Things That Make you Go “Buh?” NJSO

The 3/20/2009 edition of the New York Times published an article by Dan Wakin that compares and contrasts the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons. Of particular note is the news that the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) is using orchestra musicians to reduce overall guest artist expenditures. Unfortunately, the way the programming decisions are presented sends a precarious message to ticket buyers…

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Cultural Confidence Is Looking Up

Here’s some good news to start your week: the latest cultural confidence polling cycle indicates things are looking up for the first time in several months. In particular, the numbers of respondents indicating current economic conditions at their institution are “good” is at the highest levels since polling began in October, 2008. In fact, for the first time in the poll’s history, the number of respondents indicating economic conditions were “good” exceeded those indicating economic conditions were “only fair”…

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A Much Needed Class Act

The 3/19/2009 edition of the Columbus Dispatch, reports that piano soloist Emmanuel Ax is waiving his fee for this weekend’s performances with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Regular readers (and everyone else in the business not living under a rock for the past season) know all about the CSO’s troubles so Ax’s generosity, which was reportedly his offer, demonstrates the right attitude at the right time. I wish the same were true of all soloists across the board…

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Everyone Loves A Good Horse Race

With just over 75 votes at the time this piece is written, Tuesday’s poll asking whether or not an orchestra administration should be expected to provide special compensation to musicians for recording marketing/education/outreach material has produced a 50/50 split with two uncertain votes. Given the level of depth to this issue, it seems reasonable to keep the poll open through this evening so everyone has an opportunity to vote…

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Fearing Fear Itself

The labor situation at the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (WCO) continues to grind forward. At the conclusion of an article from 3/12/2009, we were awaiting a response from Daniel A. Kaplan, the attorney representing the WCO for these negotiations, on details behind why the WCO has engaged in what has been called by some in the business as regressive bargaining practices. Although Mr. Kaplan acknowledged receipt of the request for information he has unfortunately not provided those details…

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