If you have "no place to go," come here!


Truly, our elites are stupid; bankrupt intellectually as well as morally. So, How "vulga," exactly? More:

The musicians will branch out into light classics and film scores, exchange white tie and tails for something less "stuffy," and perform in an environment that is more theatrical and accompanied by extras such as digital program notes and after-concert events.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will shrink the number of its subscription concerts 15 percent and cut its artistic budget an equal amount.

International touring will go on hiatus unless it can be fully funded - but look for the orchestra to return to its beloved former home, the Academy of Music, for up to three weeks a year.

Asked whether the reductions in concerts, staffing, and the artistic budget portray a Philadelphia Orchestra that is a lesser version of itself, orchestra leaders said no - and yes.

"It does invest in art and musicians, and it does invest in media," president Allison B. Vulgamore said. "I don't think we've seen the Philadelphia Orchestra have a season quite as diverse as we're talking about in this plan of repertoire spread and concert environments and technology. I don't see those as cutbacks. I do see them as more frisky ways of thinking about being a great orchestra rather than, frankly, laurel-sitting and posture. It is absolutely front-forward behavior."

"Frisky." If I want to go to the fucking Boston Pops I can do that. And if I want film scores, I can go to Los Angeles; I hear they've got an orchestra there. If I want to hear great music from a living national treasure, I should be able to go to the Philadelphia Orchestra.

From the Barcalounger: The only way this is going to stop is if the Musician's Union occupies Kimmel Center until the board resigns, and other Philadelphians help them. A mediocre board is paying for its own bad decisions -- and giving its lawyer cronies a nice reach around with the fees -- by declaring a fake bankruptcy to loot the orchestra's pension fund. That's all that's going on; a management problem paid for by workers and customers. And since that's business as usual right now, there's no way to stop it by playing business as usual.

NOTE Via Atrios.

UPDATE Why don't we just get rid of the board entirely and let the musicians manage the Orchestra? That's what they do in Vienna and, I believe, Berlin.

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Submitted by jawbone on

$50M donation to the orchestra been settled? Or is it accepted among our elites that corners can be cut in order to control the "little people," the worker-servants, however talented and rare they may be?

More importantly, can the orchestra maintiain its famous lush sound with fewer core musicians? Or has that already changed, fading the longer Ormandy has been gone? (Have to admit I haven't been listening as much in the past few years -- I get sucked into NPR-style talk radio.... Been meaning to break that addiction. What if I lose my hearing and am unable to listen to great music is a question I ask myself.)

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

On one level, cuts to basic services should make me more upset, because those are cuts in what people absolutely need to live- Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and all that.

But the arts are, I would argue, equally essential. Food and shelter and security are vital, but they're vital for every living creature, including animals, including plants. The arts are vital for humans. They allow us to rise above mere existence and experience beauty. It is when we enjoy the arts that we are most human. Beauty is not essential to life, but that's precisely why I consider it so essential to a complete humanity. Being human is about knowing, thinking, considering, realizing- exploring your own mind. That is the role of the arts.