Skip to comments.The Minnesota Orchestra...is veering toward catastrophe.
Posted on 05/05/2013 12:07:12 PM PDT by Borges
The Minnesota Orchestra, whose musicians have been locked out since the beginning of the season, is veering toward catastrophe. A number of players have departed for other ensembles; the orchestra's use of state funds has raised serious questions and is under review; powerful board members have created a fearful atmosphere; and, as Graydon Royce reports, Osmo Vänskä, Minnesota's brilliant music director, is threatening to resign if the situation is not resolved soon. In his latest piece, Royce alludes to a column I wrote in 2010, in which I said, "For the duration of the evening of March 1st, the Minnesota Orchestra sounded, to my ears, like the greatest orchestra in the world." The idea was not to issue a hard-and-fast superlative but to undercut the entire business of ranking orchestras. Still, I stand by the statement, at least as far as the musicians themselves are concerned. As for the board and the management, I am tempted to apply a superlative of a quite different kind. I'll simply say this: do the board and management actually wish to destroy the Minnesota Orchestra? So far, their actions seem to be moving steadily toward that end.
That is sad.
I think we had a similar problem in Ft. Lauderdale.
Where’s Antol Dorati when you need him???......
Maybe if one of them would come out and say he was gay...
Sure, after he squandered the whole budget on umlauts for his own personal use ...
“Maybe if one of them would come out and say he was gay..”
Yup. Add that he/she loves obama and you’ll see the money pour in.
I never joined the musicians union, and I knew that would be both good and bad.
This is a tale of many things -
(1) how elite and intellectually arrogant “entertainment” institutions cannot manage their own finances well, or develop business models that are not dependent on the taxpayers,
(2) how musicians are among the economic illiterate,
(3) how politicians mistake their own bubble of people, friends, associates, like-minded allies as “the people” when it comes to “classical” entertainment, though it is never more than a minority of “the people” ANYWHERE that frequent “classical” entertainment venues, which are often among the most expensive around
and, it is also
(4) an example of how Federal Reserve fueled economic bubbles help lead people into misallocation of financial resources; a process that has the aid of the political class and the media who all fail to help the public understand the economic & financial bubble they are in, a bubble that will provide unrealistic expectations of both value and future income
The musicians have only their own ignorance to blame, no matter how shoddily the orchestra management handled the PR about their finances. In 2007 when the real estate bubble was already being recognized for what it was, the musicians gained a 25%-over-five-year increase - as if the good times would continue to roll. One year later it was evident that 2007 was not a good year on which to be projecting the orchestra’s financial situation for the next five years. In fact revenue for 2006 & 2007 was probably inflated values over what might otherwise be expected.
Now, as the financial chickens have come home to roost and ONLY looked a little better in 2010 & 2011 because management started eating their seed corn - instead of immediately cutting way back before now, the dumb musicians don’t understand why management wants a 3X% pay cut from them.
Listen up musicians, management wants to keep the institution and your jobs going. It ain’t all gonna come from some new unheard of revenue source.
And if those of us who care more about the public treasury than we do your jobs, have anything to do with it, any solution will not get any additional public funds.
Same thing happened in Atlanta. The musicians were sure they were worth a whole lot more than they actually were.
1. classical music is beautiful and sadly has been losing popular appeal, to the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
2. I agree that tax payers shouldn’t bear the burden of city orchestras
3. disagree that classical entertainment is expensive when comparing entertainment venues... ever try getting a ticket to see beyonce or gaga? what about NFL tickets, those cost more than a trip to the symphony.
4. musicians get paid squat...and often are very good at economics ( they teach private lessons to snotty nosed kids to supplement other symphony/teaching jobs...ie they run small businesses and must deal with all the headaches that that comes with
classical music makes life a little more beautiful to enjoy, yes I’m sure funds are mismanaged by “executive boards’ run by people who can’t find middle C on a piano...but lets not call them all a bunch of elitist over priced snobs who have nothing meaningful to contribute, unless of course your prefer the musical prowess of say eminem.
Western Classical music is the most popular style of music worldwide.
Find me a small violin in that orchestra and I'll play a dirge or two on it and dedicate the songs to another of Minnesota's iconic senators, socialist loser Hubert Horatio Humperdinky Humphrey.
Leni (basking in the Florida sunshine)
Las Vegas Philharmonic, too.
I think the clash of egos between socialites and musicians never ends well.
As much as I love classical music, no taxpayer should be funding these orgs. Period. The same ole’ crap as the teachers and public unions.
>>no taxpayer should be funding these orgs. Period.
Nor the elephant in the entertainment room: sports arenas.
“Western Classical music is the most popular style of music worldwide.”
and your definition of “popular” is what??
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