#TBT You Have To Know The Past To Understand The Present, Baltimore Symphony Edition

One of the unique byproducts of having an archive with nearly 4,000 articles over 16 years is you tend to write about most topics and organizations at least once. In some cases, a lot more than once. One such example is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

The BSO has appeared in no less than 36 articles as far back as 2003 (37, if you count today’s post).

Since they’re headed toward what may be the latest threshold moment in their evolution, it seems like an appropriate time to point out the BSO article archive.

You’ll learn about everything from their decision to sell off their most valuable asset under dubious terms, to a series of contentious negotiations, to the public drama that was their 2005 music director search.

Not all the news is gloom and doom, the BSO has its fair share of good news articles too, such as becoming one of the early orchestras to adopt domestic partner contract language to meaningful efforts toward improving outreach and diversity.

In the end, if you’re following current events in Baltimore, don’t forget that any orchestra’s collective bargaining agreement is more than a collection of terms. It’s a record of its evolution.

Nothing shows up arbitrarily, consequently, the more you learn about its history, they better you’ll understand what’s unfolding today.

Outside of the fabulous work over decades from retired Baltimore Sun classical music critic and reporter, Tim Smith, I’m very pleased that Adaptistration provides one of the only outlets where you can find this much history about the BSO and American orchestras in general.

Visit the BSO Article Archive

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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