One of our catch cries is “ticket sales only account for a 33% of our income”, we use that day in day out but what I learned at the conference is almost everyone else in the fundraising world has to raise 100% of their income. They only wish they could count on that third! It turns out that they have something very powerful though which translates into success, and that is the power of emotion in fundraising and an up to date and progressive approach. The arts are good at emotion and being progressive on stage, and we think that it is enough to sell itself. Quite clearly it isn’t, we need it off stage also which was the overriding message at the conference.
I would think that the board and management would understand that you cannot cut your way to prosperity. When you have some of the world’s finest musicians and conductors making world-class music, it is not a lack of a quality product that is the problem. You need to look inward — it is management’s responsibility to sell tickets, raise money and balance the budget. Very few organizations cut their way to more success. Great music is not found on a spreadsheet.
Starker had a less auspicious account of Kodály’s initial reaction to his interpretation of the sonata. “After [my] concert, while I was still responding to the ovation,” he wrote, “Kodály was the first to speak to me. ‘First movement, too fast. Second, OK. Third, don’t separate too much the variations.’ I hadn’t noticed as yet that they were variations,” he admitted.
The most important composer of the 19th century, Richard Wagner didn’t write any symphonies at all, in fact, he might have loathed instrumentalists. He is best known for the Ring cycle and for inventing a chord progression which he expanded into a 5-hour long opera, Tristan and Isolde. The harmonic ambiguity of Tristan and Isolde permeated all music that came after, and miraculously, even some that came before.
While waiting at the cash register, I picked up a pair of argyle wool socks from a nearby wicker basket and asked, “Are your socks local?” The salesman self-consciously said no. I returned the socks like an organic farmer who has learned that a friend has named her child Monsanto.
When the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) wraps up its 8-year effort next year, it will have provided detailed information on 10,000 cancer genomes for less than the cost of a trio of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.
Flawlessness” is not the primary goal. It’s important to minimize mistakes, but an error-free performance is not the ultimate test of your abilities, Nelsen said. “In my opinion, only a computer is flawless. What makes a performer good is that he or she is human, and brings to the art something more than what is written on the page. Otherwise computers would be doing all the recordings,” he said. The best performances are memorable not because they are perfect but because they are extraordinary. He tells the story of a performer trying out for the Montreal Symphony who, despite missing more notes than anyone else, won the audition. “The director told me that he made so much music that they couldn’t not hire him,” he said. Focus on what you want to convey, over and above the technical qualities of your performance, and trust your preparation to keep your errors to a minimum.