Elena Dubinets, Ph. D., is Vice President of Artistic Planning for the Seattle Symphony and Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington. In 2010-2014, she was Chair of the City of Seattle Music Commission appointed by the Seattle City Council. At the Seattle Symphony, Dubinets has held positions in the artistic planning, public relations and marketing departments and has programmed performances, festival events and radio broadcasts, and spearheaded the Symphony’s artistic collaborations with numerous arts groups. Outside of the Seattle Symphony, Dubinets has presented contemporary music festivals in Russia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Dubinets received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia and has lived in the U.S. since 1996.
Attracting New Audiences: New Programming Concepts and Concert Formats
At a time when the issues of public value and social justice are being debated in the public arena, orchestras must drop their elitist outlooks and demonstrate that they are relevant, meaningful and accessible to the broadest cross-section of their communities. On today’s stage, artists and their entrepreneurial presenters are pushed to investigate societal needs and trans-cultural environments as the very existence of classical music depends on its public value and impact on community. Orchestras must evolve and embrace today’s societal realities in order to reaffirm classical music’s mission and sustainability, and to share its traditions with the largest public possible.
As orchestras are learning how to broaden access by bringing their music to diverse communities, the cross-fertilization of classical music with other art forms and technologies offers unprecedented opportunities to attract and retain new audiences, enhance their music experiences and increase the earned revenue. While the underlining value of our art form still involves the transformational magic of music and the emotional connection with times and memories that it can bring to people, new programming concepts and concert formats give unique and indefinite tools to artists and listeners for expressing themselves.
In the recent years, the Seattle Symphony has developed new offerings that are targeted at tapping new audiences through artistic innovations and creative audience engagement approaches. Among them are Sonic Evolution, Symphony Untuxed, Celebrate Asia, [untitled] and Music beyond Borders projects, and the current presentation will demonstrate their main elements. These projects engage with different communities by harnessing social interaction around important societal issues. They juxtapose edgy and traditional music including creative commissioning and offer guided listening, participation, freedom of movement, informal experiences and more. They magnify the impact of music and enhance the connection between the musicians and the audiences.