Quadrant Music

Bruckner, Schoenberg and Mahler in Australia

Effective programming of classical music concerts is a fraught art. What makes a selection of pieces satisfying to a broad audience, enlightening to connoisseurs, rewarding to players, and even profitable at the box office? These questions involve intriguing, sometimes risk-laden judgments, often needing to be made a couple of years before concerts even take place. In business terms, programming is a bet on the reception by an ensemble’s many stakeholders—themselves often with radically different stakes—of an event or whole season of events to be presented in an uncertain future. As the pandemic years illustrated, any amount of careful planning was…

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