Arts Journal’s Music News recently featured an article appearing in Musical America which detailed the recent annual conference of the Association of British Orchestras. The article reports that the conference invited Henry Fogel, David Snead, Joseph Kluger, Jack McAuliffe, Kate Prescott to participate as featured participants. In fact, while in the middle of reading the article, a colleague sent me an email message with a subject line of “Oh, come the #@$ on!”…
My reaction to the article wasn’t quite that strong but I did find myself wondering how on earth the folks at the Association of British Orchestras came up with their American guest list. Of those individuals, I would likely include David Snead and I don’t know Kate Prescott’s work well enough to comment one way or another. Nevertheless, instead of Fogel, Kluger, and McAuliffe I would have attempted to fill those billets with managers such as Alan Valentine, James Undercoffler, and Peter Pastreich (as well as dozens of other fine current or retired manages out there).
Since I have no idea how the Association of British Orchestras went about selecting which individuals to invite, they may have contacted Valentine, Undercoffler, and Pastreich ahead of Fogel, Kluger, and McAuliffe but were simply unable to secure their services. Nevertheless, I think putting Valentine, Undercoffler, Pastreich, and Snead in a room together to talk about the issues highlighted during the Brit’s conference would have been a fascinating session worth attending.
I was disappointed that since the Association of British Orchestras decided to include some Americans in the discussion, they didn’t include any American orchestra musicians. There’s no shortage of highly dedicated, passionate, and effective musicians out there throughout a variety of budget size orchestras doing superb work related to the issues addressed during the Brit’s conference(either on their own or through their respective ensembles). As such, it would have been useful for the Brits to include a representative from that perspective.