Earlier this week, The Partial Observer
published one of my which examines how many of the problems classical music faced 100 years ago are the same problems it faces today. Neo Classical articles
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 problems at the awakening of the American music giant and today that giant is suffering from schizophrenia issues. What we could use today is a healthy dose of the “limitless potential” attitude our great grandparents possessed.
History is a circle, the trick is figuring out where you are in the loop.
About Drew McManus "I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.
I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.
In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.
For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink. View all posts by Drew McManus | Website
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