An exciting new project for cultural institution managers has been developed which seeks to process and analyse data on the most performed composers and their pieces over a given period of time. As part of Coding da Vinci, a hackathon – a contest for software developers – that recently took place at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, organised by Wikimedia Germany and the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek [German Digital Library], involving several German cultural institutions and which aims to facilitate the digitalisation of the cultural sector; data scientist Carole Wai Hai and Opera Co-Pro’s very own Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Anna Costalonga, presented their project called ‘Musik Lovers’. Using the Konzerthaus Berlin’s data which was the only classical music institution that happened to be involved with Coding da Vinci, they charted concert information for the venue already set for 2018 and going as far back as 2008 concerning all pieces performed and their composers.
In their so called ‘Hitparade’ one might not be too surprised to find that Mozart, Beethoven and J S Bach are the three most performed composers of the past ten years and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is the most performed piece over that same period. Naturally these results only reflect the Konzerthaus’s programming which is not an opera venue. Of greater interest is the possibility of replicating this process with other venues and then comparing how pieces and composers fare across several institutions in different markets or even reflect a possible venue bias. Says Ms. Costalonga “This sort of data analysis is more commonly carried out in other business sectors to figure out end-user trends and provide an interactive graphic visualisation of sales reports but it has yet to be done in classical music management. This method could open up new and fascinating research perspectives for musicologists and classical music managers alike.”
There is of course a famous yearly study done by the website, Bachtrack, which only gives us an annual global view of all composers, pieces and performers rather than – as one might say in the jargon – a more ‘granulated view’ paired down by institution and over a longer period of time. The project has already caught the attention of the Senator for Culture of the Land of Berlin, Klaus Lederer, whose purview includes three opera houses and a myriad of classical music venues like the Philharmonie in addition to the Konzerthaus. The team at Opera Co-Pro take a lot of pride in our CTO and her partner’s research project and hope it will encourage opera managers, music directors and venue directors to come forward and involve their respective institutions. Please visit musiklovers.eu to find out more.
— Richard Grossman