SYMPHONIC SURPRISES FOR THE PUBLIC
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) has added a clash of cymbals to its traditional schedule for next season in the form of some innovative ideas - from "art attacks" to symphony audiences voting on programming for a concert.
The "art attacks" are unannounced "raids" on the public by guerrilla music groups from the NSO who will appear suddenly in public places such as The Mall or shopping malls. They will perform a couple of short numbers, give out free tickets to NSO performances, and then disappear. The "attacks" are in line with an NSO reassessment on how the orchestra can reach out more to the public.
"I won't say they're like Scud missiles, but we don't know where they'll be set off," says Albert Beveridge III, president of the NSO board of directors. Contrabassist Curtis Burris, who thought up the idea, says, "Most of the public has no idea that we are nice people, so the idea is to meet a large number of people and give them a little dose of art, and try to pass out some free tickets."
The NSO is also instituting a series of family "Casual Concerts" on Sunday afternoons at Kennedy Center; they will last an hour, have no intermission, and begin with a brief talk about the music by Randall Craig Fleischer, affiliate artist/NEA conductor. The first, Oct. 25, will include a ballot the audience can fill in for the program they would most like to hear at the final concert, April 18, 1993.
The NSO also announced what it called a landmark program for people with hearing and visual impairments, featuring signed performances with music and lyrics or text, large-type program notes, and program notes on cassette.