Ah yes…a reminiscence about the fabled Vladimir Horowitz…SD reply…

It always helps to have an entourage.

I had an opportunity to sneak into a Vladimir Horowitz rehearsal at Orchestra Hall. It was amazing experience that I heard more than saw, of course, as I was peeking up from behind a seat in the balcony, trying not to attract the attention of guards seated at the corners of the stage, glaring outward.

Later that afternoon Horowitz came out of the stage door and stood waiting for a limo to pick him up. He was a small man, dressed in unmatched stripes and plaids, who would probably have gone quite unnoticed just about anywhere, were it not for the guards and the limo…



Bill Eddins exciting new plan for the MO…could it work? If so, how? …S+D reply…

Aha. 🙂

Perhaps this is a good spot for the rest of us to brainstorm?

Let me toss a couple of ideas into the pot:
Is it possible to change the governance without dissolving the existing organization?
Could there be, theoretically, an interim conservatorship of some sort?


The MO noble, and, distraught, leader…SD reply…

So then, for the most part, Maestro Vanska is suffering along with the players, financially, as well as emotionally. True, that he probably has no lack of substitute gigs though…I have no doubt orchestras are beating their way to his door, including the NYPhil, for whom he substituted in China/Taiwan…


New organization for the locked-out MO players a possibility? SD reply…

Agreed. One of the suggestions the players have made is that they create a new organization. That would, of course, be challenging, but surely not impossible.

They might want to keep “Minnesota” out of the new name.



Endgame at the MOA? Mr. Henson cancels rest of MO season…SD reply

It seems that there may be some sort of script in play here. MOA knows the updated hall will be a big draw to the players and everyone will want to be a part of its re-opening. MOA may be trying to use this as the means of bringing the players to their knees and getting them to submit a counter-offer.

With the canceling of the remainder of the season, it seems that endgame strategies are in place. I would love to be mistaken.


The reality v the dream…SD reply…

I agree, Greater. It came as a complete shock to me to realize the dichotomy between the image that is projected of music as having such a youthful and healing influence on the players when in fact a number of them break down physically and/or emotionally from the strain of living their dream in an orchestra.

I watched my teacher, who was a Principal Flute, go through a near-fatal heart attack that nearly destroyed his extraordinary sound that then led to substance abuse that eventually caused him to be terminated.


No more sense of entitlement or protection for players in the MO? SD reply…

Thank you, David, for your kind words.

I would also add that, if I were in the MO players’ shoes, and return to the orchestra after the lockout I would take the stance of ‘hope for the best and prepare for the worst.’ I would not consider it a permanent gig, regardless of assurances that might be made, and I would look for at least one other good source of income, just in case. It seems, at least in Minnesota, that the age of the entitled and protected orchestra player may have come to an end…


What sort of future for MO players re change of management? SD reply…

If I were in the shoes of the MO players I would never trust anyone in their management again, no matter who they are. Even if the Board replaces Henson, Davis and Campbell, there is no assurance, unless the players get to choose them, that they will have any focus other than the nebulous concept of keeping the ‘organization’ viable (as though it doesn’t even have human components).

The MOA seems to think it will have its pick of starving but brilliant young graduates of the best schools, with which they can ‘plug-and-play’ their way to a ‘younger and better’ orchestra. This sort of thinking is, of course, sheer insanity; but then, so is the prolonged agony of this lockout.


Curious mindset of the MOA? …SD reply…

With all due respect, Greater, your statements seem to be politically incorrect, in that there appears to be one mindset the orchestra players present to the public and another that they actually live with. You seem to be speaking of the latter.

Ironically, don’t we have to wonder how anyone at the MOA, and perhaps even without realizing it, OV, could allow this unbearable situation to continue without, to some extent at least, embracing the idea that players are entirely replaceable, that there are far more qualified people available than there are positions, and that they feel certain they can get these players to perform at a level even those at Carnegie Hall will accept as the ‘new and improved’ MO, whether through actual musical coaching or a brilliant media campaign?