The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Conductor Seiji Ozawa has cancer and many symphony orchestras face a minor-key future

January 22, 2010
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This is not a happy time for many symphony orchestras around the country.

They face budget deficits, declining endowment, curtailed seasons, labor strife and lower attendance.

Here are some links to follow — especially to stories about the famed, world-class Cleveland Symphony (below) .  They make you realize how relatively healthy things seem in Madison’s classical music scene:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/arts/music/20orchestra.html

But before the Cleveland Orchestra strike was settled, a good piece with a lot of ominous background and context appeared:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/arts/music/19orchestra.html

On a more personal or human note, longtime conductor Seiji Ozawa has cancer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiji_Ozawa

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/08/arts/music/08ozawa.html

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100108a2.html

And despite a burgeoning population in the Southwest, the Tucson Symphony faces cutbacks:

http://azstarnet.com/news/article_4117392c-68fc-5cd6-ac27-6c2dbc27a58d.html

Here’s a link the artsjournal web site, which has other stories about orchestras going bankrupt — the Honolulu Symphony (below) and others:

http://www.artsjournal.com/music.shtml

What do you think of the financial and attendance problems of symphony orchestras?

Do you know of other problems at other symphony orchestras?

What is a solution?

Should they turn to more contemporary program?

Or should they go back to basics — like Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony — to reach a new audience that hasn’t been educated into liking classical music?

The Ear wants to hear.


Posted in Classical music

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