League Conference: tackling diversity, artistic excellence, community involvement

Posted on: June 14, 2016

“ ‘We need to ask ourselves if artistic excellence is the ultimate goal. Other things may be more important.’ She said it…. In Baltimore last week, the conductor Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, stated a question that’s been lurking around the edges of the orchestra world,” writes Anne Midgette in Monday’s (6/13) Washington Post. “Alsop’s statement came at the start of the annual conference of the League of American Orchestras, which was held in Baltimore last week, and which this year aspired to tackle the timely topic of diversity…. Over the course of the conference’s first day, Alsop and her orchestra demonstrated to their colleagues what other concerns, apart from artistic excellence, might occupy an orchestra—and what diversity might look like. In the afternoon, the League members were treated to a vivid performance by members of OrchKids, the program Alsop helped launch eight years ago for inner-city children…. In a rainbow of bright T-shirts, [students] sang along to Sibelius’s ‘Finlandia’ and danced while playing New Orleans-style brass.” Also conducting at the OrchKids concert was BSO Associate Conductor Nicholas Hersh. “The BSO showed another face of community involvement [last week] with a performance of Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ … danced by high school students…. No, the dancers weren’t professional. Yes, it was still a worthwhile performance.”

Posted June 14, 2016