My feeling is that the sense of panic is partially to do with reality, but a lot more to do with fear. Many orchestras are reporting sales holding steady, or even slight increases over last year. But remember that we are still dealing with a year in which a large proportion of ticket sales were made many months ago. The economic situation has become very much worse just in the last months, and whilst reacting to something that may not have happened yet might appear to be over-cautious, we can hardly blame ourselves for being defensive as we contemplate this year’s highly unpredictable subscription roll-over. It’s a very fine line to walk, though: be sympathetic to the economic predicament of the ticket buyer and put your best offer out, but don’t give the impression of desperation otherwise it will be self-fulfilling…
About the author
Simon Woods joined the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as Chief Executive in August 2005.
Prior to this he was President and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in the USA. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Woods was Vice President, Artistic Planning and Operations at The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he supervised artistic planning, touring, operations, recordings and broadcasting, education and community partnerships.
In nine years as a record producer at EMI Classics, between 1988 and 1997, Mr. Woods worked in the recording studio with many of the world’s foremost classical artists. Prior to joining EMI, he held posts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and with Classical Music Magazine. He holds a music degree from the University of Cambridge, England, and a postgraduate diploma in conducting from the Guildhall School of Music in London.
From 1999 to 2002 Mr. Woods was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Composers Forum. During his time in the United States he was an active participant in the League of American Orchestra's professional development programs, and has led seminars on concert programming and artistic administration.
Mr. Woods is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of British Orchestras. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland with his wife Karin, son Barnaby (aged 10) and daughter Isabel (aged 7).