Brian Lauritzen, radio host of the Los Angeles Philharmonic broadcasts, has published a broadside against the online attacks on the striking musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, principally the diatribe by Bloomberg’s Manuela Hoelterhoff.
It’s a strongly argued piece, with many facts that need to be stated and some that are disputable.
Lauritzen is right to say that the LA Phil have enjoyed two generations of industrial peace as a result of the enlightened managements of Ernest Fleischmann and Deborah Borda. He ignores the witless manager who held the job between Ernest and Deborah, a man whose ineptitude was unable to shake the orchestra’s astonishing esprit de corps through his miserable interregnum.
That spirit does not prevail in the San Francisco Symphony, which has a long and troubled history of industrial disputes going back more than a generation, with rights and wrongs on both sides. Such things get embedded in an orchestra’s DNA. It is a huge challenge for any management or set of players to surmount them.
The San Francisco strike is unfortunate, but not unpredicted. This issue is not so much money as a mindset of confrontation that has dogged the orchestra for the past generation. What’s needed is not more noise. It’s a good mediator who can see the big picture.
Brian maintains that these musicians ‘deserve a fair wage’. Of course they do. But they won’t get one unless they carry the community with them.
Read Brian’s piece here.