Amid the Sarah Chang/Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) drama, it can be easy to forget that it’s a smaller part of a bigger issue; specifically, the ongoing DSO work stoppage. To be certain, any messages sent to Sarah Chang that were threatening and/or intimidating have hopefully been passed along to authorities. Clearly, those are sober issues but they shouldn’t detract attention from the broader concerns…
Case in point, the New York Times published an article on 10/11/2010 by Dan Wakin that examines Chang’s situation with additional input from DSO president Anne Parsons and reactions from Haden McKay, DSO cellist and the musicians’ spokesman, plus Karl Pituch, DSO principal horn.
An item of note in the article is Parson’s allusion to future concert events that might require artists to cross the musicians’ picket line.
Ms. Parsons said other important artists had offered to play under the Detroit Symphony’s auspices. But she declined to name them, and said she did not know when an announcement would be made.
Undoubtedly, this would stir up much of the same discussion that surrounded the cancelled Chang recital and if it follows the same progression, it will end with representatives from both sides spending more time talking about issues that have little or nothing to do with what’s most important.
Granted, it is common for both sides in a labor dispute to twist the other’s tail but in the age of hyper scrutiny and instantaneous communication, it is important to remember that all of the little tail twisting tactics are still just that: tactics in a much larger clash. In the end, they shouldn’t distract attention away from the core issues which ultimately determine the long term position of the institution.