Monday, May 12, 2008


...that's how I felt this past weekend as the Columbus Symphony played their last scheduled Classical Series concerts of the season, which will probably turn out to be their last concerts ever.
(Yes, yes we have Yo-Yo Ma en gala later this week, and a Pops
program with Marvin Hamlisch on May 31st. I'm sorry. Strike me dead if you want, but I don't want the last CSO concerts EVER to feature Marvin Hamlisch. God bless him)

The fiscal crisis at the Columbus Symphony is selling newspapers and keeping the blogs and websites humming.
The Columbus Dispatch has printed not one but two editorials telling the musicians (the product-thank you very much)to buck up and take all the pay cuts, all of the lost weeks and really everything the board can dish out to diminish the orchestra in size and quality. Stop whining and get over it.
The musicians take another view: where's the strategic plan? Where are the fundraising efforts? There's plenty of emotion from the public but how about from civic officials? The board will only negotiate further if the musicians accept horrendous cuts. The musicians will only negotiate further if these cuts are addressed. The board stance I find to be icy and patronizing. Very much the Esterhazy, use the servants entrance model. As stewards of a fifty seven year old civic organization, they clearly do not want the present Columbus symphony to succeed. Both sides vilify the other in the press. What's needed is a Dad or a playground monitor to knock some heads and get both sides talking. One has to wonder too, if CAPA , owners of the Ohio Theater wouldn't be just as content to let the CSO fail and fill the theatres with orchestra road shows. There it is folks: all music and all musicians are expendable and interchangeable.

If the board had any plan t fund raise or to improve this situation in any way, outside of firing half the orchestra they haven't made it known, it hasn't been reported or my fat ass has been under a very large rock. All they've said is, the musicians must accept these cuts. Period. If they don't, we have nothing to say to them.
Nor do they have anything we want to hear (including music, so it would seem)
Ah! Remember music? This past weekend, Beethoven, Schumann and Mendelssohn rang out splendidly. Will this-or Marvin Hamlisch-really be the end?

Look at these web sites:

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