What’s a TV news crew doing at orchestra auditions?

What’s a TV news crew doing at orchestra auditions?


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2014

That’s what the union wants to know. See below.

Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:14 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

Dear ROPA, ICSOM and OCSM e-lists,

During the past week I have received multiple reports and numerous complaints of local news TV cameras showing up, without prior knowledge or approval by either locals or committees to local symphony auditions in the warm up rooms, and elsewhere at the audition site.

Candidates have complained that to suddenly encounter TV news cameras in warm up rooms, destroys their warm up process and concentration. Moreover, many candidates do not wish to be identified as taking certain auditions, and therefore there is a privacy issue involved.

By extension, imagine if one of your management staff were to go and interview for a new position and walked into the interview and was confronted with TV camera lights ablaze. That would be inappropriate in either situation.

There have been many stories and articles about the symphonic auditions throughout the years, but most of those have been done with proper clearance and the knowledge and approval of the appropriate parties. It is interesting that both of these events occurred within the last week, which make me wonder if perhaps one of the management or marketing director blogs might be trumpeting this idea as a new way to publicize the local orchestra.

Therefore, locals and committees are well advised to be on the lookout for such activity. While I believe all want to see good public relations and new stories for their respective orchestras, this is not an acceptable.

Please advise me privately at _nathankahn@afm.org_ (mailto:nathankahn@afm.org) should you learn of further instances of this nature.

In Solidarity,

Nathan Kahn, Negotiator
Symphonic Services Division
American Federation of Musicians
Administrator-AFM Symphony Audition Complaint Hotline
Colorado Springs, Colorado
audition cartoon



  • Anon2 says:

    It’s the responsibility of the employers to prohibit unauthorized people from entering audition venues, no? Are auditions being held in unsecured venues? How is this happening?

  • MacroV says:

    I must say that I quite like the idea of tv news crews (or maybe a documentarian?) showing up to cover an orchestra audition, a fascinating exercise that is far too shrouded in mystery. And any coverage of the local orchestra by news media should be welcomed.

    That said, auditioning musicians should have the option whether or not to participate, and the orchestra should announce plans to have news coverage in advance of the audition.

    Of course, if it were up to, I’d do an American Idol for some big orchestra auditions; the stakes are arguably just as big.

  • Michael says:

    I’d just like to point out that Dorothy Hindman’s review is exceptionally well-written.