It is no secret that the field as a whole is working day by day to manage debt and maintain stability. At the same time, maintaining artistic quality in light of necessary budget cuts is a tight rope no one enjoys walking but it gets a little easier if everyone works together. Failing that, decisions with the best intentions and under the greatest pressures can produce dynamic consequences that end up making the cure worse than the disease…
It appears that the latest example of a less than inclusive process is at the Portsmouth Symphony, where music director Christopher Hill published a letter he wrote to stakeholders expressing his perspective on recent artistic programming decisions made by the board. Hill described that process as dishonest:
This past week, without my consultation, the Board made significant decisions about the future direction of the orchestra and programming for next season. It has backtracked on a number of initiatives that had been discussed for next year, and could offer neither myself nor any of our professional help commitments in terms of their future. Furthermore, it has presented the reasoning of these decisions to me dishonestly in an attempt to cover up its current state of disarray.
You can read the entire letter at Hill’s blog. It will be interesting to see how the organization deals with Hill’s departure and if the other stakeholders decide to exert any influence as a result of this outcome.