Sunday, September 15, 2013

Here and There: "Orchestral Crisis" Re-Visted

One last time! Alex Ross discusses the non-death of classical music and points to Jon Silpayamanant's timeline of "orchestral crisis". I suggest reading Jon's blog post Questions About the State of Classical Music (and keeping in mind that people who make money from talking about crises have no incentives for discovering that, uh, there isn't a crisis).

Back in the good old days of 2004-5, a number of people arm-wrestled with Greg Sandow about these issues, and eventually gave up for various reasons. If you have some historical perspective, it's obvious that musical institutions will come and go (New York City Opera, hail and farewell). It's a tragedy when an organization like the Minnesota Orchestra is (willfully?) gutted, and likely killed, by its own board, but more commonly, the economy and run-of-the-mill management errors do in organizations. In the Bay Area, the Oakland Symphony died and returned as the Oakland-East Bay SO, and the San Jose Symphony died and was replaced by the Symphony Silicon Valley. This is the normal state of organizations: some succeed, some fail. Of more interest might be the number of American musical institutions that survived and even grew during the current prolonged and serious recession. Or the growth in certain areas. I will trot out some numbers Alex dug up years ago: between the 1970s and around 2005, the number of new music ensembles in the greater NYC area grew from 2 to 50. Does that sound like an art form in crisis??

Elsewhere, Bruce Ridge tells it like it is to the people of Minnesota, in an op-ed that is related to general talk of an "orchestral crisis".....Here's Jon again on pundits crying wolf....and Ron Spigelman with a few words on the same topic.

No comments: