NewMusicBox : New Music Economics (Part 2): The Malady Lingers On

NewMusicBox: “New Music Economics (Part 2): The Malady Lingers On”

This is a very interesting look at the economics of performance.

In 1918, Igor Stravinsky composed The Soldier’s Tale, a new-music/theatre piece designed for a performance tour; it was initially unsuccessful and lost money. In 1976, Philip Glass premiered his own theatrical production, Einstein on the Beach; it was quite successful, playing to capacity audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, it also lost money. (Glass wrote that during Einstein’s brief, sold-out run at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the deficit was $10,000 a night.)

What happened? Stravinsky had the misfortune of seeing his planned tour cancelled due to a worldwide influenza outbreak. Glass fell victim to a subtler ailment: Baumol’s cost-disease.

Check out Part I of the series here.

(Via artsJournal.)

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