New World Symphony's New Study Confirms Success of Alternative Concerts

Primary findings of the research include:

Alternate formats are successful at attracting new audiences
Alternate formats can be in sync with lifestyle choices of perspective audiences without compromising the selection of repertoire or the standard of quality at which it is performed
Short concerts can be as emotionally powerful as concerts of traditional length
Mixed-genre events (e.g., Pulse: Late Night at the New World Symphony) attract younger and more diverse audiences
Through intelligent contextualization of music, alternate formats may be the preferred experience for new audience members while also providing an informative experience for traditional audiences
Low-cost, alternate format concerts are more effective at attracting new audience members than free concerts
Theatrical lighting and projected imagery, deployed with a high level of artistic integrity, can enhance the concert experience, particularly for new audiences

Howard Herring, NWS's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "For us the motivation is the simple belief that this music can be meaningful to far more people than those who are currently in our audience. By studying the audiences' depth of experience and watching their ticket-buying patterns, hopefully we will find new ways of engaging audiences for the benefit of the listeners themselves and to provide more stability for the art form. Our ultimate goal is to create formats supported by audience survey results that will allow orchestras to take an informed risk on using one of these formats in their own programming."

Details of the audience survey work can be found at