1st Edition

Orchestra Management Models and Repertoires for the Symphony Orchestra

By Arne Herman Copyright 2023
    256 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Every orchestra in the world oscillates between crisis and survival. This perpetual movement makes innovation, both in organizational form and in artistic product, vital to the sustainability of the symphony orchestra. Based on case study research in Flanders, Amsterdam and London, this book reflects on the sustainability crisis of the orchestra by framing it as a legitimacy crisis that affects both the orchestra’s artistic and organizational identity.

    The aim of this book is to explore the dynamics between various and often conflicting factors in the orchestra’s quest for survival, and to show how these organizational dynamics relate to the orchestra’s repertoire. By highlighting the importance of every organization’s specific environment to which it needs to adapt, this book illustrates that the orchestra field is not a field that relies on best practices.

    The book reflects on conventional as well as innovative orchestra models, making the comparative point of view relevant for academic or practice-based researchers, orchestra managers, policymakers and subsidizing bodies interested in sustainable and future-oriented orchestra management.

    Introduction: Defining the Symphony Orchestra

    1. Symphony Orchestras in Europe

    2. Orchestra Management in Flanders: The Struggle for Artistic Territory

    3. Music Organizations in Amsterdam: Divide and Create

    4. The Anglo-Saxon Orchestra Model: Creative Darwinism in London

    5. Artistic Innovation through Orchestra Models


    Arne Herman received his PhD in music aesthetics from the University of Antwerp after having obtained degrees in musicology, philosophy and clarinet. He is active as a musical programmer and dramaturg in Antwerp.

    "Symphony orchestras are confronted with a huge challenge: how to replenish their audiences by attracting new generations? In Orchestra Management, Arne Herman looks at different models of symphony orchestras from a European comparative perspective, providing insight into their business models and corresponding programming policies. This publication is a significant and unique contribution to this very critical debate about the future of symphony orchestras." Annick Schramme, Academic Director Master Cultural Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium

    "Orchestra Management provides very useful information, evidence-based through a variety of case studies, that helps to understand the complexity of current legitimacy issues in orchestras. Focusing precisely on the causal link between models and repertoires is both innovative and insightful. Highly recommended reading for orchestra managers and programmers." Janneke Slokkers, Freelance Artistic Manager, The Netherlands