Okay, Okay; I’ll Write About The Anne-Sophie Mutter Thing

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In the wake of all the messages from colleagues and readers asking when I’m writing about Anne-Sophie Mutter’s mexican standoff with a patron during a recent performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony, it looks like there’s no avoiding the topic. Spoiler alert: I’m not thrilled with the way she handled the situation. That doesn’t mean I don’t empathize with her frustration, but this isn’t the last time an …

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What Orchestra Musicians Might Learn From The Current UAW Strike

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How important is equal pay for equal work in today’s unionized orchestra environment? We examine this issue on a regular basis as it relates to substitute musicians, but the recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) work stoppage highlights a growing inequality at living wage orchestras between veteran and new-hire musicians by forcing the latter into a retirement program that provides markedly lower benefits. The impact on solidarity is self-apparent. In turn, degraded …

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Will Gelb’s Tenure Survive The Latest Met Scandal?

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In case you aren’t already familiar with the PR crisis unfolding in real-time at Metropolitan Opera, here’s a quick overview: Singer Plácido Domingo, who is facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, was scheduled to appear as part of the company’s Macbeth In response to internal and external concerns, Met general manager, Peter Gelb, confirmed Domingo would be appearing and that the allegations lacked enough corroboration. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the response from Met …

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Do We Really Want To Find Out How Much Is Too Much?

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William Blake wrote “you never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough” and while that packs plenty of good, it isn’t something you should want when thinking about how far you can push employees beyond a breaking point. Joe Patti published a thought-provoking post last week about the discouraging earning potential of artists in general, but it got me thinking about the broader nonprofit arts and …

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Tomorrow Is Baltimore’s Next Waypoint

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Update: 9:10am CT: BSO musicians file unfair labor practice. Wednesday, 9/11/19, is the next threshold in the ongoing Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) work stoppage. Technically, the employer has ended their lockout and is offering musicians work but that seemingly simple term has a gargantuan asterisk attached. The problem is there’s still no new contract nor is there any indication of the terms the employer is offering if the musicians return. Are …

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