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London's Orchestra Of the Age of Enlightenment Puts Fans Center Stage

OaeLondon's Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has a history of featuring orchestra members in promo campaigns to emphasize that "not all orchestras are the same." This year they decided to feature members of their audience with "strong looks" to point out that not all audiences are the same either. The resulting digital brochure and related videos are available online with more publicity to follow for this innovative orchestra.

While writing recent posts on classical musicians developing new audiences and exploring new repertoire I was often reminded of earlier innovations by the Kronos Quartet. Another group that has been exploring alternative approaches to classical music for over 20 years is the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) whose current marketing campaign reveals that they are just a bit different from the usual orchestra.

The OAE and Me - Call for Participants

The OAE began its 2012-13 season campaign with a call to audience members that have a "distinctive look" and stated:

"With this campaign we not only want to celebrate something very important to us, our loyal audience, for without you there would be no orchestra, but also to question who classical music is for. You’ll often hear people say ‘oh that’s not for me’, ‘that’s for posh people’ or likewise…so we want to make people take notice of us, and perhaps challenge their assumptions. As you and we know, the music we play is for everyone."

Judging from the online brochure and the video below, they succeeded in both the "distinctive" and "strong" categories.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 2012-2013 Brochure

Based on material currently posted on their homepage, the campaign will include a variety of additional elements:

"Over the coming weeks we’ll be profiling everyone featured in the brochure on our blog and showing off the full set of pictures, as we couldn’t quite fit them all into the brochure! Plus, look out for further pictures on banners, programmes and adverts, especially once the concert season starts in September...We’ll soon be releasing a video featuring behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with the designer and photographer."

Check out The Guardian for more on the 2012-13 campaign from the OAE communications director and the creative director of design company Harrison & Co.

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Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business Changes and about dance at All World Dance: News. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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