Engaging audiences as 21st-century musicians: a study on social media and other platforms

Project title so far:
Engaging audiences as 21st-century musicians: a study on social media and other platforms

Audience engagement is a crucial theme discussed in multiple media concerning the contemporary situation of classical music in the United states and beyond. The fear that music audiences are aging and waning is widely voiced. My final project will explore the way in which social media and online platforms have changed the nature of the relationship between audience and performers (soloists, orchestras, etc.) I will also research the recent proliferation of classical music online courses and lessons offered by independent artists and established institutions.

My research will consist of diving into social media to compare the outcome of orchestras and other performers who engage their audience closely on social media and those who do not. A notable example is Valentina Lisitsa's career start-up and how she continues to let her audience contribute to her programming decisions and even concert planning. I will also enroll on Curtis' online course “Exploring Beethoven Piano sonatas” in an effort to figure out how effective this educational tool is.
My final presentation will consist of an ethnographic essay in the confessional style and a multimedia presentation on my findings. I hope my project sheds light on the multiple ways performers and institutions alike are striving to keep classical music relevant.

Annotated Bibliography

Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking : The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
———. 1998. “Prelude: Music and Musicking.” In Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

This source is crucial to the understanding of music as a social and cultural event. Incorporating the non-musical events as part of the music phenomenon ties together my research to document audience engagement practices in the 21th Century. Cyberculture has forced classical musicians to reach out in new ways such as actively communicating with fans on twitter, Facebook, etc, thus blurring the lines between artist and performer. To the extent of creating unique musicking interactions.

Los Angeles Philharmonic primary sources such as the links below
LA Phil is a pioneer in groundbreaking media and audience inclusion. From virtual reality to rock themed opera it has the biggest support in the USA. In addition, by examining the role played by the orchestra president, the underlying and behind the scenes part of music king will be explored.
LA Phil and virtual reality

Groundbreaking Deborah Board's tenure at LA Phil

Valentina Lisitsa

Known as the” first YouTube classical music star”, Lisitsa has a unique relationship with her audience. She constantly communicates with them on Facebook, twitter and recently involved them in concert organizing by performing in their communities free of charge.
Examining her website, Facebook and others will shade light on the effect this approach has to her audience.


Hello Stage
This is an online platform that connects classical musicians to presenters, promoters and music lovers. The musicians or ensemble creates a profile to self promote their events, etc. I will use this platform and create a profile for my duo and report on the experience.


This is a recently discovered site for me where in an Airbnb style chamber house concerts are organized in the atmosphere of a house party. What is most fascinating to me if the return of chamber music to its historic origins in a contemporary setting. The demographics are millennial and younger groups of people experiencing chamber music in an intimate setting and getting to know young musicians and their craft. Unfortunately it is only offered in three major cities at this point.


Currently enrolled in Beethoven piano sonatas presented by Curtis. This is a music course geared to musicians and amateurs alike taught from the perspective of a concert pianist. I am interested in documenting the effects of online learning and weighing down the positive and negative aspects of this method.

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