With the two year period of the first EO-LAB cooperation (2014-2016) the partners shared their thoughts and expertise on rethinking and redesigning part of the symphony orchestra’s regular activities. As a consequence, each of the 4 orchestras created an experimental project in order to attract specified non-traditional audiences by a specific approach.

The Odense Symphony Orchestra explored the stories and sounds of the island of Fyn in close cooperation with the inhabitants of 10 villages, arrangers and composers. Based on the input of the inhabitants several ensemble compositions and a full symphony were composed and performed. The whole process aimed at involving and engaging with a larger part of the communities on Fyn of which Odense is the capital.

The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra’s project targeted a neighbourhood with a high percentage of non(-regular) concertgoers, offering the community several opportunities to co-create and co-curate ensemble performances and a full symphony orchestra concert in their own neighbourhood, in close cooperation with orchestra musicians, social workers and community members.

The Tonkünstler-orchester mainly targeted inhabitants of villages and hamlets in the rural areas in around the orchestra’s home town. Together with local community representatives a number of ad hoc/project choirs were established. The choirs entered a period of preparation, coaching, rehearsing, cooperating and socializing with fellow singers and orchestra musicians, leading up to a joint performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Tonkünstler-orchester in its home town. The project aimed to discover ways to approach and enthuse people to participate in a joint project, to reduce the ‘fear’ for (attending and/or participating in) classical music, give them guidance and motivation to push their limits of their everyday living.

The BBC Philharmonic (associate partner) experimented with the Family Orchestra concept. Orchestra members, led by a music animator, participated in a series of workshops with local people to develop musical ideas based on a standard piece from the orchestra’s repertoire. With a composer, they created a new work, performed in the concert hall. The twin goals for this project were are to reach a neglected group in society and to connect generations to share activities as a family. The joy of this project is that people with no musical experience can join alongside those with a strong musical background. 

For the main results of the projects see page ‘Results’.