Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

If you follow classical music news like I do you would have seen some very troubling headlines.

Osmo Vänskä's departure shakes Minnesota Orchestra

If you are not familiar with the on going issues the Minnesota Orchestra has had with their Board of Directors you should definitely look it up to fully understand how it got to where they are now

New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors

CANCELLED: Carnegie Hall Live: Opening Night Gala With The Philadel...

Without An Angel Donor, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra Could Go Dark

keep in mind this orchestra is currently accepting scores for a new competition. 

Many blame changing audience taste, crazy new music, MTV culture, shorten attentions spans, snobbishness of symphony goes, and high ticket prices for the decline in audience sizes at the symphony. All legit reasons but their seems to be a bigger problem at hand, a problem from within many failing orchestras, opera companies, and professional performing ensembles. While each situation is different, an underline theme that I see throughout each of these performing groups is some kind of mismanagement. It appears that many orchestras have yet to keep up with the times and run their business as they did 100 years ago. So what can be done?

What do you think is the main issue for these failing performance ensembles? What do you think needs to be changed?

Views: 3668

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

 (What do you think needs to be changed)

Capitalism

Do the research

I have done the research on Capitalism as well as other economic systems. I dont see how a change from Capitalism would effect the financial situations of orchestras and opera companies, especially in the USA. If the US went the route of socialism or communism a somewhat "value-to-society" amount would have to be placed on the performing arts. The US people and its government do not have a good track record in this area. Though we like to think of ourselves as supportive of the arts but when it comes down to putting our money where are mouth is, many think of the arts of a luxury item to have only in good economic standings (and usually not even then). We saw this in Greece with their state run orchestra that was shut down this year.

There were about 1,200 symphony orchestras in the U.S. as of 1998. Some U.S. orchestras maintain a full 52-week performing season, but most are small and have shorter seasons. As of 2007, there were 117 U.S. orchestras with annual budgets of $2.5 million or more. Not to mention all the Ballet companies, Opera Companies, chamber ensembles, etc. these are all kept running through mostly donations from wealthy donors and corporate sponsors. In a socialist system these sponsors would still be there but giving considerably less and the government would have to give considerably more. In a communist system, the government would be the sole financial providers, thus the number of performing arts ensemble would be greatly diminished (keeping in mind that all we have changed would be the economic system, and not the mentality of the American people and their lawmakers). 

More than just a economic change would be needed; a mindset change for the entire population would be necessary. But that would only work in a perfect non-corruptible world. Even then, their would be many more hurdles to overcome to justify the exorbitant spending it takes to keep these performing ensembles up and running. The number of years, decades even, for the US population to adjust to any new economic system and to be happy with it would be, in my theory, years to many for an orchestra. But this is just my Theory. 

How do you think a change in Capitalism would effect the orchestras positively?

Vincent Avila said:

 (What do you think needs to be changed)

Capitalism

Do the research

I'm sorry Tyler, I don't like to engage in debates over the airwaves as I've seen others who thrieve on it  on this website  and have mounted the totals of 100's ++ replys and gone no-where..I'll leave that kind of long winded emptiness to the politicans.

Be more than happy to engage thru private email exchange

 

In one word government support

why

we invest in parks for example because they are deemed to be for the greater good of society to maintain them, enjoyed by both young and old and enriching.

So by the same token the state should prop up and promote all major orchestras, so long as they are reaching out into the community with school recitals etc etc.

And how much does the US spend on one trident missile $25o,ooo

My two cents: we are witnessing the end of the last waves of The Enlightenment. At this point, only the merest ripples are making it to shore. We are about to enter the cultural Dark Ages. I think more than Capitalism or socio-economic factors are involved. I would place much of the blame squarely on technology. As Marshall McLuhan said, new technologies don't just change our lives, they change us. Increasingly we are being controlled by the electronic infrastructure permeating our world. A new kind of order is emerging, technological serfdom. I personally think we still have time before the machines completely take over, but I could be wrong. the genie is out of the bottle. there probably is no going back.

OK, let the defenders of technology have their say.

So why do we fund schooling

Kristofer Emerig said:

Really though, it's a sly non sequitur, that bit about "deemed to be for the greater good" [by a few elitists], followed by "enjoyed by both young and old and enriching"- really? Then why the need for subsidizing it?

 

If it were so enjoyed by the masses, it would not have to be foisted upon them by authoritarian fiat. It would instead enjoy a natural buoyancy in the free market without artificial interference.

 

I instinctively mistrust any and all gestures by elitists promising benefits to "the greater good" of the unwashed masses, in spite of their clear apathy for or rejection of what's being offered. Usually what's behind such machinations is the "lesser good" of the few, whether that be an ideological goal, or profit, or some other motive.
 
Adrian Allan said:

In one word government support

why

we invest in parks for example because they are deemed to be for the greater good of society to maintain them, enjoyed by both young and old and enriching.


 

 

@ Adrian: Most orchestras if not all do have public outreach programs. Many play in schools as well as offer lessons, have family nights, have free or cheaper concerts for families, and talk to schools. (my mom actually applied to be a school ambassador for the Austin Symphony Orchestra). All promotion is done by the orchestra in some way. 

@ Michael: I agree with you for the most part. Technology has changed the game completely. All of us can say we have heard a Beethoven symphony, but a lot of us on this site can say they never heard one live, and why bother. back in the day, recording were lacking and their was a CLEAR difference between live and recorded music. Now with sound technology reaching such a realistic point, one can close their eyes and hear a Beethoven symphony as if they were their. So why bother going anymore? Many concerts offer nothing more than just the music. 

What compounds the issue is that many orchestras are technology inept. So with the rest of the world zooming past orchestras are left in the dust. 

the burden of proof lies in proving that major orchestras themselves enrich the culture, and not just music alone. Then taking that proof and placing a monetary value to it. 

Adrian Allan said:

In one word government support

why

we invest in parks for example because they are deemed to be for the greater good of society to maintain them, enjoyed by both young and old and enriching.

So by the same token the state should prop up and promote all major orchestras, so long as they are reaching out into the community with school recitals etc etc.

And how much does the US spend on one trident missile $25o,ooo

Ok then kristopher, take it back to my first example. Why do we use council money for the upkeep of parks. Just sell them off and let wal mart build on them.
Are museums at all funded in the US or are they all privatised?

What patronising sods with ulterior motives decided we all needed parks or museums?
It is also interesting to note that the wars that US are currently waging cost billions of dollars, but only benefit those in a tiny elite. Namely those in the energy industries or the weapons industries.

We need to decide what to support for the greater public good.

I dont measure the success of a country just on gdp, but on personal fulfilment and enrichment.

A country that invests in its arts, across the social classes if possible, will be immeasurably richer, happier, and possibly also more economically productive.

Wouldn't it be nice if good music inspired good morality, and the good morality inspired the Capitalists and Politicians to focus on the good of others instead of their own power and prestige. The only problem is that in the ' melting pot' tribe that we live in, there won't be any consensus as to what the common good is. So who would decide?  Huh, back to Free Market again.( there will always be sheep and wolves.)It is not a symptom, just the nature of us.

It has always been my contention that capitalism, if not married/yoked to morality, is doomed to fail.       RS

K-man, I totally agree and raise. I was talking Tea Party back in the late ninties off the cuff w/ friends and have watched the

erosion of America since I was old enough to to discern the ideas of personal liberty and freedom.

The 'notion' that the people don't want the music is a bit too all encompassing. The people ,I'm sure you know , are not

ever of one mind. So , we're always dealing in subsets. Maybe , w/ the lack of enthusiasum and waning interest, composers ,( and Ibelieve this is how it should be)

in tune w/ the market and trying to earn a living at it, will become more resourceful and creative out of Necessity. Or go flip burgers. I think the same principle applies to writers and just about everything  else creative.

and as far as I'm concerned , Gov'mt is a waste of money.

 

 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2020   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service