While labor strife grabs headlines, many orchestras thrive

Posted on: November 6, 2012

In Tuesday’s (11/6) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed cites recent turmoil on the orchestra scene, and then visits several orchestras in Southern California that “tell a more hopeful story about the prognosis for orchestra health in modern times and in communities, from Pasadena to Los Angeles to La Jolla. … Orchestral—to say nothing of orchestrated—doomsday prophecies go back to the early 19th century, when orchestras lost court patronage and began playing for an unwashed general public. … Yet for two centuries what didn’t kill orchestras made them stronger. And just to make sure that could still be true in the Great Recession, I began the weekend by taking the pulse of the Pasadena Symphony at its Saturday matinee. That evening, I moved on to the big kahuna, Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Then Sunday I drove to La Jolla for the UC San Diego -affiliated semi-professional community orchestra. … This may not be a wonderful time for orchestras everywhere, and not all will weather their current storm. But the wonder in orchestral life, like amazing mushrooms after a downpour, remains a renewable, life-giving resource. You only have to look in the right place.”

Posted November 6, 2012