Building the American Symphony Orchestra

Mark Clague

in American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226769769
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226769776 | DOI:
Building the American Symphony Orchestra

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The corporate structure of Chicago's Orchestral Association was not a radical or new idea but represented a recombination and extension of nineteenth-century efforts. The club model, the cooperative model, the entrepreneurial model, the conservatory model, the concert society model, and the corporate model summed up early attempts to bring symphonic concert music to Chicago and move it toward a professional basis. The Chicago Symphony was one of the earliest examples of the corporate model. Chicago's second Philharmonic Society was not initially an orchestra at all. It mainly presented vocal music, including “glees, solos, quartets and choruses.” Chicago's third Philharmonic Society adopted the concert society model. The relatively frequent charity concerts performed by the Great Western Band and other musical societies were the most successful entrepreneurial concerts in Chicago using a local orchestra. Chicago's Orchestral Association was a key development in the future proliferation of symphony orchestras in the United States.

Keywords: Chicago's Orchestral Association; club model; cooperative model; entrepreneurial model; conservatory model; concert society model; corporate model; Chicago Symphony; Philharmonic Society

Chapter.  11723 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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