"In this, the final week of the Proms, I had the pleasure of seeing the great German violin virtuoso Julia Fischer. She not only played brilliantly, but unlike some of her peers, had commanding stage presence. So, in the interval I paid my £4, and bought an official programme to find out more about her.
It was a mine of information. Useless information. It listed all the orchestras she had performed with “in recent seasons.” There they all were, from the Cleveland Orchestra to the Leipzig Gewandhaus and many others. But wait, there’s more. The next paragraph listed the orchestras she had played with “this season.” And in case you were wondering – I wasn’t – these included the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to name but two."
I encourage my Concert Directory International/Davies Music singers to write more personal (and more interesting) biographies for themselves - and I've discovered all sorts of things about their lives outside music, from training for triathlons (Jeanette Ager) to appearing on the BBC's Top Gear singing "O sole mio" whilst being driven in a Maserati sports car by Michael Schumacher (Matthew Minter).
Should audiences have to pay for programmes or should they be free? Some organisations make the notes available for download before the performance - and sometimes the information is frustratingly skimpy; I always want to know who the performers are!
Here's another article, this time from Susan Smith Ellis in The Guardian about the importance of images - and this is something that I find difficult to get across to people.
"Why do people often get behind images more than words? According to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the human brain can process entire images in as little as 13 milliseconds. Social media and content analysts will also tell you that visuals increase user engagement – in some reports, by as much as 94%. Images have the power to connect with people instantly and emotionally."
A good photograph is an essential part of any marketing attempt!