ANTONIA JOY WILSON
Conductor
Conductor
Artistic Vision

"Together we can create ideas
that promote innovative marketing,
dynamic publicity,
targeted fund raising, increased endowment, and
generate more public passion and philanthropic support."

Since the Music Director’s vision can have a tremendous influence on the artistic climate and educational outreach of an orchestra and its community, we want to become as knowledgeable as possible about the cultural environment.  One of the first steps I take is to ask questions that will render the best information about the specific cultural needs of the region. For example: what types of music do the community, audience, and younger concertgoers like to hear and support the most?  How can we continue to expand their musical experience and spark their enthusiasm for live symphonic music at the same time? Which are the orchestra’s most successful outreaches and artist residencies?  What other new and creative ways could we continue artistic outreaches that are engaging and successful? Which TV/radio/news/magazine/web/social media does the community engage in the most? How can these preferences be best manifested within a symphonic format?  What kinds of imaginative premieres could we commission to outreach and engage our concertgoers from schools, universities, and conservatories?  What types of larger arts collaborations could we create to bring together all kinds of diverse artistic forms, including multimedia and multiple arts, thereby expanding the marketing outeach and enriching the audience’s experience?

My second step is  to connect those answers with my knowledge of the unique artistic talents.
Programming is perhaps the most important part of the Music Director’s long-range musical goals.  In service of that artistic vision, I would consider as many factors as possible in order to tailor programs that would best promote the cultural growth of both the orchestra and all of its diverse audiences.  Programming could include: 1. Knowing the strengths of the orchestra musicians and selecting the types of music that would best engage their musical talents.  2. Featuring talented artists, including orchestra musicians as soloists during concerts and outreaches.  3. Creating inspiring artistic collaborations and residencies that would  also  continue to draw and engage  the largest audiences  into the subscription series.  4. Collaborating with local artists/teachers in schools, colleges, conservatories—in the community, around the region, and nationally—through creative artistic materials, CDs, DVDs, broad/podcasts, YouTube, and social/multimedia.  5. Connecting and interacting with audience members about their ideas during concerts and outreaches.  6. Engaging with the community and encouraging subscribers to help galvanize their friends and families to become more involved as regular attendees, as artistic liaisons, as corporate sponsors, and eventually as high level donors with the symphony. 

After gathering as much as knowledge as possible, the Music Director is ready for the third step: to communicate with the Musicians, Executive Director, Staff, and Board of Directors about the process of short and long-range planning. Having worked as an Assistant Conductor with Leonard Slatkin, I had the opportunity to conduct over sixty concerts per year, to work with people in all the artistic, educational, and administrative departments of Saint Louis Symphony’s highly professional management team. This experience encouraged me to collaborate within the essential areas.  According to orchestra’s goals, I enjoy helping create artistic ideas that promote innovative marketing, dynamic publicity, targeted fund raising, increased endowment, and generate more public passion and philanthropic support. 

Finally, my ultimate artistic goal as Music Director would be working with symphony musicians to make the best music possible together.  Creating the most inspiring environment in which to work musically is vital.  To achieve this, I create a positive atmosphere where we can collaborate as a team, we can respond to each other’s musicality, we can transmit our artistic passion together, and transform the lives of our audiences spiritually through music.