The Classical Sky Is Falling!! RUN!!!!

Good morning everyone! Through Double Bass Blog I found this blog from the Milwaukee Symphony’s Principal violist.

I feel it has particular merit due to his position and therefore insight in to the orchestral world.

Anyway…It got me thinking….

We all know there are many orchestra folding or having issues. There are also many orchestra that continue to run in the BLACK such as the Chicago Symphony and the Chicago Lyric Opera.

While the state of classical music is probably in one of the best states of being (well perhaps besides 18th & 19th century Europe) composers and musicians for over 100 years have lamented its condition.

As an educator, performer, conductor, and author, I blame conductors. When I choose literature for my ensembles, albeit young ensembles, I balance 3.5 goals:

1. Pick literature appropriate to the playing level of my group.

2. Think of the audience. I imagine myself sitting out there listening. Would I want to sit through my concert?

3. Educational value.

3.5 Fun factor! Both for the players and audience.

How my times have you heard a conductor say, “I’d love to conduct that”. Is that a musician or an ego talking? I’ve seen a local community orchestra (I was subbing with them), with a well known CSO musician as conductor, attack Mahler 5. MAHLER 5! Yeah that’s right. Now was that for those musicians or his ego. Hmmm. Would you want buy THAT recording?

So what is my point, other than needing another cup of coffee?

If conductors would take their egos out of the equation, think about the orchestra and audience – and how about some visuals as long as were at it – the lamented state of ‘art’ music could rise to the appreciated level it is in other countries.

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