Technical.ly Philly

Creative

Dec. 6, 2013 9:00 am

Philadelphia Orchestra CEO: Our pop-up concert was packed, thanks to Twitter

When its concert at Carnegie Hall was canceled due to a strike, the Philadelphia Orchestra decided to hold a spur-of-the-moment performance at the Kimmel Center this October.

When its concert at Carnegie Hall was canceled due to a strike, the Philadelphia Orchestra decided to hold a spur-of-the-moment performance at the Kimmel Center this October.

It had six hours to get the word out. The Orchestra alerted the media and took to Twitter with the hashtag #PhilOrchFreePopUp. The Kimmel Center was packed by showtime, said Orchestra president and CEO Allison Vulgamore.

“We were trending that day,” she said.

Vulgamore, speaking at the Campus Philly Annual Meeting on a panel about arts, technology and business, said that social media has been an incredible way for the Orchestra to communicate with its younger audience.

Vulgamore’s not the only Twitter fan: so is the Orchestra’s “young, hot” conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vulgamore said.

“He’s a Twitter fiend. Sometimes I wonder if he’s actually conducting rehearsal.”

Attracting a younger audience has been a priority for years at the orchestra, once one of the world’s most celebrated and now regaining its footing after lean years, and the Kimmel Center has been a friend before.

The Orchestra is also working on a project with Drexel to create a “GPS for concerts,” Vulgamore said. It’ll help audience members follow the music by drawing their attention to the musicians that are playing, say, a specific solo at the moment. It’s one way the Orchestra wants to use technology to make the arts more accessible, she said.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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