I remember a moment during the summer of 2002, when I looked at my wife and told her that I needed to make a change in my professional life. I had been managing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for seventeen years--a dream job, to be sure--but there comes a time when one realizes that one needs a change, and probably the organization you are leading realizes that as well. 
So it is with blogging. I have enjoyed writing this blog for the past few years, and have had the wonderful opportunity to write about those aspects of the music world--particularly the world of symphony orchestras--that I find intriguing. Sometimes it has been about music, sometimes about organizational issues, sometimes about the relationship between music and its public. But it has not been difficult for me to come up with topics to cover in a weekly blog. Often, I have been two or three months ahead of myself.

That is no longer the case. I've found myself struggling to find topics that I have not already covered, and when I have tried to write about them with a fresh look, what I've written did not look so fresh to me.

And so it is that I've concluded it is time to bring this particular blog to an end. I do so with some sadness, as I have enjoyed the interaction with many readers who have posted comments along the way, or with acquaintances and friends who have sent me private comments about what I've written. I am extremely grateful to Artsjournal for having generously provided this forum, and I will continue to read the work of others at this site. I hope those of you who have read this blog with some regularity have found it helpful, provocative, stimulating, or at least interesting. And I thank you for spending some of your time with me.  

October 30, 2009 10:51 AM | | Comments (21)



Dear Henry,
You have always been the voice of the people in our industry, and I personally thank you for your kind words about my work. I have utilized your life's learnings and applied them to my own craft. Here's wishing you continued enjoyment of music and the hope to see you here, there and everywhere when possible.

Thanks and all the best. I'll miss this blog.

Hi Henry. I'm sorry to hear that you are leaving the blog behind (and do hope, as others have mentioned, that you will drop a post occasionally as desire moves you and time allows). Your postings have been a source of interesting discussion and useful insight in any of a number of fields that I dabble in:-)

Best wishes to you,

It's truly sad to see the end of your blog,
and I'll miss your boundless enthusiasm and refreshing optimism in this age of gloom-and-doom talk about the state of classical music and its uncertain future.
And I hope it will still be possible to contact you by e mail, wherever you will be
I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.

I meant to add an addendum to my first comment.
While we are sad you are leaving this blog, we should all be grateful that you are working so hard in the world of classical music, especially now during a time when it needs all the soldiers it can get. Your tireless efforts are appreciated by all of us whose souls are stirred by the mighty opening chords of the Beethoven Eroica and the other-worldly beauty of Mahler and Bruckner. If your new work isn't allowing you as much time to post to a blog, it's our loss but classical music's gain, in a way.

Would that there were thousands of Henry Fogels out there...

Thank you John, and so many other readers who have said such nice things. I will do what I can to continue to merit such warm thoughts.

The Monterey Symphony Board of Directors has found your insights and perspective to be invaluable in the past several months. Thank you for having made yourself available to all of us!

Janet McDaniel

Thank you Henry for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us! I will miss your posts very much. All the best,

Thank you for all the insights and articles Henry! Many times they were the topic of discussion with our orchestra staff during lunch time. It was great to get your take on some crucial issues facing our industry and have your wisdom as a reference at times.

I will certainly miss it and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


Henry - We talked about this already, but I just thought I'd say again I'm sad. Will hate to see your blog disappear but hope someday you'll be back in some form or other. Best of luck in everything.

Thanks for all your insights. I've long enjoyed the blog and hope this isn't the last we've heard of Henry Fogel!



Henry, I know I speak for many others when I say that your thoughtful, candid, and insightful posts will be missed! This is a real loss, although I certainly understand the issue with only so many hours in the day.

Know that if you find any other outlet for your writing in the future, it will be eagerly anticipated by many readers. Thank you for all that you have shared.

Paul, my thanks to you and others for your generous and kind comments. They are deeply appreciated.

Thank you, Henry.
All best wishes

Mr. Fogel -
Thank you. I stumbled into your blog because of my interest in music, but I have enjoyed sharing your insights into nonprofit management and governance issues with my colleagues who operate chambers of commerce. Okay, we don't share the repertoire issues, but we're in the similar business of organizing and energizing community leaders to advance a common, uplifting purpose. I have learned much. As a previous post has noted, there is a very valuable book to be derived from these posts. Again, thank you for sharing the wisdom of a distinguished career.


You are the person who gave me my start to a most enjoyable vocation. Without your on-radio review of a 1968 Syracuse University Festival of the Arts presentation that featured Aaron Copland and his "Quiet City", my trumpet might never have been heard and my 40 year performing career, most likely, would never have happened. Your distinguished imprint on the role of classical music in America has been one of class, determination, and sincerity. Your opinions will always be important, whether of not you deem them fresh enough. Best wishes for the "second half" of your life.

George Coble

George, Thank you for your very generous and kind words. They are very moving.

I am so sorry to read this. Your writing and topics were always fresh and relevant and an inspiration to many of us.

Change comes very slowly in our business. The topics you chose to write about and your views will be of interest for many more long years to come.

Thank you for many interesting articles.

Take care
Nurhan Arman

Thanks for your insights over the years...and all the enjoyment from the Opera Quiz years also. As they say in the future, may you live long and prosper.

Henry, I for one will consider this a personal loss, as I have looked forward to Fridays every week for your insight.

I encourage you to compile these into a book and publish it. This is simply a wealth of information that needs to be available.

Thanks much for sharing in this space!

Larry Eckerling

Others have made the suggestion regarding publishing them. I'll have to re-read the compilation and see if I think it makes sense - and then, of course, find a publisher.

Say it isn't so, Henry! You were the only person blogging about orchestra management who actually managed an orchestra. I even forwarded several of your blogs to a ballet company I'm consulting with.

Your comments and thoughts will be missed.

It's been a pleasure to read -- I hope you're going to continue writing, at least occasionally! :-)

Ouch. I'll miss your insights very much.

Please consider setting up a site where you can make occasional postings as the spirit moves you.

Ken Shaw

Thank you for the suggestion. At this time in my life I am frantically busy and don't see enough daylight to consider such an option, but perhaps in the future.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by on the record published on October 30, 2009 10:51 AM.

Declining Arts Participation: A Topic for Broad-Based National Dialogue was the previous entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.