Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year’s Notes

It’s New Year’s Eve, so it’s time for some sentimental naval gazing.

Well. 2013. You wanted soul-crushing disappointment? You wanted dizzying ecstasy? You wanted proof that arts activism is alive and well? (You wanted proof that orchestral music is alive and well?) You wanted proof that improbable, impossible things are, in fact, quite possible? Then 2013 was the year for you.

Here were the year’s most popular SOTL stories in reverse order…

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Filed under Blog Stuff

Having It

This is an entry in which I am going to talk about thoughts and feelings I do not understand. To do so is always dangerous. But here I am.

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Filed under Minnesota Orchestra, Personal stuff

Happy Fun Exciting Hall Operations Analysis…Part 3/3

Here’s part 1 and part 2.


MOA has prepared budgets for the fiscal years 2014 through 2017, which assume settlement of the labor dispute and the return to regular performance season consistent with its strategic business plan

Assumes settlement WHEN? Because your revenue and your contributions are going to be drastically different if the dispute is settled in 2014 as opposed to 2017… Don’t you think you need to maybe, I don’t know, like, account for that? Otherwise the numbers are meaningless.

And consistent “with its strategic business plan”? Your strategic plan is no more. It’s dead. The last year killed it. Literally about half the things in there, if not more, are now impossible to achieve. So draw up a new plan. And do it right this time.



The conclusion to the letter is just blah blah blah blah blah. Nothing new, so I’ll skate past it.

So! Now let us look at the long-awaited 2013-2014 season…

It is a season so terrible that I’m actually relieved the players were locked out and prevented from performing it.

There are so many horrific highlights. Rocky Horror Picture Show. Endless Christmas celebrations. Jim Brickman: Be My Valentine….on Valentine’s Day. A program called: “Midtown Men or Meghan Hilty or Alan Cumming or Bond & Beyond with the Minnesota Orchestra.”

The poster for this event

The poster for this event

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Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

Happy Fun Exciting Hall Operations Analysis…Part 2/3

Click here for Part 1.


MOA has prepared and planned a full schedule of concerts for the fiscal year 2014 (F2014) season, to be presented when the labor contract is resolved. A copy of the full F2014 Concert Program is enclosed as Exhibit A.

I think by “full schedule of concerts for the fiscal year 2014” you mean “The Sh%&%$#st Hypothetical Orchestral Season Ever Known To Man (TM).” But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself…

The program includes concert programs with the Minnesota Orchestra, in some cases with guest artists and conductors

Actually, in most cases with guest conductors…SINCE WE HAVE NO MUSIC DIRECTOR.

as well as concerts by other groups and performers, such as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Duke Ellington



Coming to Orchestra Hall in 2014!

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Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

Happy Fun Exciting Hall Operations Analysis…Part 1 of 3

Today some reports from the Minnesota Orchestral Association hit the blogosphere, courtesy of audience advocacy group Save Our Symphony Minnesota. An Annual Report of Hall Operations and a Legal Opinion Accompanying the Annual Report? Oh, it’s Christmas!

So. Look over the documents here and here before going any further. They’re pretty short and they’re entertaining reads…as long as your sense of humor is dark.

This is the color of my sense of humor, so I'm good. *thumbs up*

This is the color of my sense of humor, so I’m good. *thumbs up*

I think I’ll aim for a three-parter. Why not? I’ll also title the article with some exciting adjectives like “happy fun exciting” to lure unsuspecting readers in.

Okay. So. Here are my preliminary reactions.

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Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

2013 Advent Calendar

As long-time readers of the blog know, I have a weakness for Advent calendars, even when they don’t include chocolate. (Although…chocolate is good.)

chocolate… nom nom nom

So here’s the second annual virtual SOTL Advent calendar, sans chocolate. After the introductory entry of December first, each day will feature a Youtube video having to do with Christmas or winter music, along with a favorite memory of 2013. (Perhaps astonishingly, given the circumstances, I have a lot of favorite memories.) Yes, it’s a weird tradition – I don’t think any other classical music blogs do this? – but I get a kick out of assembling it, and I like to spread the joy of Advent calendars, so…

Entries are queued to post at 12am every morning. So enjoy, and warm holiday wishes to you and yours.

If you’re not sure what to buy for yourself or your family members this holiday season, you should really consider purchasing tickets to see the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians in-concert later this month in their Tchaikovsky extravaganza. Because everybody loves the Nutcracker, am I right?


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Filed under Blog Stuff