- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The new executive director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra says he wants the organization to take more creative risks.

Riskier moves aimed at attracting younger, newer audiences could lose money initially, but believes they will pay off in the long run, Ben Cadwallader said.

“We need to think outside the concert hall,” he told The Burlington Free Press (https://bfpne.ws/1SzIyfj).

His ideas include a hike for listeners to hear a brass quintet on top of Camels Hump and having VSO members play smaller shows in local clubs, in addition to traditional performances.

If classical organizations expect their musicians to be creative, then administrators must be creative as well, he said. Trying new things, he said, could attract new audiences and new donors.

“New audiences like new art,” he said.

He thinks that alternative venues for VSO performances, like the ArtsRiot in Burlington, could bring in those new audiences and reach progressive music listeners who go to Higher Ground in South Burlington to hear rock bands and other performers.

“We can redefine what the hometown symphony can be,” Cadwallader said. “That’s where the industry is going.”

Cadwallader, 31, began his position at VSO in Nov. 8, replacing Alan Jordan, who left in the spring. The organization brought in almost $1.7 million in revenue in 2013-2014, and spent just over $1.5 million in that span. The Pennsylvania-born musician, who grew up in South Burlington, worked in Texas and California before coming back to Vermont.


Information from: The Burlington Free Press, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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