Self Governing Orchestra?

This letter was posted, apparently anonymously, on Symphony Strong.

Concerning the difficulties the CSO has had with the board- In England the London Symphony Orchestra, one of the great ones of the world, was started in the 20's or so as an orchestra owned and managed by the musicians themselves. They have a manager, but this person is also a musician with the orchestra itself. (Last notable one was Clive Gillinson, a cellist with the LSO, now manager of Carnegie Hall). Couldn't this be a model the CSO could at least try, as they have already demonstrated their ability to put together a credible budget plan? Much of the "dead wood" (my opinion only) upstairs in the management dept. would be eliminated, and the musicians would be able to control their own fate, although they might not have the income that they have now...Check it out, CSO, we need you

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1 comment for “Self Governing Orchestra?

  1. July 14, 2008 at

    In response to “Self Governing Orchestra?”, perhaps a “Peoples’ Orchestra” should be further explored. Leaving the destiny of CSO to “The Board”, seems irresponsible at this late date as their inactions speak louder that words.

    I volunteered Friday evening for the concert at concert in Dublin. The excitement of the audience was palpable. IMHO, Intimacy between the audience and the orchestra was enhanced by the limits of the small venue. “Busting at the seams” hardly expresses how well received this concert in the community was receive. People I observed seemed more than ready to take ownership of their beloved orchestra in more ways that just throwing some money in the can, though that seemed pretty common, and should not be discounted. I heard comments like, “I wish I could do more!”, “I can’t imagine Columbus without it’s orchestra!” “What can I do to help?” More elbow rubbing in the outlying community can only help the cause.

    Perhaps self-governance of the CSO is the only way to maintain integrity and control.


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