorganizations"thebusinesssidetheoreticallyfellto

trustees,usuallywealthyindividualswillingtomeettheinevitableannualdeficitwith

personalcontributions.Thoughfacingbudgetsofmillionsofdollars,theartistsfoundit

distracting,ifnotdemeaning,toworryaboutthenutsandboltsofmanagingthe

enterpriseboxoffice,accounting,subscriptionsales,promotion,advertising,publicity,

fundraising."152Musicorganizationsbecameheavilydependentonwealthyand

corporatedonorsbothforfundingandoversight,intheformofboardmembers.

Orchestraboardsfullofwealthydonorsandrepresentativesofsponsoring

corporationspushedorchestrasinaconservativedirection."Fromthebeginning,

orchestraboardsrepresentedthesocialelite;inexchangeforgenerouscontributions,

thisgroupalsocontrolledprogramming."153Thesewealthy,generallyolderboard

memberstendedtohaveconservativetastes.Chargedwiththeoverseeingthefinances

ofmusicalorganizations,boardsofteninsistedonclassical'hits'thatcouldbe

guaranteedtofillhalls,insteadofinvestinginnewmusic."Itbecameonefunctionofthe

150
Kreidler,"LeverageLost."

151
RobertJ.Flanagan,"ReporttoAndrewW.MellonFoundation,"March2008,
accessedMarch14,2013,
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/packages/pdf/Flanagan.pdf,12.

152
Marquis,ArtLessons,4.

153
Ibid.,152.

40

boardtoserveasafiscalwatchdog,restrainingfinanciallyirresponsibleprogramming

oftenwithoutthebenefitofmusicalexpertise."154Inthe1980s,whencorporations

startedtosponsorartsevents"mostcorporationswerenotinterestedinsupporting

experimentalwork.Instead,theyattachedthemselvestothewellestablished

organizationsandexpectedsomedirectbenefitsfromtheirgenerosity."155In1987,

ErnestFleischmann,thentheLosAngelesPhilharmonicgeneraldirector,notedthat

eachyearorchestrastrytochangeandvary"whatisessentiallyaratherlimited,fairly

standardnineteenthandearlytwentiethcenturyorchestralrepertoire...Isitthenso

verysurprisingthatouraudiencesseemtogetoldereveryyearandourmusiciansmore

boredandfrustrated?"156Littlehaschangedintheorchestralworld'sprogramming

modelintheyearssincethen.

Anothersourceofrevenueforartsorganizationsduringthisartboomwas

governmentandprivategrants.Theartsgrantwas"inventedbytheFordFoundationin

thelate1950s",whenitbegananartssubsidyprogram,unprecedentedintheUnited

States.157TheFoundationcreatedaseriesofshorttermgrantsthatrequiredmatching

fundingfromartsorganizations.158WhentheNationalEndowmentfortheArtswas

154
Horowitz,ClassicalMusicinAmerica,413.

155
Ibid.,169.

156
Lebrecht,WhoKilledClassicalMusic?,213.

157
Kreidler,"LeverageLost."

158
Ibid.

41

formedin1965,agovernmentartssubsidyprogram,itwasalsolargelybuiltaroundthe

systemofmatchingfunding.159

InordertotakeadvantageoffundingofferedbytheFordFoundation,the

NationalEndowmentfortheArtsandotherfoundationsbuiltonthesamemodel,arts

organizationsneededtodevotemoreandmoretimetograntwritingandfundraising

activities.Thisledtotheriseoftheprofessionofartsadministratorandfurtherdivorced

musiciansfromthebusinessofpresentingconcerts.TheartistLorenMunkobservedthis

phenomenoninthevisualartsworldinthe1980s.Atapublicdiscussionatthe

GalapagosArtSpaceonJanuary10th,2013,hediscussedthischange."WhenIfirstgot

toNewYorkinthe80sthegovernmentwasmuchmoregenerouswithgrants"Munk

said.160Hedescribedtheemergenceofawhole"class"ofgrantwritersandwritinggrant

proposals"becametheirartform."Hewentontosaythat,"qualityofartduringthat

period,forme,wasnotgreat."Duetoartsorganizations'widespreadbudgetshortfalls

duringthisperiod,theartofthegrantproposalbecameinextricablylinkedwiththe

businessofpresentingclassicalconcerts.

Aneverincreasingprofessionalsupportstaffgearedtowardsraisingmoney

begantoexertmoreandmoreartisticcontrol.TheNationalEndowmentfortheArtsin

assigninggrantspreferredtodealwithartsadministratorswhowere"consistent,

dependableadministrators,coolheadswhounderstoodhowtofilloutcomplexgrant

applicationsandmeetdeadlines,ratherthanvolatileartists,theiroutlandishvisions,

159
Ibid.

160
LorenMonk,inpublicdiscussionatGalapagosArtSpace,NewYork,NY,January10,
2013.

42

unorthodoxworkhabits,andtemperamentalspirits.Butwhileprofessional

managementpleasedtrusteesandprivatepatrons,itdampenedthecreativeimpulse.It

preferred...thewellknownclassicaltotheimaginativeleap,thepedestriantothe

unexpected."161Marquispointsoutthat"theNEAhasspentalmostallitsmoneyon

good,gray,mainstreamorganizationsthatproduceanunexceptionable,aging

repertoireunlikelytodisturbanyone."162Thissystemputmoreandmoremoney

towardsthemostconservative,largestorganizationsintheclassicalmusicworld.

Inthelast60years,classicalmusicorganizationshavebeensellingtheirproduct

asrarifiedart.Thismarketingstrategycouldberelatedtothenonprofitstructure.To

justifyaspecialtaxexemptstatus,mostartsorganizationsworkedtodefinethemselves

ashighart,worthyoffinancialsupport,asopposedtopopularartandmusic."While

distancingthemselvesfromcommercialcultureandrefiningajargonandanetiquette

thatestrangedmostofthepublicfromtheiractivities,thenonprofit'high'arts

organizationsthatwereproliferatingaroundtheUnitedStatesalsoinsistedthatthey

wereengagedincivilizingthemassesandcontributingtogeneralcivicwellbeing."163In

ordertoqualifyasanonprofitorganizationwiththeIRS,nonliteraryartsorganizations

mustformthemselvesundertheeducationalheading.Therefore,"educating"thepublic

withartbecomesapartofeverygrantapplicationandthejustificationforkeepingnon

profitstatus.Thenonprofitsystemcutsoffartsorganizationsfromworkingwiththe

161
Marquis,ArtLessons,114.

162
Ibid.,252.

163
Marquis,ArtLessons,5.

43

entertainmentindustry,stymieingcollaborationamongartistsofdifferentgenres.164A

newsystemoffundingconcertsthatwouldallowclassicalmusictofunditself,without

justifyingitsexistencethroughthelensof"education"wouldfreemusicianstomovein

amoreprogressive,current,populardirection.

3.3DeclineofPublicSupport

Inthe80sand90s,politicalgoodwillandgovernmentfundingforthearts

decreasedassociety'sprioritieschanged.Astudyof63Americanorchestrasshowed

thatonaveragetheorchestrasrandeficitsfrom1987to2000,althoughtherewasa

temporaryfinancialreboundfrom1997to1999.165Intheearly1990scorporate

sponsorshipshiftedlargelytorockconcerts,sportsandmedicalandenvironmental

charities.166Atthattime"audienceswerecollapsing,statefundingwasbegrudged,

corporatesponsorshipwasdwindling.Societywasshiftingitsresourcestonew

needs."167Forsomeorganizations,wealthyboardssteppedintocoverlargebudget

shortfalls.HowevertheNewOrleansandDenverorchestraswereclosed,beforebeing

reopenedbythemusicians,andin1995Louisvillefiredsomemusiciansandreduced

thesalariesoftheremainingplayers.168Orchestraswerestrugglingtomaintainthe

164
Lebrecht,WhoKilledClassicalMusic?,257.

165
Flanagan,"RepoerttoAndrewW.MellonFoundation,"22.

166
Lebrecht,WhoKilledClassicalMusic?,190.

167
Ibid.,18.

168
Ibid.,174.

44

budgets,whichincreasedonaverage8timesbetween1971and1992.169Most

orchestraschosetodealwithbudgetshortfallsanddwindlingaudiencesbyincreasing

investmentinadministration.From1987to1995,orchestrasspent57%moreon

advertising,promotingandmarketingand52%moreonfundraising.170

Financialdifficultiesforclassicalorganizationscontinuedintothe21stcentury.

Afterabrieffinancialrecoveryinthelate1990s,therecessionthatbeganin2001again

"producedformidabledeficitsintheAmericansymphoniccommunity."171Seventeen

orchestrasclosedbetween1986and2006.172Afurtherblowtotheclassicalmusic

industrywasthe2008financialcrisis,oftencitedastheworstfinancialcrisistohitthe

U.S.sincetheGreatDepression.In2010,"theorchestrasofNewYork,Atlantaand

Detroitranmultimilliondollardeficits,ashavetheMetropolitanOperaandtheSan

FranciscoOpera."173TheHonoluluSymphonyfoldedandtheLouisvilleSymphonyfiled

forChapter11bankruptcyprotection.174CarnegieHallreducedthenumberofconcerts

169
Ibid.

170
Marquis,ArtLessons,149.

171
Horowitz,ClassicalMusicinAmerica,514.

172
AllanKozinn,"ChecktheNumbers:RumorsofClassicalMusic'sDemiseAreDead
Wrong"NewYorkTimes,May28,2006,accessedOctober10,2012,
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/28/arts/music/28kozi.html?pagewanted=all.

173
BrianWise,"ClassicalMusicin2010:JoyfulNoise,TroubledSilence,"December26,
2010,http://www.wqxr.org/#!/articles/wqxrfeatures/2010/dec/26/classicalmusic
2010joyfulnoisetroubledsilence/.

174
Ibid.

45

itpresentedby1015%asapreventativebudgetarymeasure.175Todayorchestras

acrossthecountryareworkingtoreducecostsandplacethemselvesonfirmerfinancial

footing.

3.4FinancialSurvivalforMusicians

Forindividualmusicians,theabilitytomakealivingandhavesomefinancial

securityhasrisenandfallenoverthecourseofthe20thcentury.Beforethe1950s,most

U.S.orchestras,includingthebig5NewYork,Boston,Philadelphia,Clevelandand

Chicagowereallparttime.Musicianssupplementedtheirincomewithother

performancesandteaching.176Theriseofthefulltimeorchestraduringtheartsboom

providedfulltimeemploymentformanyclassicalmusicians.In1994,AliceGoldfarb

Marquisnotedthat,"ofallnonprofitartforms,orchestrasprovidethegreatestnumber

ofindividualartistswithfulltimeemployment."177

Manymusiciansworkingoutsidetherealmofasinglefulltimejobinthe20th

centuryUnitedStateshadadifficulttimemakingendsmeet.Individualartistswerenot

eligibleformostgrantsandsmallmusicalorganizationsfacedatoughbattleforfunding

whenpittedagainstlargesymphonyorchestras.FundingfromtheNationalEndowment

fortheArtsoftenresteduponhoworganizedanartsgroupwasandhowadamantthe

supporters."Whereverthefieldwastightlyorganizedandpossessedofavociferous

constituency,asfororchestras,thepanelsrecommendedfundingofaboutoneinfour

175
Ibid.

176
Marquis,ArtLessons,144.

177
Ibid.,146.

46

applications.Withoutmuchorganizedpressurefromafield,aswithindividual

fellowships,theratiowasaboutoneinforty."178Muchoftheartsfundingsysteminthe

UnitedStateshasbeengearedtowardssupportinglargeorganizations,makingsecuring

moniesforindependentartistsandsmallcollectivesverydifficult.

ThelifeofafreelancemusicianwasdescribedbytheeconomistsWilliamBaumol

andWilliamBowenintheir1966book,ThePerformingArts:TheEconomicDilemma:"In

manyways...theworkingconditionsoftheperformerfallbelowwhatmightbe

consideredreasonablestandards...exhaustingtours,highprofessionalexpenses,

frequentunemploymentwithitsaccompanyinguncertainty,therarityofpaidvacations

andthefrequentlackofprovisionforretirementalladduptowhatmostofuswould

consideranightmareworldwerewesuddenlyplungedintoit."179In1977asurveyof

theperformingartsunionbytheAFLCIOfoundthat"mostperformingartistsactually

workconsiderablylessthanfulltimeattheirprofession,primarilybecausenotenough

workisavailable."180Thestudyfoundonly1in5performersworkedforoneemployer,

anditwascommontoworkforupto10employersinayear.Atthetime,median

incomeforperformingartistswasclosetothemedianincomeofthecountrybutfar

belowothergroupswithsimilareducationlevels.181

178
Ibid.,159.

179
Kreidler,"LeverageLost."

180
Ibid.

181
Ibid.

47

Musiciansfacingthesechallengesalsoencounteredanincreasinglycrowded

field.Thenumberofindividualsholdingdegreesintheperformingartsexplodedinthe

late20thcentury.Inthe60sthereweremany"institutionsofhigherlearningthat

pouredtensofthousandsofgraduatesintotheperformingandvisualarts,aglutthatno

fundingsystemcouldpossiblyabsorb."182In1950,213artsdoctorateswereawarded

butin1970,1,130artsdoctorateswereawarded.183Asuniversitiesaddedarts

programs,professorsoftenhadtoadmitlessqualifiedstudentstokeepthemajorsfull.

"Theseprogramsgrewwithoutregardforhowtheartssectorcouldsupportsuchvastly

increasednumbersofcertifiedartsgraduates.Evenworse,theuniversitysettingoften

hobbledartistsofgenuinetalent,evenasitrewardedploddingtimeserversholdingthe

rightdegree."184Manycollegemusicperformanceprogramsweregearedtowardsa

careerinanorchestraorasasoloistwithamanager."Formanygiftedyoung

instrumentalists,musicschoolisatypeofjobtraining:theywanttoknowhowtoplay

thenotesandhowtowinanaudition,"explainedHorowitz.185Facingaworldwithfewer

orchestras,manycollegegraduatesinmusicwereleftunpreparedtofindotherwaysto

makealiving.

Graduatesholdingdegreesinmusicpouringintoafieldwithlimitedemployment

prospectscontinuedintothe21stcentury.Between1998and2010thenumberof

182
Marquis,ArtLessons,85.

183
Ibid.,25.

184
Ibid.,26.

185
Horowitz,ClassicalMusicinAmerica,534.

48

collegeartsdegreesawardedannuallyintheUnitedStatesrosesteadilyfrom75,000to

129,000.186AccordingtotheNationalEndowmentfortheArtsemploymentstatisticsfor

2008,unemploymentwas3%forprofessionals,6.1%forthegeneralworkforce,and

8.4%forperformingartists."Artistunemploymentrateswouldbeevenhigherifnotfor

thelargenumberofartistsleavingtheworkforce...(which)maybeattributedtoartists'

discouragementoverjobprospects."187

3.5TheAudience

Audienceattendancehasalsobeenasignificantproblemfortheclassicalmusic

industryinthelast30years.Earlierinthe20thcentury,attendingclassicalconcertswas

apopularpastime.However,bytheearly1970s,aFordFoundationsurveyfoundamong

thegeneralpopulationthat96%hadseenmovieinthelastyear,25%hadseena

professionaljazz,rockorfolkperformancebutonly10%hadseenanorchestra

concert.188Demandforclassicalconcertsdecreasedfurtherinthe80sand90s.National

EndowmentfortheArtsdatareleasedwitha2008studyshowthesteadydeclinein

attendance.Thepercentageofadultsattendingclassicalmusicperformancesin1982

was13%,in1992was12.5%,in2002was11.6%andin2008was9.3%.189Thedeclinein

186
"AmericansfortheArts:ArtsIndex,"accessedMarch14,2013,
http://www.artsindexusa.org/nationalartsindex.

187
"NationalEndowmentfortheArts:ArtsEmploymentStatistics2008,"lastmodified
March4,2009,http://www.nea.gov/news/news09/artistunemploymentrates.html.

188
Marquis,ArtLessons,99.

189
JenniferL.NovakLeonardandAlanS.Brown,"BeyondAttendance:Amultimodal
understandingofartsparticipation,"page#,lastmodifiedFebruary1,2011,
http://www.arts.gov/research/2008SPPABeyondAttendance.pdf.

49

audienceattendanceatclassicalconcertshaschallengedthemainstreamclassical

industrybothfinanciallyandintheirstruggletoremainavitalpartofAmericanculture.

ThosewhoattendartseventsintheUnitedStateshavegenerallyfitcertain

demographicpatterns.Thosewithhighereducation,higherincome,morefreetimeand

thoselocatedinmajorcitiesaremostlikelytobeinvolvedwiththearts.190Fromthe

1950stothe1970s,moreAmericanswenttocollege,enjoyedhigherincomesandhad

morefreetime,producingmoreartsconsumersatthesametimeasproducingmore

artists.191However,inthe80sand90sleisuretimeandrealwagesdecreasedforthe

averageAmerican.192Thesedecreasescorrespondwiththedropinattendanceat

classicalconcertsdocumentedabove.Itispossiblethatafutureincreaseinincomeand

freetimeforAmericanscouldprovideaboosttotheartssector.

ArtsorganizationsarealsohighlyconcentratedinthelargestcitiesintheUnited

States.Accordingtoa2008studybytheNationalEndowmentfortheArts"in2007,

nearly90percentofnonprofitartsgroupsresidedinmetroareas(coreurbanareaswith

populationsof50,000orgreater).The10largestmetroswerehometo30percentof

nonprofitartsorganizations.Oneinfivewaslocatedinthetopfivemetros.Thegreater

NewYorkCityareaaloneaccountedfor11percentofthenonprofitartssector."193In

190
Kreidler,"LeverageLost."

191
Ibid.

192
Ibid.

193
"NationalEndowmentfortheArts:ArtsParticipationDatafrom2008,"last
modifiedFebruary1,2011,http://www.nea.gov/research/Notes/101.pdf.

50

1995,despitethepresenceof2,000orchestrasintheU.S.,thelargest25accountedfor

halfoftotalattendance.194Howevertrackingattendanceatestablished,nonprofitarts

organizationsonlygivesapartialpicture.Whenlessformalartsparticipationwas

consideredintheNationalEndowmentoftheArts2008study,participationrateswere

roughlythesameforurbanandruralareas.195Althoughartsorganizationsare

concentratedinlargeurbanareas,theartsdefinedmorebroadlyarejustaslikelytobe

seenanywhereintheU.S.

Theageoftheaudienceattendingclassicalconcertstodayisagoodindicatorof

theindustry'shealth.GregSandow,anauthor,formermusiccritic,Juilliardprofessor

andkeenobserveroftheclassicalmusicindustry,hasresearchedtheriseinaudience

ageoverthepast30years.Hediscoveredthattheaverageageoftheaudiencein1937

wasaround30,in1955wasyoungerthan35,andinthe1960swas38.196However,in

the1980sitappearsthattheaudiencestartedtoageandwasnotreplacedbyyounger

classicalmusicfans.AstudybytheNationalEndowmentfortheArtsshowedthelargest

agegroupforclassicalaudiencesin1992wasbetween35and44.Howeverby2002,the

largestagegroupwasbetween45and54.197Thisdatashowsthatthesameaging

generationofclassicalmusicfansmadeupthemajorityoftheaudienceinthe90sand

194
Marquis,ArtLessons,149.

195
"NationalEndowmentfortheArts:ArtsParticipationDatafrom2008."

196
GregSandow,"AgeoftheAudience,"ArtsJournal,March10,2008,accessedJanuary
16,2013,http://www.artsjournal.com/sandow/2008/03/age_of_the_audience.html.

197
Ibid.

51

2000s.Peopletendtoremainfansofthemusictheydiscoveredintheirteensand

twenties.Forexample,babyboomersdominatedjazzperformancesinthe1980sand

today.198Ifthistrendoffailingtoattractyoungeraudiencestoclassicalconcerts

continues,thebulkofclassicalmusicfansattendingtraditionalconcertswilldieout,

withoutbeingreplaced.

Astheaudienceforclassicalmusicages,therecontinuestobeaninfluxofyoung

playersintotheindustry.Sandowcallsthis"theparadoxofyoungerpeoplestudying

classicalmusic,andmakingcareersinthefield,evenwhileotherstheiragerarelygoto

classicalperformances.Asaresultofthis,youthorchestrasthrive,musicschoolsthrive,

andorchestrashaveseenaninfluxofexpertyoungerplayers(whichmakesthemnow

youngerthantheiraudience)."199Manymusiciansborninthe80sand90sareeagerto

performclassicalmusic.However,fewoftheirpeersareinterestedinattendingconcert

hallevents.Thereis,however,thepotentialforyoungmusicianstominetheirnetworks

andcommunitiesfornewclassicalfans,iftheycouldmakethemusicasappealingto

theiraudienceasitistothem.

Manyintheclassicalmusicindustryhaveconjecturedthatthedwindlingand

agingaudienceforclassicalmusicisduetotheelitistimagemainstreamclassicalmusic

projects.Musiciansareoftendressedintuxedosandanairofelegancepervadesmuch

ofclassicalmusic'sadvertising.Inhisimportantsurveyof20thcenturyclassicalmusic

198
"NationalEndowmentfortheArts:ArtsParticipationDatafrom2008."

199
GregSandow,"Rebirth:TheFutureofClassicalMusic,Chapter1,"5,accessed
January16,2013,http://www.gregsandow.com/BookBlog/RevisedCh1Riffs.pdf.

52

TheRestisNoise,AlexRossassertsthat"classicalmusiciswidelymockedasastuckup,

sissified,intrinsicallyunAmericanpursuit."200KyleGann,writingin1994,saidthat

classicalmusicinAmerica"hasbeenkeptapristineEurotransplant,treasuredforits

exoticsnobvalue,notitsrelevance.201Thesehistoriansandothersthroughoutthe

industryworriedthatthiselitistimageanddwindlingaudienceswenthandinhand.

Younglistenerstodaydon'trecognizethehighartversuspopularmusicpolarity

perpetuatedbymuchoftheclassicalmusicindustry.AccordingtoGregSandow,"Just

abouteveryoneyoungIknowandmanypeoplewhoarentyoungdontdrawwhat

wemightcallclassdistinctionsbetweenhighandlowculture."202Theirpersonal

judgmentsaboutquality"dontfollowtheoldculturalboundaries,whichformany

youngerpeoplenolongerexist."203MostyoungAmericanshaveaccesstoawidevariety

ofmusicandlistentoaneclectic,personalizedmixture.Computersavvylistenerscan

findmusicofalltypesand,asKennySavelsonpointedout,"Youcangohomeandlook

thatupandwhateverroadthattakesyoudown,youcouldprobablyextendbackandgo

fromlisteningtoTheNational,therockband,toZappatoVaresetoStravinskyand

that'sthethreadandyouendupwithDebussyorsomething.Anhourlater,it'slike,

howdidIgethere?"

200
Ross,TheRestIsNoise:ListeningtotheTwentiethCentury,514.

201
Gann,MusicDowntown:WritingsfromTheVillageVoice,89.

202
GregSandow,"Rebirth:TheFutureofClassicalMusic,Chapter3,"2122,accessed
January16,2013,http://www.gregsandow.com/BookBlog/Ch3Riff.pdf.

203
Ibid.

53

Thereis,therefore,anopportunityforclassicalmusictofindfansamonga

youngergeneration.Partoftheproblem,however,istheconcertatmosphere.A2002

studyontheconsumptionofclassicalmusicfoundthat10to15percentofAmericans

havea"closeormoderatelycloserelationshipwithclassicalmusic,andagainasmany

haveweakerties.Onlyhalfofthosewhoshowedastrongpreferenceforattending

classicalmusicconcertsactuallyattend."204Soonlyhalfofselfidentifiedclassicalmusic

fansatthetimecametoaconcert.Evenifyoungpeoplediscovertheylikesome

classicalmusic,manymaynotbeinterestedincomingtoasymphonyconcertor

traditionalchambermusicseries.

Theleisuretimehabitsofmost21stcenturyAmericansarenotagoodmatchfor

thetraditionalconcertsorthesubscriptionseriesmodelsofmanyclassicalevents.This

mismatchhasbeenaproblemfortheclassicalmusicindustryforthirtyyears.According

toJudithHugginsBalfe'sarticleonthebabyboomgeneration'spatternsasanaudience,

"Thisgenerationalsomaybereluctanttopurchaseevenasingletickettoahighart

eventthatrequiresarrivalatasettime,andconstrainstheaudiencetoasilent,passive

postureuntiltheperformanceends.Rather,theincreasingpreferencemaybeshifting

toformsofperformance,suchascomedy,literarysalonsandjazz,thataremore

interactive,flexiblewithregardtoarrivalanddeparturetimes,andlessconstrainingon

one'sbehaviorduringthecourseoftheevent."205Todaygenerationsyoungerthanthe

204
JohnS.andJames.L.KnightFoundation,ClassicalMusicConsumerSegmentation
Study:HowAmericansRelatetoClassicalMusicandTheirLocalOrchestras(Southport,
Conn.:AudienceInsight,2002),9.

205
Kreidler,"LeverageLost."

54

babyboomerscarrytheseexpectationsfurther.RichardFloridalooksatthehabitsof

thesegenerationsinhisbook,TheRiseoftheCreativeClass.Henotesthatmanyyoung

artconsumerstodaydefinethemselvesbytheirappreciationforalternative,

independentartforms.Theyalsoexpecttoparticipateinartseventsbyinteractingwith

theartistsandotherartlovers.206Thisinteraction,nottomentionthefreedomtocome

andgo,dressasyoupleaseandmakenoiseduringtheperformance,ismissinginmost

classicalconcerthallperformances.

A2002studybytheJohnS.andJamesL.KnightFoundationaskedconsumers

whatchangestheywouldliketoseeatclassicalconcertstomakethemmoreenjoyable.

Thestudyfoundthatthemajorityofconcertgoerswouldenjoygreetingsfromthestage,

shortintroductionstopieces,longerintermissionsforsocializing,morecasualclothes

formusiciansandthematiclightinganddecorating.207Thecallamongaudiencesinthis

studywasoverwhelminginitsrequestformorecasualconcerts.Youngermembersof

theaudienceespeciallyvaluedambienceandsocialinteractionovertheeducationalor

spiritualvalueofconcerts.208Manypeoplearealreadymovingtoattendartsevents

whereamorecasualatmosphereexists.AccordingtotheNEA,"relativelyhighratesof

206
Sandow,"Rebirth:TheFutureofClassicalMusic,Chapter3,"16.

207
JohnS.andJames.L.KnightFoundation,ClassicalMusicConsumerSegmentation
Study,15.

208
Ibid.,128.

55

attendanceatartsfestivalsaswellasattendanceatschoolsandplacesofworship

suggesttheimportanceofvenuetooverallartsparticipationrates."209

Tellingly,theKnightFoundationfoundthat"morepeopledislikegoingto

classicalconcertsthanlikegoing,"210andaboutaquarterofthosewhoattended

classicalconcertsduringthestudyperiod"expressedafeelingofambivalenceorworse

abouttheactivity.211Combiningthedistasteamongthegeneralpopulationforclassical

concertswithademandfromthoseattendingforalessformalatmosphere,itseems

obviousthatclassicalmusic,inordertobroadenitsappeal,needstoeliminatethe

formalitiesandprovideamorewelcomingsocialatmosphere.Focusgroupresearchfor

thestudyfoundthatmanydecisionsregardingwhetherornottoattendaconcert

resteduponsocialfactors.212Inotherwords,mostattendeessawgoingtoaconcertasa

socialevent,largelyrevolvingaroundvisitingfriends,notachancetoexperiencea

transformativeoreducationalartisticexperience.Theseaudiencedemandsforamore

casualconcertatmosphereareaveritablerecipeforthechamberconcertsinnew

alternativevenuesthatbegantoemergeattheturnofthe21stcenturyalloverthe

UnitedStates.

209
"NationalEndowmentfortheArts:ArtsParticipationDatafrom2008."

210
JohnS.andJames.L.KnightFoundation,ClassicalMusicConsumerSegmentation
Study,39.

211
Ibid.,40.

212
Ibid.,11.

56

CHAPTER4

ALTERNATIVEVENUESINTHE21stCENTURY

Thebeginningofthe21stcenturymarkstheriseofbar,clubandcafe

performancespacesasapopularalternativevenueforchambermusic.Thesenew

venuescreateanovelatmosphereforchambermusic,distinctfromthetraditional

concerthalls,museumsandpreviousgenerationofdedicatedperformancespaces.

Previouslythedomainofpopularandjazzmusic,somebars,clubsandcafesnowhost

classicalchambermusicaswell.Bythelate1990s,severalpioneeringcollegemusic

studentsstagedtheirfirstconcertsinthesenewvenues.In2000,MattHaimovitz

launchedhisfirstalternativevenuetour.Themiddleofthedecadesawthe

establishmentofseveralbarsandclubsinNewYorkCityasalternativevenuesfor

classicalmusic,includingBarbs,Joe'sPuband(Le)PoissonRouge.OperaonTapand

ClassicalRevolution,twonationwideorganizationsdedicatedtoclassicalperformancein

barsandclubs,wereestablishedatthistimeaswell.

4.1Pioneers

Afewclassicalmusiciansgaveperformancesinbarsandclubsinthe1960s80s.

TerryRileyfamouslyperformedPoppyNogoodandthePhantomBandandARainbowin

CurvedAirattheElectricCircus,apsychedelicrockclub,in1969.213Someofthesame

213
KostelanetzandFlemming,WritingsonGlass,134.

57

performersputtingonshowsatTheKitcheninthe70salsoperformedwithrockgroups

atthenearbypunkclubsCBGB'sandtheMuddClub.214TheEarInn,anearbybar,

hostedconcertsandpoetryreadingsfromthe80sintothe21stcentury.215OntheWest

Coastinthe1980s,thecomposerJohnAdams,workingincollaborationwiththeSan

FranciscoSymphony,hostedtheNewandUnusualMusicconcertsatanindustrial

warehouse.TheserieslatermovedtowhatAdamsdescribedinhisbook,Hallelujah

Junction,asanunnamed"nastydanknightclubvenue."216

Performingclassicalmusicinvenuesoriginallycreatedtohostpopular,rock,jazz

andfolkmusicseemedtooccurtomoreartistsaroundthelate1990sandearly2000s.

OneoftheearliestexampleswastheYoungComposer'sCollectiveSeriescofoundedby

JoshuaKohl.Thisseriesranfrom1993to2000,whenitwastransitionedintothe

DegenerateArtEnsemble,stillinexistencetoday.Theconcertswerepresentedinrock

clubsaroundSeattleincludingCrocodileCafe,WeatheredWall,OkHotel,Speakeasyand

Ispy.217Theseriesfeaturednewmusicbyaneclecticgroupofcomposers.AsKohlputit,

"wewouldhavea17pieceorchestrainsomerockclubunderabridge."Thisgroupof

musicianscreatedalastingpresenceintheclubsceneinSeattle.

Adventurousmusicstudentsinthe1990swerefindingtheirwayintopopular

musicvenuesandproducingtheirownconcertsinthosespaces.EricLamb,aflutistin

214
Morrissey,TheKitchenTurnsTwenty,1819.

215
Kostelanetz,Soho,112.

216
Adams,HallelujahJunction,109.

217
JoshuaKohl,interviewbyauthor,December3,2012.

58

theInternationalContemporaryEnsemble(ICE),recalledplayinginaneventspaceon

Oberlin'scampusaround1996thatcouldbefashionedinto"anightclubforstudents"

andhostedconcerts.CharithPremawardhana,founderofClassicalRevolution,

remembersplayingchambermusicinarestaurantin1996whilehomeinChicagofrom

studyingattheInterlochenArtsAcademy.JohnPickfordRichards,afoundingmember

oftheJACKQuartet,playednewmusicinoutdoorparksandbarsstartinginhis

freshmanyearatEastmanin1998.218Intheearly2000s,theyoungensembleSo

Percussionbegantobookthemselvesinclubsduringtheirtoursofmoretraditional

venues.

MattHaimovitzwasprobablythefirstclassicalmusicianwithanestablished

concertcareertoventureintopopularmusicvenues.Hisfirstperformanceofthistype

wasaCDreleasepartyin2000attheIronHorseMusicHallinNorthampton,

MassachusettsforhisrecordingofthecompleteCelloSuitesbyJ.S.Bach.Hedescribed

thevenueasa"folkcoffeehouse,"whichhostedfolkandjazzmusicaswellassinger/

songwriters.219HesoonfollowedthisperformancewithhisBachListeningRoomTour.

DuringthistourheperformedtheBachCelloSuitesat"clubsacrosstheU.S.,Canada

andtheU.K."220In2003,helaunchedhisnexttour,theAnthemTour,featuringnew

musicbyAmericancomposersandperforminginclubsinall50states.Thetourwas

218 JohnPickfordRichards,interviewbyauthor,November3,2012.

219
MattHaimovitz,interviewbyauthor,December17,2012.

220
"OxingaleRecords,"accessedFebruary2,2013,http://oxingalerecords.com/matt
haimovitz/.

59

namedforHaimovitz'spieceAnthem,aworkinspiredbytheJimiHendrixversionofthe

StarSpangledBanner."Iprettymuchdevotedoneortwofullseasonstoplayingthese

alternativevenues.Ididn'tdoanythingbut(that),"Haimovitzexplained.Hecontinued

todevoteoverhalfofhisperformancestoalternativevenuesuntil2009,whenhe

reducedhistouringschedule.

4.2AlternativeVenuePerformanceOrganizations

In2005,singerAnneHiattandanumberofothervocalistsformedOperaonTap

inNewYorkCity.TheirfirstperformancewasheldatFreddy'sBarandBackroominthe

ParkSlopeareaofBrooklyn.221TheirresidencyatFreddy'scontinuestodayalongwitha

secondresidencyatBarbs,whichislocatedinthesameneighborhood.OperaonTap

hasexpandedtoincludechaptersinseveralothercities,whichoperateunderthe

umbrellaofitsnonprofitorganization.Onitswebsite,OperaonTaplists12additional

chapters.Thesechaptersshareawebsite,runtheirfinancesthroughthecentralnon

profitcorporationandare,accordingtoDamienElwood,directorofOperaonTapLos

Angeles,"reasonablyautonomousastohowwerunthings...becauseeachcityis

different."OperaonTapisoneofthefirstpresentingorganizationsspecializingin

classicalmusicperformanceinbars,toexpandnationally.

In2006,CharithPremawardhanaandagroupofclassicalchambermusicians

formedClassicalRevolutioninSanFrancisco.(Disclosure:theauthoriscodirectorof

ClassicalRevolution:L.A.).ThefirstalternativevenueconcertPremawardhanabookedin

SanFranciscowashisgraduateviolarecitalfortheSanFranciscoConservatory."The

221
Ibid.

60

concerthallwasbooked,soIbookedmysolorecitalatthebaracrossthestreet...[at]

theEaglesDriftInn,"heexplained.Aftergraduatingin2006,Premawardhanabegan

playinginbarsregularly.Aroundthesametimeacolleague,EdBaskerville,whowould

participateinClassicalRevolutioninSanFranciscobeforeheadingtheAnnArbor

chapter,setupareadingsessionattheSunriseRestaurantinSanFrancisco'sMission

DistrictaspartofthebimonthlyMissionArtsPerformanceProject.

JoeLewis,ajazzmusician,hadrecentlytakenoverbookingsattheRevolution

Cafe,asmallbarintheMissionDistrict.LewisaskedhisfriendPremawardhanatostarta

classicalnightatthebar.Afterthesuccessofthefirsttwoevents,ClassicalRevolution

nightsattheRevolutionCafebeganonaweeklybasisinNovemberof2006.Theyhave

continuedeveryweektothisday.These'chamberjams'atthecafeusuallyconsistof

sightreadingsessionsofstandardchambermusicrepertoireandsometimesinclude

guestchamberensembles.AsClassicalRevolutioninSanFranciscoexpanded,

performanceswerebookedincafes,coffeehouses,artspaces,communitydance

venues,restaurants,bars,winebars,jazzclubsandrockvenuesaroundtheBayarea.

TypicallytheorganizationinSanFranciscohasaveraged120concertsayear.

ViolinistMattieKaiserparticipatedinClassicalRevolutioninSanFranciscoin

2006and,withinthefirstsixmonthsofitsfounding,movedtoPortlandandstartedthe

firstchapter,ClassicalRevolutionPDX.Aftertheinitialrequesttostartthechapter,

ClassicalRevolutionPDXwasrunindependentlyandbecameanOregonbasednon

profitcorporationin2011.KaisersaidshesawthechamberjamsattheRevolutionCafe

asaninspirationforstartingherchapter,"butIhadtoadjustprettyquicklytomakeitfit

61

thedynamicsofPortlandratherthanSanFrancisco,"sheexplained.222In2011and2012,

ClassicalRevolutionPDXhostedapproximatelythirtyeventsinalternativevenues

includingcafes,bars,rockclubsandwarehouses.

Inthepastsevenyears,aroundthirtychaptersofClassicalRevolutionhave

producedconcertsaroundtheU.S.,CanadaandEurope.ChaptersincludeNewYork,

Chicago,Houston,Boston,Cleveland,Toronto,BerlinandLondon.Eachchapterisrun

independentlyunderavarietyofdifferentorganizationalmodels.Somechaptersare

smalloperations,primarilyorganizedbyoneindividualwithnobudget,andsome,like

ClassicalRevolutionPDXandClassicalRevolutionChicago,areindependentnonprofit

corporationswiththeirownboardofdirectors.Allchaptersproduceclassicaleventsin

alternativevenuesbuttheorganization,marketing,programmingandhomevenues

differfromcitytocity.Thenetworkofchaptersprovidesperformanceopportunitiesfor

travellingmusiciansandmusiciansarrivinginanewcity.

4.3Venues

IntheNewYorkCityareainthe2000sanumberofpopularvenuesthatwere

friendlytoclassicalmusicemerged.OneofthefirstofthesewasBarbs,whichopened

in2002inBrooklyn.OwnerOlivierConansaidheopenedthelittlebar"asa

performancespace"for"prettymuchanythingthatisnotrockorsinger/

songwriters."223Hereasonedthat,"alotofplacescatertosinger/songwritersorrock

bands,"sohewanted"tocatertopeoplewhotendtocomposetheirownmusic."

222 MattieKaiser,interviewbyauthor,October2,2012.

223
OlivierConan,interviewbyauthor,January17,2013.

62

Barbshostsamixoffolk,world,jazzandclassicalmusicaswellasmusicthatisdifficult

tocategorizeandmaycombineelementsofallthesestyles.Conanexplainedthatpart

ofthepurposeofopeningthebar"wastogiveanoutlettothekindofmusicthatwas

notnecessarilybeingbookedinNewYork."Hesaid,"Wefoundournicheveryquickly.

Wedothingsthataredifferent."Includedinthateclecticmixwereclassicalmusicians

performingthewidevarietyofstylesencompassedbytheterm"classical."

Joe'sPubbecameanotherpopularspotforclassicalchambermusic

performance.Thevenueisabar/performancespacewithcabaretstyleseatingand

foodanddrinkservice,insidethePublicTheateronLafayetteStreetinNewYork.

Openedin1998,thepub'smissionistosupport"youngartistswhileproviding

establishedartistswithanintimatespacetoperformanddevelopnewwork."224The

venuehosts"Broadway,cabaret,dance,world,singersongwriter,jazz,countryand

indiegenres."225AccordingtoDougPerkins,BangonaCan'srecordlabel,Cantaloupe

Music,hadanopeninvitationtohostCDreleasepartiesatJoe'spubinthemid2000s.

SoPercussion,MattHaimovitz,ProjectTrioandMissyMazzoli'sbandVictoirehaveall

performedatthevenue.

In2008,thefirstclubspecificallyfoundedtohostbothclassicalandpopular

music,(Le)PoissonRouge,openedinNewYork.LPRwasstartedbyclassicalmusicians

DavidHandlerandJustinKantoronthesiteoftheoldVillageGatejazzclubin

224
"Joe'sPub,"accessedMarch13,2013,
http://www.joespub.com/content/view/24/44/.

225
Ibid.

63

GreenwichVillage.Calleda"highartcabaretspace"byDanielJ.WakinoftheNewYork

Times,226LPRisaspacebuiltformusicfromclassicaltorocktoindependentmusicofall

kinds.Thespacecanbesetupwithcabaretstyleseatingsurroundingtherelatively

smallstage,resemblingajazzclub.Tableseatingcanberemovedforstandingroom

onlyevents,whichtransformthespaceintothesetupofarockclub.Inits

programming,AnthonyTommasinioftheNewYorkTimes,notedthat"(Le)Poisson

RougeisfollowinginthepathofplaceslikeJoe'sPubintheEastVillageandBarbsin

ParkSlope,clubsthatmixclassicalandcontemporaryfare."227Thisspace,however,is

thefirstclubofthiskindtoimagineclassicalmusicaspartofitsprogrammingfromthe

beginning.

HandlerandKantorhiredtheirfirstemployee,RonenGivony,tohandlebooking

actstheyearbeforetheopeningoftheclub.ThethreehadmetthroughGivony's

popularWorldlessMusicSeries,foundedin2006.228Thisseries,whichGregSandow

called"oneofthemostsuccessful"newseriesinNewYorkatthattime,wouldcombine

anindierockbandonhalfthebillwithaclassicalperformerontheotherhalf.229"Iwent

afewtimesandhemighthaveapianistplayingBach,hemighthavefreejazzimprov,he

226
DanielJ.Wakin,"MetOperaConcertsSetForLePoissonRouge,"NewYorkTimes,
September,13,2012,accessedDecember15,2012,
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/metoperaconcertssetforlepoisson
rouge/.

227
AnthonyTommasini,"TheMusicIsClassical,andtheBarIsBusy,"NewYorkTimes,
October3,2008,accessedDecember15,2012,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/arts/music/31pois.html?_r=0.

228
RonenGivony,interviewbyauthor,January5,2013.

229
GregSandow,interviewbyauthor,January18,2013.

64

mighthaveacombinationofShostakovichandnoiseimprovisationontheclassicalside.

Itwasreallyunpredictable,"Sandowsaid.WordlessMusicSerieseventshavebeenheld

"atLincolnCenter,variouschurchesaroundtown,theWhitneyMuseumandtheMet

Museum,"accordingtoGivony.Whenhestartedbookingfor(Le)PoissonRouge,Givony

tookhiseclecticbookingstyletoaclubspace.

Fromitsinception,(Le)PoissonRougewasneverreally"alternative"inthesense

ofbeingofftheradaroftheclassicalcommunity.Theopeningoftheclubwasfeatured

intheNewYorkTimesartssection,andclassicalperformancestherearereviewedby

theTimesregularly,alongsidearticlesaboutconcertsatCarnegieHall.DougPerkins

categorizes(Le)PoissonRougeasa"traditionalnontraditional"venue,"becauseLPR

alwaysstartedwiththeideaofpresentingclassicalmusic.Soit'sasympatheticplace

withanicepianoandanunderstandingofwhatweneedandthenaudiences...come

expectingthat."

Inadditiontotheestablishedvenuesforclassicalmusicdescribedabove,

musicianshavebookedthemselvesatcountlessotherpopularmusicvenues.AlarmWill

SoundrecordedtheirCD"ReichattheRoxy"in2006,whichwasrecordedliveatthe

RoxynightclubinNewYork.MissyMazzoliperformswithherensembleVictoire,atrock

andpunkclubsaroundthecountry.MattHaimovitz,touringhisalbum,

Shuffle.Play.Listen,withChristopherO'Rileyin2012,performedatseverallarge,

establishedclubsthathaven'thostedmuchclassicalmusic,includingYoshi'sinSan

Francisco,theHighlineBallroominNewYorkandRegattabarinBoston.Assomeclubs

65

andbarsbecomepopularvenuesforclassicalmusic,musicianscontinuetobranchout

andfindnewplacestoplay.

4.4AlternativeVenuesGoMainstream

Musiciansandjournalistshavenotedthegrowingregularityofclassical

performancesinbarsandclubs.ArticlesaboutClassicalRevolutionanditschaptershave

appearedintheNewYorkTimes,WallStreetJournal,DetroitNews,TheEconomist,San

FranciscoChronicle,HoustonChronicle,LosAngelesTimes,ClevelandPlainDealerand

severalotherprominentpublications.Formanymusiciansintheirtwentiesandthirties,

performanceinbarsandclubsisnowanessentialpartoftheirclassicalcareer.Doug

Perkinssaidplayinginalternativevenuesis"justwhatwedonowadays,"somuchso

that,"Inolongerconsiderthemalternative."MissyMazzoli,wholaunchedhercareerin

artspacesandnewalternativevenuessaidthesevenuesarea"hugepartofmylife...To

me,theypaymybillsandthey'remainstream."

Inthepastthreeyears,evenbigbudget,establishedclassicalorganizationshave

startedtoutilizebarsandclubsforperformances.(Le)PoissonRougehasinrecentyears

hostedactsthatregularlyfillconcerthalls.RecentlytheKronosQuartet,TerryRiley,

AlisaWeilersteinandHlneGrimaudhaveallplayedattheclub.InSeptemberof2012,

aNewYorkTimesarticleannouncedtheMetropolitanOperawouldbestagingreduced

productionsoftwonewoperasat(Le)PoissonRouge.Thearticlestates,"the

collaborationgivestheMetsomevisibilityintheslightlyhipper,youngerandmore

contemporarymusicscene,andaddsbiginstitutionlusterto(Le)PoissonRouge,which

66

hasbecomefirmlyestablishedasaNewYorkconcertsite."230EnsembleHD,achamber

groupwhosemembersperformwiththeClevelandOrchestra,performattheHappy

DogSalooninClevelandseveraltimesayear.Theyareplanningtorecordanalbumlive

atthebar.231BarbsregularlyfeaturesartistsbookedtherebytheConcertArtistsGuild,

awellestablishedclassicalconcertagency.Largeinstitutionsaregainingfromthe"cool"

factorofalternativespaces,andmanyalternativespacesarebecomingmore

establishedwithintheclassicalworld.

4.5TheNextAlternativeVenue:PublicSpaces

Inadditiontoworkinginvenuestraditionallyusedforpopularandjazzmusic

performance,musiciansarealsopresentingconcertsinparksandoutdoorspaces

withoutstagesorapreviousconcerttradition.Ossia,theEastmanSchoolofMusic's

studentrunnewmusicorganization,presentedaworkcalledPlayingOutsidebyRobert

MorrisataparkinRochester.AlanPierson,musicdirectorofAlarmWillSoundandthe

BrooklynPhilharmonic,recalledthatMorris"transformedthewholeparkintoanevent

spaceandcreatedthisreallyinterestingexperiencewhereplayersweremovingthrough

thepark,reconfiguringthemselvesastheywent,andcreatingalldifferentkindsof

musicalexperiencesinvariousconfigurationsinthepark."232DougPerkinshasrecently

presentedwhathecalls,"sitespecific,bigworks"inoutdoorlocations.Accordingto

230
DanielJ.Wakin,"MetOperaConcertsSetForLePoissonRouge,"NewYorkTimes,
September,13,2012,accessedDecember13,2012,
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/metoperaconcertssetforlepoisson
rouge/.

231 RebeccaGross,"InCleveland,theSudsierSideofSymphonies,"March29,2013,

accessedApril2,2013,http://artworks.arts.gov/?p=16487.
232
AlanPierson,interviewbytheauthor,December19,2012.

67

Perkins,he'sperformedin"fieldsandparksandforests,"aBoyScoutcampground,a

frisbeegoldcourseandinCentralParkLake.CharithPremawardhanabroughtClassical

RevolutionperformancestotheOccupySanFranciscoprotests.AlanPierson,even

broughttheBrooklynPhilharmonicouttoRestorationPlazaand,asheputsit,"turned

theirplazaintoaconcertspace."AccordingtoGavinChuck,AlarmWillSoundis

planningseveraleventsinthenextseasonatanewoutdoorspace,theMedia

Commons,intheartsdistrictofSt.Louis.

Classicalmusicianscanbefoundthesedayspresentingeventsinawidevariety

ofpublicspaces.TheannualBangonaCanMarathonhasoccurredforseveralyearsat

theWorldFinancialCenterWinterGarden.TheWinterGardenisalarge,indoor

courtyardinthecenterofahugeofficebuilding.Themarathonconcerttypicallydraws

"5,000peopleoverthecourseofa12hourday,"accordingtoKennySavelson.TheNew

YorkPhilharmonicperformedunderthedirectionofAlanGilbertattheParkAvenue

Armory,whichwasbuiltinthe19thcenturyasamilitaryfacility.233TheDegenerateArt

Ensembleperformedlastyearwithastringquartetintheundergroundloadingdocks

behindtheSeattleOpera.TheLongBeachOperahasperformedinrecentseasons"in

unconventionallocations,includingaswimmingpool,aparkinggarageandaboardthe

QueenMary,"aretiredoceanlineranchoredinLongBeachharbor.234Classical

233 "ParkAvenueArmory,"accessedMarch27,2013,

http://www.armoryonpark.org/index.php/programs_events/detail/NY_Philharmo
nic/.

234
DavidNg,"LongBeach'sAndreasMitiseknamedasoneof'NextWave'talents,"Los
AngelesTimes,August20,2012,accesssedFebruary4,2013,

68

RevolutionPDXwasinvitedtoplayonastreetcarlineinPortlandlastyeartocelebrate

theexpansionofaline.

Classicalmusicianshavealsobeeninspiredbythe21stcenturytrend,theflash

mob.Theseperformancesoccurwithoutwarninginpublicspaces.MattHaimovitz,as

partofhiscollegeresidenciesinthelastfewyears,hasincorporatedaflashconcert.He

explainsthat,"theflashconcertwillbeinanunexpectedplace.Thatisalsouptothe

imaginationofthepresenterandthey'vecomeupwithsomereallywackythingsforme

todo,whichwerefun.TheyknowthatI'mopentojustaboutanything."Followingthis

model,Haimovitzhasrecentlyplayedinhallways,potterystoresandmarkets,where

peoplemaycomeuponhimunexpectedly.BangonaCanstartedanensemblecalled

theAsphaltOrchestrain2009.Thegroup,accordingtoSavelson,"isdesignedtobe

playedoutonthestreet...theymarch...So,theirnaturalhabitatisactuallyplaying

outdoorsoroutinpublic."Evenasbarsandclubsarebecomingtheestablished

alternativevenue,classicalmusiciansarelookingforthenext,undiscoveredalternative

venue.AsDougPerkinsputit,"I'mtryingtothinkaboutwhatthenewalternativeis...As

afetishistofnewandstrangethingsI'mtryingtofigureoutsomethingnewerand

crazier."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/laetcmandreasmitiseklong
beachoperanextwave20120819,0,7153777.story.

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CHAPTER5

THEDRAWOFALTERNATIVEVENUES

Musicianscitedreasonsforperforminginalternativevenuesthatfellintoseveral

themes.Almostallofthoseinterviewedcitedtheavailabilityofpopularmusicvenuesas

apartoftheirmotivation.Itwassimplyeasiertobookthelocalbarthanaconcerthall.

Severalofthepioneersofalternativevenueperformancealreadyplayedinthesespaces

inpopularbands.Itseemednaturaltothemtoperformclassicalmusicinthesame

places.Alternativevenuesalsoofferedaquicker,easierwaytoplanaconcert.Perhaps

becauseofthis,mostintervieweesfoundafeelingofartisticindependence,the

freedomtoexperiment,lowerpressureandmorefuninalternativevenues.

Availabilitywasamotivatingfactortoworkinalternativevenuesformanyofthe

musiciansinterviewed."ThatwastheonlywayIcouldgetashow,"MissyMazzoli

explained."Itwasn'tlikewell,IcouldplayatCarnegieHallorIcouldplayatthisold,

abandonedfirehouse...Therewasnochoiceinvolved,"shesaid.DougPerkinscited

alternativevenuesasawaythatSoPercussioncouldplayeverynightontour.They

bookedclubsonnightstheywerenotabletobooktraditionalconcerts.Clubsare"much

easiertogetinto.That,tome,isrelevant,"saidJoshuaKohl.Hefoundmanypopular

venues"werereallyopentowhatever.Theyreallydidn'tcarewhatpeopleweredoing,"

aslongastheybroughtinanaudience.

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DamienElwoodcitedalackofopportunityforyoungmusiciansasamotivation

forstartinghischapterofOperaonTap.ElwoodisalsoOperaManagerattheUniversity

ofSouthernCaliforniaandmentionedthatinthatjob"what'sbecomefrustratingtome

isIseereallytalented,hardworking,skilledmusicians,bothsingersandinstrumentalists,

graduatefrommusicschoolsand...there'sverylittleouttheretosupporttheseyoung

musicians."HethoughtOperaonTapperformancescouldhelpto"fillthatholefor

youngmusicians,"whoarestillpursuingmusicaftergraduationbutfindthat"allofa

suddentheopportunitiestosupportthatworkdryout."Alternativevenuesofferan

importantchanceforprofessionalmusicianstokeeptheirskillssharp.Charith

PremawardhanaexplainedthatClassicalRevolutionhasalwaysbeenabout"tryingtodo

asmuchaspossible,tobeactivemyself."Healsoprovidesaplacetoperformfor

hundredsofothermusicians.Premawardhanaexplainedthat"itcreatesmore

opportunitiesformusicianstoplayandIthinkthere'sathirstforthat."

Manyoftheearlypioneersofclassicalperformanceinbarsandclubswerefluent

inmultiplegenresandalreadyperformedinthesevenues.Mostofthemusicians

involvedintheYoungComposer'sCollectivewerealsoactiverockandjazzmusicians,

familiarwiththeclubsandtheirmanagers.DougPerkinsfollowedasimilarrouteto

alternativevenueswithSoPercussionexplaining,"Beingadrummer,alternativevenues

usedtojustbevenues...sowewerefindingourwayintothosevenuesbecausewehad

contactsthere."CalebBurhans,acomposerandviolinistwithAlarmWillSound,also

playsguitar,bass,keyboardsandpercussion.Inadditiontohisclassicalwork,he

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performswithEscort,adiscoband,andBleknlok,atechnoensemble.235These

musiciansmadethejumpfromperformingpopularmusicinpopularvenuesto

performingclassicalmusicinthesesamespots.

Sinceartistsoftenbooktheirownshowsinalternativevenues,theyretain

controloverconcertprogramming.In2000,MattHaimovitzwasanestablishedcello

soloist,performingwithsomeoftheworld'stoporchestras.However,hefoundit

difficulttobooktraditionalconcerthallperformancesofthecompleteBachCelloSuites

insupportofhisnewCD."IfeltverydisappointedthatIputsomuchworkandthought

intothisrecordingandtherewasreallynoopportunitytogooutandperformitand

sharealltheworkthatIhaddonewiththesepieces,"heexplained.Theinabilitytoplay

thisprogramintraditionalspacesfirstmotivatedHaimovitztobookhimselfintopopular

musicclubswhere,hesaid,"youcanplayanythingyouwant."CharithPremawardhana

likesselfpresentinginalternativevenuesbecause,"Ihavemoreofavoiceinwhatwe're

doingandhowwe'redoingitandwhywe'redoingitandwherewe'redoingitandwho

we'redoingitforandwhowe'redoingitwith."Musiciansfoundgreaterauthorityover

theirartisticprojectsinalternativevenues.

Concertsinalternativevenuescanbeplannedandexecutedmuchmorequickly

thaninmosttraditionalspaces.JoshuaKohlsaid,"it'sreallyinterestinghowflexibleand

lastminuteyoucanbewithclubs."ThisappealstoMattHaimovitzaswell,whobooks

235
AllanKozinn,"AManofManyTalents,EagertoUseThemAll,"NewYorkTimes,
October3,2008,accessedMarch12,2013,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/arts/music/05kozi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

72

hisconcerthallperformancesyearsinadvance."What'sniceisthatifsomethingison

yourmind,youcanmakeithappeninfourtosixmonthsoreightmonths,"he

mentioned.Hefindsthetimelineofclubbooking,"incrediblyhelpfulwhenIhave

somethingonmymind.IwanttogooutandtouritbutIdon'twanttowaitthreeyears

togetitbooked."

Themusiciansinterviewedalsofeltafreedomtoexperimentinalternative

spaces."Oftenyoucanbemuchmoreadventurousinanalternativespace.Youdon't

haveprogrammaticoverhead,"saidLamb.Healsosaidasmallalternativespacecanbe

"agreatopportunityforanartisttotrynewthings."JoshuaKohlfoundthatalotof

artistsweredoing"alltheirdevelopmentworkinthoseclubsbecausetheriskislower."

Artistscantrynewthingswithrelativelylowrisktotheirbudgetsandreputationsin

alternativevenues.

Duringtheirinterviews,severalparticipantsmentionedtheyenjoyedthelow

pressureenvironmentofalternativevenues,incontrasttothehighstakesatmosphere

oftheconcerthall."It'sjustsooftenthatanythingthatclassicalmusiciansdoissohigh

pressure,"mentionedElwood.Hetriestoprovideanantidotethroughcasualbar

concerts.AtClassicalRevolutionPDXperformances,MattieKaisersaid,"youcanmess

upfromtimetotime,whereyoumissarepeatandit'snottheendoftheworld."Kaiser

saysacasualperformanceatmospherecanbe"alittlebitoftherapy"forstressedout,

selfconsciousclassicalmusicians.Haimovitzsaidtheexpectationforperfectioninthe

concerthall"wasactuallyinhibitingmyexpressionandinhibitingmyfulfillmentand

enjoymentofwhatIwasdoing."

73

Personalenjoymentinperformancewasacommontheme."Ithinkitcanbe

morefun.I'mgoingtoplayashowandhangoutwithmyfriends.Itcanjustbeaneasier

goingthing,"236saidLeahPaul.Premawardhanasaidthemotivationbehindstarting

ClassicalRevolutionwastohavefun.Hefoundthefreedomandintimacyofchamber

musicattheRevolutionCafesatisfying.Inalternativevenues,heexplainedonehasthe

"freedomtoexpressyourselfasanindividualand...toreachpeopleandcommunicate

yourmusicinanhonestandpowerfulway."Musiciansfreedfromtheweightof

traditionintheconcerthallfeltincreasedownershipoftheirperformancesandmore

personalartisticfreedom.

236 LeahPaul,interviewbyauthor,LosAngeles,CA,September15,2012.

74

CHAPTER6

THEBUSINESSOFALTERNATIVEVENUES

Asclassicalmusiciansmoveintopopularmusicvenues,theyfindtheymust

masteranewwayofdoingbusiness.Clubs,barsandcoffeeshopsareforprofit

businessesandhostmusicaleventsaspartofthatbusinessmodel.Theseorganizations

havedifferentsystemsofhiringandpayingmusiciansthanthosefoundintraditional

venues.Musicianfeesinalternativevenuesaregenerallylowerthanconcerthalls

becausetheylackthefundinginfrastructureofmoretraditionalvenues.Navigatingthis

newworld,themusiciansinvolvedinthisstudyhavemadealivingbycombiningincome

fromalternativevenueperformancewithmoretraditionalperformances,fundraising

andgrantsoroutsidework.Theyhavealsodevelopednewskillsasmanyfindtheyneed

todotheirownmarketingandpublicrelationstobuildaloyalaudience.Benefitsto

ensemblesintermsofbuildinganaudienceandpublicrelationsareoftenquitehigh.

Longterm,mutuallybeneficialrelationshipshavebeenforgedinthelasttenyears

betweenclassicalmusicorganizationsandthepopularmusicvenuesthathostthem.

6.1FundingSystems

Themostcommonsystemoffundingconcertsinpopularvenuesamongstudy

participantswastochargeadmissiontotheaudienceatthedoor,knowninclubsasa

covercharge.Recentcoverchargesforclassicaleventsinclubsweremostoftencitedin

therangeof$10to$20.ThelowestcoverchargecitedwasbyMattieKaiseratClassical

75

RevolutionPDX,whowouldchargeaslowas$5andupto$12.MattHaimovitzand

MissyMazzolihavecharged$25ormoreonsomeoccasions.(Le)PoissonRougewill

charge,accordingtoRonenGivony,"anywherefrom$10or$15upto$30,$35.Nottoo

manyofourshowsaremorethanthat."AsJohnPickfordRichardspointsout,highcover

pricescanbeadifficultsell."Ifeellike,ifI'mgoingtoabar,whereI'mexpectedtobuy

drinksandmaybefood,formetoalsopay$30togetinissortofdiscouraging,"he

explained.

Allofthoseinterviewedwhousedacoverchargesystemdividedtheincome

betweenthemusiciansandthevenue.Thepercentagereceivedbytheartistvariedand

wasusuallysubjecttonegotiationbetweentheartistandtheclubmanagerorbooker.

MattHaimovitzexplainedhisexperiencewiththissystem:

Yougetapercentageofthedooranditdependswhatyounegotiate.
Earlyon,Ididn'thaveawholelotofnegotiatingstrengthbecausetheagentI
wasworkingwithwastalkingthesepeopleintohavingclassicalmusicoftenfor
theveryfirsttime.So,theydidn'tknowhowtomarketit.Theywereworried
aboutit.Theyhadn'theardofmeanditwasabigriskforthem.So,my
percentagesweren'tthatgreat,intermsofwhatItookfromthedoor.AsI
developedareputationforitandwegotareviewandtheradiopickeditupand
soon,thenthepercentagesgotbetter...IfIdon'thaveatrackrecordorIhavea
badtrackrecord,intermsofattractingaudiencesthenmypercentagedoesn't
getanybetter.

JohnPickfordRichardssaid70percentwastheusualpercentageofacoverchargethat

JACKQuartetwouldreceive,althoughtheyhavereceivedaslowas50percentofthe

income.CharithPremawardhana,whobooksclubsaroundSanFranciscoforClassical

Revolutioneventssaidthepercentagefortheartistswastypically"50to80percent;

usuallyit'saround70percent."AtPoissonRouge"usuallysomewhereinthe

neighborhoodof65to70percentofthedoorgoestoperformingartists,"statedRonen

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Givony.MostclubswillallowartisttosellCDs,whichMattHaimovitzfoundoften

equaledhisincomefromthedoor.

Alesscommonsystemamongthoseinterviewedwasoneinwhichclubswould

takeasetamountofthecoverchargeincome,afterwhichtheartistsearnedmoney.

Forexample,MattieKaisersaidshesometimesreceivescoverchargeincome"minus

$200to400astheoperatingcosttothevenuebutthentherestofthedoorticketis

mine."Thissystemprotectstheclub'sincomeattheexpenseoftheartist'sprotection.

Theonusisplacedontheartisttobringalargecrowdbeforetheycanearnanyincome

ontheperformance.

Insomecasesmusiciansareofferedaflatfee,calledaguarantee,orpercentage

ofthebarproceedsfromavenue.Thisusuallyhappenswhentheartistorpresenterhas

developedareputationforattractingcrowdsorhasahistoryofwellattendedeventsat

thatvenue.MattHaimovitzsaid,"Inowoftengetaguarantee...becauseIhaveatrack

record."RonenGivonyexplainedthatfor"someartistswedo,"offercompensation

beyondacutofthedoor.TheRevolutionCafeoffers,15percentofthebarproceedsfor

athreehourshowaswellastheopportunitytocollecttips.Afterestablishinga

consistentcrowdfortheirmonthlychamberjamattheWaypostinPortland,Classical

RevolutionPDXwasoffered10percentofthebarinadditiontotheircollectedtips.The

systemofaflatfeefromthevenueisusuallyofferedafterarelationshipdevelops

betweenartistsorpresentersandavenue.

Anothercommonsystemofearningincomeinpopularvenueswastooffer

eventsfreetotheaudiencebutsolicitdonationsforthemusicians.Withthissystem,

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donationsgoentirelytotheartistsandarenotdividedwiththevenue.However,there

isnoguaranteedamountfortheartistperpersonattendingtheperformance.Atipjar

canbeplacedbythestageorpassedaroundduringandaftertheperformance.Classical

RevolutionleavesatipjarbythebarattheRevolutionCafeandpassesthecontainer

aroundaftereachset.Somevenueswillallowpresenterstotakesuggesteddonationsat

thedoor,forexampleClassicalRevolutionCincinnatiusesthissystemattheBlueWisp

JazzClub.Oftenanamountorrangeisgiventotheaudienceforasuggesteddonation.

AtBarbsinBrooklyn,abartendermakesanannouncementintheperformancearea

duringanartist'ssetthatthesuggesteddonationis$10andthenapproacheseach

audiencememberwiththetipjar.LeahPaulfoundthatwiththatsystem"peopletend

tobehonestandpaythe$10donation."Thereareoccasions,especiallywhereatipjar

isleftunattendedandnosuggesteddonationisannounced,whereverylittleiscollected

perpersonfromtheaudience.

6.2Revenue

Revenueforensemblesandmusiciansinalternativevenuesdependsonthe

numberofpeopleintheaudienceandthefundingsystemnegotiatedwiththevenue.

Exceptintherarecaseswhenamusicianreceivesaguaranteedfeefromthevenue,the

numberofaudiencemembersataneventwithacoverchargedeterminesrevenue.

Attendanceisoftenunpredictableandaudiencesizeislimitedbyvenuecapacity.

Musiciansinterviewedforthisstudyperformedatclubswithcapacitiesrangingfrom40

to700.Audiencesizerangedfromafewpeopleto700.Onaverage,mostmusicians

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interviewedplayedinclubsforsmallercrowdsofaround30andlargercrowdsinthe

lowhundreds.Incomerangedfromzerotoseveralthousanddollars.

Forsomeensembles,clubperformancescanmatchtheirconcerthallfees.

SaschaJacobsensaidthatiftheMusicalArtQuintethadawellpaidclubperformance

"wegetpaid1,500to2,000(dollarsand)that'sprettymuchcomparabletoaregular

concertseries."Ingeneralhesaysclubandbarperformanceincome"variesalotbutit's

prettycomparable,actually"toconcerthallandmuseumseriesincomeforthe

ensemble.Fillingalargeclubvenue,whichmightproducethiskindoffee,isnot

somethingthequintetcandoeveryweek,however."It'snoteasytomakewhatyou

needforthemonthbyonlyworkinginalternativevenues,"saidPremawardhana.

Revenueforindividualmusiciansalsodependsonthenumberofperformersat

anevent.Asolocellistcanmake$400duringanhoursetwithacrowdof40intheback

roomofBarbs.Membersofaquartetplayingforthesamecrowdinthesamespace

wouldonlyearn$100each.Eventsthatrelyonalargenumberofperformers,likethe

chamberjamsattheRevolutionCafe,providelittleornoincometoperformersinmost

cases.AttheRevolutionCafe,theorganization'scutofthebarincomegenerally

amountstoaround$100,accordingtoformercafemanager,JoeLewis.237Donations

averagebetween$150to300accordingtoPremawardhana.Theresulting$250to$400

issplitamongthemusiciansthatplayoverthecourseof3hours,whichoftenincludes

severalchambergroups.Premawardhanasaidpaymentis"usuallybetween$20and$40

aplayerdependingonhowmuchtheyplay."AtOperaonTapLosAngeles,perconcert

237 JoeLewis,interviewbyauthor,November29,2012.

79

incomerangesfrom$120to380andisgenerallyusedtopaytheaccompanistwhile

singersvolunteer.RevenuefrommanyClassicalRevolutionPDXeventsgoestofundthe

organization,sincesplittingtheincomeamongthemusicianswouldprovidethemwith

onlyanominalfee.

6.3Costs

Anotherimportantaspectofthebusinessofnewalternativevenuestoconsider

isthetotalcostofpresentinganevent.Factorsthatgointothistotalincludeuseofthe

space,equipment,artistfeesandadministration.Theuseofclubandbarvenuesis

generallyfreetothepresenter.Noneofthoseinterviewedpaidforrentalofan

alternativespace.DamienElwoodcontraststhistoalargehallwhere"itcostsyou

$15,000justtoopenthebuilding."

Concerthallsarebuiltforclassicalperformance,sotheyprovideequipmentfora

typicalconcert.However,theequipmentneededtopresentachambermusicconcertis

fairlybasic.Inanalternativevenuemusiciansneedtobringmusicstandsandstand

lights.Theseitemsarelowcostandalreadyinthepossessionofmostworking

musicians.Whenapianoisrequired,musicianschosevenuesthatownedone,although

awellmaintainedpianocanbedifficulttofind.Smalleralternativevenuesdon'trequire

anamplificationsystem.Mostofthelargerbarsandclubsthathostpopularmusichave

soundsystemsavailabletoperformers.Someclubsmayrequireanoutrightfeefora

soundtechnician,althoughnostudyparticipantscitedsuchafee.

Thelargestcostofperformanceinalternativevenuescanbeartistfees.If

musiciansarevolunteersthiscostis,ofcourse,zero.Ifmusiciansarepaidasa

80

percentageofthedoorordonations,anorganizationdoesnotneedtofundthiscost

independently.However,MissyMazzolifindsthatsheneeds"topayallmyplayersata

ratethatthey'reusedtogettingfromotherclassicalgigs,"sothat'swhere"aband

modeldoesn'twork...There'salittlebitofadisconnecttherebutit'snot

insurmountable."

Therearealsogeneralcoststhatworkingmusiciansandensemblesneedtopay

onaregularbasisregardlessofwheretheyareplaying.Classicalmusicianstendtohave

expensiveinstrumentsandequipment."Iplayareallyniceinstrument,somaintainingit

isexpensive.Insuranceisexpensive,"saidHaimovitz.InordertosellCDsatconcerts,

ensemblesneedtomakeamajorinvestmentin"productioncosts.Thatcanbepricey,"

saidHaimovitz.AlarmWillSoundpays"thecostofrentalmusic,thecostofrental

equipmentandrehearsalspace...overheadcosts(and)administrationforthe

ensemble,"saidGavinChuck.Heexplainsthat,"likemostartsorganizations,thefee

thatcomesfromtheseandallpresentationsdoesn'tcoverthefullcostofanything.I

don'tknowthatit'sparticularlydifferentforthesevenues.It'sjustthenatureofthe

fieldthattheearnedincomeisneverenoughandyouhavetofindadditionalincome

throughgrantsanddonationsandsoon."Directexpensesforconcertproductionat

alternativevenuescanbeverylow,butthecostofrunningaclassicalperformance

organizationcanalsobeveryhigh.

6.4SubsidizedConcerts

Mosteconomicallyviableclassicalmusicorganizationsthatworkinalternative

venuesremaintiedtothenonprofitmodel.Generallyensemblespaymusicianswellfor

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theseperformanceswhentheyaresubsidizeddirectlythroughtheensemble'sfundsor

throughseparateperformancesfornonprofitentities.Inmostcases,presenting

organizationslikeClassicalRevolutioncompensatemusicianswellonlywhensupported

bygrants,donationsorsponsorships.

Someorganizationsthatpresentconcertsinalternativevenueshaveyearly

budgetsfundedbyacombinationofperformancefees,grants,sponsorshipsand

donations.Moneytofundalternativevenueeventsistakenfromtheyearlybudgetfor

theorganization.AmongorganizationsthatfollowthismodelareAlarmWillSound,the

JACKQuartet,BangonaCanandtheInternationalContemporaryEnsemble.Theuseof

organizationalfundsallowsgroupstoseparatethefundingofanalternativevenue

concertfromitsrevenue.Fortheseensembles,incomefromtheirshareofthedoorata

clubfallswellbelowtheensemble'sstandardconcertfee.

Nonprofitpresentingorganizationsoccasionallyoffermusicianstheirstandard

feeforworkinalternativevenues.JACKQuartethasbeenaskedtodoclubconcertsby

organizationsalsopresentingtheminastandardvenue.Thepresenterinthosecases

offeredaflatfeeforbothperformances.RickRobinson,directorofClassicalRevolution

DetroitandformerbassistwiththeDetroitSymphonyOrchestra,wasaskedtoproduce

alternativevenueeventsaspartofhisdutiesattheHotSpringsMusicFestivalin

Arkansas.238CollegeshostingMattHaimovitzforresidencieswillscheduleadditional

performancesforhiminalternativevenues.Inthesecases,presenterspaidmusicians

foralternativevenueeventsaspartofafeeforalargersetofconcerts.

238 RickRobinson,interviewbyauthor,October29,2012.

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Musiciansalsofundalternativevenueconcertsbycombiningtheincomefor

theseconcertswithhigherpaid,traditionalvenueevents.MissyMazzolihasastandard

feeforherensemble,Victoire,butfinds"it'seasiertogetahigherfeefromamore

traditional,largervenue."Whentouring,thegroupcombinesshowswithlowerand

higherfeestofundthetour."Thedifferencecanbethousandsofdollarsbetweeneach

one,sowejusttakethelumpsumattheendanddividethatup,"saidMazzoli.The

performancesthatpayVictoirethemosttendtobethroughuniversitiesorfestivals,and

clubshowsusuallypayless.Mazzolisaid,"Ithinkeverybanddoesthatwhenyoutour.

Youalwayshavegigsthatpayyouandgigswhereyoubreakeventhatarefundedbythe

othergigs."SomeofMazzoli'salternativevenueconcertsarefundedbycommissions

fromindividualsorfoundationsforworksperformedduringtheevent.ProjectTrio,an

ensemblethatcombinesthestylesofclassical,jazzandhiphop,earnedmostoftheir

moneyinrecentseasonsfromeducationaleventsinschools.Cluborbarshowsearn

muchlessandaresubsidizedbyeducationalevents.

Organizationsthatspecializeinperformanceinalternativevenuessometimes

receivegrantsandsponsorshipsfortheirwork.Forexample,theRegionalArtsand

CultureCouncil,theMultnomahCountyCultureCoalitionandtheOregonCulturalTrust

haveawardedgrantstoClassicalRevolutionPDX.239Theorganizationisalsosponsored

bylocalbusinesses.Generally,theorganizationcanpayplayersstandardconcertfees

onlywhentheprojectissupportedbyagrant.ClassicalRevolutioninSanFranciscowas

abletopayacoregroupofplayersasetfeetoperformatthechamberjamsatthe

239
"ClassicalRevolutionPDX,"accessedMarch13,2013,
http://www.classicalrevolutionpdx.org/support/.

83

RevolutionCafeonlyduringthetimeagrantwasawardedtotheorganization.Atsome

point,organizationsthatspecializeinalternativevenuepresentationmaybeasadeptat

securingfundingasaplacelikeTheKitchenorRouletteistoday.Forthemoment,

fundingissparseandunpredictable.

6.5MarketingandPublicRelations

Alternativevenueperformanceisanimportantopportunityfortheclassical

musicindustrytoraiseitsprofile,andchangeitsimage,withthegeneralpublic.Barand

clubeventsaremorelikelytogarnerpresscoverage,sincetheyarestillrelativelynovel.

Also,sincerevenueatnewalternativevenuesusuallydependsuponthesizeofthe

audience,musicianshaveagreaterincentivetomarkettheirevents.Theresponsibility

forsecuringanaudienceinalternativevenuesfallslargelytoensemblesandpresenters,

ratherthanvenues.Theyarealsoaplacewherenewensemblescanbuildafanbase

fromthegroundupandmusicianscanmakeindustryconnections.Ensemblesused

severalstrategiestomarkettheiralternativevenueeventsincludingsocialmedia,word

ofmouthandPRfirms.

Therehasbeenasignificantamountofpresscoverageonclassicalmusiciansin

alternativevenuesinthepastfiveyears.Fromtheperspectiveofjournalists,thisisa

newandinterestingdevelopmentintheworldofclassicalmusic.Musiciansaretaking

advantageoftheopportunity.JohnPickfordRichardsmentionedthatJACKQuartethas

received"alotofgreatNewYorkTimesreviewsfromconcertswe'veplayedatPoisson

Rouge,soifwecomeawaywith$500andagreatreview,orevenaterriblereview,then

itwastotallyworthit."TheInternationalContemporaryEnsembleusesalternative

84

venuestocapturemediaattentioninanewcity.EricLambexplainsit's"theeasiest'in'

toanewcity.[We]gotoParisandplayinthealternativespacessothatcriticsknowICE

iscoming.We'llmakealittlesmatteringofapresencelikewe'vedonebeforeandthen

comebackandplaytheconcerthall."

Thesystemofmarketingeventsinpopularvenuesisdifferentfromthe

mainstreamclassicalbusiness.Inthepopularmusicworld,musiciansareexpectedto

promotetheirgroupandtakeprimaryresponsibilityforadvertisingconcerts."The

peoplewhoplayandthepeoplewhoproduceconcertsaretotallyseparateinclassical

music,"saidRonenGivony,"andintherockworld,thissortofthingwouldneverreally

stand."PeterSeymourexplainedthat"whenyouplayatanalternativevenue,youhave

toputbuttsintheseats.Youaredoingthemarketingandyou'redoingthedeveloping."

Necessityhascreatedanewfoundinvestmentin,andfeelingofresponsibilityfor,the

publicrelationsandmarketingoftheirensemblesamongchambermusicians.

Inmostcases,venuesprovideasupportingroleinmarketingeventsintheir

spaces.Theamountofworkvenuesputintopromotionseemstovaryfromplaceto

place.(Le)PoissonRougeadvertisestheireventsthrough"email,Facebook,Twitter,

throughourwebsiteandournewsletter,"saidGivony.VenueshostingClassical

RevolutionPDXusuallymakeposters,sendannouncementstotheiremaillistsand

makeFacebookevents,accordingtoKaiser.However,JoshuaKohlfoundthatmost

clubs"reallydon'tputmuchenergyintopromotingstuff,"unlesstheyarehostinga

famousact.Mostofthoseinterviewedmentionedthatanidealsituationiswhere

presenters,ensemblesandvenuesworktogethertopromoteevents.

85

Avenue'sregularclientelecanaddtotheaudienceforanevent.RickRobinson

saidsomeofClassicalRevolutionDetroit'saudiencearepeoplewho"cometothebar

anywaybuttheydidn'tknowclassicalwasgoingtobethere."MattieKaisersaidthat

shelikes"tochoosevenueswherepeoplejustkindofhangoutanyway."Choosinga

venuewithanexistingclientelecanmakeaconcertpromoter'sjobeasier,especiallyin

venueswithoutacover.Playingacombinedshowwithapopulargroupalsocanhelpto

expandachamberensemble'sfanbase.

Alternativevenuescanbeanimportantplacefornewensemblestobuildan

audienceandformusicianstonetworkwithcolleagues.Haimovitzsuggestedthat,"for

someonestartingout,it'sagreatwaytostart,justlikeanindierockmusicianorjazz

musicianwhohastogooutthereandstartplayingandbuildanaudiencefromscratch.

Ithinkthat'saperfectwaytodothatwithinclassical,too."Individualmusicianscanalso

buildrelationshipswithinthemusicindustrybyperformingchambermusicin

alternativevenues.ClassicalRevolutionPDXis"reallygoodforrightnowfornetworking

andmeetingotherpeopleandgettingothergigs...basedonwhoyoumeetbecauseyou

participateinit,"accordingtoMattieKaiser.

Freeonlinemarketingwasthemostpopulartoolforpromotingalternative

venueeventsamongparticipants.Mostofthoseinterviewedrelyonacombinationof

socialmedia,emaillistsandtheirownwebsites.DamienElwoodsaidOperaonTapLos

Angeles,inadditiontocreatingFacebookevents,will"dopicturesandcommentsand

linkstotryanddrumupinterest."Twitterandemailnewsletterswerealsopopular

tactics.Manypresentersalsolisttheireventsonlocalonlineandnewspapercalendars.

86

Severalintervieweesmentionedthatwordofmouthwasthesinglemost

importantfactorinbuildinganaudiencefortheirevents.SincemostAmericansare

bombardeddailywithadvertisements,apersonalrecommendationcanbemuchmore

effectivethananyothertactic.WhentheSeattlebasedDegenerateArtEnsemble

travelledtoNewYorkfortwoperformancesattheNewMuseum,theywereabletosee

thiseffectfirsthand."Wehadatalkbackattheend,"explainedKohl,"andweaskedthe

audience:'Whoherecamebecausetheysawsomepressorpublicityfortheshow?'And

twohandswentup.'Whocameherebecausetheyheardaboutthisthroughthe

museum?'Andoneortwohandswentup.'Whocamebecausesomeoneyou

know...fromSeattlegotyoutocomeandseetheshow?'And,boom,allthehandswent

up."ThisexperienceshowedKohlthatwordofmouthcanbemorepowerfulthanpaid

advertisingormediacoverage.Althoughbuildingafanbasethatcanspreadtheword

aboutperformancesmaybeaslowprocess,manychamberensemblesarefindingitis

worthdoing.

Ensembleswhoaredoingwellenoughfinanciallytohireapublicrelationsteam

havetakenadvantageofthisassistance.Whatensemblesarepayingforwhentheyhire

apublicistisoftentheopportunitytogetmoreandbetterpresscoverage.Peter

SeymourfoundhavingaPRteamwasespeciallyimportantwhentouring."Wedo

concertsallovertheworld,soifI'mgoingtoHongKong,there'snothingIcandoonmy

Facebook"pagetopromoteanevent,explainedSeymour.MattHaimovitz,inaddition

todoinghisownmarketing"hadPR,andthat'sexpensive"but"it'sworthitbecauseyou

reallydon'twanttoplayforanemptyroom.It'stheworst."

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6.6VenuePartnerships

Byitsverynature,performanceinnewalternativevenuesisapartnershipwitha

forprofitbusiness.Thesebarsandclubsareprimarilysmallbusinessesthatcannot

affordtorunadeficitforverylong.Thehundredsofvenuesthathostclassicalmusic

needtomakeaprofit,otherwisetheywouldhavetoshuttheirdoors.Ingeneral,any

actthatcanfillaclubwithdrinkingoreatingcustomersisworthhosting.Thelongterm

feasibilityofhostingclassicalmusicinclubsandbarscanbeinvestigatedbylookingat

threevenuesthathavebeendoingjustthatforanumberofyears:(Le)PoissonRouge,

BarbsandtheRevolutionCafe.

(Le)PoissonRougewassetupasaforprofitbusiness."Wedon'tapplyfor

grants.Wedon'tsolicitdonations,"saidGivony,because"wewantedtoneverbeinthe

positionwhereifwelostoutsidefunding,wecouldn'tdowhatwewanttodo."Tomake

aclubthathostsclassicalmusicsustainable,thefoundersemployedseveralstrategies.

First,anygroupbookedbytheclubneedsbringanaudience.Givonyexplainedthat,

"theideaisthatshowshavetopayforthemselves.Showshavetobepromotedand

theyhavetobringpeoplein."

Thecapacityofthemainroomoftheclubis700standingand350seated.

Generallyclassicalconcertsutilizetheseatedconfiguration.Withthissetup,tablesare

arrangedcabaretstyleandpatronsareabletoorderdinner.Accordingtothe(Le)

PoissonRougewebsite,"bypurchasingaTableSeatingticketyouagreetoalso

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purchaseaminimumoftwofoodand/orbeverageitemsperperson."240Byinstitutinga

minimumpurchasewithtableseating,theclubcanguaranteeahigherreturnforthe

night,evenwithfewerpeopleintheclub.Thevenuedividesanegotiatedportionofthe

doorwiththeartistsbut"80percentplus,"ofrevenuefortheclubcomesinfromfood

anddrink,saidGivony."Foodanddrinkiswhatkeepsthevenueopen,"heexplained.

Revenuevariessignificantlyfromnighttonight,however.Evenwithintheclassical

genresomeshowsattract"older,moreaffluentaudiences"saidGivony,"whereas

contemporarycomposerswillbeayounger,morestudentlikeaudience,"whomight

buyfewerfoodanddrinkitems.

(Le)PoissonRougebooksawidevarietyofmusicattheirclub,fromclassicalto

rocktojazzandmore.Givonysaidtheclubhostsaclassicalconcertfromzerotofour

timesaweek,depending"ontimeoftheyearandalotofincidentals."Hostingclassical

musicwasafoundingprincipalof(Le)PoissonRouge.Thisdoespreventtheclubfrom

makingthemaximumprofitavailablefromthespace."Iftheownersofthevenue

wantedtomakealotmoremoney,itwouldnotbedifficult,"hesaid."Everynightthat

wehaveastringquartetorasolopianorecital,isanightthatcouldveryeasilybe

rentedouttoacompanyforapartyfor700peoplewithaDJ,"saidGivonybut,"that's

notthisvenue."Althoughrunasaforprofitbusiness,loveofmusictakesprecedenceat

(Le)PoissonRougeovermaximumprofit.

240
"lePoissonRouge."accessedFebruary16,2013,
http://www.lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/candyboxburlesquefeb16th2013/.

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Givingloveofmusicprecedenceovermaximumprofitisalsoasystememployed

byOlivierConanatBarbs.BarbsisasmallbarintheParkSlopesectionofBrooklyn,

openedtenyearsago"asaperformancespace.Thatwastheidea,"saidConan.The

venuehostsmusicsevennightsaweek.Conangenerallybookstwoactsanighttogive

eachperformerafulltwohourconcert.Thebarhostsworldmusic,jazzandprojects

thatdonotfitneatlyintoagenre.StandardWesternclassicalmusicishostedtheretwo

tothreetimesamonth.Howeverindieclassicalandgenrebendingclassicalgroupsare

presentedmoreoften.Amusicianhimself,ConanspecializesinLatinmusic.Explaining

hismotivationinhostingmusic"thatwasnotnecessarilybeingbookedinNewYork,"he

said,"ItendtobeprettyenthusiasticaboutmusicIlike...soIwanttoshareit."

Whenaskedifhostingthiskindofmusicmakessensefinancially,Conanreplied,

"No.Imean,itdoesn't,"but"we'restillinbusiness."Hecontinued,"Itonlyworks

becauseit'ssmall,sowecanaffordtohavesomeemptyshows."Theentireshotgun

shapedbarhasacapacityofaround70,includingthesmallmusicroomattheback.

Thereisnodrinkminimumorcoverbutthoseattendingtheshowsinthebackroomare

solicitedforadonationtotheperformers.Conanlikestoinvestinshowshethinkshave

potentialeveniftheyhaveasmallfollowing.Hethinksofthebusinessmodel"asa

weeklymodel,"hesaid,"withinaweekIhavetohavesomestuffthat'spopularand

somestuffthat'slesspopularandkindofaverageitout."

Sincethebardoesn'tmakeanyincomefromacover,andonlymakesmoney

throughdrinksales,hostingclassicalmusiccanbeaparticularchallenge."It'seven

hardertomakemoneywithit,"explainedConan,"because...peoplewhocometoreally

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listentomusic,tohaveaconcertexperience,willnotspendanymoneyondrinks."He

findsthattheseconcertscanbebeneficialtothebar"becausethey'llcomebackfor

somethingelse."ConanisabletokeeptheforprofitBarbsrunningbyfundinglow

revenueactslikeclassicalperformancesalongwithotherhigherrevenueshows.

AttheRevolutionCafeinSanFrancisco,however,ClassicalRevolutionnights

becameoneofthemostprofitablenightsoftheweekforthevenue.TheRevolution

CafeisasmallcafeandbarintheheartoftheMissionDistrictofSanFrancisco.

AccordingtoJoeLewis,thecafeis"20,25feetby20,25feetmaybe;verysmall."

Thecafehostsweeklyresidenciesofdifferentstylesofmusiceachnightoftheweek.

ClassicalRevolutionisatthebareveryMondaynight.Todaythevenuehasbecome"so

established"asaplacetohearmusic,"it'spackedeverynightnow,"explainedLewis.

TheCafecanboastapackedhousepartlybecauseit's"perfectlylocated,"saidLewis,

theydon'tchargeacoverandit'sknownasahangoutspot.

WhenClassicalRevolutionnightsfirststarted,theyweretheweakestnightfor

revenueatthecafe.Customersthereareofferedlivemusicforfree,andthebarmakes

moneyfromdrinkpurchases.Lewissaidtheclassicalnight"wasfinanciallytheweakest

nightforquiteawhileattheRev,because...therewerealotofnondrinkers,like

mineralwatertypes...Whenwe'reworkingabar,it'snotsustainable.Peopleneedto

drink[higherpricedalcohol]sowecankeepsupportingthisart."Lewis'solutionwasto

giveaspeechtotheaudienceexplaining"theonlywaythatwecankeepdoingthisisto

makeitsustainable,"andaskthemtopurchasedrinks.Lewissaidheputinthetimeand

efforttomakeClassicalRevolutionnightsworkfinanciallybecause"IwantClassical

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RevolutiontobenotonlyartisticallysomethingreallyuniqueandspecialbutIwantitto

totallyholdcourtintermsofsales,too...Atthispoint,it'sbeenoneofthestrongest

nightsattheRevforquiteawhile."

Thepreviousthreeexamplesarebarandclubvenuesthathavesuccessfully

hostedclassicalmusicinsustainableways.Theownersormanagersofeachvenuewant

tohostgreatmusic.Aworking,longtermcollaborationbetweenclassicalmusiciansand

venuesmayrequiresomeartisticmotivationamongthoserunningthevenue.However,

aspecificdedicationtoclassicalmusicdoesnotseemnecessary,aslongastheacts

seemofqualitytobookersandbringanaudience.Musiciansalsoneedtopromotetheir

shows,fillthevenuesandbesuretheiraudiencesbuyenoughfoodanddrinkstomake

thenightprofitableforthevenue.Maintainingaresidencycanhelpbuildanaudience,

whichbenefitsboththeclubandthemusicians.Whenthesepiecesfallintoplace,

hostingclassicalmusiccanbepartofacluborbar'sforprofitbusinessmodel.

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CHAPTER7

THEAUDIENCEATALTERNATIVEVENUES

Moststudyparticipantsbeganperforminginalternativevenuesinpartto

expandtheaudienceforclassicalmusic.Themajorityoftoday'sclassicalmusicaudience

inconventionalvenuesisoverfifty,affluent,andconservativeintheirmusicaltastes.

Basedontheobservationofparticipants,theaudienceatnewalternativevenues,like

bars,clubsandcoffeeshops,seemstobeyoungerandlessaffluent.Someofthose

interviewedfoundsegmentsoftheirloyalaudiencefollowedthemintoalternative

venues.Mostwereabletoreachnewfansandfansofmorepopularmusicgenres.

Overall,alternativevenueperformanceappearstohavebroadenedtheaudiencefor

classicalmusicinrecentyears.

7.1Demographics

Mostofthoseinterviewedsawanaverageaudienceageof20sto30sat

alternativevenueconcerts.Afterhisfirstperformanceinanalternativevenue,Matt

Haimovitzsaidhesaw"awholenewaudiencethatI'dneverreachedbefore."The

reasontheseconcertsdrawayoungeraudiencemaybebecausethesearespaces

youngerpeoplefrequent.Thesevenuesmaybelessattractivetoanolderagegroup

becausetheyoftendonothavethecomfort,easeofaccessandsafeneighborhoodofa

largeconcerthall."Inanalternativevenueyouhavetostandorit'sreallyhot.Alotof

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timesthey'reinneighborhoodsthatarehardertogettoorlesssafe,"explainedPaul,so

theyattract"amoreadventurousoryoungercrowd."

Theageoftheperformersinalternativevenuesseemstohaveaneffectonthe

ageoftheaudience.MostClassicalRevolutionchapterdirectorsandperformersare

themselvesintheir20sand30s.Theyattractanaudienceofasimilarage.Ontheother

hand,RickRobinson,a23yearveteranoftheDetroitSymphony,fallsintoahigherage

bracket.Hefinds"alotoftheregularsthatIseeatoureventsarefriendsofminefrom

DSOcircles.Theyareolderandfollowclassicalmusic."RonenGivonyhasnoticedthis

effectat(Le)PoissonRouge.Heexplainedthatmanyoftheirclassicalshowsdrawolder

audiencesbuttheshowsfeaturingyoungcomposersoftenattractaudiencesintheir

early20s.

Whilealternativevenuesseemtohaveadramaticeffectontheageofthe

averageaudiencethereseemstobealessdramaticeffectontheracialmixofthe

audience.DamienElwoodfindsthatatOperaonTapLosAngeles"unfortunatelywe're

probablystillseeingmainlyawhitecrowd...Wecertainlyhavedifferentethnicities

mixedinbecauseweareinLosAngelesbutit'sstillprobablymajoritywhite."Charith

PremawardhanasaidheusuallyseesacrowdatRevolutionCafethat"ismixedracially."

OnanightattheRevolutionCafeinAugust2012,however,themajorityoftheaudience

waswhite.EricLambmentionedthataudiencesatneighborhoodbarconcertsusually

matchedtheracialmakeupofthatneighborhood.Itseemsthatalternativevenue

concertshaveaslightlymorediverseaudienceraciallythantheconcerthall,butthe

resultsfromthisstudywerenotdefinitive.

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Ademographicthatalternativevenueconcertsdoseemtoattractisthosewith

lowerincomes.ClassicalRevolutionnightsattheRevolutionCafemakeclassicalmusic

"accessibletopoorpeople,"saidJoeLewis,whichhecalled"abeautifullypowerful

concept."CharithPremawardhanaexplainedthat,"it'spartofourmissiontomake

concertsaccessible...Iwouldsaythatprobably70to80percentorourconcertsarefree

orwithsuggesteddonations."Youngeraudienceswithlimitedmeansoftenbalkat

concerthallprices.PeterSeymourexplained"itmainlycomesdowntomoney...Older

audiencesaregoingtopay$50or$100tositandseeanorchestraandsomebodyelse

whogoestoabarispaying$5or$10."Alternativevenueconcertsonaveragecost

muchlessthanconcerthalltickets,soitisnosurprisethattheyattractaudienceswith

lowerincomes.

7.2NewAudiences

Mostofthestudyparticipantssoughtanewaudienceforclassicalmusicthrough

theiralternativevenueperformances.ConcertsinclubsseemedtoRickRobinsonas"an

obviousprogressionforclassicalmusic,totrytoreachpeoplewheretheyenjoyother

music."DamienElwooddecideditwasimportantto"getclassicalmusicbackoutonthe

streets...outofthetemple...[and]accessibletoanaverageperson."

Someofthoseinterviewedhavefansthatattendtheirconcertsinboth

conventionalandunconventionalvenues.Thisphenomenonseemsmostcommon

amongclassicalmusiciansspecializingexclusivelyinnewmusic.AccordingtoEricLamb,

thereisa"newmusichardcoreaudience,"thatattendsconcertsbothattraditionalart

spacesinNewYorkCityandat(Le)PoissonRouge.JohnPickfordRichardsfinds"abig

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overlapbetweenpeoplewhogototheconcerthallandgotothebar"toseeJACK

Quartet.Fansofnewclassicalmusicaredevotedanddonotseemdeterredbyvenue

whetheritbeconcerthallorclub.

Alternativevenuesoftenprovideclassicalmusicianstheopportunitytoreach

fansofothergenresofmusic.Performinginpopularmusicvenues,MattHaimovitzsaid

"itwasnicetohavejazzmusicloversorfolkmusicloverscomeandexperienceclassical

[often]forthefirsttime."WhenMissyMazzoliperformsinaplace"wherepeopleare

usedtogoing...toseepopbandsorelectronicacts,"shefindsthatvenue'saudience

attendshershowaswell.Venuesthatspecializeinothergenresofmusiccanhelp

classicalmusiciansreachanewaudience.Iftheygiveacompellingperformance,they

havetheopportunitytowinnewfans.

Popularvenuesalsoprovideauniqueopportunitytoshareaudiencewithbands

fromothergenres."Oneofthebiggestthingsforusinouraudiencedevelopmenthas

justbeen,whoweplaywithmorethanwherewe'replaying,"explainedJoshuaKohl.

"Let'ssayweplaywithsomerockband.It'sthatrockband'saudience...thatbringsthese

newpeopletoourmusic,"hesaid.EventuallyKohlnoticedagradual"stragglereffect"

onhiscoreaudience,fromfansofotherbandsorthosethatfrequentrockvenues.

Alternativevenueconcertscanbemoreattractivetononclassicalfansthan

concerthallevents.WhenDougPerkinsissellingbarconcertstothose"uninitiated"in

classicalmusic,hecansay,"heyit'sinthisplaceandyoucangetabeer.Comeon,let's

go.It'sgreat.Thefoodisgood."Hefindsthisapproachis"morelikelytogetthatperson

than[tosayto]thatsameperson...'okayyou'regoingtopayforaticketandwe'regoing

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tositinthedarkforawhile.'That'snotgoingtohappenasmuch."Inhisexperiencehis

nonmusicianacquaintances"wouldcomeouttothose[alternativevenue]concertsbut

wouldnotcomeuptoMillerTheatertoseeusplayaregularconcert.Buttheythought

itwasreallycooltocometoaplacewheretheycouldgetdrinksandhangoutandwear

theirfunclothes."Sellingtheideaanightoutonthetownthatincludesashowatabar

canbealoteasierthansellingconcerthalltickets.

Finally,ifmusicianschooseapublicspaceastheiralternativevenue,the

audiencecanbeasdiverseasthepopulationofanarea.TheAsphaltOrchestraplayson

thestreetin"neighborhoodsandcommunitieswhereyouwouldn'tordinarilyfindit...

Generally,itmakesitmuchmoreaccessible,"saidSavelson.AlanPiersonsaidwhen

performinginpublicspaces"potentially,you'reaccessingtheaudience"ofthatspace.If

classicalmusicianswanttoreachnewaudiences,publicspacescertainlyprovidean

opportunitytodothat.

Intheexperienceoftheinterviewparticipants,alternativevenueconcertsin

barsandclubsattractayoungaudiencethathasbeenlargelymissingfrommainstream

classicalevents.TheydrawlowertomiddleincomeAmericans,anotherkey

demographicthatrarelyappearsintheconcerthall.Ensemblesthatperformin

alternativevenuesarerewardedwithalargerandmorediversegroupoffans.Concert

hallaudiencesareagingandnotbeingreplaced,butthemissinggenerationscanbe

foundinthesespaces.Alternativevenueperformanceisasmartinvestmentforany

individualorinstitutioninterestedinthelongevityofclassicalmusic.

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CHAPTER8

THEEVOLUTIONOFCONCERTCULTURE

Thepresentationofclassicalmusicinnewalternativevenueshascreated

dramaticchangesinconcertculture.Concertsinbarsandclubstendtobemorecasual

thantheconcerthall.Theaudienceisinvitedtoeat,drinkandoftentalkbetween

pieces,orevenduringthemusic.Thenoiselevelinthesespaceshaschangedconcert

production.Musiciansaremorelikelytouseamplificationandpresentthemusicina

waythatcapturesattention,ratherthanassumesacaptiveaudience.Manyperformers

havediscoveredamoreengagedandinvestedaudienceintheintimate,casual

environmentofnewalternativevenues.Increasingly,acasualatmosphereandmorelax

concertrulesaremakingtheirwayfromclubsintoconcerthalls.

Studyparticipantsagreedthatnewalternativevenueconcertsaremorecasual

thantheconcerthall,withrelaxedrulesfortheaudienceandperformers.Attending

alternativevenuesconcerts,GavinChuckenjoysanewfreedomto"walkaroundand

physicallydriftaswellasmentallydriftintheperformance."KennySavelsonsaidthatin

clubs"youcanhaveadrinkandyoucanlistentosomemusicandyoucantalkamongst

yourfriendsinbetweenthepieces...itbecamemoreofaparticipatoryandrelaxed

atmosphereforhearingwhatcanstillbeverychallengingandinteresting,sophisticated

chambermusic.Ithinkinsomewaysit'sliberatedthelisteningexperience."

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8.1StagesandPerformanceAreas

Thewayanalternativeconcertspaceisconfiguredcanaffecttheatmosphere

andeffectivenessofaconcert.Somebarsandclubshaveaperformancespacethatis

separatedfromtherestoftheestablishment.AtBarbs,OlivierConancreateda

performancespaceoutofthebackroomwithasmallstage,uprightpianoandacurtain

separatingitfromthemainroomofthebar.Healsoaddedaspeakerinthemainroom

ofthebartobroadcasttheconcertsfromthebackroom."Ithinkbeingabletolistento

themusicinthefrontroommakesitpossibleforpeoplewhowanttotalkandsocialize

tostillbethereandnotdisrupttheperformers,"Conanexplained.Byemployinga

separateperformanceroomwithspeakerstothemainbar,Conancreatedahybrid

spacewheredifferentlevelsofbackgroundnoiseandaudienceattentionoccur

separatelybutsimultaneously.

Otheralternativevenueshostperformancesinthemainroom.Thestagein(Le)

PoissonRougeisononewallofthemainroomoftheclub.Thebarisalonganadjacent

wall.Whenthereisseatingforaperformance,tablesfillmostoftheroom.AtJoe'sPub,

thestageissetatthebottomofaroomshapedlikeanamphitheater.Eachascending

levelcontainscabaretstyleseatingandthebarislocatedatthetop.Althoughtheseare

oneroomvenueswithcabaretseatingandbars,thestagesareprominentandaudience

attentionisgenerallydirectedthere.Otherspacesaremorefluid.Forexample,the

RevolutionCafeisasmall,oneroomvenuewithnoraisedstage.Onewalloftheroom

containsanuprightpianoandperformerscongregatearoundtheinstrument.Tables,

standingpatronsandperformerscanallbewithininchesofeachother.Insidethemain

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room,thoselisteningtotheconcertandthoseperceivingthemusicasbackgroundto

theirconversationallsharethesamespace.

Thestageequipmentinsomealternativevenuescanmakeproducingclassical

concertschallenging.EricLambsaidthatinsomebarsandclubs"therearenomusic

stands.There'snolighting.Thepianoisoutoftune.Theguywhosetsupthechairsisan

alcoholicandhe'sdrunkallthetime...Ifyou'renotusedtothatitcanbevery

problematic."DamienElwoodhashadsimilarexperiencesbut"frommystandpointIsee

thatasaplus,"hesaid,becauseperformersneedthe"confidenceandpersonal

fortitude"toperformthroughdifficulties.Lessthanidealspacescanmakeaconcert

lesseffective,ortheycanleadtoaninspiredperformanceunderdifficultcircumstances.

8.2AmplificationandAcoustics

Manypopularmusicvenueswerecreatedforamplifiedmusic,sotheacoustics

arefundamentallydifferentthanaconcerthall.JoshuaKohlexplainedthat,"alotof

thoseclubstrytomakeitasdeadaspossible,sothatwhentheyamplifyit,it'sgoingto

soundlikewhat'scomingoutofthespeakers.Theycanhavefullcontroloverhowit

soundsbecausetheroomdoesn'thaveanyreverberation,whichistheexactoppositeof

whatyouwantwithclassical...Theinstrumentswilljustdieinthere."Tomakean

acousticinstrumentsoundgoodinaroomwithlittlereverberation,andtocombata

noisybar,manyofthemusiciansintervieweduseamplification.

Whenclassicalmusiciansuseamplificationinbarandclubspaces,theyusually

usethevenue'ssoundsystem.JoshuaKohlsaidthat,"intheclubsthesoundsystems

canbesohorribleandsogood.Youdon'thavealotofcontroloverthat."Inrecent

100

years,MissyMazzolifoundthatmanyclubsoundsystemswereasgoodasorsuperior

toconcerthallsystems.MattHaimovitzconnectshisownmictotheexistingsound

systemyieldingmorecontroloverthequalityofthesound.SincethevenuesRick

RobinsonperformsinforClassicalRevolutionDetroitdonothavesoundsystems,

Robinsonboughthisownforaround$2,000.Theothermusiciansinterviewed,however,

usedtheamplificationsystemsoftheirhostvenues.

Musiciansworkingwithamplificationalsorelyheavilyonsoundengineersto

createtheirmusicalproduct.Thequalityofsoundengineersvariestremendouslyfrom

venuetovenue.Sometimessoundengineersthatspecializeinrockmusichavedifficulty

amplifyingacousticclassicalinstruments.However,Mazzolifoundthat,"inthelast

coupleyears,yougointoaclubandthesoundguyisusedtoworkingwithviolinsand

clarinetsandkeyboardsanddoublebassesbecausealotofbandsareusingthese

instruments."(Le)PoissonRougeboastsanexceptionalsoundsystemandsound

engineersthatcanachieveaconcerthallsoundinaclubbuilttobedeadacoustically.

Fewclassicalchamberensemblescanaffordtohiretheirownsoundengineerfor

concerts.JohnPickfordRichardssaidthat,"KronosQuartetalwaystravelswithasound

personanditensuresthattheywillsoundthesameinanyspace...That'sjustahuge

financialcommitmentthatmostgroupscan'tswallow."

Somesmalleralternativevenueswerecreatedforfolkorotheracousticactsand

arebettersuitedforunamplifiedclassicalinstruments.AtBarbs,classicalperformers

donotusuallyrequireamplification.CharithPremawardhanaprefers"toplay

unamplifiedasmuchaspossiblebecausetheinstrumentsthemselvesareamplifying

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bodiesandtheroomsthemselvesareamplifyingbodies.So,Iliketobeabletoplaywith

thoseacousticsasmuchaspossible...That'swhymostlyweplayinsmallerrooms."

8.3NoiseLevels

Classicalmusiciansperforminginclubsandbarscompetewithmorenoisethan

foundinaconcerthall.GavinChuckrecountedarecentconcertheattendedwhere

"therewasalotof...noiseinthebar...beerbottles,andcashregistersandthatkindof

thing."DougPerkinsmentionedthathehaddealtwith"thefrustrationsofperforming

classicalmusicinaplace[where]peopleareservingbeerandnachos,sometimes

loudly."

Somemusiciansuseamplificationthatissufficienttosatisfythosewhowantto

concentrateonthemusicandthosewhowanttotalk."Oftentimeswe'reamplified,

whichchangesthewholeenvironmentintermsofthesoundbutalsothelevelthat

peoplecan...chatandtalkwhilethemusicisplaying,"saidSaschaJacobsen.Thereare

timeswhenthecrowdisexpectingthenoiselevelofarockgroupandtheamplification

ofaclassicalensembleisinsufficient.Inthiscaseperformancescanbeineffective.Greg

SandowwenttohearasoloclassicalmusicianatCBGBs,apunkclubinNewYorkCity.

"CBsisaverylongandnarrowclub...Iwentbacktothebarandthereyoucouldbarely

hearandyoucertainlycouldn'tsee...Idon'tthinkitreallyworked,"hesaid.

Classicalmusiciansplayinginalternativevenuesoftenneedtochangetheir

expectations."There'sthiswholemovementtogetclassicalmusic...intheseplacesbut

thenyougotoabarandpeoplearetalkingandlistening...hangingoutanddrinking.The

musicianswalkawayand[say],'Thosepeopleweren'tevenlistening.'Well,youbrought

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ittoanalternativevenue.Whatdoyouexpect?"saidPeterSeymour.MattieKaiseradds

thatatalternativevenues,"Sometimesthere'snoise.Ifyouwantyourpiecetobevery

seriousandveryquiet,thenyouhaveyouroption.Youcangoplayinachurch."

Somevenuesarequieterthanothers,ofcourse,withmoreofanexpectationfor

theaudiencetofocusonthemusic.MattHaimovitzfoundthevenues"thatarereally

successfulformearetheonesthatalreadypresentmusicandsoyou'rejustgoingin

thereandbringingclassical."AtJoe'sPubinNewYorkCitythestaffclosethefrontdoor

whenashowstarts,tominimizenoisefromthelobbyandadjacentkitchen.Latecomers

arequietlyseatedduringtheconcertandwaitstafftakeordersduringtheperformance

bywhispering.Amplificationintheroomissufficientthattheseactivitieswouldnotbe

disruptivetomostperformances.AtBarbs,awaitercomesthroughandtakesorders

quietlyduringperformancesbuttheaudiencetendstobequietandattentiveduringa

quietshow.

RonenGivonysaidthenoiselevelchangesfromconcerttoconcertat(Le)

PoissonRouge.WhenJACKQuartetplayedat(Le)PoissonRouge,Richardssaid,"itgot

prettyrowdybutthemusicwewereplayingwasprettyrowdy."Onaclassicalnightat

(Le)PoissonRougeinJanuary2013,theatmospherewasverystill.Peoplestopped

orderingatthebarafterthemusicbeganandthewaitstaffmovedaroundtheroom

quietlytakingorders.Generallyeveryonewasworkingveryhardtobeaquietaudience.

Overall,thelevelofnoiseinalternativevenueshasanextremelywiderangedepending

onthevenue,theperformersandtheaudience.

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8.4AttentionandEngagement

Thequalityofaudienceengagementgenerallychangesinnewalternative

venues."Inthenonconventionalspacethereisawiderrangeofwaysthatyoucan

directyourattention,"explainedChuck.Analternativevenuecanengagethesensesin

differentways."There'sthefragrancesofthefood.There'sthetasteofthebeer.There's

soundsfromthebar,"explainedElwood.Theaudienceinabarorclubisexposedto

sensoryinputfrommultiplesources,includingamusicalshow.

Therearealsodifferentexpectedbehaviorsinalternativevenuesthanin

traditionalones."InaplacelikeLPR,peoplearemuchmorecomfortabletalking...The

factthatpeoplewalkaround...andtakeordersduringtheconcertmeanstheplaceis

sayingthattalkingisokay,"saidAlanPierson."AtRevolutionCafewedon'tdiscourage

thefollowingbehaviors,"explainedCharithPremawardhana,"drinking...quiet

conversation...gettinguptousethebathroom"orwalkinginandoutofthebar.Both

thevenueandthepresentersplayaroleinsubtlyencouragingcertainbehaviorsamong

theaudience.

Afewofthemusiciansinterviewedhaveperformedinalternativevenuesforan

audiencethatwasnotengagedwiththemusic.DougPerkinssaid,"It'salwaysimportant

topickthevenueswiselyandtoadvertiseappropriately"toavoidawkwardsituations.

EricLambhasbeenintheaudienceatshowswhere"therewerepeopletherewhodid

notlikethemusic.Theydidn'tcometohearmusic.Theydidn'twantit.Theycameto

talk."Tocombatthisproblematsmallvenues,Lambsaid,"youhavetoinviteasmany

peopleasyoucansothateveryonetherehascometohearyouplay."Mostofthe

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musiciansinterviewedfoundmoresuccessinalternativevenuesthathaveaculturefor

listeningtomusicorbybringingtheirownaudiencetoavenue.

Manystudyparticipantsfoundattentiveaudiencesatalternativevenues."Ithink

thatifthelistenerisintoanartistorband,they'regoingtolistenrespectfullyand

intently.Idon'tbuyintothisideathatifarockbandisplayingthatyourattentionisofa

differentorderthanlisteningtoSchubert,"saidRonenGivony.MattieKaiserfound

"whenyoudoneedpeople'sattentionforthereallyseriousquietworks...ifyou'redoing

itconvincingly,youhavethem."Kaisersaidsheachievesthiseffectbythe"playingand

themusicitself.Inevertellpeople,okay,bequietnow,we'regoingtoplay."Withthe

rightcombinationofvenue,qualityperformanceandfans,alternativevenuescan

provideaconcentratedlisteningenvironment.

Alternativevenuesoftenallowformoreinteractionbetweenperformersand

audience."Inbetweenpiecesthere'smoreofarapport[with]theaudience...Duringthe

performancetheycanyelloutiftheylikeacertainpart.Ofcourseinaclassicalconcert

you'dneveryelloutinthemiddleofapiece.They'dprobablykickyouout,"said

Jacobsen.MattieKaiserexplainedthatshebecameusedtoreactingtomusicinan

enthusiasticwayinalternativevenues."Ihaveareallyhardtimeintheformalconcert

hallnow...especiallyifit'ssomething...amazingandyoujustwantto[movearound]...

Youcan'thavethatemotionalreaction,"shesaid.EricLambsaidhegets"themost

interestingfeedback"atalternativevenueconcerts,"becauseyoufinishtheconcertand

youwalkoffstageandintotheaudience...Theyknowthattheyhavetosaysomething,

anythingtoyou."Audiencesfeelmuchmorecomfortableinteractingwithmusiciansin

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small,informalvenues.Musiciansgetfeedbackontheeffectivenessoftheir

performance,andtheaudiencefeelsmoreconnectedtoperformers.

Musiciansandaudienceareincloseproximityinmostbarandclubspaces.The

audienceattheWaypostinPortlandis"surroundedbythemusicians.They'reunpacking

behindyouortheirbowisgettinginyourface,soyou'rerightthereintheaction,"said

Kaiser.Thereisaheightenedenergyinaperformancespacewhenpeoplearepacked

closelytooneanother."Noonewantstogotoaconcertthat'semptyandnobody

wantstoplayaconcertthat'sempty,"saidSeymourbut,"ifyouplayapackedhousein

alittleteenyroominabarthenthatshowisprobablyoneofthebestshowsyouwent

andsaw."DougPerkinsdescribedtheuniqueenergyofaperformanceinaclubfilledto

capacity.Ataperformanceat(Le)PoissonRouge"weweresetuponthefloorand

everybodywouldkindofsurroundustothepointofsittingundertheinstruments.It

wassweatyandpackedandthatwasgreat,excitingenergy,"saidPerkins.Apackedbar

orclubcanaddenergy,excitementandbuzztoaperformancethatmayfallflatina

moreemptyspace.

8.5ChangesinConcertPresentation

Newalternativevenuesprovidemusicianswithuniquechallengesand

opportunities.Tocreateeffectiveperformancesinthesespaces,musiciansoftenchange

thewaytheypresentconcerts.MattHaimovitzsaidperformancesinalternativevenues

"challengemetorethinkmyrelationshipwiththeaudienceand...whatmyroleisasa

performer[in]engaginganaudienceandentertainingthem."MattieKaiserstrivesto

"makeachambermusicconcertmorelikearockconcert...I'malwaystryingtothinkof

106

howcanitfeelmorelikeyou'regoingtoseearockband."Musicianschangeseveral

aspectsoftheirperformancesinalternativevenues,fromdresstospeakingstyleto

stagepresence.

Classicalmusicianstendtodressinamorecasualandmoremodernmanner

whentheyperforminbarsandclubs."Wecanchangethedressfromsuperlaidbackto

moderatelystylish,"saidSaschaJacobsenaboutMusicalArtQuintetperformancesin

alternativevenues."Idon'tthinkwe'veeverplayedintuxedos,thankgod.Ihaveno

desiretoperforminatuxedoeveragain,"hecontinued.MissyMazzolisaid,"We're

alwaysplayingwiththewaythatwedressandourlookfortheband."Often,classical

musiciansperforminginacluborbarlooklikethepatronsofthatestablishment

whetheritisatrendycluboradivebar.

Mostofthemusiciansinterviewedincorporatedlittleornolightingeffectsinto

theiralternativevenueshows.Someclubsandbarsareequippedwithsophisticated

lightingsystems.Manyclassicalperformersat(Le)PoissonRougeoptforsubtleon

stagelightingeffects,likeachangeofcolorbetweenpieces.MattHaimovitzsaidwhen

heperforms"Idon'tmindiftheychangebetweenpieces.Idon'treallyliketoomuch

goingonwhileI'mplayingbutinbetweenIdon'tmindthelightingpersonchangingit

up,beingcreative."Theuseoflimitedlightingeffectsisalsocommonamongpopular

musiciansinsmalltomediumsizedclubs.Overall,themainlightingconcernamong

musiciansinterviewedwasensuringsufficientlighttoreadmusic.

Musiciansalsotendtopresentthemselvesinalessformalwayonstagein

alternativevenues.MattieKaisermentionedthat,"musiciansarealittlemorefreetobe

107

themselves;showsomecharacteronstage...Icanhaveabeerupherewithmewhile

I'mplayingShostakovichandthat'snottaboo."LeahPauladdsthat,"Iliketofeelcasual.

Iliketocountusoff,"atthebeginningofapiece.Whenvenueslackabackstage,the

ensemble'sentranceandexittendstobemorecasual,aswell.GavinChucksaidAlarm

WillSoundlikes"tomakeanentrancebut...ofteninnontraditionalspaceswejusthave

tohangoutonstage."

Speakingfromthestageisgenerallymorecasualinbarsandclubs.AtOperaon

TapLosAngeles,DamienElwoodasksperformerstointroducethemselvesinthefirst

personastheircharacter.Hesaidasingermayintroduceherselfbysaying,"so,I'vejust

realizedmymothermurderedmybrotherbutI'mnotupsetbecauseI'msleepingwith

mystepdad,right?"RickRobinsonalsoencouragesperformersatClassicalRevolution

Detroittointroducethemselvesandtelltheaudience"wherethey'refrom;wherethey

play...abouttheirupcomingconcertsandobviouslyintroducingthepieceandwhythey

liketoplayit."Whenmusiciansspeakfreelyandinacasualmanner,audiencestendto

feelamoreintimateconnectionwiththem.

Afewofthemusiciansinterviewedworkaudienceparticipationintotheir

alternativevenueperformances.RickRobinsonaskstheaudiencequestionsand

suggestsgameslike"renametheclassicalpiece."Inthisgame,afterhearingthepiece,

theaudiencegivesadescriptivenametoaclassicalpiecewithagenericnamelike

SymphonyNo.3."I'vegotacoupleofcompositionsthattakesomecowbellbeatsand

someshakerbackbeatand[I]askacoupleaudiencemembersuptoplaythem,"

Robinsonsaid.AtClassicalRevolutionPDX,"Wedoalotofjokes.Werenamedrinks"

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aftermusic,saidKaiser,"soit'sreallyinteractive."Thosemusicianswhohave

incorporatedaudienceparticipationintotheirshowsseempleasedwiththeresults.

Itis,ofcourse,possibletopresentaconcertatanalternativevenuethatfeels

verymuchlikeaformalconcerthallperformance.Anatmospherecanbecreatedina

bar,cluborrestaurantwheretheaudiencefeelsuncomfortablemovingaroundand

glaresatanyonemakingnoise.Thisisgenerallypossiblewhenthosefamiliarwith

concerthalletiquettedominateanaudience.Ayoungwomanworkingthedoorof(Le)

PoissonRougeinJanuary2013saidwhensheworksclassicalshowstheaudienceusually

onlyclapsbetweenmovementsandseemtoknowtheunwrittenrulesofconcert

etiquette."WhenI'mnotsure,Ijustfollowwhateveryoneelsedoes,"sheexplained.

Hercolleaguementionedhowawkwarditcouldbewhenshestartstoclapbutnoone

elsedoes.Musicianscontributetotheformalityoftheseconcertsbywalkingonandoff

stagebetweenpieces,failingtointroducethemselvesorthemusic,ignoringthe

audienceiftheyclapbetweenmovements,andbowingformally.

Slowly,alternativevenueatmosphereismakingitswayintotheconcerthall.

Ensemblesthatdevelopinalternativevenuestendtokeepacasualpresentationstyle

whentheymoveintomoreformalspaces.ProjectTriobrings"thevibeoftheclub...into

theconcerthall,[whichispossible]becausewespentsomuchtimeplayingin

alternativevenues,"explainedSeymour.Occasionally,amajorclassicalvenuewillhost

popularandclassicalmusiconthesameprogram.Forexample,in2010attheL.A.

Philharmonic'sGreenUmbrellaSeries,playersfromthephilharmonic,AlarmWillSound

andtherockgroup,theDirtyProjectors,allsharedaprogramonthemainstageofthe

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WaltDisneyConcertHall.241Forthepastfewyears,theNewWorldSymphonyhas

presenteditsannualPulseconcert,whichattemptstoturnthemainhalloftheNew

WorldCenterintoanightclub.Groundfloorseatingisremovedduringtheconcertand

theaudienceisfreetomovearound.D.J.setsalternatewithliveperformancesfromthe

stageandaroundthehallbyNewWorldSymphonyplayers.

The21stcenturyUnitedStatesisaninformalsocietyandmostaudiencesprefer

acasualconcertatmosphere.Alternativevenuesarethemosteffectivemeansbywhich

classicalmusiccanachievethatgoal.Intimate,casualvenuesputtheaudience'sneeds

anddesiresbackintotheequation.Performersgetmorefeedbackfromtheaudiencein

alternativespacesandadjusttheirperformancesaccordingly.Thesevenueshelprestore

asymbioticrelationshipbetweenaudienceandmusicianswheretheperformanceis

influencedbybothsides.Musicianswholearntoengageaudiencesinanalternative

settingcanbeambassadorstohelpmainstreamclassicalmusicconnectwithalarger

public.

241 ChrisMartins,"Getty'sFoundation:DirtyProjectorsPlayDisneyHall,"February

26,2010,accessedApril6,2013,http://www.laweekly.com/20100226/music/getty
sfoundationdirtyprojectorsplaydisneyhall/.

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CHAPTER9

REPERTOIREATALTERNATIVEVENUES

Alternativevenuesforclassicalmusicareshapingthe21stcenturyclassical

repertoire.Inadditiontostandardrepertoire,musicianscanplaynewmusicthatis

difficulttoprograminconcerthalls.Drawingontheresourcesofrockvenues,classical

musiciansperformwithamplification,electronicsandfilm.Classicalshowsinthese

venuesoftenfeatureshorter,fasterpiecesandtendtoavoidlengthy,subtleworks.

Finally,classicalmusiciansarecollaboratingwith,beinginspiredby,andthemselves

inspiringpopularandjazzmusiciansthatworkinthesamevenues.Theincreasein

classicalmusicwithpopularinfluencesinthe21stcenturycanbepartiallytracedto

artisticcominglinginbarsandclubs.

Musiciansperformeverythingfromearlymusicandromanticstandardstonew

avantgardeworksandpopularcrossoverpiecesinnewalternativevenues.(Le)Poisson

Rougehostsclassicalactsfeaturingmusicfromtheentiretyoftherepertoire."Literally

inoneweekwewillhaveareallystandardSchubertandBrahmsrecitalandthenext

nightwillbeamarimbaduoandthenightafterwillbeastringquartetplayingallworld

premieres...It'sreallyhardtogeneralize,"saidRonenGivony.TheRevolutionCafe

chamberjamsfocuson"readingdownthestandards,"ofstringchambermusic,

accordingtoPremawardhana.However,theresidentensembleofClassicalRevolutionin

SanFrancisco,theMusicalArtQuintet,oftenperformssalsaandtangochambermusic

111

writtenbySaschaJacobsen.It'snotdifficulttofindrepertoirefromanyerain

alternativevenuestoday.

9.1NewMusic

Manyofthemusiciansinterviewedforthisstudyspecializeinnewmusic.The

InternationalContemporaryEnsemble,JACKQuartetandAlarmWillSoundareallnew

musicensembles.TheDegenerateArtEnsembleperformswithoriginalmusic.LeahPaul

andMissyMazzoliarecomposer/performers,whoperformtheirowncompositions.

Whentheseensemblesandperformersplayinalternativevenuesorconcerthalls,they

playcontemporaryworks.MissyMazzolisaidVictoireplaysthesamemusicinanyvenue

fromaconcerthalltoapunkclubinDetroitwith"aratlivingunderthestage."ICEhas

premieredawork"at(Le)PoissonRouge...andplayeditthenextweekinaconcerthall,"

saidLamb.

Alternativevenuesprovideaperformanceoutletfornewmusicthatwouldbe

difficulttoprograminaconcerthall.MattieKaiserputitsimplythatClassicalRevolution

PDXwill"playthestuffnooneelsewillplay."Forexample,shesaidtheyrecently

performedanorchestralsuitebyJherekBischoff."He'snotgoingtobeabletocallthe

OregonSymphonyandbelike,hey,I'vegotthisorchestralsuite.Youshouldtryitout.

So,we'reabletocollaboratewithartiststhatmightnothavethoseconnections,"said

Kaiser.Alternativevenuesarechangingclassicalrepertoire,"asfarasopennesstonew

music...Ithinkaudiencesarefarmorewillingtolistentonewmusicthantypical

programmersgivethemcreditfor,"explainedKaiser.Alternativespacesprovidea

settingformusicthatisnew,riskyorunknowntobeperformed.Artistscantakea

112

chanceonperformingtheseworksinaplacewithlowerstakesandfewerprogramming

gatekeepersthanaconcerthall.

9.2ElectroAcousticandMultiMediaPerformances

Manycontemporarycomposerswritemultimediaandelectroacousticmusic.

Popularmusicvenuesarefrequentlyequippedforperformanceoftheseworkswith

soundsystems,lightingsystemsandvideoscreens."Oftenthesespacesinvestalotof

moneyintobeingabletoproducerockshowsandpopshows"soelectroacoustic

classicalshowscanwork"muchbetteroutsidetheconcerthall,"saidLamb.Classical

RevolutionPDXhasproducedconcertswithslideshows,spokenwordandaerialists.

TheyhavealsoperformednewlycomposedsoundtrackstooldBmoviesincollaboration

withtheorganizationFilmMusic.TheMusicalArtQuintethasperformedwithdancers,

acrobats,poetryreadingsandvideopresentationsatvenuesliketheTreatSocialClub.

RickRobinsonhasworkedwithbreakdancersandMissyMazzolipresentedheropera

forlivechamberensembleandfilminalternativespaces.Alternativevenueshavebeen

aplaceformanymusicianstocollaboratewithartistsfromotherfieldsandcreate

showsthatcombineseveraldifferentmedia.

9.3TheEffectofConcertAtmosphereonRepertoire

Manymusiciansaltertheirrepertoireforalternativevenues.Severalparticipants

mentionedthatloud,fast,attentiongrabbingpiecesaremosteffectiveinabarorclub

environment,especiallyfirstonaprogram.Inavenuewithbackgroundnoise,Joshua

Kohlrecommendedstartingwithapiecethatwill"hitpeopleovertheheadalittlemore

andmaybesavethesubtle"musicforlaterintheprogram.JohnPickfordRichardsfound

113

theXenakisstringquartetsworkwellinaclubsetting"becausethere'softenaconstant

soundmassgoingon.It'sloudandabrasiveandaweinspiring"and"grabsanaudience's

attention."Whenthequartetperformedquietmusicthatunfoldsataslowerpace,it

didnotworkaswellinaclubenvironment.Itisdifficultforslow,subtle,quietmusicto

competewiththedistractionsofabarorclub.

Relativelyshortpiecesmaybemoreeffectiveinanalternativevenue."Someof

themostsuccessfulprogramsI'vegiven,likeAnthem,havebeenshorterpieces,"said

Haimovitz.Severalmusiciansseparatedmultimovementworksandtreatedmovements

asindependentpieces.Concertswithshortworks,excerptsandindividualmovements

seemed"moresuitedtothatenvironmentwherepeoplewerehavingdrinksandmilling

around,"saidGavinChuck.Sinceattentionmaybedirectedinmanywaysinan

alternativevenueandtheaudienceisfreetocomeandgothroughoutaset,briefworks

workwell.Theyalsomimicthelengthofthepopularsongsmostoftenperformedin

theseveneus.

MattHaimovitzlikestoreadtheaudienceduringhisclubperformancesandalter

hissetaccordingly."SometimesyoufeellikeitwouldbeusefultoplayalittlemoreBach

beforeyouhitthemovertheheadwithsomethingcontemporary,"butothertimes,

"youcanfeelit,theywanttorockout,soyoucanincludetheheavierhittingpieces,"

explainedHamovitz.Hesaid,"IfIfeelthere'sajazzaudiencethenI'llprobablywantto

playcertainpiecesthatwouldrelatetojazz."Changingtheprogramduringa

performanceismorechallengingforachambergroupthanasoloinstrumentalist,

however.

114

9.4CollaborationswithPopularGroups

Classicalmusicinclubsisoftenplacedsidebysidewithpopularmusic.Leah

Paul,VictoireandtheMusicalArtQuintethaveallsharedabillwithrockbandsinaclub

setting.Showsthatincludebothpopularandclassicalactscanbeartisticallycohesive.

"Thedistinctionbetweensomeinterestingnewchamberpieceandamore

instrumentallymindedrockbandthat'spopularisnotsogreat,"saidKennySavelson.

GregSandowattendedanightat(Le)PoissonRougethatfeaturedtwosetsofambient

popandonesetwithMessiaen'sQuartetfortheEndofTime.Sandowfeltthenightwas

sosuccessfulbecausetheMessiaenandtheambientpopactshadaconsistencyof

moodthroughout.AlexRosswrote"Ihaveseenthefuture,anditiscalledShufflethe

settingontheiPodthatskipsrandomlyfromonetracktoanother...thelittlemachine

oftengoescrashingthroughbarriersofstyleinwaysthatchangehowIlisten."242

Increasingly,liveconcerts,especiallyatalternativevenues,mirrorthewidevarietyof

genresfoundonalistener'siPod.

Inadditiontoplayingonthesamebill,classicalmusiciansalsocollaboratewith

musiciansfromothergenresinalternativevenues.DougPerkinshasworkedwiththe

electronicduo,Matmos,andwithGlennKotchefromthealternativerockband,Wilco.

Perkinssaidthesemusicians"arepeoplewhohavegreatcareersinrockmusicbutare

bringinganhonestytotheirworkinclassicalmusic.They'restretching"themselves

242
AlexRoss,"Listentothis,"NewYorker,February16and23,2004,accessed
December6,2012,
http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/05/more_to_come_6.html.

115

artistically.CharithPremawardhanaperformswithajazzensemblefeaturedonanother

nightattheRevolutionCafe,theJazzMafia.Theensembleofmixedwindsandstrings,

yMusic,hasworkedwiththeindierockbandsBonIverandTheNational.243Thisgroup

evenbillsthemselvesasa"readymadecollaborativeunitforbandsandsongwriters."244

Musiciansthatperformdifferentgenresinthesamevenuesoftentakeaninterestin

eachother'sworkandformcollaborations.

9.5ChamberMusicInfluencedbyPopularMusic

Musiciansworkinginalternativevenuesoftenwritechambermusicinfluenced

bypopularmusic.Newspaperarticlesandmusiciansinrecentyearshavedubbedthis

music"altclassical"or"indieclassical."Primarily,thesetermsrefertomusicthat

combinesclassicalelementswithdiversepopularinfluencesandcanbeappliedtoa

widevarietyofmusic.Regardlessofthetermapplied,popularinfluencesonmusicians

workinginalternativevenuesareabundant.RickRobinson'scompositionscombine

"grooves[with]standarddevelopmentaltechniques,"heexplained.SaschaJacobsen

writesmusicfortheMusicalArtQuintet,whichcombinesWesternmusicwith"South

American,Argentinian[and]AfroCubanmusic,"accordingtoPremawardhana.

Musiciansoftendeveloparepertoireofmixedgenremusicthroughtheirworkin

alternativevenues.GregPattilloofProjectTriocreatedhisbeatboxflutetechniquein

subwaystationsandrefineditinbarandclubperformances.

243
"NewAmsterdamRecords,"accessedMarch12,2013,
http://www.newamsterdamrecords.com/?portfolio=ymusicbeautifulmechanical.

244
"ParadigmAgency,"accessedMarch12,2013,
http://www.paradigmagency.com/divisions/artist/index/2183.

116

Genresaresothoroughlycombinedinmusicplayedbyclassicalplayersin

alternativevenuesthatasinglelabelnolongerseemstofit."ThekindofmusicthatI

writeisn'teasilycategorized.Itdoesn'tfitintoagenre,"explainedMissyMazzoli.The

composersofBangonaCanhavebeencrossingtheseboundariessincethegroup's

inception.JoshuaKohlsaidthereare"alotofpeoplewhoknowhowtowritefor

classicalinstrumentsthatdon'tconsiderthemselvestobeinvolvedwithclassical

music...There'sawholegenerationofpeoplewhoarecomingfromjazzorrockorjust

peoplethatconsiderthemselvespostgenreandthey'remakingmusicusingthese

instruments."Heexplainedthat,"Ithinkitmightkillclassicalmusic.Ithinkthatthis

alternativevenuesthing,honestlyinthebestscenario,it'llkillitbecauseitwillnolonger

needtobeacategoryofitsown.Itwillbeintegratedintomusicthat'salivetoday...

Everythingisgettingblownwideopenandit'sboththerebirthandthedeathatthe

sametime."

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CHAPTER10

CONCLUSION

Chambermusicperformanceinalternativevenuesisnotuniquetothe21st

century.Musicianshaveperformedinunconventionalspacesforaslongastherehave

beenconventionalvenues.Musicianshaveusedalternativevenuestoperformmusic

thatwasnotwelcomeinthemainconcertvenuesoftheirtime.Othersfoundgreater

audiencesupportinalternativespaces.Differentstylesofmusicalsofoundahome,or

weredeveloped,inthesevenues.Forexample,thelighter,simplerstyleofStilGalant

wasfeaturedintheCollegiumMusicumcoffeehouseconcertsofthe18thcentury,

insteadofthemorecomplexBaroquestyleplayeddownthestreetatSt.Thomas.An

entirestyleofintimatemusicemergedfrom19thcenturysalonconcerts.Composers

SteveReichandPhilipGlassdevelopedtheirMinimaliststyleinthe1970salternative

venuesofloftsandartgalleries.

Somealternativevenuesbecamesointertwinedwithmainstreamclassicalmusic

thattheyeventuallyemergedastraditionalvenuesthemselves.Forexample,salons

continuedasamainstayofchambermusicperformanceintothe20thcentury.Art

museumconcerts,onceanoveltyinthe1960sand1970s,arenowstandardspacesfor

classicalconcerts.Otheralternativevenues,however,neverdevelopedintoa

conventionalspace.Forexample,thecoffeehouse,aftertheCollegiumMusicum

events,neverbecameanestablishedvenueforconcerts.

118

Thereasonsomanyclassicalperformershavemovedintonewalternative

venuesinrecentyearsisinpartduetothestateofmainstreamclassicalmusic.The

audienceforclassicalmusichasdeclinedandagedconsiderablyinthelast30years.The

modelfora20thcenturyartsinstitutionisalargeorganizationwithabigbudgetanda

staffofadministrators.Theseorganizationsrelyheavilyongrantsanddonationsfrom

wealthypatronstosurvive.Thismodelcreatesconservative,unwieldymusicinstitutions

thathavedifficultyadaptingtocurrentaudiencetastes.Today,mostU.S.audiences

preferamorecasualatmosphereonthewholeandtendtodisliketheeliteimageof

classicalmusic.Largemusicinstitutionsalsohavelimitedflexibilitytodealwitha

financialdownturnoradropinaudienceattendance.Inaddition,collegegraduateswith

musicperformancedegreesoftencan'tfindsufficientpaidworkinmusicandlack

outletsforpersonalcreativity.

Aroundtheturnofthe21stcenturyanumberofyoungmusiciansfromSeattle

toOberlintoChicagostartedtoperforminbars,clubs,restaurantsandcoffeeshops.

Mostofthesewereorganizedbycollegestudentsorrecentgraduatesandoften

featurednewmusic.Thesameyear,theestablishedcellosoloistMattHaimovitzwent

onhisfirsttourofbarsandclubsaroundtheUnitedStates.Thenumberofthese

concertsincreasedoverthenextfewyearsandby2006,twoorganizationsdedicatedto

classicalperformanceinclubsexisted:ClassicalRevolutionandOperaonTap.Both

theseorganizationsspawnedchapters,whichestablishedthemselvesincitiesaround

theU.S.andabroad.ContemporarymusiciansinNewYorkstartedtogravitateto

venueslikeJoe'sPubandBarbsaroundthistime.In2008,(Le)PoissonRouge,aclub

119

dedicatedtohostingbothpopularandclassicalmusic,openeditsdoors.Theclubhas

garneredconsistentmediaattentionanditscurrentseasonincludessomeofthebiggest

classicalactsintheworld.Todayalternativevenuesrepresentabustlingfacetofthe

classicalmusicindustry.

Classicalmusiciansbegantoperforminpopularmusicvenueslikebarsandclubs

foranumberofreasons.Someofthepioneersofthisphenomenonwereclassical

musicianswhoalsoplayedpopularmusicandwerealreadyperforminginthesespaces.

Alternativevenuescanbeeasiertobookandtheconcertslessexpensivetoorganize.

Manymusiciansweresimplylookingformoreperformanceopportunitiesoraplaceto

experimentwithnewideas.Alternativevenuesprovidedmusicianswithafeelingof

artisticindependenceandthechancetobuildtheirownaudience.Finally,most

musiciansbeganperforminginbarsandclubsinparttofindnew,youngeraudiencesfor

classicalmusic.

Thebusinessworldofalternativevenuestodayislessinstitutionalizedthanthat

ofbigartsorganizations.Bothfeesandexpensesareusuallymuchlowerthaninconcert

halls.Therearefewadministrators,withmusiciansoftenprovidingtheirownmarketing

andpublicrelations.Musicianstendtocombinetheirworkinalternativevenueswith

higherpayingperformancesandteaching.Largerorganizationsworkinginalternative

spacesusegrantsanddonationstosubsidizetheirworkregardlessofvenue.Aforprofit

clubcanhostclassicalmusicsustainablywhenactsattractanaudienceandthecrowdis

encouragedorrequiredtopurchasefoodanddrinks.

120

Theaudienceatalternativevenueperformancesisyoungerthaninconcerthalls

ingeneral.Theaverageageatmostofthestudyparticipant'seventsinbarsandclubs

wasbetween20and40.Therewassomeoverlapinaudienceatalternativeand

standardconcertvenuesforsomeensembles,especiallythosethatspecializeinnew

music.Concertsatalternativespacesareusuallylessexpensivethanconcerthallevents

andattractaudienceswithlowerincomes.Classicalmusiciansfoundtheycouldconvert

fansofothergenresintoaudiencesatalternativevenueconcertsbysharingaprogram

withapopulargrouporbookinginapopularmusicvenuewitharegularfollowing.

Overall,itappearsthatalternativevenuesareexpandingtheaudienceforclassical

music.Alargestudyofaudiencedemographicsatclassicalconcerts,thatincludes

alternativevenues,isneededforabetterunderstandingofthechangestakingplace.

Classicalconcertculturehasshiftedradicallyinsidenewalternativevenues.

Theseconcertsareinformalwiththeaudienceofteninvitedtoeat,drinkandeventalk

duringtheperformance.Bothaudienceandperformersdressinamodernstyle,fitting

thetrendyorlaidbackambienceofthevenue.Interactionsbetweenperformersand

audiencearecasual,withfreediscussionbefore,afterandsometimesduringthe

concerts.Thenoiselevelsatthesespacesarehigherthaninaconcerthall,butoften

audiencesarequietandattentiveduringthemusic,muchastheywouldbeforan

interestingindierockband.

Tocreatesuccessfulperformancesinthesevenues,musiciansoftenchangehow

andwhattheypresentinconcert.Performersusuallyinteractmorefreelywith,and

speakmorecasuallyto,theiraudienceduringalternativevenuepresentations.They

121

oftenamplifytoovercomeadditionalcrowdandambientnoiseinthesespaces.Many

musicianspresentstandardrepertoirebuttherealsoseemstobeaninterestinnew

musicamongtheaudiencesinthesevenues.Manyperformersgravitatetowards

shorter,moreattentiongrabbingpiecesforconcertsinbarsandclubs.Oftenchamber

musicisperformedonthesamenightwithjazz,rockorotherpopularmusic.

Collaborationsbetweenmusiciansofdifferentgenresareborninthesesharedvenues.

Muchofthemusiccreatedbycomposersthatfrequentalternativevenuesisamixture

ofclassicalandpopularstyles.Manyarefindingitdifficulttoneatlycategorizetheir

musicasentirelyclassical.Thesamechambermusiciansthatfrequentalternative

venuesalsoperforminconcerthalls.Theyarebringingnewstylesofmusicandnew

formsofpresentationintotheclassicalconcerthall.

Itistooearlytotellifbarsandclubswillonedaybecomeatraditionalvenuefor

chambermusic.Theyhavealreadyhadanimpacton21stcenturyclassicalmusic,

however.Alternativevenueshaveprovidedagenerationofclassicalmusicianswitha

placetoplay,experimentanddeveloptheirownstyleofmusic.Theyhaveoffereda

spaceforthatsamegenerationofaudiencetocomeintocontactwithlivechamber

music,oftenforthefirsttime.Thewaymusiciansconductthebusinessand

performanceofclassicalmusichasbeenalteredbytheirtimeinalternativevenues.

Thesevenueshavehelpedtocreateasubsetofclassicalmusic,whichislessformaland

moreopentonew,genrebendingmusic.Mainstreamclassicalmusicisstartingtopay

attention.Majorartsorganizationsareexperimentingwithalternativevenueconcerts

andbookingmusicianswhodevelopedtheircraftinpopularmusicspaces.Alternative

122

venueshavealreadyredefinedclassicalmusicandwillcontinuetoshapetheartformin

thefuture.

123

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130

APPENDIXA

LISTOFINTERVIEWSUBJECTS

GavinChuckManagingDirectorandComposer,AlarmWillSound

OlivierConanOwner,Barbs,Brooklyn,NY

AmandaDavisOperationsandProgramCoordinator,Roulette,Brooklyn,NewYork

DamienElwoodOperaManager,UniversityofSouthernCalifornia;'ManagingDivo,'

OperaonTapLosAngeles

RonenGivonyMusicDirector,(Le)PoissonRouge,NewYork,NY;Founder,

WordlessMusicSeries

MattHaimovitzInternationalCelloSoloist;ProfessorofCello,McGillUniversity

SaschaJacobsenBandleader,BassistandComposer,MusicalArtQuintet

MattieKaiserExecutiveDirector,ClassicalRevolutionPDX

JoshuaKohlCoArtisticDirector/Composer/CoFounder/Conductor,DegenerateArt

Ensemble

EricLambFlutist,InternationalContemporaryEnsemble(ICE)

JoeLewisFormerManager,RevolutionCafe,SanFrancisco,CA

MissyMazzoliComposer;Founder,Victoire

MichaelNewmanOwner,TheWaypost,Portland,OR

LeahPaulComposer;Multiinstrumentalist

DougPerkinsPercussionist,Meehan/PerkinsDuo

131

AlanPiersonArtisticDirector,AlarmWillSound;ArtisticDirector,

BrooklynPhilharmonic

CharithPremawardhanaFounder,ClassicalRevolution;Violist,MusicalArtQuintet

JohnPickfordRichardsFoundingMember/Violist,JACKQuartet

RickRobinsonDirector,ClassicalRevolutionDetroit;FormerBassist,Detroit

SymphonyOrchestra;Founder,CutTimeEnsemble

GregSandowFaculty,TheJuilliardSchool;Author,www.artsjournal.com/sandow

KennySavelsonExecutiveDirector,BangonaCan

PeterSeymourBassist/Manager,ProjectTrio

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APPENDIXB

INTERVIEWQUESTIONS:PERFORMERS/ENSEMBLES

1.Whatvenueshaveyouperformedinthatarenottypicalconcertvenues?(For

example,clubs,bars,stores,streetperformanceorcafes.)

2.Whendidyoustartplayinginthiskindofvenue?

3.Howmanyperformancesinalternativevenuesdoyougiveinatypicalconcertyear?

4.Whatistherangeofaudiencesizeatthesekindsofevents?

5.Howaretheconcertsfunded?

6.Howmuchincomedoyouearnforatypicalperformanceofthistype?

7.Whoisresponsiblefortheadvertisingoftheseconcerts?Ifyoudothis,howis

advertisingfundedandwheredoyouadvertise?

8.Whatisgenerallythecosttotheaudience?Thevenue?Theperformer?

9.Howdoesthiskindofconcertcomparefinancially,comparedtoaconcerthall

performance?

10.Haveyouperformedmultimediashowsinanalternativevenue?

11.Whywereyoufirstinspiredtoplayinalternativevenues?

12.Whatdoyouseeasthefunctionofthiskindofconcert(audiencebuilding,making

money,experimentingwithnewideas)?

13.Howdoyoufeelaudienceinvolvementandgeneralatmospherechanges,ifatall,in

concertsinalternativevenuesvs.theconcerthall?

133

14.Howdoyouchooserepertoireforalternativevenues?Doesthisdifferfrom

repertoireformoretraditionalvenues?

15.Doyouchangeanyotheraspectsofyourperformanceinthissetting?(Forexample,

amplification,standlights,speakingduringtheconcert,choreography.)

16.Whataretheadvantagesofconcertsinalternativevenues?Drawbacks?

17.Doyouseeanydifferenceinaudiencedemographicsatalternativevenues?

18.Howdoyouplantoincorporatealternativevenuesinthefuture,ifatall?

19.Howdoyouenvisionalternativevenuesaffectingthefutureofyourensemblein

particularandclassicalmusicingeneral?

134

APPENDIXC

INTERVIEWQUESTIONS:PRESENTERS

1.Whatkindofvenueshaveyoupresentedconcertsinthatarenottypicalconcert

venues?(Forexample,clubs,bars,stores,streetperformanceorcafes.)

2.Whendidyoustartpresentinginthiskindofvenue?

3.Howmanyoftheseperformancesdoyouhostinatypicalconcertyear?

4.Istherearegulargroupthatperformsatyourpresentedevents?Ifso,whatistheir

name,instrumentationandstyleofmusic?

5.Whatothergroupshaveyoupresented?

6.Doyouhostopenmicnights/jamsessionsforclassicalmusicians?

7.Whatistherangeofaudiencesizeatthesekindsofevents?

8.Howaretheconcertsfunded?Whatisthefinancialarrangementbetweenyou,the

venueandtheensembles?

9.Howmuchincomedoesyourorganizationandtheensembleearnforatypical

performanceofthistype?

10.Whatisgenerallythecosttotheaudience?Thevenue?Theensemble?

11.Whoisresponsiblefortheadvertisingoftheseconcerts?Ifyouadvertise,howis

advertisingfundedandwheredoyouadvertise?

12.Haveyouperformedmultimediashowsinanalternativevenue?

13.Whywereyoufirstinspiredtopresentconcertsinalternativevenues?

135

14.Didyouseeanypreviousconcertseriesasamodelforyours?

15.Areyouamusicianyourself?

16.Whatdoyouseeasthefunctionofthiskindofconcert(audiencebuildingforother

typesofconcerts,makingmoney,experimentingwithnewideas)?

17.Howdoyoufeelaudienceinvolvementandgeneralatmospherechanges,ifatall,in

concertsinalternativevenuesvs.theconcerthall?

18.Dothegroupsyouhostplayacertaintypeofrepertoire?Dotheytendtobea

certainsize?

19.Howdoyoufindnewgroupstohost?

20.Areyouinvolvedinchoosingrepertoirefortheseconcerts?Ifso,doesthechosen

repertoiredifferfromrepertoireformoretraditionalvenues?

21.Doyouchangeanyotheraspectsofconcertproductionforalternativevenues?(For

example,amplification,standlights,speakingduringtheconcert,choreography.)

22.Whataretheadvantagesofconcertsinalternativevenues?Drawbacks?

23.Doyouseeanydifferenceinaudiencedemographicsatalternativevenues?

24.Howdoyouenvisionalternativevenuesaffectingthefutureofclassicalmusic?

136

APPENDIXD

INTERVIEWQUESTIONS:VENUES

1.Whatstylesofmusicdoesyourvenuehost?

2.Howoftendoclassical/contemporarymusiciansperformatyourvenue?

3.Whenwasthefirstconcertofthistypeatyourvenue?Howmanydoyouhostina

typicalmonth?

4.Doyouhostopenmicnights/jamsessionsforclassicalmusicians?

5.Whatistherangeofaudiencesizeatthesekindsofevents?Howdoesthiscompare

tootherstylesofmusic?

6.Isthereacoverchargeorticketpricefortheaudience?Howisthismoneysplit?

7.Whatisthepriceofthecovercharge?

8.Ifthereisnocoverorticketprice,dothemusicianscollecttips?Howmuchdoesan

ensemblegenerallytakeinintipsanight?

9.Dothemusicianspayyourvenue?Doesyourvenuepaythemusicians?

10.Whoisresponsiblefortheadvertisingoftheseconcerts?Ifyouadvertise,howis

advertisingfundedandwheredoyouadvertise?

11.Doclassicalgroupsuseamplificationinyourvenue?

12.Howlargeisyourstage?

13.Pleasedescribeoursound,videoandlightequipment.Doclassicalgroupstendto

usethisequipment?

137

14.Howlargeistherestoftheestablishment?Whatisyourmaximumcapacity?

15.Doyouservefoodanddrinksduringtheconcerts?

16.What%ofrevenueonthesenightsisrelatedtofoodanddrink?

17.Isthereanincreaseinrevenueonclassicalconcertnights?

18.Howdidyoubecomeinterestedinhostingclassical/newmusicconcertsatyour

venue?

19.Didyouseeanypreviousvenueasamodelforyours?

20.Areyouamusicianyourself?

21.Dothegroupsyouhostplayacertaintypeofrepertoire?Dotheytendtobea

certainsize?

22.Howdoyoufindnewgroupstohost?

23.Areyouinvolvedinchoosingrepertoirefortheseconcerts?Ifso,istherepertoire

specificallysuitedtoyourvenue?How?

24.Doeshostingclassicalorcontemporarymusiciansmakesensefinancially?Doyou

haveotherreasonsforcontinuingtheseconcerts?

25.Istheaudienceandgeneralatmosphereonaclassicalmusicnightdifferentfroma

nightwithotherperforminggroups?Whatisthetypicalagerange?

26.Whataretheadvantagesofhostingclassical/newmusic?Drawbacks?

27.Doyouplantocontinuehostingclassical/newmusicconcertsinthefuture?Why?

138