San Francisco Symphony: Envisioning Concert Experiences For the Next Generation of Audiences

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Team: Alan Brown, Rebecca Ratzkin, Salvador Acevedo, Monique Madara

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) is a musical institution that sets the highest possible standard for excellence in musical performance. It strives to enrich, serve, and shape the cultural life of the many communities throughout the Bay Area.

As a consequence of planning to expand their facilitates – Davies Symphony Hall (DSH), SFS hired WolfBrown to conduct a multi-phase market research study to inform SFS leadership on how to address some of the fundamental changes occurring in arts participation, technology and consumer environment.

WolfBrown proposed a three phase scope of work that integrated the perspectives of SFS staff, board members and musicians, other artists and music industry leaders, audiences, music lovers who did not attend the SFS, as well as representatives of the Bay Area’s diverse communities. WolfBrown partnered with Salvador Acevedo of Contemporanea (now Scansion), a San Francisco-based firm with deep experience in understand the cultural needs and interests of the Bay Area’s diverse populations

Each phase resulted in a specific deliverable. At the conclusion of Phase 3 a final report was drafted, discussed, revised and then presented. The resulting final report proposed a clear conceptual foundation for the expanded DSH facility with respect to the types of activities and functionalities it should accommodate. It made a point to emphasize the reasons why they were important to the long-term future of the organization, the art form, and the community.