Off To The Tetons

For the next several days, I’ll be at the Grand Teton Music Festival on a working vacation. Fortunately, there’s a reliable wireless connection where I’m staying in Teton Village so I’ll be able to keep up with the blog on a daily basis…

The 2007 Adaptistration Compensation Reports from last week have garnered quite a bit of media attention this year; in fact, the compensation levels have caught the attention of our orchestral business colleagues over seas as well as the traditional mainstream here in the US. The French music website,, posted something about it (here’s a translated version of the entry via Google’s translator engine) and Chicago Tribune music critic John von Rhein posted two articles, one about executive compensation and another about music directors.

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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