Will audiences be tempted to explore “The 20th Century Piano” for just $10?

In an intriguing marketing strategy, Recitals Australia is launching their 2013 series by encouraging audiences to “pay what you think these concerts are worth”. The bold initiative, put in place for an innovative new series entitled The 20th Century Piano, is aimed at encouraging concert-goers to try programs of 20th Century classics and newer music. Audiences won’t quite be asked to pass financial judgment on what they have just heard, but they will be asked to pay at the door, before the concert, with a minimum contribution of $10.

In his sales pitch, Recitals Australia President, Anthony Steel, said, “These outstanding musicians will play programs consisting of important and vital compositions of our time, much of it off the beaten track. We can promise you three most stimulating concerts, at prices designed to encourage you to give them a go.”

Similar schemes have been explored in the past, particularly by rock bands, with a reasonable rate of success. In theatre the “pay what you can” night has often been seen as a way to boost a quiet Monday box office. In this case, however, it’s not so...

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