Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Of stars and staffs... #1

Lets face it; the classical music business is in dire straits. We are up shit creek without a paddle, and someone keeps stealing the noseplugs.
Taking a somewhat objective look at budgets for large orchestras or operahouses, one might get the feeling that there are a couple of major moneysinks in the business; star conductors and star soloists.
Even when grossly overestimating the importance of a really great conductor or a world class soloist, how long can managers with good conscience pump out 10-15% percent of an annual budget on a single event, as is sometimes the case when smaller orchestras or operahouses have 'exclusive visits' from world famous stars. Is it worth it? There is surely no defending someone getting paid 10, 20 or 50 times more than the standard fee?

In the mindset that perpetuates the pratice, the agents are the astronomers and the managers the astrologers.

The astronomers seek out the stars, name them and put them in their place on the firmament. They sit snugly behind desks, predicting the downfall of this and that star, and govern unscrupulously how these stars affect the lives of classical music listeners by telling the them so in colored pamphlets and media interviews.
When the astronomers have done their deed, the astrologers then try to interpret the deeper meaning behind it. They see the stars shining in the evening sky, follow their trajectories intensely, clutching at the hope that there is a certain mystical insight to be gained by simply associating oneself with these stars.
(The stars themselves, whether they be the flavor-of-the-month or the more longlived type, are only human, so they go where the money takes them. Who are they to tell their manager; "I want to cost less, my fee is unreasonably high"? Or am making frivolous assumptions here?)

The prevailing theory is, that some of the power - the mana - of the gueststar will rub off on the locals, leave a lasting imprint on hearts and minds and somehow magically enhance the capabilities of these 'lesser creatures', whereas the truth of the matter is, it rarely does. What makes someone better is pratice and patience, perseverance and pourage (I meant 'courage', but it had to fit with the other 'p' words...).
What a star-visit can do, on the other hand, is inspire. It can reinvigorate someone who might be stuck in a rut, and it can demonstrate how high standards can be set. And that is all fine and dandy, as long as there is also a culture of excellence present in the establishment, not just a culture of excellence-by-proxy.

So what's my point? My point is, that also in a time of crisis, managers need to maintain a balance between hyped cultism and healthy cultivation. The first is associated with the glamorous stars, the latter with 'boring' people of sustainable skill who are allowed to influence an orchestra or ensemble over a longer period of time. So, Mr. Manager, the next time you hire a chief conductor, forget what the agent says and listen with your own ears to whether or not the guy actually influences your ensemble in a positive way.

Lets stops pissing in our pants to keep ourselves warm. There is no quick-fix in music industry in crisis, there is only a growing responsability for not letting the collective craftsmanship dissapear. The audience finding your product boring? THEN STOP DUMBING IT DOWN!

I feel like I want to elaborate on this subject, so I'll nonchanantly refer to this post as #1 of 2, and lets see when I get around to it...if you get bored waiting...go practice your scales!

4 comments:

oakleyses said...

jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ugg boots, burberry pas cher, prada outlet, chanel handbags, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, air max, ray ban sunglasses, gucci handbags, christian louboutin, polo outlet, michael kors pas cher, oakley sunglasses wholesale, kate spade outlet, nike free, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin uk, oakley sunglasses, nike free run, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin outlet, ugg boots, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, nike outlet, jordan shoes, longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren, uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin pas cher, tiffany and co, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, nike roshe, cheap oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, replica watches

oakleyses said...

polo lacoste, ray ban uk, lululemon canada, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, north face uk, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, uggs outlet, replica handbags, nike air max, oakley pas cher, sac hermes, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, nike free uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors, nike roshe run uk, michael kors outlet online, nike air force, guess pas cher, michael kors, converse pas cher, timberland pas cher, burberry handbags, mulberry uk, nike tn, north face, coach purses, nike blazer pas cher, true religion outlet, coach outlet store online, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, hollister pas cher, hogan outlet, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion jeans, new balance, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, ralph lauren uk, nike air max uk

oakleyses said...

chi flat iron, hollister, reebok outlet, lululemon, converse outlet, p90x workout, babyliss, hollister clothing, hermes belt, hollister, converse, nike trainers uk, nfl jerseys, ghd hair, herve leger, mcm handbags, baseball bats, iphone cases, mont blanc pens, north face outlet, jimmy choo outlet, instyler, louboutin, ralph lauren, wedding dresses, bottega veneta, new balance shoes, longchamp uk, nike roshe run, soccer shoes, nike air max, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, mac cosmetics, gucci, vans, nike huaraches, timberland boots, insanity workout, vans outlet, beats by dre, oakley, ray ban, north face outlet, giuseppe zanotti outlet, asics running shoes, ferragamo shoes, nike air max, celine handbags, soccer jerseys

oakleyses said...

canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, pandora uk, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, replica watches, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler, links of london, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, coach outlet, karen millen uk, supra shoes, barbour uk, montre pas cher, moncler outlet, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, moncler uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, barbour, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose, canada goose outlet, swarovski, ugg, canada goose, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose jackets, louis vuitton, doudoune moncler, ugg pas cher, moncler, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, ugg uk, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, lancel, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, hollister, moncler

If you could magically create your dream conductor, but he/she could only posess one quality, he/she should preferably be...