Please support the Philadelphia Orchestra!
Do you realize how good Philly O is? I moved here in 1983 to go to music school mostly because of Philly O.
I remember the first concert I went to at the Academy of Music. It was opening night 1983 and the program was all Beethoven. I moved here from Eugene Oregon and I had literally NEVER heard a major orchestra live. That’s the truth.
I was faint from the experience. Now – this might have had something to do with the beer I drank in line waiting for $2 rush tickets followed by the long climb up the stairs to the top level of the Academy, but anyway..it was really a good concert. In those days we would wait every Friday night for rush tickets and I didn’t miss a week that first year I was here. I would imagine myself playing in the group and this is what motivated me thru college.
I’m a Philly O wannabe – and I’m proud of it! The fact is, I’m not a good enough cellist to win that job. It’s ok….I have LOTS and LOTS of company. I’m not a good enough pilot to be in the Blue Angels either. You’re probably not a good enough golfer to win the Masters.
This is the Phillies of Orchestras. It’s the Porsche of Orchestras, it’s the Society Hill of Orchestras. I think I’m getting my point across. There are other orchestras as good as Philly O, a couple might even be better. We’re talking about the top 10 on the planet. If you play in Philly O – you are at the very top of your field. It just doesn’t get any better than this. These are the very best orchestra musicians in the world! Period! They live here! In Philadelphia!
Is it perfect? Clearly not.
We have this incredible thing in our city. Like the Phillies, like the Museum of Art, like our restaurants and yet it doesn’t get the support it needs. Not from donors, not from the government and not from patrons. Declining ticket sales is the real problem. If the concerts sold out – we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Its that simple.
Why? Its not all our fault. Some of the blame goes to the orchestra itself. They haven’t done a good enough job engaging new audiences; as the school systems run out of money the arts gets cut and more and more adults don’t know the difference between a cello and a violin. Many people don’t understand how engaging going to a live music performance can be because they simply haven’t done it in recent memory.
I play in the Philly Pops and I often give my comps away to people in my office. Everyone has a good time when they go and sometimes they don’t realize that watching live music is different than hearing it on cds or files or watching it on you tube. There is action away from the ball just like a sports event. Just watch me and my stand partner at the Pops…its a whole show all by itself
Now on to Real Estate which is another of my passions. Center City Real Estate in Philadelphia is one of the strongest markets in the country. By strong – I mean not completely crashed. People want to live in our downtown area, all kinds of people. I’m not going to tell you this is ONLY because of Philly O but I am going to tell you that Philly O and the Kimmel Center are a central focus of our vibrant Center City area.
When people say, “we’re thinking of moving back into the city.” Its not because the Staples at 15th and Chestnut has better deals than the one in their neighborhood! Its because vibrant MEANS the arts, and the arts creates the need for restaurants and shops and parking lots, and Condos called things like Symphony House and Aria! When the listing agent write, “Walk to everything Center City has to offer,” they mean the arts. When the property has a walk score of 98 its because of the arts.
Yes there are other music groups, the Opera, the Ballet the Philly Pops and these all contribute. There are theater productions at the Merriam and the Walnut and there are smaller groups like 1812 Productions working out of tiny playhouses. Andrea Clearfield has been giving concerts once a month in her apartment!!! This has been going on for 20 years. I know cause I was at the first one! And yes…i was probably drinking beer there too.
THIS IS AN ARTS COMMUNITY!!!!! Philly O is the corner stone. Believe it.
Maybe orchestras and other arts organizations need to have a tweeting section of the audience…or a special kiosk in the lobby where they can tweet and post to facebook.
Philly O sounds awesome! #PhillyO, Jonathan Fink is at the Philly O concert. Whoa – they sound great! Just sayin…