Copyright SoundBox/San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Stefan Cohen. http://www.sfsoundbox.com, http://www.stefancohen.com.
SoundBox is a new project by the San Francisco Symphony. It started last December with the hope of funneling that SFSO magic into a venue with different lighting, seating, drink options, and different crowds. Here’s what you’re in for:
Musicians perform in casual clothes instead of tails or black gowns, and the audience wears bow ties, fedora hats or hooded sweatshirts and jeans. Mobile device use is encouraged. And instead of receiving a printed program, attendees can learn more about the performance by downloading the club’s app.
That sounds A-1. So far, SoundBox has hosted nine shows in the space, which is located just around the corner from Davies Symphony Hall.
The best part is that it attracts newbies who can then be up-sold on the big-league SFSO lifestyle. You download the SoundBox app to read that evening’s program (or to get info upcoming shows), and afterwards the SFSO can ping you from time to time about the full-on symphony experience.
I’m not here to give a TED Talk on why this is a good idea. It’s evident there’s a demand for it, especially in cities with lots of young people who dig or could potentially dig new music, classical music, experimental music, the works. Plus, SoundBox could easily be counter-programmed with DJs, jazz acts, or folk-y instrumental stuff.
According to the website they’re pausing to evaluate the campaign and reload another installment. If you’re in San Francisco, keep tabs on their progress. Read more about it here.