Strings Music Pavilion

The #1 reason people don’t attend a classical concert is due to lack of interest. 

The internet teams with articles discussing the death of classical music. The questions continue to pour out. If classical music is dying because of lack of interest, how do we increase interest? How do we get more people to like classical music?  

In a study done by the NEA, 36.4 million people attended a classical, jazz, or opera performance in 2008. With 16% of the total US adult population already attending classical performances, affiliated organizations should focus not on the part of the population who doesn’t like classical music, but the part that does. After all no one is talking about how to get more people interested in football or politics. 

If 16% of the US adult population actually attend live classical performances, it is safe to assume that more than 16% enjoy listening to classical music. Therefore orchestras and classical music organizations should target those who are already interested in classical music, but are not attending live concerts.  

The newest strategy to attract more people is touring orchestras. If people won’t come to the performance hall to hear live classical music, then let’s bring classical music to the people. 

The Brooklyn Philharmonic pulled off a successful season, despite not having a permanent “home.” They toured Brighton Beach, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza to much enthusiasm by concert goers. Closer to home, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra is also moving around the state. Performances out of Boettcher Hall include visits to Lone Tree, Parker, Arvada, and Vail.

Andres Cardenes, Conductor

But even better than organizations guessing how to tailor programs to fit their audience is finding out straight from them what they want. With so many methods of reaching people, from mailings to phone calls to social networking, arts organizations should spend more time engaging their audience.  

An engaged audience will pay higher ticket prices, travel to new places for concerts, and most importantly bring others along with them. If we cater to those already interested, the hard work of raising attendance at classical concerts will happen naturally.

Posted on June 14, 2012
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