Music As a Product
Elbphilharmonie v Hamburku.
Classical music is that part of the arts which is considered
high culture. Yet it can sometimes be truly unorthodox.
The western world appreciates it as a highly prestigious art,
and that is also how most of the lay public understands it.
Wealthy citizens and enterprises commonly become the
benefactors, however, often mostly centralized in Prague.
In this view, Czech culture generally depends on public
finance which usually is not enough to cover normal
running costs. This is where commercial activities need to
be taken into account.
Speaking of the commercial activities of a Czech orchestra,
there are two options: first, recording various kinds of music
for various purposes (such as movie scores) and second,
concerts for promoters in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Even then the artistic integrity of the orchestra must be
respected instead of following the simple principles of
market economy. To make a long story short, an artist of
a certain calliber must always be presented in projects of
corresponding quality. The quality is in the spotlight, and
the artistic impression should outweigh economic interest.
The European context is very positive when it comes to
the reputation of the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra of
Ostrava. It ranks among the top five Czech orchestras
and can easily compete against most German orchestras.
The presentation of the orchestra abroad is a crucial
tool in promotion from the view of the orchestra and its
founder, the Statutory City Ostrava. In this sense, 2019
has been extremely successful for the Philharmonic
Orchestra of Ostrava: it has gone on foreign tours
in countries including Spain, South Korea, Germany,
Poland, Slovakia and France. It has played at and been an
important part of events at the edge of classical music:
Symphony Dance Music, connecting electronic pop
The name of the only symphonic orchestra in Ostrava, the
Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava, is a frequent
headliner in our magazine, typically in the context
of “exporting” culture from our region to other attractive
destinations in the Czech Republic and worldwide.
Speaking of exports generally, it is the economics that
counts. Can culture be related to economics? Do they
walk hand in hand? Can classical music be considered an
export item? Does classical music operate on the same
economic basis as any other human enterprise?
music with a symphonic orchestra; Tour Klus Symphonic
with the singer Tomáš Klus and the albums Klusymfonie
or Deset let ve Swingu (Ten Years in Swing) with Vojtěch
Dyk & the B-Side Band. Another two performances are
of even greater importance, as in a relatively short time
the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava played
two very attractive destinations: in September they
played in the famous concert hall of Elbphilharmonie,
Hamburg, and in December in Musikverein, Vienna.
The experience in Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg was
particularly interesting, because JFO played in the best
acoustic and most state-of-the-art concert hall. The
concert hall has qualities Ostrava aims to emulate with
our own new concert hall. The main acoustic supervisor
of the construction in Ostrava will be the same person
who designed the acoustics of the most famous concert
hall: Yasuhisa Toyota and the studio Nagata Acoustics.
text: Jan Žemla
Yasuhisa Toyota (Nagata Acoustics) a ředitel JFO Jan Žemla.
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