Making The Case For Playback Bars During Live Performances

Last week while having dinner with a friend and colleague, we started talking about the new listener concert experience. My friend, a music director, mentioned that one of the most disheartening aspects from his perspective is when he sees patrons leave a longer work toward the end, right before the payoff when everything comes together to deliver the highest emotional impact. It was a real lightbulb moment. Regardless how entertaining and …

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There Are No Words

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Remember Stanley E. Romanstein, the former Atlanta Symphony CEO? The one who presided over two of the nastiest labor disputes in the orchestra’s history? The one musicians have on a recording delivering a promise after the first labor dispute not to return looking for additional concessions at the next negotiation (but did exactly that)? He’s going to be the new dean for University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Discuss.

#TBT Make Money, Get Paid

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We’re on the cusp of the the 2018 orchestra compensation reports so what better topic to focus on for #TBT than finance? First up, go look up the information your own dam*ed self at the Orchestra Financial Reports resource page (bunch of lazy kids with your Beethoven and Mary Jane…get off my lawn while you’re at it!). The reports page contains direct links to each orchestra’s financial reports page at, a website …

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Is There Ever A Time Where Two Wrongs Make A Right?

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Every now and then, we get to watch a “don’t do it this way” scenario unfold in real-time. Case in point, the recent Twitter spat between Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) music director, Bramwell Tovey, and American University Associate Professor CAS – Performing Arts and author of The Artful Manager culture blog, Andrew Taylor. What Happened Tovey posted a tweet pointing out an oversight in that evening’s concert by way of excluding …

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A Quick Update On The Upcoming Seattle Pension Article

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A number of readers have written in to ask about the deep dive into Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s (SSO) new musician retirement plan and the process used for the migration. Thanks to some fortuitous scheduling, I’ll have the opportunity to sit down with some of the SSO’s stakeholders face to face for an interview. To take advantage of that benefit, it meant pushing the publication back a bit to accommodate the June …

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