By Joe Sugarman
Among the woodwinds and brass at the March 5 rehearsal and 2014-2015 season announcement were people holding instruments of a different sort: iPhones, BlackBerries and other electronic devices.
As Music Director Marin Alsop announced the 2014-2015 BSO season, journalists and social media gurus tweeted the highlights directly from the stage, using designated hashtag #BSO1415. It was the first time a major symphony orchestra had allowed members of the media to sit onstage and tweet in real time what was going on around them. (And, frankly, probably the first time people were actually encouraged to use their cell phones at the symphony!)
“One of the main reasons we hosted this kind of social media conscious event,” says BSO President and CEO Paul Meecham, “is because we want to reach a broader audience. The timing is not coincidental. We have also recently launched a newly designed website that serves as the perfect vehicle for telling the BSO’s story.”
Alsop led the orchestra in preview performances of Christopher Rouse’s Rapture, the first movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, the Overture to Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and Richard Strauss’ Suite from Der Rosenkavalier before a full rehearsal of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
Have a listen to Bernstein's Candide here!
“I’m very excited about this season,” said Alsop, who noted that its overriding theme is spirituality and transcendence through music. “My mentor and teacher Leonard Bernstein once said, ‘Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable,’ and I think that’s the power of music.”
Videos of Alsop’s words were being sent via cell phone as she spoke them — which, apparently, is the power of Twitter.