SOTL on WQXR

I was interviewed for the WQXR Conducting Business podcast yesterday! Take a listen here.

The incident is the latest example of political-style web advocacy that’s moved into the realm of classical music and the arts. In this podcast, we get three views on the trend, including that of Hogstad, who writes the blog Song of the Lark.

A Minnesota Orchestra spokesperson told NPR Music‘s Anastasia Tsioulcas that the organization reserved the URLs to protect the orchestra’s name, knowing well that the labor talks would be contentious. Such purchases are a standard business practice, although they’re usually masked by a third-party buyer so that it’s not quite so obvious what’s taking place. Even so, the revelation drew a wave of negative commentary and the orchestra had to acknowledge Hogstad’s blog, which she said it had previously ignored.

This is the start of a really important conversation that everyone in the arts world is going to need to have sooner or later (and preferably sooner). It was a fascinating discussion, and I was honored to be a part of it. I’m heartened and humbled by the immense power of blogs and social media.

8 Comments

Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

8 responses to “SOTL on WQXR

  1. I just listened to the piece.
    I think the point is well taken, that as well as creating a row, we need to get the funds for concrete action. The first step is planning a credible music season.
    We really need to know at this stage, what the musicians want and are prepared to do if the lockout is not lifted.

  2. I have just read the news just posted in the Star Tribune.
    I think our voices are being heard. It seems the MOA have made a sensible proposal at last.
    There is no time left to argue the toss. We need to strongly encourage both parties to cooperate and get Orchestra Hall resounding with music. Lets head on and upward to Carnegie Hall with our music director Osmo Vanska.

    • There are a lot of details up in the air, so let’s hold tight and hear what the musicians have to say.

      • We have to influence the musicians, just as we have the MOA. Yes, we do need to influence them as well. We have a short time to restart this engine, before real disaster.
        All we need to do is reassure both parties they have a our support, advice and encouragement once the music starts. The music must start and only the musicians can produce it.

  3. While the new offer eventually includes the huge cuts in base salary (while implementing no cuts immediately), note that the revenue sharing option is the board’s way of saying to US, “We don’t think Minnesota will come through with the money to keep salaries where they are. Prove us wrong.” Show time, people.

  4. JKM

    Make a pledge under the conditions laid down by Mr. Lee Henderson and his colleagues.

  5. Bill, the board are probably right. I don’t think Minnesotans will come through with donated funds. The ratio of earned to donated income is unacceptable and unsustainable.
    The answer is to up the revenue. I do believe that orchestras can and must earn their keep. If we can’t move to Royal Albert Hall packed to the rafters night after night, often more than once a day and at the midnight hour. The audience is of all ages with happy faces of all colors of the rainbow having a good time.
    This tradition was started by Sir Henry Wood over a century ago, when he was confronted by dwindling aging audiences. He solved it and we can too.
    Face it we have far too much in common with Haydn at Esterhazy and not enough in common with his or Handel’s years in England. I would point out that Handel had very little royal patronage, nearly went bankrupt twice. He was also a great benefactor and died leaving a fortune in the bank.
    There are good lessons from history.

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