Copland Went Under The Shirt But Over The Bra?

In case you missed it, classical music’s new poster boy, Alex Ross (sorry Dudamel), took one small step for a classical music critic but one giant leap for classical music when he appeared as a featured guest on the wildly popular Colbert Report. According to Alex the experience "felt like being the nerd in high school all over again" but I think you’ll agree the segment is great fun to watch. It has been a real pleasure to see Alex’s book make as big of a splash as it has, not just within our cloistered universe but the mainstream cultural consciousness. Take a moment to watch to watch the clip before Comedy Central pulls the plug. For those stopping by for the first installment of the "How To Connect With New Media" series, please accept my sincere apologies but if there’s anything out there worth bumping for, it’s Alex Ross on the Colbert Report. In the meantime, I have received a number of great emails from folks suggesting what they want to see covered in the "How To Connect With New Media" series, if you haven’t written in yet, it isn’t too late.

UPDATE: Comedy Central’s embedded video clip of the interview has been up and down today without any real pattern. If it isn’t working for you at any point, try again later or visit the source page here. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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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4 thoughts on “Copland Went Under The Shirt But Over The Bra?”

  1. I find the Colbert interview incredibly irritating. Maybe it is the “old fogy” in me, but it seems shameful that Ross must put up with the condescending tone, interruptions, and diversions of Colbert’s approach.

    Hi Bill, thanks for the comment. I don’t know if you are a regular viewer of the Colbert Report but in case you aren’t the character Stephen Colbert portrays is a parody of several popular conservative talk show hosts. As such, the condescending tone, interruptions, and diversions you mention are all “part of the act”. There’s a good video of Colbert explaining all of this to Senator John Kerry. I’ll post that video in a subsequent comment. ~ Drew McManus

  2. I am not a viewer of Colbert (my local home is served by a private limited system without the Comedy Channel), but I am aware of the “act”. I just find it shameful that those who are guests on the show have to play along with the “act” and pretend they like it, in order to get the exposure to the large audience he has.
    Now WHY he has the large audience is matter for another discussion!

    Fair enough, I think humor is certainly subjective (as is music appreciation). According to Alex’s blog post about the event, it appears that he had a good time and thought that the appearance was positive. ~ Drew McManus

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