Slipped disc: January 2008 Archives
A colleague in Columbus, Ohio, has alerted me to a local downturn. The city is planning to shrink its symphony orchestra into a chamber ensemble, abolishing 22 positions and cutting the concert season by half. That, they say, ought to wipe out an annual $1.5 million deficit.
"This is to try to save the orchestra and enable us to grow it into something special," said Robert "Buzz" Trafford, chairman of the symphony board, in a comment to the local newspaper which appears to endorse the move.
Hello? Come again? Anyone at home?
Surely no-one imagines that playing Haydn instead of Mahler is going to bring crowds banging on the doors, or that kicking musicians into limbo will improve morale in the band. Cutting an orchestra is usually one short step from killing it altogether.
Columbus, where I have never set foot, has (so I'm told) an appreciative, cultured audience who don't want to fly to Cleveland or Detroit for a symphonic experience. It also has a proud and supportive NPR station.
A city of 1.75 million can surely stump up a few donors to cover a $1.5 million hole. Slash and burn, which is what the board is proposing, is a policy that went out in the 90s with the bonfire of vanities. Someone needs to take a quick rethink and a look at the map.
Without a symphony orchestra, Columbus becomes a speck.
For more information, check www.symphonymusicians.com
Joan Ingpen, whose death is reported here, was the one and onlie true begetter of the Big Lucy machine, as well as being the unseen force behind Georg Solti. A full account can be found in my book, Covent Garden:The Untold Story, and one of the joys of its research was getting to know Joan over several lunches in Marylebone. She was, by then, well into her 70s, but the memory was sharp as a pin and the tolerance for sloppiness was zero.
Pavarotti was always a bit scared of her, and Solti untypically deferential. She gave as good as she got and never knowingly foisted a dud artist on the innocent public. Now of how many concert agents and casting managers can that be said?
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Joe Horowitz on music
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog