Orchestra Development by strategy: A best practice example from the Netherlands
Most professional orchestras today are confronted with growing difficulties to make ends meet. The South Netherlands Philharmonic (SNPh) is the result of severe cuts in Netherlands state subsidies for the arts. These cuts resulted in the merger of two former orchestras into the SNPh. In the past running an orchestra was first an artistic task, and to lead an orchestra meant to concentrate on artistic values. Today, it has become a complex management issue. The SNPh started in 2013 after extensive strategic financial and managerial approaches were made. At the beginning of its third season the new orchestra is now widely seen as a successful artistic body and a flourishing arts-institution with a close relationship to its region. Stefan Rosu, the orchestra's first director general and artistic director, describes for us this fast and astonishing development.
Emanating from the core competencies of the SNPh, new concepts for its involvement in the local education sector, a more open audience development and marketing strategy and new products have been developed. Further, the internal structures between the musicians and the management team became less separated and arised a better understanding for all tasks around a successful orchestra for everybody. At least, a broader understanding of what an orchestra can be made it an important and recognized ambassador for music and arts education.
The majority of professional orchestras will have to open up and create new offers for different groups of their public. They will need to add services and think about themselves as businesses. The following article by Stefan Rosu, the SNPHs first director general and artistic director, will introduce the reader to how strategic management helps to identify an orchestras hidden treasures to establish an intriguing and fascinating arts product. It describes a model that can be useful for other institutions of the performing arts in order to work out their own strategies into the future.
You can read the full article here.