Commentary: What separates “regional” and “national” or “international” orchestras?

Posted on: December 16, 2009

Monday (12/14) on the New York Times blog ArtsBeat, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “Last week, ArtsBeat reported that the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra would benefit from an $85 million fund established by a patron, Louise Dieterle Nippert. Several commenters took great exception to attaching that word to that orchestra. So let’s get a discussion going. No question, the orchestra is pretty darn good, and has a well-respected conductor. Who says a regional orchestra can’t be a good one? Who says one of the so-called Top Five can’t be mediocre some nights? The strong reaction raises an interesting question. Does an appearance at Carnegie Hall or occasional international tour raise an orchestra to national, or international, status, as the commenters argued? … What does give an orchestra elite status? … Attendance? Percentage of players from the top conservatories? Number of recordings? The opinion of music critics?” Wakin’s post elicited a number of responses, which can be viewed here.

Posted December 16, 2009