Ballet Hawaii Stands Up For Live Orchestra Music

As leaders at the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra (HSO) continue to promise then postpone news about the beleaguered organization’s fate, Ballet Hawaii has gone on record saying that they intend to use live music for their annual Nutcracker performances. Traditionally, the Ballet uses the HSO for the concerts, however, those plans could be interrupted if the HSO decides to file bankruptcy and cancel remaining concerts. Hawaii News Now produced a television segment about the HSO and Ballet that quotes representatives from the Ballet saying that they can’t imagine performing without live music…

Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time a situation like this has come about in the business and if the HSO does file bankruptcy, it is entirely conceivable that the HSO musicians will make arrangements with the Ballet to provide their services as independent contractors.

Certainly, everyone hopes it doesn’t come to that and that the HSO’s prolonged news tease will culminate with better news than not.


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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