Well that was quite the year.
In the tradition of years past, here’s a New Year’s summary of what all happened at this address over the past twelve months.
Here are the year’s most popular entries in reverse order. Spoiler alert: it was an Atlantapalooza!
5. Doug Hertz Takes On The Crazy People. 4 October. Woodruff Arts Center board chair Doug Hertz gave the strangest interview of the year to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, where he called his musicians “crazy” and suggested that his music director could help the negotiations with “ideas.”
4. Stanley Romanstein’s Massive Bonuses: 2012 Lockout Edition! 18 September. Former Atlanta Symphony CEO Stanley Romanstein raked in $45k in bonuses during the first musician lockout in 2012, and people were pissed.
3. Naked Nymphs and the Atlanta Symphony. 3 October. Arguably the weirdest entry of the year, in which I took a wide-eyed look at the Atlanta Symphony’s bewildering 2014-15 season brochure, which boasted massive naked ladies and lots of strategically flung red scarves.
2. Stanley Romanstein’s Massive Bonuses. 8 September. The #2 entry in 2013 was Michael Henson’s Massive Bonuses, so it’s only fair that the companion piece “Stanley Romanstein’s Massive Bonuses” received the #2 slot in 2014.
And the most popular entry…
1. The Atlanta Symphony Facebook Page Loses It. 11 September. It’s not often that you get to watch a major American orchestra throw a temper tantrum on their Facebook page, but 2014 was a truly special year. It also included my favorite reaction GIF of 2014.
I spent a lot of time in the early part of 2014 volunteering for Save Our Symphony Minnesota. (As you can imagine, during the Henson / Osmo showdown and resulting administrative churn, there were a lot of things that community members needed to do to make their voices heard.) Mainly because of all that volunteer work, and also because of some sad losses in my personal life, there were only 41 entries in 2014, as opposed to 97 in 2013, and traffic declined by 36%. In other news, readers visited from 155 countries this year, as opposed to 149 last year.
As for personal favorites…
Favorite Blog: Scott Chamberlain had some great entries at Mask of the Flower Prince. He was extraordinarily prolific this year, and he provided lots of food for thought about the Met Opera negotiations in particular. Scott’s now president of the Minnesota Chorale board, so that’s cool.
Favorite Microreview: the November 14 concert
Favorite Ousted CEO in the Non-Profit World: Impossible to choose
Favorite Non-Ousted CEO in the Non-Profit World: Kevin Smith.
Favorite Interview: Actually, my only interview…a chat with Emily Green, founder of Young Musicians of Minnesota
Favorite Essay / Favorite Concert / Favorite Life Experience: the Sibelius 1 and 4 concert in March. It will never be repeated. It will never be surpassed. My essay about that concert is here.
And in case you missed it first time around, here’s the 2014 SOTL Advent calendar, which surveys the year and includes 24 wintry-themed music videos. If you haven’t stopped by yet, and you enjoy that kind of shameless nostalgia, be sure to check it out!
2015 will be a crucial year for the Minnesota Orchestra. I hope you’re ready to donate, to support, to brag, and most importantly, to buy tickets! The possibilities are truly endless, but first we all need to step up to the plate together.
And I’m sure you will. You always have, because you’re the best. Catch you in 2015.
6 responses to “Farewell to 2014”
I look forward to more of your witty and informative writing in 2015. I concur with your Top 10 list. #1’s entry had me laughing uproariously. Here’s to the future, many things are going right so far, let’s hope that trend continues.
Your kind words will make me blush! Happy New Year, and thank you for the many wonderful words!
Scott, you have been blushing a LOT this year!
I have relished, chuckled appreciatively over, paused to ruminate about, and hooted with laughter over, so much that you’ve written. Reading you I learned to ask questions about symphony leadership, and nonprofit management in general. I also learned the power of a passionate belief in justice and fairness and in the primacy of music as a transformative medium, and I also beheld the power of a well-placed shiv in the ribs of pomposity and pretense, by watching you wield your figurative pen with wicked, righteous glee. As the new year approaches I salute you and wish you a new year that delivers everything that you wish for, even the innermost stuff we don’t talk about but wish for anyway.
Between the “Finnish it!” concert and the Feb. concert after the lockout ended which was accompanied by 1200 musician-green hankies being waved – I’ve never experienced anything like that.