League of American Orchestras' National Conference to Focus on Innovation, 6/4-6
The League of American Orchestras' National Conference will offer fresh perspectives from thought leaders on the many ways orchestras are adapting during this era of rapid change. Hosted by the Seattle Symphony, the Conference takes place June 4-6, 2014 in Seattle, with pre-Conference seminars on June 2-4 as well as musical performances, events, and sessions presented by industry experts and beyond. Nearly 1,000 professionals and volunteers from across the orchestra field are expected to attend.
"The artistic vibrancy of the Seattle Symphony, our host orchestra, and the Pacific Northwest's strong spirit of innovation mirror the current state of orchestras across the country," says League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. "Orchestras are facing a number of critical issues, and they are addressing these in unprecedented ways. The Conference serves as the forum for exchange of these innovative practices and new perspectives."
"We're very happy and honored to be hosting this important conference," says Seattle Symphony Executive Director Simon Woods. "The Seattle Symphony is indeed in an exciting and forward-looking moment in its history - but so are many other American orchestras, and there is much to be gained by coming together to explore and celebrate the inspiring ways our sector has responded to the challenges of our time."
Drawing on the theme "Critical Questions/Countless Solutions," the Conference will kick off on June 4 with a keynote speech on creativity, ingenuity, and change by Claire Chase, MacArthur Award-winning flutist, founder of ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and a prominent representative of the new generation of young entrepreneurial musicians. Chase will open her address with a performance of Varèse's "Density 21.5," using it as "a springboard to imagine a 21st- century musical ecosystem with invention as its engine and change as its guide." The opening general session will also include a performance by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stephen Rodgers Radcliffe of Wagner's "Dawn" and "Siegfried's Rhine Journey" from Götterdämmerung, as well as Aaron Jay Kernis' Dreamsongs For Cello and Orchestra with cello soloist Joshua Roman. The session will close with a joint performance by Joshua Roman and composer/DJ Gabriel Prokofiev of excerpts of the latter's "Cello Multitracks" (2010). The opening session will be video streamed live beginning 3:45 PST on June 4.
The closing general session on June 6 will include a keynote speech by noted arts researcher Alan Brown, principal, WolfBrown, presenting "If It Ain't Broke, Break It: What 10 Years of Research and Experimentation Tells Us About Audiences, Creativity, and the Future of Orchestras;" a speech by Jesse Rosen; and an appearance by Seattle Symphony musicians and Native flute player Paul "Che-oke-ten" Wagner, performing excerpts from the Potlatch Symphony, a work co-created by Seattle Symphony Native Lands Composer-in-Residence Janice Giteck alongside Native artists and community members.
Music will play an important role at the Conference. An evening concert on June 5 at Benaroya Hall will feature the Seattle Symphony and Music Director Ludovic Morlot performing Dutilleux's Symphony No. 2, "Le double," and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé[complete], with the Seattle Symphony Chorale. Conference participants are also invited to attend the Seattle Symphony's post-Conference "Sonic Evolution" concert featuring world premieres by Luis Tinoco, Du Yun, and Gabriel Prokofiev.
Twenty-one Conference elective sessions will offer strategies, tactics, tools, practices, and research to explore key areas of interest to the orchestra field, including technology, diversity, education, fundraising, fiscal health, audience development, and repertoire. Among the electives will be:
A New Generation of Musicians: What Does it Mean for Orchestras? with League President and CEO Jesse Rosen; Claire Chase; Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher; cellist Joshua Roman; and Christopher Rountree, artistic director and conductor, wild Up