Orchestra Obscura

In 2001 the artist David Hockney startled the art world by theorizing that advances in realism and accuracy in paintings of many Old Masters such as Ingres, Jan van Eyck, Caravaggio, and Vermeer were not just the result of the artists’ technique and creativity, but also involved the common use of optical devices such as camera obscura, camera lucida, and curved mirrors to enhance their perspective. I immediately thought of the slippery slope of cognitive perception after reading the latest post from the noted blogger Emily Hogstad, who has been deservedly acclaimed for her detailed and comprehensive revelations relating to the Minnesota Orchestra debacle.  Suffice to say her latest article created a different kind of buzz. 

Continue ReadingOrchestra Obscura

Calling the questions.

I’ll go ahead and say it- I almost feel bad for Michael Henson and Jon Campbell (CEO and Board Chair of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, respectively). Yes, they’ve presided over one of the biggest cultural disasters in recent memory, ripped off their own musicians and ignored the patrons (and of course any and all blogs), and altered the musical landscape in Minnesota for years to come. True, they are in many ways directly responsible for the immense emotional and financial hardship experienced by the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra for the past year, and most likely for some time to come. And after all those millions raised (and spent), now they’re stuck with no orchestra and a concert hall no one will use and that will probably get picketed. Yet I still find myself sympathizing in some unusual way, probably because I don’t think either of them (or the MOA Board) could’ve possibly envisioned the travesty they unleashed.

Continue ReadingCalling the questions.

Minnepocalypse now.

Coming up on six months of lockouts in Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s very difficult to think of what else to say or write on this tragic situation, since lots of people way smarter than I have already done so. But since the cliff is fast approaching (or maybe already past), I thought I’d post a few thoughts mostly directed to the MOA (Minnesota Orchestral Association) Board and the soon-to-be former patrons of classical music in the Twin Cities.

Continue ReadingMinnepocalypse now.

Open Season

As we all remember, last season the Detroit Symphony won the race to the bottom in the labor relations/management incompetence sweepstakes. I’m amazed and very sorry to report that apparently the Minnesota Orchestra has decided Detroit didn’t quite go far enough, and has locked out the musicians for the first time in its 100-year historyWith recent developments in Atlanta, Indianapolis and St. Paul, it doesn’t appear that the war on musicians will end anytime soon.

Continue ReadingOpen Season