American Orchestras in Historical Recordings

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6
Mar

Amarillo Symphony Executive Director: 25% Audience Growth!

In an article in the Amarillo Globe-News, Amarillo Symphony Executive Corey Cowert shares that their audiences have grown 25%. "The fact that that's happening in the panhandle of Texas - what most of the country might not consider a sophisticated arts audience, which is completely not true. Whether it's New York, Amarillo, Los Angeles or Lubbock orchestras, there is a demand. People enjoy what we do. " CRStager marketing is pleased to be working with the Amarillo Symphony, and is delighted with the success they are enjoying.

2
Mar

CRStager marketing Engaged for Philip Glass' 80th Birthday Concert

January 31, 2017 was Philip Glass' 80th birthday. The Bruckner Orchestra of Linz and Dennis Russell Davies celebrated with a concert at Carnegie Hall featuring the world premiere of his 11th Symphony. It met with a standing ovation by the capacity crowd. The concert featured two other works of Glass and featured the breathtaking voice of Angelique Kidjo. CRStager marketing was engaged to market the event.

16
Feb

Albany Board Chair: "Bucking the national trend"

CRStager marketing has had the pleasure of working with the Albany Symphony in strategizing subscription and single ticket for the past three seasons. At the press conference to launch the 2017-18 season, Albany Symphony Board Chair Marisa Eisemann commented "In the Capital Region we've broken our subscription records for a third year in a row, and that's bucking the national trend of orchestras and other arts organizations."

30
Jan

Happy Holiday Sales!

In December, the Amarillo Symphony surpassed sales expectations for its first holiday concert. Indianapolis Symphony's "Yuletide Celebration" posted record revenues. The Milwaukee Symphony increased its holiday revenue by 7% over the previous year. Orchestra Kentucky also enjoyed record sales for its annual Holiday Pops. The Pittsburgh Symphony sold a record 11,570 single tickets for its seven Holiday Pops performances. CRStager marketing is proud to be working with these organizations.

12
Jan

Christopher Stager to Speak at San Francisco Conservatory

On Thursday, January 17, I will be visiting the San Francisco Conservatory to present the basics of orchestra marketing to students as part of the Conservatory's week-long "Music Management for Musicians" seminar. Peter Pastreich and David Gockley, great colleagues and mentors, are the Senior Faculty. It is an honor to be asked and hope that I may influence this next generation of fine musicians.

23
Dec

Pittsburgh Symphony CEO Credits CRStager marketing

In a December 4 interview in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra CEO Melia Tourangeau reports "The strategies we put in place saw a huge amount of return of audience, " she said. "When Christopher Stager came on board (as marketing consultant) when I first started, he said give me until Christmas. From the holiday pops to the rest of the season we saw a huge attendance uptick. " Although the symphony previously reported an increase in ticket sales for 2015-16, exceeding revenue goals for the first time in five years, it's only now revealed that ticket sales rose to 57 percent for classical and 69 percent for pops concerts. Since there were seven fewer classical concerts last season, the percentage is based on a smaller number of seats for sale. The steps taken to increase attendance made maximum use of a database of 140,000 people who have come to the symphony over the past 10 years.

14
Dec

INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY - Annual String of Record Sales Continue!

CRStager marketing has been working with the INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY since 2013. The Indianapolis Star reports this week that the "Orchestra posted record income last season from ticket sales, according to figures released Monday. The $8.49 million in ticket sales is a 15% increase over fiscal year 2015 and the fourth consecutive increase since fiscal year 2013."

4
Dec

"The Music Has Returned" in Pittsburgh - and So Have Audiences

CRStager marketing is working with the Pittsburgh Symphony to rebuild its audiences following a musicians' strike that cancelled two months of performances. "The Music Has Returned" concerts on December 2 and 4 were filled to capacity and free to the public. CRStager has rebuilt audiences after similar performance interruptions in Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville and Sacramento.

26
Apr

AMARILLO SYMPHONY SALES SEE DOUBLE DIGIT GROWTH!

Corey Cowart, Executive Director of the Amarillo Symphony, engaged CRStager marketing in the summer of 2015 to review the Orchestra's marketing effort, subsequently retaining us to help implement our recommendations. Working closely with the Amarillo Symphony team, we are pleased to report a 59% increase in tickets sold, an 83% increase in single ticket revenue, and a jump of $3.32 in the average ticket price. The Amarillo Symphony serves some 35,000 square miles in the northern Texas panhandle. It is a remarkable organization and we are delighted to work with them.

18
Feb

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY SEES GROWTH IN TICKET SALES!

Single ticket sales for the Pittsburgh Symphony's BNY Mellon Grand Classics series have grown 8% over the same point in the 14- 15 season, with a 23% jump in PNC Pops sales over the same comparative period. Additionally, Highmark Holiday Pops concerts, part of the Pops season, posted record revenue - some 10% higher than the previous best experience. Beginning with an assessment of the Orchestra's sales and its marketing effort, CRStager developed and implemented a new marketing plan specific to the Pittsburgh market, leveraging an aggressive mix of direct mail, radio, print and online advertising. The sales turnaround has been achieved through the work of the Orchestra's exceptionally skilled marketing team and dynamic, new senior leadership.

8
Dec

TICKET SALES FUEL BALANCED BUDGET IN INDIANAPOLIS

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports on the Indianapolis Symphony's third consecutive balanced budget: "Income from ticket sales increased 8% over the previous year thanks to a 24% jump in the number of ticket subscriptions. Summer concert series Marsh Symphony on the Prairie saw a 7% rise in ticket sales."

6
Sept

RECORD SUMMERS IN SAN DIEGO & INDIANAPOLIS

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has posted its third consecutive year of record sales for its Symphony on the Prairie summer series. The San Diego Symphony's Summer Pops also posted record revenue this summer. Both organizations achieved their success before the final week of concerts. CRStager marketing is delighted to be working with the marketing teams of both the Indianapolis Symphony and the San Diego Symphony in reaching these milestones.

18
July

PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ANNOUNCES SUBSCRIPTION GROWTH

Courtney Beck, Executive Director of Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco reports the following to the board: "Both revenue and seats for 2015-16 subscription sales are showing strong gains on last season. We are presently less than $3,000 away from our campaign goal of $633,000, representing an increase of $51,000 on last season's total subscription revenue. By seats, we surpassed last season's total long ago. We have sold 1,814 seats to date, more than 60 seats above last year. Sales for San Francisco have shot past last season by more than $17,000 and Berkeley Saturday is already $14,000 higher than last season's total. Few orchestras can boast 8% subscription revenue increases in a year. Nearly all of this growth can be attributed to doubling down on tried-and-true marketing tactics, including increased direct mail and telemarketing." Courtney goes on to thank CRStager marketing & audience development for the planning and advice on the 2015-16 campaign.

1
July

TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF SACRAMENTO PHILHARMONIC & OPERA

After a year of silence, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera returned to the stage on June 26 with 1650 of the 1800 seats sold - half of them to new subscribers! Andrew Grams conducted Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony, and augmented with the community's student and amateur string players, Vaughan Williams' Concerto Grosso. CRStager marketing is proud to be working with Alice Sauro and her team on the Philharmonic & Opera's return.

22
June

SUCCESS AT SOUTH BEND SYMPHONY!

The South Bend Symphony's just completed 2014-15 season enjoyed ticket sales growth for the first time in at least five years, posting a 15% increase in subscriptions. Single tickets also grew by 48%, including a true sell-out performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. All this was achieved with lower marketing expenditure to increase net contribution by 154% over the previous season. The Orchestra's endowment was not raided for marketing consulting as others have been urging; donor trust remains intact. Subscriptions for the upcoming 2015-16 season are 32% ahead of this same date last year, assuring a second year of subscription growth.

15
June

ST. PETERSBURG SUCCESS AT CARNEGIE HALL!

Carnegie Hall reports that June 12 2015 "Russia Day" performance by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic posted the second-highest attendance there this season. Congratulations to everyone on the Opus 3 Artists team, publicist Kathryn King, and social media manager Alanna Stone for making this a wonderful, successful event to collaborate on!

8
Apr

Record Tickets Sales for Orchestra Kentucky

The Bowling Green (Kentucky) Daily News reports Orchestra Kentucky "has had record ticket sales for its 2014-15 season." "We've exceeded our ticket sale budget by $110,000 so far this year," reports Music Director Jeff Reed. CRStager marketing is delighted to be working with Orchestra Kentucky in building their audience.

9
Mar

CRStager marketing now working with Albany Symphony and San Diego Symphony

CRStager marketing is pleased to announce two new relationships. We are delighted to be working with the Albany Symphony and the San Diego Symphony on marketing and audience development programs.

10
Feb

Rhode Island Philharmonic Racks Up Record Growth!

In our work together over the past two years, CRStager marketing and the Rhode Island Philharmonic have grown subscriptions by 21%, single tickets by 39%, and paid capacity by 25% on Friday and 22% on Saturday. This growth aligns, and in some cases exceeds, the long-range strategic objectives of Executive Director David Beauschene.

10
Dec

Indianapolis Business Journal headline "Symphony reports surplus on big crescendo in ticket sales"

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports: "Overall ticket sales jumped 18% for the 2013-14 season, as subscription sales for classical, pops and family concerts rose by 30% and the summer staple Symphony on the Prairie recorded a 15% increase in ticket sales. Subscription sales hit the highest level since the 2008-09 season, bucking conventional wisdom in the performing arts. The ISO now pushes packages all season long, repackaging and repricing them as the season progresses to maximize demand."

16
Nov

Louisville Orchestra - Best Subscription Sales in a Decade!

Congratulations to the Louisville Orchestra. Under the strategic guidance of CRStager marketing, the Orchestra's Classical Series is enjoying an historic era of success. Subscription sales have grown for two consecutive seasons. Subscription sales for the current season are the highest in a decade. Still early in the current season, Classical single ticket revenue is tracking 70% ahead of the 2013-14 season, which was in itself an all-time record. Sales for the Louisville Orchestra's complete line of products are also very strong, with total subscription revenue the highest since the 2007- 08 season.

7
Aug

Courier Journal reports: "LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA IN THE BLACK"

Courier Journal reports: "LOUSIVILLE ORCHESTRA IN THE BLACK" "The Louisville Orchestra is reporting a budget surplus. Last season's subscription and single-ticket sales exceeded expectations. Executive Director Andrew Kipe credited the surplus to ticket sales and donations as indicators of greater awareness of and public confidence in the orchestra."

30
July

Subscriptions Growing in Augusta!

Subscriptions Growing in Augusta! With two months before Symphony Orchestra Augusta's first concert of the season, Classical subscription sales have already surpassed the 2013-14 season final by 10%. Last season posted record Classical single ticket sales, which were 72% higher than the previous season. Congratulations to Mieko Di Sano and her team at Symphony Orchestra Augusta!

18
July

Indianapolis Business Journal headline: "ISO sees surge in ticket sales, led by subscriptions"

Indianapolis Business Journal headline: "ISO sees surge in ticket sales, led by subscriptions" - The publication goes on to report: "The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra enjoyed a nearly 19% surge in ticket sales during the 2013-14 indoor concert season. Subscriptions rose 30%, bucking conventional wisdom in the performing arts that says subscriptions are dying. 'We're now relentless not only about packaging and promoting subscriptions but repackaging throughout the season,' said CEO Gary Ginstling. 'When one show is done, we add another at the back end and still market the subscription. That allows us to continue to make the case that a subscription is a great value. We focus on fundamental marketing around pricing and a compelling message. We make sure subscribers realize that they are our core patrons. And we do everything we can to accommodate them.'"

5
June

Detroit's MLive headline: "Detroit Symphony Orchestra earns third straight year of subscription growth, bucks national trend"

Detroit's MLive headline: "Detroit Symphony Orchestra earns third straight year of subscription growth, bucks national trend" - and continues "Subscription levels - the number of subscription units sold - rose across all five product lines and climbed by 24.7 percent since the 2011-12 season"

20
Feb

Detroit Symphony Posts Third Year of Subscription Growth, 14-15 Outpacing 13-14

The Detroit Symphony reports on February 18 : "[The Orchestra's] subscription base has grown significantly for the third consecutive year [in 2013-14], posting a 23% increase in subscriptions sold and a 17% increase in subscription revenue since 2012...sales have now eclipsed the 2010 pre-strike subscription base...On sale for less than a month, 2014-15 subscriptions are already substantially outpacing 2013-14."

24
Dec

DETROIT HOLIDAY CONCERTS SET BOX OFFICE RECORD

The Daily Tribune reports on December 24: "With box office revenues exceeding $425,000 and more than 10,000 tickets sold, last weekend's "Home for the Holidays" concerts featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra set a box office record for the annual concert event, the DSO organization announced. The previous record was set last year with more than $365,000 in revenue and 8,657 tickets sold . . . "

12
Dec

Detroit Symphony Hails Its Healthier Finances

The New York Times reports on December 11: "The city of Detroit may be in bankruptcy, but the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is back in the black...The symphony balanced its budget for the first time since 2007...Ticket revenue rose to $6.26 million as the orchestra sold more subscriptions...its Beethoven festival last February set a new record for classical ticket sales in the Max M. Fisher Music Center..."

5
Dec

Indianapolis Shatters Holiday Sales Record !

Indianapolis CEO Gary Ginstling writes: "I am pleased to report that two days ago we surpassed the Yuletide Celebration budgeted revenue goal of $1.425 million. This marks the first time in anyone's memory that we have surpassed our budgeted goal prior to opening night. Yuletide revenue has already surpassed three of the past four years, even though we have fewer performances this year than in any of those years. And the news gets even better: because our marketing plan called for early and aggressive promotion, and because we have so little remaining inventory, we are going to come in significantly under budget on our promotional expenses for Yuletide. In fact, we are estimating promotional expenses to be between 30-35% under budget, further increasing the net contribution."

6
Nov

San Francisco Symphony engages CRStager marketing

The San Francisco Symphony has engaged CRStager marketing to provide strategic counsel on marketing and audience development. We are thrilled to be working with Brent Assink and his team.

1
Nov

CRStager marketing now working with Nashville, North Carolina & Portland Symphonies

CRStager marketing is delighted to announce that it has been retained by the Nashville Symphony, to provide strategic marketing direction. Also by the North Carolina Symphony, to help develop their summer concert audiences. And by the Portland Symphony Orchestra, providing strategic marketing counsel.

29
Oct

JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL "Playing in Concert" - the Jacksonville Symphony

The new energy and leadership at the Jacksonville Symphony was recently profiled in the Jacksonville Business Journal. It's an in-depth piece on how the orchestra has re-built over the last year and how it is preparing for new artistic leadership.

21
Oct

Record Revenue for Indianapolis Symphony on the Prairie!

This summer's Symphony on the Prairie posted the highest per concert revenue in its history - exceeding $65,000 per performance, 4% higher than the previous best season. The Indianapolis Symphony marketing staff brilliantly re-tooled the advertising and media plan to deliver this stellar outcome!

24
Sept

NJPAC Enjoys Swift Sales Success

CRStager marketing helped NJPAC develop a new packaging, pricing and direct marketing strategy for subscriptions to its classical series. In its first six weeks, this $15,000 investment has delivered $113,000 in subscription and single ticket sales. Congratulations to NJPAC's spectacular marketing team in engineering this swift turnaround!

18
Sept

Nashville Symphony Engages CRStager marketing

CRStager marketing & audience development is proud to now be working with the Nashville Symphony on building ticket sales for the Orchestra's Classical Series. Looking forward to our first visit this week.

13
Sept

Symphony Orchestra Augusta Engages CRStager marketing

CRStager marketing & audience is proud to be working with Symphony Orchestra Augusta and Executive Director Mieko Di Sano. We will be helping the Orchestra build a strategic marketing plan for the 2013-14 season and a subscription campaign for the 2014-15 season, all with an eye toward the opening of the Miller Theater, the Orchestra's new home beginning in the fall of 2015.

4
Sept

SUBSCRIPTION GROWTH AT DETROIT SYMPHONY

Four weeks before the start of the season, the Detroit Symphony's classical subscription revenue has now eclipsed last season's final. This marks the second straight season of subscription growth. Congratulations to the marketing team at the Detroit Symphony!

13
Aug

SUBSCRIPTIONS SWELL IN LOUISVILLE

After a silence of 18 months, which cancelled the 2011-12 season and abridged the 2012-13 subscription campaign, it is heartening to see the subscriber turnaround at the Louisville Orchestra. As of mid-August, 2013-14 subscriptions are 24% ahead of the final outcome last season. Subscriptions have also surpassed the final result of the last full season prior to the stoppage. Growth is being achieved across all product lines, with an impressive 36% improvement in Classical. Congratulations to the team at the Louisville Orchestra.

29
July

A Sizzling Indianapolis Summer!

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Marsh Symphony on the Prairie ticket sales are far outpacing recent seasons. Sales are $260,000 ahead of 2012 at this point of the season, and $190,000 ahead of 2011. Congratulations to the marketing team on their masterful shift in media planning!

24
July

Baltimore's Ticket Sales Continue to Build

In announcing the extension of Marin Alsop as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony, The New York TImes of July 24, 2013 reports: "According to the orchestra, in the season before Ms. Alsop took the reins, the orchestra was selling, on average, 58 percent of its seats at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and 77 percent of its seats at the Music Center at Strathmore. Last season, ticket sales had risen to 70 percent at Meyerhoff and 80 percent at Strathmore."

22
July

Summer Concert Record in Detroit!

Metrotimes of Detroit reports: The Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House achieved record attendance and sales volume of over $160,000 last weekend, as 6000 music fans gathered at Lake St. Clair.

11
July

Louisville Orchestra Subscription Smash!

The Louisville Orchestra 2013-14 subscription campaign is already 24% ahead of the abbreviated 2012-13 final outcome. Growth is being achieved across all product lines, with an impressive 36% improvement in Classical. The music is back in Louisville, and so are audiences.

24
June

DSO Grows Ticket Revenue by Nearly $1M

D Business, the business journal of Detroit, reports on June 13: "As the Detroit Symphony Orchestra prepares to launch its summer season at the end of this month, 2012-13 ticket revenues are in, with a $800,000 increase over the previous season, and a classical audience that returned to pre-strike levels just two years after the fact. Subscription levels rose across all five product lines (Classical, Pops, Jazz, Family and Neighborhood) at a rate unprecedented in recent history, with classical subscribers climbing by 11 percent, Neighborhood Concert Series by 25 percent and a goal shattering 100 percent in Young Peoples Family Concert series. Overall, ticket revenue grew by 15 percent..."

15
May

Indianapolis Symphony Engages CRStager marketing

We are working this week with the Indianapolis Symphony in rebuilding the audience. It is exciting to be working with their new President Gary Gintsling and his team. It is also a homecoming: I served as Director of Marketing at the ISO from 1994-99, as did my associate Chuck Kocal from 2003 to 2005.

13
May

Spring For Music ticket sales soar!

Last week, Spring For Music 2013 welcomed the orchestras of Baltimore, Albany, Buffalo, Detroit and Washington to Carnegie Hall. All tickets were $25 to this celebration of American orchestras and their programming creativity. It was the best selling Spring For Music to date, with ticket sales up 17% over 2012. Mark May 4 through 10, 2014 on your calendar for the final Spring For Music.

1
May

Dallas Symphony Engages CRStager marketing

The Dallas Symphony has just engaged CRStager marketing & audience development. We are thrilled to be working with the dynamic team of President Jonathan Martin, Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the new Vice President of Sales and Marketing Sean Kelly.

17
Apr

Rhode Island Philharmonic - SOLD OUT!

From the Providence, R.I. Journal (April 13, 2013): A sold-out Veterans Memorial Auditorium got to hear the Beethoven Fifth Saturday night from a Rhode Island Philharmonic in rare form. They just kept giving and giving, right through the triumphant finale. - Congratulations to the Rhode Island Philharmonic on their first sell- out in at least seven seasons.

11
Apr

Jacksonville Symphony making good progress

In an Op-Ed piece published under the title: Jacksonville Symphony making good progress, the Times-Union applauds the just-settled JSO labor agreement, leadership changes, and board development. It further reports: ticket sales remain strong and revenues are $342,000 ahead of the same time last year.

4
Apr

Melbourne Symphony engages CRStager marketing

We are proud to announce that the Melbourne Symphony has engaged CRStager marketing to review their pricing history and develop a long-term pricing strategy to maximize potential revenue and attract new audiences.

13
Mar

Ticket Sales Keep Growing in Louisville!

The March performance of Beethoven Symphony No. 7 by The Louisville Orchestra was the highest selling Classical series concert of the past five seasons. This is the third consecutive record setting concert since January 2013. The first three concerts of 2013 now rank among the Top 5 concerts of the past five seasons. The music is back, and audiences are embracing The Louisville Orchestra.

25
Feb

DSO SETS SALES RECORDS WITH BEETHOVEN FESTIVAL

From the Detroit Symphony: DETROIT, (Feb. 24, 2013) Capped off by sold-out Beethoven Ninth performances this past weekend, the DSO sold more tickets for its Beethoven Festival than in any other three-week classical span since the opening of the Max M. Fisher Music Center in 2003. Sales for the festival totaled 18,217 tickets, beating the previous three-week record of 16,601, sold for the Leonard Slatkin inaugural concerts with the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The Beethoven Ninth concerts also set their own record for highest capacity for a 4-concert run, with 7,889 tickets sold. The Slatkin inaugural concerts (6,927) and James Galway concerts last season are the only programs coming close to this sales volume.

21
Feb

Happy Valentine's at Baltimore Symphony!

Remarkable Valentine Weekend Single Ticket sales at the Baltimore Symphony...and with All Wagner no less! Highest single tickets of the season at Meyerhoff so far, and second highest at Strathmore. After early signs these concerts would finish behind budget, the staff retooled the campaign and media buys to focus on Wagner for Valentines Day. Great work by the marketing team!

12
Feb

SINGLE TICKET SMASH!

This past weekend, for the opening concerts of its Beethoven Festival, the Detroit Symphony sold 2,291 single tickets, the highest since the Leonard Slatkin inaugural concerts of 2008. With two weeks to go, the three week festival has already exceeded its budgeted revenue.

5
Feb

Audiences Returning to the Louisville Orchestra

With the resumption of Louisville Orchestra concerts following 18 months of silence, the music has returned and so have audiences: The January performance of Scheherazade posted the highest single ticket sales of any classical concert since 2005. The performance last weekend of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Adele Anthony is the fourth highest. It is particularly gratifying to see audiences connecting to their Louisville Orchestra. The 2013- 14 season has just been announced.

1
Feb

Record Holiday Ticket Sales at the Detroit Symphony!

The Detroit Symphony enjoyed all-time record holiday ticket sales for 2012. Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, with 18 events, single ticket sales of $732,000 exceeded the previous record of $512,000 (set in 2008, with 17 events) by 43%. The $41,000 per concert average is also the highest on record.

2
Jan

Sales Surge in Detroit

Excerpted from the Detroit Symphony's Annual Report: "Attendance numbers for the 2011-12 season rank among the [highest] in the nation. Classical season attendance shattered expectations. Total classical concert attendance [was] 16% over projections driven by back-to-basics marketing strategies. 90% of subscribers renewed for 2012-13, fueling a 12% increase, the first subscription growth in the history of the Fisher Center. Average paid attendance improved 13%. Through the first 7 weeks of Fall 2012, DSO reports a 3% increase against 2011 and a 21% increase against the same period in 2009...

 

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