Elitism, Education, And Fraud

Earlier this week, The Partial Observer published one of my Neo Classical articles which examines how many of the problems classical music faced 100 years ago are the same problems it faces today. The historical material for the article came from the October, 1918 edition of The Etude, which I used for a few previous articles (here and here). The one unique aspect is that in 1918, the people perceived these …

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Power And Corruption In The String World

Ever since the Axelrod/NJSO instrument collection scandal broke into the news headlines, people have become fascinated with how the world of high end string instruments operates.  Today’s Soundcheck radio program on WNYC will focus on that very issue. I’ve written about the Axelrod instruments here and at my Neo Classical column and as such I’ll be one of the on-air guests along with string instrument dealer Fritz Reuter to discuss some of …

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Why Reaching 108% Of Your Goal Isn’t Always Good

I received a call from a musician a few days ago who was very upset about a situation in their orchestra.  The frustration in this person’s voice was almost palpable, even over the telephone. The problem had to do with some contradictory evidence about ticket sales.  This particular player is currently volunteering as a musician representative to their orchestra’s marketing department and as such, they attend regular marketing committee meetings.

The musician explained that according to the information they were receiving in those meetings, the organization has been performing at 108% of their projected ticket sales.  When I pointed out that reaching 108% of your projected sales expectations was a good thing, that’s when the player almost leapt out of their skin and said “Yes, but the hall is rarely filled at more than 60%!”…

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Reader Response: BSO Keeps Union Away

After reading the article from Monday, March 21st, Cleveland Orchestra musician, Henry Peyrebrune, took the time to share an interesting observation about what he read from the article regarding how (in 1918) the BSO management allegedly offered their musicians a $250 bonus to prevent unionizing, “Another aspect of this story is that the BSO founder, Henry Lee Higginson, decided that in order to ensure the BSO hired and kept the best …

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