Gradus ad Parnassum


So we’ve all agreed that community outreach should be guided by a clear knowledge of our audiences, our playing should touch people at a deep level and we should build on this knowledge and experience to strengthen our relationships with the people in our community – and we’ve thrown out the idea of models – we’re going to build the orchestra and relationships that are perfect for our own communities. Everyone’s nodding, right?

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No Models, Please


Yesterday, I found myself telling a student who had just played beautifully an excerpt from Mozart 41, “Well, it sounds great but you probably shouldn’t use that unconventional bowing and fingering for an audition.” It made me reflect on how the training to become an orchestral player involves such an intense effort to make every last detail the same as everyone else, but better.

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Unpacking Community Service


Author’s note: Over the next five days, I’ll be in Seattle and then LA and during that time I’m very pleased to say that Henry Peyrebrune, Cleveland Orchestra bassist, will be filling in as a guest author. Henry has prepared a three part series of articles examining a topic that is getting a great deal of attention recently: community outreach ~ Drew McManus…

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How Did We Get Here?


In a recent post, Drew highlights a remark by author Joseph Horowitz suggesting that musicians should no longer expect that orchestras owe them a living wage, i.e., a full-time salary. I thought I would use my brief stint as a guest blogger to elaborate on some of the history that led us to today’s paradigm of full-time orchestral employment. Was the transformation from 1958 when a bare handful of orchestras paid a modest middle-class wage to today’s 50+ full-time orchestras an accident of history caused by the nexus of profligate national foundations and a greedy musicians’ union, or is there more to the story?

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