Preserving America’s Orchestral History

While most Arts organizations are struggling to find ways to attract new ears, at least one orchestra is also giving audience members old and new an additional reason to support them.

The New York Philharmonic, this country’s oldest orchestra, is in the process of digitizing it’s archives and making them available on-line.

I was just reading the original Constitution of the Philharmonic Society of New York, adopted in April of 1842, as well as the program from it’s first concert, given in December of that same year.  It is a fascinating look into the beginnings of one of the world’s finest orchestral institutions.  Programs, scores, parts, photographs, and business documents are being made available on a searchable website which is open to the public.  Coming down the road will be both audio and video.

While I do not know if there will ever be a way to quantify what, if any, effect this will have on support, it DOES create compelling proof that the New York Philharmonic is an organization which has inspired, consoled, and uplifted music lovers in America and around the world for nearly as long as the United States has been in existence.

In my book, that is worth supporting.

I hope other Arts organizations will be able to follow suit.  There is something compelling about peeking behind the curtain to see what makes an organization tick.

Read New York Philharmonic’s Archives Going Online (NY Times)

Watch The New York Philharmonic play the 1st movement from the Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler

Comments