The Västerås Sinfonietta is a dynamic chamber orchestra based in the Swedish city of Västerås, 100 km west of Stockholm. Tracing its roots back to 1883, the 33-member ensemble resides in Västerås Concert Hall built in 2002 for an audience of 900. Västerås Sinfonietta performs approximately 55 concerts per year, presenting a broad repertoire from the Viennese classics to contemporary works. Although the ensemble does not have a permanent chief conductor, it works with guest conductors such as Roy Goodman, Lionel Bringuier, Anthony Halstead and Charles Hazelwood, as well as conductor-soloists including Martin Fröst, Håkan Hardenberger, Elizabeth Wallfisch and Christian Lindberg. Each year, the orchestra appoints a promising talent as composer-in-residence; a position held by Andrea Tarrodi (b.1981) from 2013-14.”
Västerås Sinfonietta appointed From Sweden Productions in August 2013 to produce a showcase and run a PR and marketing campaign around its UK debut at London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall on 17 May, 2014. The concert also featured world famous trombonist, composer and conductor Christian Lindberg and rising star clarinettist Emil Jonason. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of Västerås Sinfonietta in Sweden and UK, to strengthen and position the brand of the orchestra in the industry as one of Scandinavia’s most exiting chamber orchestras today, and to use the concert as a stepping stone for more future performance opportunities in Great Britain and abroad.
The PR outreach spanned from January to May, 2014, with a focus on press outreach to British classical media outlets, event listings for the London area, as well as Anglo-Swedish publications in the UK and key media in Sweden.
In addition to the debut of Västerås Sinfonietta, communication about the event also emphasized clarinetist Emil Jonason’s UK premiere of Lindberg’s clarinet concerto, The Erratic Dreams of Mr. Grönstedt, the UK premiere of the award winning female composer Andrea Tarrodi’s Lucioles and the return of Lindberg to Cadogan Hall.
In addition to the editorial-led campaign, a number of promotional marketing initiatives were also created to support ticket sales, including strategic advertising in classical publications, special ticket offer targeting the student body at the prestigious music schools in London and an e- campaign aimed at the Norwegian contingency in London who would be celebrating their National Day “Syttende Mai” on 17 May. An encore of Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King was added to the programme specifically for this purpose.”
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were used extensively throughout the campaign to engage with journalists and key partners for the event.
Despite competition from events at other prestigious concerts in London and a clash in dates with the classical music conference Classical:Next in Vienna, Västerås Sinfonietta’s 17 May concert at Cadogan Hall generated a substantial amount of media coverage both in the UK and in Sweden as we as an above average sized audience for this kind of event.
Västerås Sinfonietta’s concert appeared in all of the crucial event listings for classical music and general events in London, including Bachtrack, BBC Music Magazine online, View London and Visit London. The concert also appeared in TimeOut London both online and in the weekly print edition. Important features were placed in key publications reaching both a British classical music- loving audience and Anglo-Swedes in London. Highlights included two issues of SCAN Magazine, Kyrkobladet, The Link, Barnes Magazine, Classical Music Magazine as well as Dagens Industri in Sweden. The advertising value equivalency of the print coverage alone equalled nearly £40,000 or 446,000 SEK.
Furthermore, Lindberg, Jonason and Våsterås Sinfonietta’s pianist Björn Gäfvert were invited to perform live on BBC Radio 3’s Drivetime programme, In Tune, on 16 May, which provided an important “call to action” the day before the concert. In Tune attracts more than 2,3 million listeners per week.
Lastly, the PR campaign also generated significant results on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook, where concert-goers, musicians and journalists were engaged on a daily basis to create buzz around the concert. Tweets were posted by Cadogan Hall, BBC Radio 3, Cool Scandinavia, Andrew Mellor (Gramophone magazine), Totally Swedish and the British Trombone Society, among numerous others, reaching approximately 30,000 Twitter followers in total.