Opinion: greater community focus spurs Detroit Symphony revival

Posted on: April 18, 2013

In Thursday’s (4/18) Detroit News, columnist Daniel Howes writes, “Two years after a debilitating strike pushed the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to the brink of its storied existence, the band is back. It is establishing a presence in suburban markets filled with loyal patrons, and its free webcasts are reaching the largest online audience of any orchestra in the world. Next month, it will return to New York’s Carnegie Hall after a 17-year hiatus, signaling a revival through hard work and innovation that could be subtitled DSO 2.0. ‘Things have gone better than I thought or hoped,’ Haden McKay, a cellist and member of the orchestra’s bargaining committee during the strike, said in an interview Wednesday. ‘Overall, the orchestra has stabilized. There’s been an effort on all sides to rebuild relationships.’ … ‘If you don’t figure out how your orchestra meets the needs of the city whose name you bear, your death is at the door,’ says Paul Hogle, executive vice president of the DSO. … The DSO’s online push to extend the orchestra’s brand and artistic cred at home and overseas already is paying dividends. Twenty-two free webcasts this season, sponsored by the Knight Foundation and the Ford Motor Co. Fund, are expected to reach 250,000 listeners worldwide, up from 120,000 last season, thanks in part to simulcasts by established classical music sites based in Paris and Russia.”

Posted April 18, 2013