A Modest Proposal (or Four)

In recent years, symphony orchestras in Baltimore, Chicago, and San Francisco have had success attracting newcomers with innovative programming. But the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra has yet to find the right hook. Herewith, our suggestions for goosing the season.

  • Get a Grant, Give a Free Concert And we're not talking about the Pops schlock; we’re talking about the good stuff. At $50 for a decent seat, you're not going to find many first-timers willing to take the plunge. But for free? If 15,000 people will pack the SouthPark lawn to hear movie themes, surely 2,100 people will cram into the PAC to hear some Beethoven.
  • Designate One Classics Concert as Jeans-Only Think of the possibilities! Denim and Dvorak! Levi's and Strauss! Lucky Tchaikovsky! Trust us on this one.
  • Book The Arcade Fire to play with the CSO This Montreal group is North America's hottest indie band, and its sweeping, lush music is almost orchestral in nature. It's a perfect match with an orchestra. Guaranteed to be a YouTube sensation.
  • Better Yet, Book The Avett Brothers Concord's own unclassifiable trio plays a high-energy blend of bluegrass, rock, and punk. Its concerts are legendary, its fans legion. For New Year's Eve, the band sold out the Blumenthal PAC. We're not sure if the CSO can keep up, but it sure as hell would be fun to find out.
Categories: Feature, The Buzz