CSO Fistfight Instigator Revealed!

Who knew concertmasters could moonlight as investigative cultural reporters? But as it turns out, Frank Almond, Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster and author of non divisi, does exactly that and he apparently tracked down the now infamous “younger man” from last week’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra bare knuckled seating brawl and published an exclusive interview with the patron.

Here’s an overview of what we know, thanks to Almond’s article:

  • Said patron, referred to as Johannes Doe, is currently on the lamb.
  • Johannes got roughed up by the CSO bouncers.
  • Apparently, the CSO maintains a BYOB policy where unsold seats can be used for cooler storage.
  • CSO violists text during concerts if they find the music dull.
  • Mark Zuckerberg is apparently a musician.
  • The CSO offers a kick-ass buy one, get lots free martini deal for subscribers.
  • Perhaps a result of budget cuts, CSO security wield mace instead of tasers (like the museum security from The Thomas Crown Affair).
  • The CSO maintains a detention room that also doubles as storage for Fritz Reiner photos (it must be hush-hush as I can’t find it on any venue maps).

 Thanks to Almond for his dogged determination and foresight to loosen Johannes’ tongue with a free pizza. We’ll post any late breaking updates as they become available.

Read Almond’s Full Report*

*in case you’re in a susceptible mood today, it’s all a spoof.

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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