Friday, August 06, 2010

Don Rosenberg Loses His Lawsuit

Don Rosenberg lost his lawsuit against the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland Orchestra. Read Dan Wakin's article here.

I'm only half surprised. I thought the age discrimination allegations would be tough to prove, but it did look as though the Orchestra put improper pressure on the Plain Dealer because of Rosenberg's critical opinion of Franz Welser-Most.


LinGin said...

I don't know the situation from the perspectives of everyone involved but I'm not sympathetic to Mr. Rosenberg. There was the Christoph Escherbach situation here in Philadelphia in which Peter Dobrin, the Philadelphia Inquirer critic who covered the orchestra, disliked the choice of Maestro Eschenbach from the beginning and basically helped run the maestro out of town. My understanding is that Dobrin, in addition to his own agenda, was acting as the mouthpiece for orchestra and board members who felt that they had not been properly consulted on Maestro Eschenbach's selection.

It appears that Mr. Rosenberg had a similar agenda in his treatment of Maestro Welser-Most. That's intolerable in a critic and Messers Rosenberg and Dobrin should have recused themselves from the beat. At least the Cleveland Plain Dealer had the guts to do something about the situation while the Inquirer has allowed Dobrin to continue.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Rosenberg cannot be characterized as being a mouthpiece for the orchestra and board, considering that the Board itself complained to the Plain Dealer about him. Critics elsewhere have agreed with Rosenberg about Welser-Most's strengths and weaknesses, also.

So what do you think his agenda was? Disliking FW-M's conducting? or do you think he was trying to run FW-M out of town, which obviously he has not succeeded in doing?

What should a critic do if he thinks a conductor isn't good enough for the orchestra?

LinGin said...

I'm seeing things with a jaundiced eye because of what happened here in Philadelphia. The situations are apparently not identical; still, I've become wary of critics that appear to have agendas.

I know when I read a critic who is consistently negative (or positive, for that matter) it makes me distrust his opinions. (I've felt this way about Martin Bernheimer's reviews in Opera magazine regarding the Met; he has such an antipathy to the house that I stopped reading him. I bypass his reviews in the FT as well.)

I stand by my feeling that an antagonistic critic needs to recuse himself. I felt the newspaper took the best route by reassigning him.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, the situations are not identical. The Cleveland extended FW-M's contract through 2016 or later (I don't remember the exact date).

I agree with you about Bernheimer. He's not reliable, and I know people who think he never was.

Rosenberg was extremely positive about FW-M's concert opera, by the way, finding him much better in opera than in orchestral music.

Joe Barron said...

Rosenberg writing dance reviews now, for heaven's sake. I'd rather die.

As a editor, I don't see a problem with a critic having an agenda. Most do. That's why they're critics and not reporters. Yes, it can get tedious, and I have given up reading some critics because of it, but the name of the game is opinion. In this case, it doesn't seem Rosennberg was a mouthpiece for anyone at the orchestra, since it was the orchestra that managed to get him reassigned. The paper's management caved in to pressure. It happens.

And I won't miss Eschenbach.