How not to do it

serious cat blog

Here's a link to a speech by Bruce Ridge, the chairman of ICSOM, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, which represents unionized musicians at 51 top American orchestras. The title of the speech? "Danger, Will Robinson! How Hyperbolic, Negative Rhetoric is Hurting America's Orchestras." And what Ridge says is that orchestras are in good shape, along with all of classical music, no matter how often we hear otherwise. Which is fine. He's entitled to his opinion. But his speech is a great disservice to his membership, … [Read more...]

Respecting the culture

lil kim blog

I already said much of what follows, in my post about Alec Baldwin's favorite records. But it needs saying again. It's crucial for classical music's future. Remember the commandment: Respect the culture we find outside classical music. So let's take another look at what that culture is. I was driving the other day, and listening to an NPR show about American vice-presidents, a subject it's easy to have fun with. So when the host mentioned George Clinton -- veep during Jefferson's second term -- all at once we heard music from George Clinton … [Read more...]

Why the classical Grammys don’t matter

Who is this man?

Well, maybe they give their winners bragging rights, or a small -- tiny? -- commercial boost. But in any larger musical, cultural, or commercial sense they don't matter at all. Not because awards shows might be silly, or because winning an award might be no guarantee of artistic strength, or because (as some people might think) classical music itself might not matter. No, the classical Grammys don't matter because hardly anyone -- including classical music fans -- hears most of the recordings that are nominated, so there's no context … [Read more...]