October 2009 Archives

I remember a moment during the summer of 2002, when I looked at my wife and told her that I needed to make a change in my professional life. I had been managing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for seventeen years--a dream job, to be sure--but there comes a time when one realizes that one needs a change, and probably the organization you are leading realizes that as well. 
October 30, 2009 10:51 AM | | Comments (21)
Earlier this year the National Endowment for the Arts released its 2008 Arts Participation Survey, and the picture it paints is worrisome. The study was done in May, 2008, six months into the recession, and certainly we can draw a conclusion that some of what it tells us was probably affected by the economy. But I think we would be hiding our heads in the sand if we argued that the economy was the sole cause of what looks like a continuing and increasing decline in attendance at all arts events, particularly classical music, in this country.
October 23, 2009 10:12 AM | | Comments (6)
If you go to symphony concerts in Europe or South America, you see audiences that tend to be more diverse than ours in the United States--more young people, more ethnic diversity, more apparent diversity of economic and demographic background. Since the criticism often leveled at American orchestras is their lack of such diversity, one certainly starts wondering just why it is different here. I was most strongly struck by this in São Paulo, where the São Paulo Symphony plays to almost sold-out audiences night after night and there are enormous numbers of young people--as well as racial and ethnic diversity that an American orchestra manager would die for. But the same tends to be true to a large degree in Amsterdam or Moscow or Hamburg.
October 16, 2009 10:32 AM | | Comments (2)
I appear to have caused some confusion in the past with my comments about orchestra board members who try to wield too much authority in programming decisions, and conversely about conductors who adopt an autocratic, almost dictatorial stance, saying, "I am in charge of all artistic matters--just leave me alone." In a private email I was recently asked, "Which is it, Mr. Fogel? Is the music director in charge? Or the board? Or, for that matter, the management?"

October 9, 2009 1:38 PM | | Comments (3)
In last week's blog, I began a discussion of some of the questions I am most frequently asked by orchestras engaged in music director searches. This week, I am continuing that subject.

What do we do when we start getting local pressure for a candidate?
It is shocking to me how often this happens. Sometimes it's a relative, sometimes it's a close friend, sometimes it's a well-meaning person who just loves the work of one conductor and pushes that name over and over again. It is really up to the music director search committee to hold firm, to apply identical standards to all candidates being looked at and discussed, and not to bend those standards just because someone (even a big donor) wants them bent. Once you start down that road, you'll never get off it. If you are involved in a search, you will easily find dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who are 100 percent certain that they know the right next conductor for you. They don't. Only a well-functioning committee that does its homework, and that rigidly applies the same standards to all potential candidates, is going to come up with the right decision. It takes a strong search committee chair, backed by an equally strong board chair, to resist the various pressures that will be applied on behalf of people's favorites.

October 2, 2009 12:34 PM | | Comments (1)

Blogroll

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2009 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads


AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.