The 12/16/2019 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an article written by Jeremy Reynolds that takes a hard look at the pros and cons of international touring. As a conduit for discussion, the article uses recent Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) excursions.
Regular readers know this was a popular topic in the blog’s early years and while I haven’t written about it in a while, my perspective remains mostly unchanged. In a nutshell, it’s a good thing, but only inasmuch as the value can be quantified.
The other major quibble I have is the emphasis on international tours that focus on the well-worn European halls and destinations.
The Post-Gazette article includes a quote from me that touches on the desire for US orchestras wanting to return to their roots.
“To me, this all harkens back to the fact that the American orchestral scene evolved out of the European scene,” Mr. McManus said. “The American orchestra scene has serious daddy issues.”
Mr. McManus doesn’t argue that orchestras shouldn’t tour, and he doesn’t dispute that there are reputational benefits. But he believes the value of touring should be more quantifiable.
That pretty much wraps it up in a neat little bow.
But I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Do you think international touring provides quantifiable benefits beyond lifting reputation or other similarly indeterminate benchmarks?