Orchestra seasons

August 18, 2021, 10:46 AM · Hi all,
This isn't string related particularly but does anyone know why orchestra seasons are why they are? As in, why are they from Sep-June? Any info would be helpful to quench my curiosity aha.

Replies (4)

Edited: August 18, 2021, 9:20 PM · I don't have details at my fingertips, but probably best to look at the rhythms of the 19C and early 20c British and European social seasons. In the summer, people with money would break for the country, and look at things like horse racing or yachting before coming back into Town. Concerts were things that happened indoors, so better suited to cold/dark weather.

Exceptions were festivals like Salzburg and Tanglewood, but they didn't start until well into the 20th century. Bayreuth [19c] is in the summer, of course, but the format there assumes that people are on a pilgrimage and won't expect to be in their town houses after the show.

Now, of course, you have quasi-outdoor festivals everywhere. But they usually remain separate from the main series.

August 18, 2021, 1:12 PM · There are 52 week orchestras.

For the shorter, school year type seasons, I agree with Stephen. Plus there are plenty of summer festivals that provide employment for musicians in those orchestras and entertainment for audiences looking for something different in the summer.

August 18, 2021, 7:28 PM · When your kids are off school is when you can travel and do things out-of-doors -- including seeing various orchestras and such at the open-air festival venues.
August 19, 2021, 7:22 PM · Even 52-week performing organizations make a distinction between "The Season" -- specifically, the subscription season that occupies the main part of the year -- and "the summer season".

Holds just as true of the other performing arts too.

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