Classical Connections

Edmonton Symphony music director and pianist Bill “The Classical Music Guy” Eddins, snuck in his latest Podcast right before I left for vacation. Entitled Watch The Birdie, it’s an installment with a heartwarming special dedication…

Bill’s done a good job at streamlining the process of downloading and streaming his Podcasts by eliminating some of the frustrating hoops that iPod forces users to jump through. Also improved is the audio quality and production values: gone is the telephone quality mono audio.

Given the fact that the topic of birds in music isn’t exactly unexplored, I think listeners will be pleasantly surprised that Bill takes the road less traveled by selecting some works by Granados, Messiaen, and Stravinsky to demonstrate his points.

Bill’s Classical Connections series of Podcasts continues to do exactly what it’s designed to do: make classical music interesting and have fun with it. Personally, I hope Bill plans on doing a Podcast about comedy and classical music in the near future since this business takes itself far too seriously already and it could stand to laugh at itself (where’s Victor Borge when we need him?).

You can download Watch The Birdie along with Bill’s other Podcasts at

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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