April 13, 2009


In the days following the publication of Mr. Dobrin's Philadelphia Inquirer article, there were many responses written by people in the industry. While I do not consider myself to be as knowledgeable as many, I did write the commentary below and received some pretty interesting responses at www.violinist.com - as well as a wonderful new connection. More about that later...

....the two commentaries that have been the most informative as well as the most thoughtful have come from very well-known and extremely knowledgeable men in the orchestral world. The first is by Drew McManus - orchestral consultant and author of Adaptistration.com - and the second, which I have to quote here, is by violist Sam Bergman of the Minnesota Orchestra:

"Such articles usually contain a lot of scary but isolated numbers (an orchestra CEO who makes $1 million a year!! a stagehand who makes north of $400K!!! a newly minted orchestra musician right out of school making $130K!!!!) designed to drive home the idea that orchestral finance is completely out of control, thus relieving the author of actually having to prove his thesis with real economic data that applies across the broader industry."

"So taken in a broader context, pronouncements of the unsustainability of our business model (and if history is any guide, there will be many more of these in the coming months) are more or less entirely contradicted by the self-evident ability of most orchestras to adapt to changes in our specific economies. The headlines trumpeting layoffs and salary givebacks aren't evidence of the failure of a business model. They're a demonstration of how the model bends without breaking."

Mr. Bergman's entire article can be found through this link. Enjoy, and please share your thoughts.

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