Since the Louisville Orchestra (LO) announced it would begin hiring replacement musicians, the response throughout social media and culture blogs has been voluminous, but mild mannered compared to an equally devastating work stoppage like last season at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
To be more precise, social media outlets continue to produce a steady stream of messages and discussions while the culture blogging community has been comparatively calm, save one exception: a blog post from New York Oboist Karen Birch Blundell.
On 4/8/2012, Ms. Blundell posted an entry titled An Open Letter to Young Orchestral Musicians
and from then until the point when this article was written on 4/11/2012, it has generated 160 comments. The actual blog post/letter succinctly encourages musicians to avoid the replacement musician audition. For those who have been following the situation, Ms. Blundell’s points cover much of the same territory you’ve likely heard elsewhere, but it is always useful to see everything together in one place.
Although lengthy, the comment tread contains some intriguing segments between comment authors who agree or disagree with Ms. Blundell. The conversation becomes heated in a number of areas surrounding the topic of whether or not musicians should take the audition, especially surrounding comments from author’s using the moniker “Edward Coast,” “Billy Joel,” and “new model.”
There isn’t very much going on from the LO; the organization’s Press Release web page hasn’t been updated since 2010 but the homepage recently added a slide that reads “The trials and tribulations of the Louisville Orchestra, sadly, are not new. Those who care about the organization are encouraged to read the historical coverage from The Courier-Journal. Context matters.”
Indeed, context does matter but unfortunately, the slide links to an interior page that only lists selective excerpts from a number of Courier-Journal articles from 1988, 1994-1998, and 2002-2008. There’s no introductory and summary content, just the list of excerpts so value derived vis-a-vis context is perhaps best determined by the reader.