Archive | December, 2003

Not exactly grass roots influence, but…

Today's Arts Journal tracks an article in the Toronto Star about a patron uprising against a decision by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony's decision to terminate conductor Martin Fischer-Dieskau contract immediately, instead of waiting until the end of the season. The article reports that a long time large-figure donor to the orchestra "said that she and other influential patrons are "appalled and devastated" by the early termination of the conductor's contract." I suppose the key word there was influential patrons meaning those that give big bucks. The patron goes on to demand the resignation [...]
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How would you enable yourself?

Today's blog is really more of an exercise in reader participation. I'm currently putting together some criteria that will help develop a "self-enabling" web page for classical music patrons. I'm looking for suggestions from readers, both classical music insiders and outsiders, about what should be included. But I can feel you wanting to ask: "what exactly are we trying to enable?" Good question. First we need to define our use of the term enable, and then we can begin to answer that question. To begin with, I'll borrow a wonderful definition by [...]
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Reader Response: Fixing What is Broken

Adaptistration reader Robert in DC wrote in over the holiday to take issue with my analysis of Michael Kaiser's speech to the ICSOM annual conference. Robert disagrees with my suggestion that instead of focusing on primarily playing in schools, orchestras need to bring families across all demographics to orchestra concerts. Specifically, Robert disagreed with my recommendation to increase the number of free concerts an orchestra schedules throughout their season. To counter this point Robert wrote: "In thinking about the two opposing points you made, I would have to disagree to a point. [...]
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Is history repeating itself in Detroit?

Well one day after I ran the 12/23/03 blog anticipating that the executive director opening at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra would be filled by an executive from an ASOL member orchestra, I read a quote from the DSO board chairman in an article from the 12/24/03 issue of the Detroit Free Press. The article's author, Mark Stryker, reports: "[DSO board chairman] Jim Nicholson said he was moving swiftly to replace Kang [the former DSO executive director]. A search committee will form quickly, and Nicholson said a new leader would be hired by [...]
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When exclusivity is a bad thing

In my mind the term exclusive usually conjures up a positive image. Unfortunately, when I think of the orchestra industry I think of exclusivity in a negative context. What I'm talking about is the absolute control the American Symphony Orchestra League (commonly referred to as "the League") exerts over the training, hiring, and professional development of orchestra executive and middle managers. You can read more about this in my Orchestra Leadership: Miscellaneous Parties essay. As we're near the holidays, I'm only going to touch on this topic briefly and pose some questions. [...]
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