Think classical music is lost on the next generation? Think again.
The Young Patrons Circle, which the AFIPO is launching on both coasts this year, is attracting professionals from age 21 to 40 who want to support the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra while deepening their understanding of classical music and connecting with like-minded professionals, artists and entrepreneurs across the country.
“Since our L.A. launch earlier this year we’ve had tremendous interest and our membership is growing quickly,” said West Coast Director Danielle Ames Spivak. “Their enthusiasm clearly refutes the notion that younger audiences have no interest in classical music.”
Supporting one of the world’s great orchestras and Israel’s one great cultural ambassador appeals across generational lines. But aspects unique to the Young Patrons Circle are what is attracting professionals in their twenties and thirties.
In New York, months before the official launch party on September 6, East Coast-based membership has already been building steadily.
“What is changing is the way that young professionals want to be learning, engaging and participating in classical music,” said Alyssa Greengrass, AFIPO’s Program, Development and Marketing Associate. “When the IPO has a traditional program at Carnegie Hall, young professionals still want to be in that environment. But there are many other opportunities for fusing classical music with members’ other interests. We don’t feel as though all our events need to be in that traditional setting, which is why we’re holding our launch party in an art gallery downtown.”
Greengrass is planning future events including a charity bike ride, a jewelry and fashion collaboration, group trips to concerts and a Shabbat dinner. When appropriate, she hopes to work in partnership with other young professional programs.
“Our goal,” she said, “is to bring young professionals together in as many different settings as possible to get them excited about the IPO and supporting their many initiatives.”
For the IPO’s New York concerts there will be a post-concert Young Patrons reception in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Room on October 25, and when the orchestra returns for three performances in November, there will be a post-concert party on November 7 in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s young professional program, the Notables.
In Los Angeles, YPC events have successfully combined music appreciation with opportunities for networking across a range of fields. An example was the April 30 screening of The Return of the Violin, a film about the IPO founder Bronislaw Huberman‘s stolen Stradivarius, which included an appearance by violinmaker Jim Brown.
“Not only did they see a movie that recounts the founding of the orchestra,” said Development Manager Justin Pressman, “our special speaker allowed members to come away with a deeper understanding of the violin.”
Next up in Los Angeles is a July 25 trip to the Hollywood Bowl to hear the LA Philharmonic, with Gil Shaham, and enjoy a pre-concert picnic.
“We also are reaching out to people all across the country who love this orchestra,” Spivak said. “These young professionals frequently travel and some are bi-coastal, so having YPC be a global-minded, nationwide organization with two offices makes a lot of sense.”
“We are seeing that the Young Patrons Circle is building a new audience,” Pressman concluded. “And as these younger patrons develop the sense of cultural philanthropy, we are ensuring future donors to the orchestra.”
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