It is 25 year since Ernest Fleischmann, visionary leader of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, proclaimed the death of the orchestra. He proposed to replace it with a ‘community of musicians’.
photo (c) Lebrecht Music&Arts
Ernest’s warcry was howled down by a complacent US musical establishment and the business of American music carried on regardless in the same confrontational way – threats, strikes, cave-ins and closures.
This season is no different from any other, except worse than most. In my monthly essay in Standpoint, I argue that the time has come to take Ernest in earnest.
In partocular, orchestras need to look at the dance world which, three decades ago, went into tailspin and has since reinvented its appeal in a bewildering enriching diversity.
Read Ballet lessons for the orchestra here.
Read Ernest’s 1987 speech here.