There was a wonderful review on Slate recently of a book by legendary San Francisco photographer Fred Lyon. The book is called San Francisco: Portrait of a City 1940-1960, and the review included a number of pictures from the book.
I grew up south of San Francisco on the campus of Stanford University. My family moved there in 1962, so the city pictured in the book was very close to the one I remember visiting regularly while growing up. It’s not surprising that most of the photos in the book look quite different from what San Francisco looks like today. What I found striking were the only two pictures featured in the review that could have been taken yesterday:
The first is of a ballet class, and the second is of a performance by the San Francisco Ballet of Nutcracker.
I’m not sure if these pictures from at least 50 years ago demonstrate that what might be called the classical performing arts can’t change, or that they shouldn’t change. But these pictures now come into my mind whenever I hear anyone talk about the need for “change” in the orchestra business.