April 5, 2011

And now...

Hello, all, and thank you for your patience.

There is MUCH about which I want to and intend to write, and of course MUCH has happened in the world during the past few months. The question, however, is where does one begin?

No time like the present - it appears that the Detroit Symphony musicians and management have come to a tentative agreement that would end what has been the longest strike in the history of America's major orchestras. Having watched this dispute for many months, this is indeed heartening news.

However, this comes at the heels of another work stoppage: the Syracuse Symphony, after a highly publicized fundraising campaign from which the proceeds would be directed to keeping the orchestra afloat for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season, has ceased operations, citing huge financial difficulties. I am being reminded once again of the years 2001-2003, during which we saw the permanent shutdown of the Florida Philharmonic, Savannah Symphony and the Tulsa Philharmonic, an early season ending in San Antonio, the Houston Symphony strike, and the reorganization of the Colorado Springs Symphony.

Since 2010 we have now seen the longest strike in America's orchestral history, the dissolution of the Honolulu Symphony, serious tremors in Louisville, the dramatic and sobering reorganization of the Charleston Symphony, and now this - and I find myself at a loss for words. What can one say?

Well, there are many opinions and theories floating around; however, I simply find myself thinking of dear friends and colleagues who have lost jobs. With that, I applaud violist Sam Bergman of the Minnesota Orchestra for sharing his opinions of tremulous situations that we all face by telling the story of a colleague who has been directly affected - a perspective that much of the world does not have the opportunity to see.

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