Midgette: Different answers for different orchestras

Posted on: May 6, 2011

Thursday (5/5) on her Washington Post blog Classical Beat, Anne Midgette writes, “Yesterday, I went on WNYC’s Soundcheck to talk about which orchestras, amid all the dire news of bankruptcies and strikes, might represent a new model, a way of doing things right. I’m not sure my views on the subject were suited to the rubric of “let’s talk positive,” because, as the field is learning very painfully right now, there are no right answers, and there certainly isn’t an answer that fits every orchestra. The problem with orchestras as an institution is that they can create the illusion that art can be institutionalized, when in fact it remains as individual as the people who create it. … The bottom line is that the success of any new initiative—and the definition of ‘success’ is fodder for a blog post of its own—depends in no small part on the organization’s motivation for launching the initiative in the first place. Too often, such attempts seem born of a vague sense that New is good, or, more cynically, of an idea that New gets funding, or, more desperately, of a realization that if something doesn’t change, the organization is sunk. But if New doesn’t fit in with your organization’s mandate, it’s not going to get you very far.”

Posted May 6, 2011