Detroit Symphony means more to city than classical music

Posted on: October 29, 2010

In Thursday’s (10/28) Detroit Free Press, columnist Brian Dickerson writes an opinion pieces addressed to Michigan governor candidate Rick Snyder, whom he picks as the probable winner of the state’s gubernatorial race. “You could get a running start by using some of that awkward time between Election Day and Inauguration Day to broker an end to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike. … The current standoff between the DSO’s board and players resembles many of the conflicts you’ll encounter come Jan. 1. It’s a struggle to preserve something everyone values with resources everyone recognizes are dwindling. … Saving the DSO isn’t just about saving classical music; it’s about honoring excellence, and securing Detroit’s stature in one of the few realms in which the city still stakes a credible claim to world-class status. … The [orchestra’s] board says the DSO’s current balance sheet makes an orchestra in which players earn a base salary of more than $73,000 unsustainable. The musicians counter that an orchestra whose base salary isn’t at least $96,000 three years from now will quickly begin losing its best players and struggle to attract top-flight replacements. Neither side is wrong. Your challenge—one I’d argue is entirely consistent with the posture you’ve adopted in the current gubernatorial contest—would be to convince both sides that realism in the present tense will justify optimism in the future tense.”

Posted October 29, 2010