Bright notes in dark times as orchestras cope with economy

Posted on: January 18, 2011

On Tuesday (1/18) morning, NPR carries a Morning Edition story about the effects of the recession on classical music entitled “Budget Crisis Forces Classical Music Out of Its Box,” which notes, “In major U.S cities, symphony orchestras face financial problems. But there are bright notes in dark times.” The story reports how “some struggling orchestras in this country are trying to innovate their way out of big financial challenges. Those challenges have led to a four-month strike by the musicians in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra … Louisville’s orchestra recently filed for bankruptcy. The Honolulu Symphony folded last month, and orchestras from Cleveland to Charleston are facing financial problems. However, it’s not all gloom.” The story quotes Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette as saying that orchestras can no longer count on traditional operating models and are engaging audiences in new ways. The story cites the Metropolitan Opera’s high-definition broadcasts to movie theaters worldwide, as well as young artists and composers who are experimenting with classical music. In a linked article, Thomas Huizenga writes “Symphonic Resolutions: What’s Broken In Classical Music, And How Do We Fix It?”, which examines the current classical-music situation and invites readers to comment.

Posted January 18, 201