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Samuel Thompson

Post-Script on Music and Meaning

April 13, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Thank you all for the commentary on my most recent entry.

In the days since the publication of the Philadelphia Inquirer article, there have been at least TWO commentaries posted by well-known and extremely knowledgeable men in the orchestral world.   The first is by Drew McManus - orchestral consultant and author of - and the second, which I have to quote here, is by violist Sam Bergman of the Minnesota Orchestra:

"Such articles usually contain a lot of scary but isolated numbers (an orchestra CEO who makes $1 million a year!! a stagehand who makes north of $400K!!! a newly minted orchestra musician right out of school making $130K!!!!) designed to drive home the idea that orchestral finance is completely out of control, thus relieving the author of actually having to prove his thesis with real economic data that applies across the broader industry."

"So taken in a broader context, pronouncements of the unsustainability of our business model (and if history is any guide, there will be many more of these in the coming months) are more or less entirely contradicted by the self-evident ability of most orchestras to adapt to changes in our specific economies. The headlines trumpeting layoffs and salary givebacks aren't evidence of the failure of a business model. They're a demonstration of how the model bends without breaking."

Mr. Bergman's entire article can be found through this link.   Enjoy, and please share your thoughts.

From Corwin Slack
Posted on April 14, 2009 at 2:51 PM

 People of ability make things happen. When we punish ability (or fail to reward it) ability goes elsewhere. We are in a down time for everything right now but the only reasonable path out will require people of ability and they must be rewarded.

I am glad you posted this follow-up comments that are much more sane than the article you first linked to.

From Samuel Thompson
Posted on April 14, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Much more sane - yeah...

From bill platt
Posted on April 14, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Yep. Nope. It is all nonsense and it is all just a lot of wasted words. Money comes, money goes, art is what the artist makes, if the artist has no customers, he sells no art.  Whether the artist is overpaid or not is his business. If you aren't paying him, it ain't your business. If you pay for a ticket, it ain't your business, neither--you've voted with your wallet for him.

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