Concert season is here and with it, program creation season! My organization, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is a mid-level organization that produces about 30 concerts with programs each year, usually featuring a guest artist and their bio.
Right at the start of our concert season, on September 17, 2015, NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog posted an article called “Why Can’t Artist Bios Be Better?” by Anastasia Tsioulcas. If you, like me, have read artist bios, you have probably uttered those words many times as you re-write the bio so it’s not white font on a grey background SMH.
Tsioulcas quotes a commentary by the Independent‘s arts editor, David Lister, where he recently read a “mine of useless information” in one artist’s bio. Pretty much a listing of her performances and recordings. She goes on to talk about the bio as a part of an artist’s brand and encourages artists to consider why, as audience members, we should listen to you.
Fellow ArtsHacker, Samantha Teter, has an excellent post called Bio-Writing 101 that is great for artists and administrators alike. I revised my own social media bio (yes, you need one) after reading her post. The Fabulous Holly Mulcahy of the blog NeoClassical also has two great posts about boring bios and the sins of a boring bio. Take a look!