Ah, technology! It seems that the National Symphony Orchestra’s conductor, Emil de Cou, has prepared real-time program notes to Beethoven’s Sixth that will be beamed via Twitter to people sitting on the lawn of Wolf Trap on July 30. According to an NSO press release, “The messages will begin during intermission and provide facts about Beethoven’s life and work. Once the concert begins, the tweets will be sent at specific points in the score, becoming streaming program notes that mark musical signposts depicting Beethoven’s symphonic tribute to a day in the country.”
I suspect that for some this represents an insidious incursion into the performance space. Others will see this as a natural extension of how we leverage technology. Personally, I don’t understand how taking your attention off the music could possibly add to the enjoyment of LISTENING TO MUSIC! But I will admit that as ED of the Chicago Sinfonietta I am always looking for ways to use technology to more deeply engage our audience. I don’t hate the idea of using Twitter – just this particular application of it.
The Chicago Sinfonietta staff and board have recently discussed how we can better use technology to enhance the knowledge and enjoyment of our audience, but as always, I turn to you, our informed readers for ideas and debate. Please post a comment on whether these types of uses of technology are positive or negative for classical music organizations, and by all means, share examples that you think are exceptionally good uses of technology. And yes, the irony of asking this question via ccm.org is not lost on me. Ah, technology!