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Category: Hiring and Firing

Someone else discovers gender discrimination in orchestras

0 Robert Levine

Long-time readers of this blog might remember an article I wrote in 2009 on the subject of discrimination in orchestras. I thought at the time that my survey of the rosters of ICSCOM orchestras demonstrated a marked differential between the number of men and women, especially in principal positions. Someone else has done much the

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Is tenure good for musicians?

0 Robert Levine

An interest in the law inclines me to surf amongst the legal waves on the Internet, leading to the occasional odd discovery relevant to my day job. This post from the blog Lawyers, Guns and Money caught my eye: Recently Kyle Graham, a professor on the tenure track at Santa Clara Law School, announced on

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Newsflash: conductor doesn’t like unions

3 Robert Levine

In this week’s edition of The New Yorker (paywalled, unfortunately) is a fascinating piece by Alex Ross on Iván Fischer, the Hungarian conductor and founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. While the piece focuses largely on his unhappiness with the current rightward lurch of Hungarian politics, Ross also reports on Fischer’s views on the orchestra

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Misconduct in and out of the workplace

1 Robert Levine

Many years ago a colleague of mine was pressured by management to retire after allegations of sexual misconduct against him became public. I remember being bothered about that at the time, as the specific allegations were about conduct that had happened in his home and had nothing to do with the workplace. Management’s reasoning was

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Note to Conductors: Your Hand Motions Make No Sound

0

For the past month or so musicians in the orchestra world have been buzzing about Roberto Minczuk, the Music Director of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).  It seems, at his urging, the orchestra management has decided to re-audition every member of the orchestra. You can imagine the outrage that this decision has

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A substitute orchestra in Detroit?

0 Robert Levine

In a front-page article in the Detroit News, Michael H. Hodges is pessimistic about the future of the DSO: …outsiders warn that suspending the season involves a leap into the unknown, one that not only threatens the orchestra’s current hold on audiences and donors, but could put the 2011-2012 season and the orchestra’s entire future

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What a good idea

0 Robert Levine

Tom Service, who blogs for the Guardian (UK), reports on a really good idea from the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Association for British Orchestras: The annual Salomon prize is for orchestral players – or, rather, for a single orchestral player in a UK-based professional ensemble who in the eyes and ears of their fellow

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Conductors say the darndest things

0 Robert Levine

There’s been a certain amount of piling-on in response to comments that conductor James Gaffigan made on his blog a few weeks ago (h/t to Adaptistration and oboeinsight). After providing us with some details of his recent guest conducting, and news of his new apartment in Lucerne, he proceeds to some rather unfortunate remarks inspired

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Social media and musician activism

0 Robert Levine

This story didn’t show up on the usual arts blogging sites, but it might well have been the most important news for our field in a while: In what labor officials and lawyers view as a ground-breaking case involving workers and social media, the National Labor Relations Board has accused a company of illegally firing

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New sheriff in town

0 Robert Levine

One of the scariest rituals of orchestra life is the arrival of a new Chief Executive Officer. A new Music Director can be very unsettling for the members of the orchesra, of course – it’s the Music Director who has the power of economic life and death over individual musicians, and obviously no other person

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Are auditions fair?

0 Robert Levine

Peter Dobrin, in an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer on the possible departure of Philly clarinetist Ricardo Morales for the New York Phil, is skeptical: Lurking in the background is the hypocrisy that has long run through orchestral personnel decisions. Both players and management have held that talent is the sole criterion for determining who

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Why don't orchestras promote from within?

0 Robert Levine

Over the course of more years than I care to remember I’ve heard lots and lots of auditions. But it was brought home to me again the other day, at another audition, that I’ve only ever heard one audition that resulted in a section musician winning a permanent titled position in their own orchestra. It

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