What do we want to fight for? | Orchestra Revolution

What do we want to fight for? | Orchestra Revolution.

Fascinating and informative comments on the problems classical orchestras face in today's competitive arts environment. Unfortunately, most of the comments answering the question "What do we want to fight for?" are negative, such as;

The unspoken truth behind why major American symphony orchestras have chronic funding shortfalls is that they have ceased giving concerts that interest and engage the modern audience.


Is the current model of the symphony orchestra as we know it (created at least a century ago) still viable?

They may also be truthful. But blog author Ian David Moss offers plenty of optimistic angles in his post responding to the comments. Though he admits that even he, a musician and composer, albeit a poor one, rarely attends live concerts, and then only if he gets comp tickets.

It’s very hard for me to imagine any normal concert program (i.e., one without a world premiere) that would induce me to pay as much as $40 for a ticket—and even that number would have been a lot lower a few years ago.

Clearly, though, orchestras must have something to offer, since they’ve inspired the passion of all of you and untold thousands of others for generations.

What need were they filling, for their players, composers, or audience? And let’s not forget personal histories either. What first drew you to the orchestra? And specifically, what was it that made you decide you wanted to dedicate your life’s work, or at least a significant portion of it, to advancing and celebrating this art form?

The write has another blog called CreatEquity, about arts policy. Good stuff.

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3 comments for “What do we want to fight for? | Orchestra Revolution

  1. June 13, 2010 at

    Thanks for the clarification, David. I figured you probably were trying to paraphrase me by the time I wrote the comment, but on first, second, and third reads I really thought you were just throwing random insults around! So I'm glad to hear that we're on the same page, and any insults I can expect about my music in the future will be based on having actually listened to it first. 🙂

    It's interesting that you don't typically attend concerts with which you're not involved as a performer. You could be exhibit A for my most recent post on OR, arguing that classical music is much more interesting to create/perform than to watch/listen to. Truth be told, I've become a bit less penniless in the last year or so and have begun attending a few more big-ticket performing arts events here and there, but so far the thrill has not been remotely comparable to that I get from being closely involved creatively with an event — even a tiny one.

    • June 13, 2010 at

      Ian. I will certainly check back regularly with OR and Createquity, which I find more interesting than many. And I would love to be an exhibit in any post of yours. 🙂

      The situation is indeed dire for orchestras, and our orchestra's recent history is evidence. (Columbus Symphony, Ohio, salaries cut by 50% in past 5 years) Part of the reason I blog about music is to do my part to stimulate more interest in classical music by a wider audience.

  2. June 12, 2010 at

    Ah, the wonders of Google Alerts…

    "Though he admits that even he, a musician and composer, albeit a poor one, rarely attends live concerts, and then only if he gets comp tickets."

    I must say, I'm a little confused by this wording. Are you saying I'm a bad musician or just a penniless musician? (And if the former, I wonder which of my pieces you listened to and decided weren't worthy?)

    Also, for the record, I do attend live concerts with some regularity, just not orchestral concerts.

    Thanks for the shout-out to the blog, though.

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