Kareem Roustom’s New Work Leaves You Feeling Like A Better Person Than You Were Before

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I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve written concert reviews and one of those is only because I was paid. In fact, over the past year, I’ve been in a profound state of burnout when it comes live classical music and with one notable exception, I’ve spent the 2018/19 season finding other outlets to fill my cultural tank. Until last night’s Grant Park Music Festival (GPMF) concert, …

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Enough With The Millennial Bashing Already

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Thanks to a colleague (you know who you are) for pointing out a wonderful keeping-it-real-tweet from Gerry Heise, Senior Major Gifts Officer at the LA Philharmonic, posted on the final day of the League conference. Conference speaker tip: don’t ask how many millennials are in the room, see that half the room is comprised of millennials, and then proceed to bash millennials. Yikes. Made for a rough presentation recovery. #Orch2019 — …

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Let’s Elevate The Discourse Of Labor Disputes

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As the Baltimore Symphony heads into what is looking like an all but certain knock-down, drag-out labor dispute, it’s worth mentioning a few points of opportunity all stakeholders can benefit from. First and foremost, it’s time to internalize the distinction between executives and staff within the larger administrative structure. Historically, during orchestra labor disputes, it’s common for musician employees to use the term “management” when referring to the executive leadership; specifically, …

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Killing Me Softly With Nomenclature


Do I know what makes a masterworks concert a masterworks concert? Of course I do…but why don’t you tell me what you think it means first then I’ll let you know if that’s what I thought. That’s an actual conversation I overheard a few years ago but never really stuck me until I presented at a conference last year alongside Ceci Dadisman. Ceci introduced an element about how arts orgs inadvertently …

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Negotiating Yourself Into A Corner

Adaptistration People 100

The recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) strike is an excellent example of something that demonstrates how much the work stoppage PR landscape has shifted over the past decade. For example, one of the strongest musician talking points is the deleterious impact concessions have on an orchestra’s ability to attract and retain the very best artistic talent. This was a cornerstone of the CSO musician position: If the employer does away with …

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