I’m Not Playing Levine or Dutoit – And Neither Should You

Almost two months ago, James Levine, after years of whispering and speculation, was finally accused publicly of sexual misconduct.  I already covered it.   In more recent weeks, Charles Dutoit has also been accused by several women of offense ranging from groping to flat-out rape.  And there’s understandably been a tremendous buzz in the classical radio world on just how to handle the accusations and recordings made by the accused. Last week I was interviewed by David C. Barnett of WCPN in Cleveland about this very thing.  You can read or listen to … Continue Reading

The Met’s Radio Broadcasts May Be A Casualty Of The James Levine Mess

It was inevitable that the wave of sexual harassment allegations that have swept the country in recent months would eventually wash up on the shore of classical music’s small but mighty island.  And for anyone with connections to people in the performance business, it was not surprising that the first major figure to be caught in the rip current is James Levine, a man whose artistic genius was always darkened by rumors of sexual deviance and a penchant for young boys.  If Harvey Weinstein’s horridness in Hollywood was considered a semi-open secret, … Continue Reading

Combating Kitsch and Insincerity

I’ve been listening to both regular programming and fund drives on a number of classical stations over the last several months, and after a while I began to notice a pattern.  Hosts tend to open up in a big way when they’re paired with other people.  They set aside all those preconceived ideas of what they should sound like as a classical radio host and began to talk like normal people.  The act of asking someone for money uses a different part of your social skills – you’re forced to put yourself … Continue Reading

Classical Radio’s Personnel Problem: Get New Talent In The Door!

In my previous post, I laid out a quasi-apocalyptic vision for the bleak future of classical radio.  Or at least raised some minor concerns.  Now it’s time to think about solutions to those concerns. At the heart of the issue is making the case that classical radio can be a fun, rewarding, and financially stable career.  Finding the money to make this happen is the biggest concern, and I’ll get to that eventually.   But another part of the problem lies with content and staffing choices already being made that, at best, … Continue Reading

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