Well, not for me. But obviously things have been bumpy at certain orchestras lately, and the press coming from both Minnesota and Atlanta seems to get more and more intriguing. Like today’s piece regarding the Atlanta Symphony.
Earlier this summer there were interesting articles involving both the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Atlanta Symphony. Anyone paying attention will notice many of the same themes and issues facing the orchestra business over the last several years, and some familiar posturing from both the musicians and administration. The situation in St. Paul appears to be a bit more serious, with a particularly draconian approach from the management that seems mostly designed to turn the institution into a part-time regional orchestra. Hopefully that won’t happen.
And hopefully (along with generally lowering the temperature of the rhetoric), each institution will realize that one potentially helpful strategy would be to stop talking to the press. None of these fine orchestras has anything at all to gain by a public back-and-forth. In fact, in this age of anonymous comments, there is a great deal to lose regarding public perceptions, even if a particular article is basically accurate (which is not so common these days). Key facts and perspectives are never clarified by self-serving distortions or slant, and the stakes are high. Maybe it’s time to agree to a formal press blackout from both sides until an agreement is reached? And it’s worth reminding everyone that an agreement will be reached at some point, its just a matter of how long everyone wants to stretch it out, and the potential that has for long term damage (insert Detroit reference here).
Random tangent- special thanks to all of you backers to my Kickstarter project, which is one of their most-funded classical projects ever (thanks to you). We start recording tomorrow, more on that later.
Good luck to my colleagues in MN and Atlanta. I hope not to read anything more about it until you all get a nice new contract.