Classical Music in Miami: Fast and Cheap The New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla., is offering three 20-minute concerts Friday for just $2.50 each. Howard Herring, president and CEO of the Symphony, discusses the concerts and the pricing.
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Classical Music in Miami: Fast and Cheap

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Classical Music in Miami: Fast and Cheap

Classical Music in Miami: Fast and Cheap

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

If you're in Miami Beach tonight with 20 minutes to spare, the New World Symphony has a proposal, a mini concert for $2.50. Howard Herring is the symphony's president. He joins us from Miami Beach. Mr. Herring, such a deal you are offering here.

Mr. HOWARD HERRING (President, New World Symphony): We hope to win a new audience with this new short performance format, so we have lowered the threshold with the $2.50 ticket and a concert of short duration, and we hope to attract the impulse buyer. People who will begin to build us a new audience.

BLOCK: And it's actually a series of three 20-minute concerts tonight, 2.50 each, what's on the program?

Mr. HERRING: The program this evening begins, first concert is the Mozart Clarinet Quintet - second concert is two works, a Handel Passacaglia arranged by Halverson and the Bartok Contrast for clarinet, violin and piano — and then the third performance is the Brahms Clarinet Quintet.

BLOCK: You know, is part of this sort of, you know, economic downturn pricing at all? Are we tying this into this economy?

Mr. HERRING: It is in part, but the New World Symphony is a laboratory and we believe that we are generating new ideas about the way music is taught and performed and experienced. And we are experimenting with new performance formats. Our job is to find new ways to engage audiences, new ways to educate them, new ways to bring them inside the music quickly, and we hope over the long term, really turn them into music lovers.

BLOCK: And to fit into that 20-minute format, you didn't have to do any shenanigans like, you know, dropping a movement or speeding up the tempo.

Mr. HERRING: No, no.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: It's the full thing.

Mr. HERRING: Good question, we maintain the integrity of these programs and they're all not exactly 20 minutes, it takes a little longer to play the Mozart Clarinet Quintet and the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, but it's roughly, it's 20 to 30 minutes and it is the piece of music in its entirety.

BLOCK: Well, Mr. Herring, thanks for talking with us.

Mr. HERRING: Glad to be with you.

BLOCK: Howard Herring is president of the New World Symphony. He was talking about their short format concerts tonight in Miami Beach.

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