Classical Connections Podcast: The French Connection

Edmonton Symphony Music Director, Bill Eddins, released the inaugural offering for his new Podcast series, Classical Connections. Bill promises that each episode will have a theme and the theme for this first episode is The French Connection; How American Classical Music owes its start to the Indonesian Spice Trade…


It’s a pretty fascinating first program, not anything like what I was expecting if I can honestly say that I was expecting anything at all. That’s half the fun with Bill; you just don’t know what you’re going to get besides the unexpected.

The program is a full 50 minutes full of fascinating material almost too inexplicable to describe. Among my favorite factoids was learning that at the 1889 Paris Exposition the decision to build the Eiffel Tower displaced a proposed 300 meter tall guillotine (I don’t even want to know what they planned to sever with something that size).

You’ll find my modest contribution at the end of the program, it was loads of fun to write since Bill allowed me to have free reign with my subject matter. He didn’t even insist on knowing what I’d talk about until it actually arrived in his email. Nevertheless, I’m honored to be included and hope everyone enjoys the content.

I’m told the show will find its way into the iTunes Pocast database within the week, but in the meantime you can download a copy of the Podcast at: http://www.newamarna.com/blog/

It will be interesting to see what sort of impact Bill’s Podcast has on the business of classical music. Podcasts are one of the techno nuggets discussed ad nauseam by many in the business as a possible vehicle for delivering classical music goods. Bill’s toe-in-the-water effort (or ass-first-cannonball if you prefer) is undoubtedly being watched by many…

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.

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