Category - Orchestra Management

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The price was right
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Another take on Met HD
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Ice Bowl
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Price it (right) and they will come
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Conductors say the darndest things
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Grass Growing HD
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Wassup in Detroit?
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Time to go short?
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WE PLAY, WHO DOES PAY?
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Bad cases make bad models

The price was right

One of the most damaging misconceptions about orchestras is that we raise money because we don’t make enough on ticket sales to cover the total expense of the concerts. The reality is very little of the fixed expenses of orchestras is covered by ticket sales, which typically cover, at most, the marginal expenses of putting[…]

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Another take on Met HD

After having written about the LA Phil’s upcoming experiment with broadcasting live to movie theaters and comparing it to the Met HD project, I was interested to come across another take on the whole concept from a Canadian professor of management: Recently I attended my first Live in HD broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera‚Äôs das[…]

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Ice Bowl

Long orchestra strikes come to resemble a labor relations version of the infamous Ice Bowl; a painful and slow grinding out of points in horrible conditions that caused almost as much pain to the spectators as to the players on the field. Detroit shows some signs of becoming almost as infamous in the history of[…]

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Price it (right) and they will come

Say “Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra” to an orchestra activist and the discussion will likely turn to that orchestra’s innovative approach to hiring and firing musicians without the institution of the Music Director. But more important to our field has been their approach to the problem of ticket prices, as described in an article in the[…]

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Conductors say the darndest things

There’s been a certain amount of piling-on in response to comments that conductor James Gaffigan made on his blog a few weeks ago (h/t to Adaptistration and oboeinsight). After providing us with some details of his recent guest conducting, and news of his new apartment in Lucerne, he proceeds to some rather unfortunate remarks inspired[…]

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Grass Growing HD

Color me skeptical: In a bold venture that the Los Angeles Philharmonic hopes will boost its “national brand” recognition and help raise the profile of classical music from Manhattan to Orange County, the orchestra next year will transmit live performances of three of its concerts to more than 450 high-definition-equipped movie theaters throughout the United[…]

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Wassup in Detroit?

The Detroit Symphony went on strike a little over four weeks ago, although negotiations broke down several weeks before that. That puts the strike clock at around 11:45PM, by normal standards – negotiations seem to begin to get serious, during an orchestra strike, after about six weeks. Why is that? Why not sooner? I think[…]

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Time to go short?

When I first came into the business, the conventional wisdom (as expressed by Len Leibowitz at many ICSOM conferences) was that it was in musicians’ interests to propose one-year agreements and let management pay for the privilege of several years of labor peace and not having to deal with negotiating committees.

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WE PLAY, WHO DOES PAY?

“We play, you pay” is an not-so-old slogan amongst orchestra musicians. It simplistic and misinformed message does not benefit the field or respect the potential value-added skills of my colleagues. We need our field to have a deeper understanding of how the orchestra as a business runs, especially for all aspiring and current professional orchestra members. Otherwise, ignorance leads to fear of any change.

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Bad cases make bad models

The NY Times has a story on what appears to be the inevitable strike in Detroit scheduled to start Monday: The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has weathered decades of strikes, deficits, criticism over its racial makeup, mediocre concert homes, cuts in state aid and canceled tours. It has always bounced back, rescuing and restoring its beautiful[…]

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