an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Another orchestra asks audience to choose its next conductor

A  trend started two months ago by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Canada has drifted south to the York Symphony in Pennsylvania.

York has lined up a shortlist of four batons and its executive director wants the audience to vote on which should be the next music director.

The candidates are: Kyle Wylie Pickett, Lawrence Golan, David Itkin and Diane Wittry (below).

The pay scale is $45-60,000.



diane wittry

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Reggie Benstein says:

    I think a more accurate headline would read: ” ….. HELP choose…”. And how much is that patron choice taken into serious consideration ?
    Somewhere between 0-2% is my guess.

  2. PK Miller says:

    I would hope the ORCHESTRA would decide. They have to live w/whomever is chosen. The audience can choose to leave. The orchestra cannot. S/he has to be right for that ensemble. Contracts are not easily broken. How many audience members would really know what criteria to judge a prospective conductor or be savvy enough to judge him/her on each criterion. I’m afraid too many concertgoers would be like the woman, according to the anecdote in Readers Digest eons ago, who supposedly called her public radio classical station & declared, “I don’t know much about classical music, but I’d sure like to hear that piece again called, ‘I’m inclined to knock music!’” Just as I do remember an area music critic who could be pompously erudite, once wrote in a review of our Albany Symphony Orchestra, “Violins, more upbow at letter F.” “Too much rubato at letter H….” I urged him to stop being such a pompous arse, go to the concert to hear/enjoy it &, for the sake of those who wouldn’t know upbow from downbow from elbow to come down to earth!

  3. Stephen says:

    Over a decade ago, the Syracuse Symphony, now defunct and reborn, presented a short list of proposed music directors. Each one was invited to conduct a concert. The audience was given a ballot. I seem to remember that there were categories and spaces for input.
    Those ballots figured somehow in the final deliberations but I do not believe they weighed as much as the musicality issues would have.
    It’s an interesting thought but as has been said more or less, it’s about the music and the musicians who produce it. than an audience who can choose to buy a ticket or not. Funny how the four letter word “cost” come up.

  4. There is at least one small orchestra in California doing this too, and an orchestra in Oregon did it a few years ago. I think this has become a pretty standard marketing technique for orchestras when it’s time to start a search.

an ArtsJournal blog