The classical music world may have been a bit late to the MySpace party, but a quick search today revealed a few surprises that might be of interest to local music fans:
New York Philharmonic (Female, 26, Capricorn, single, doesn't want kids): This site was put together by a Philharmonic representative, "working to promote the New York Philharmonic and the arts as a whole to young adults and teenagers." There are links to the Student Rush page on the Philharmonic's website, as well as the websites of several Philharmonic musicians, including principal trombonist Joe Alessi and prinicipal trumpet Phil Smith. Unfortunately, the site hasn't been updated since 2006, their music selection is a Bach concerto, and the default photo they display isn't even of the Philharmonic! , They're lucky they didn't get taken down for misrepresenting themselves...
Metropolitan Opera (Female, 21, Capricorn, Single, Wants Kids Someday, 348 friends): The Met seems to want to emulate the sloppy layout of the standard teenager Myspace page, with cartoony wallpaper and oversized pictures. Strangely, there is no background music: only a 30 second promo for the HD screenings in movie theaters. Oh well, at least they have Anna Netrebko as a Top Friend.
Orchestra of St. Luke's (337 friends): Smartly, St. Luke's uses the Myspace Music template for their site, which allows them to post music samples and upcoming concert dates. There's also a nice selection of blogs, including one from violinist Hilary Hahn, who wrote about preparing to play the Goldmark Violin Concerto. Not a lot of pizazz to the design, but it gets the job done.
Brooklyn Philharmonic (583 friends): Lots of good content here, including a YouTube video of choreographer Nicholas Leichter talking about his recent collaboration with the orchestra. Last year, the Brooklyn Phil. cleverly offered a 25% discount to any user that posted a comment about one of their upcoming concerts, though the offer hasn't been renewed this season.
Carnegie Hall (1168 friends): This is by far the most professional of all the pages I encountered. Carnegie replicates much of the content from their own excellent site, including their unique Sound Insights podcasts, which play in the background. The layout is clean and well designed, and includes a full calendar of all their upcoming events (hyperlinked to the appropriate page on Carnegie's site.) They even offer up such enticing blog possibilites as Celebrity Sightings and "Connections" (listed under the Romance and Relationships category), though to date noone has contributed to any of them.
So, with the exception of Carnegie, the big NYC institutions are lagging way behind the little guys - which I suppose has always been the case with Myspace. I don't think having a Myspace page isn't as de rigeur as some music fans would have us believe, but if you're going to have one, you should at least do it right.