Things That Keep Me Up At Night

Last week, the news about a certain west coast orchestra with plans on performing one of the most demanding Mahler symphonies as their post-pandemic season opener arrived in my inbox. Earlier this month I launched a mini-series examining the dangers of musician injuries if an orchestra attempts this type of programming without first allocating time to allow musicians to reacclimate to those types of demands. Think of it as a type …

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Are You Planning A Big Blowout For Your Inaugural Post-COVID Concerts?

Not long after the onset of pandemic shutdowns, a living wage orchestra decided to cancel the entire season and a comment from their board chair caught my eye. The chair mentioned that even though they were shuttering for an extended period of time, he was sure the musicians would be able to come back at a moment’s notice to resume the same performances audiences were used to. On one hand, that …

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Why Orchestras Plan So Far In Advance

During my unexpected week off, Joshua Kosman published an article at datebook.sfchronicle.com that cast an eye toward the way orchestras approach programming at the onset of the last century. In a nutshell, seasons weren’t planned years in advance and programming choices happened within the current season. Kosman suggested this is exactly the approach organizations should adopt in a post-COVID environment. He included support for the idea from none other than San …

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Internalizing The Concept Of Equity

The more a work can reflect society from the time it was written and provoke thoughtful contemplation, the better. If the musicality and topic keep the piece on my mind for more than a week after hearing it, that’s a win. The more polarizing current events are, the more potential exists for a work to emerge that is capable of inspiring meaningful actions. If you subscribe to a similar outlook, then …

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There And Back Again, Performing Arts Edition

“Overnight we went from being a producer of live performance events to a digital content provider.” Those words were from a colleague back in March around the time it became clear the pandemic was more than a few weeks of disrupted event activity. And while those words are uneasy, he was saving the really dark part for effect. “And we have no f**king idea how to do that.” Don’t worry, this …

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