Date of Degree
Symphony Orchestra, Social Justice, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, El Sistema, Social Inclusion
This dissertation examines the symphony orchestra and its socio-political context in the United States. Using three orchestral case studies—the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Venezuela’s El Sistema—I examine the ways in which American symphony orchestras have responded both today and in the past to the public and academic discourse around social inclusion. Interweaving musicology, sociology, urban anthropology, cultural studies, education, economics, ethnomusicology, economics, data from grant-giving institutions, and from symphony orchestras themselves, I seek to situate the wider discourse on social justice in the arts (which has, until recently, lived largely outside of academia) within a musicological framework. From this structure, I ask how the fate of an orchestra’s artistic and social relevance hinges on a series of distinct artistic, managerial, structural, and philosophical choices, and ask how the orchestral institution can actively engage with the experiences of its community in order to create a musical platform for social justice.
Jansen, Hilary Slade, "The American Symphony Orchestra Today: Problems in Community, Diversity, and Representation" (2021). CUNY Academic Works.