Former LA Phil boss Simon Woods, in his first manifesto as president of the League of American Orchestras, has surveyed the landscape and decided what’s most important for saving the troubled sector. Almost all US orchestras have been silenced by Covid. Their donors are drifting away and the return to performance will be difficult. The audience is elderly and the repertoire stale. Maestros are overpaid and overbooked elsewhere. Musicians feel undervalued. These seem to me the most pressing issues.
But here’s what Simon Woods considers to be the urgent agenda:
1 We can wait no longer to implement permanent structural change in response to the racial injustice that disfigures the history of orchestras.
2 We must address the pervasive privilege that continues to run through our structures and activities.
3 Creative artists will lead the way
4 We need to rethink the role we ascribe to the canonic European repertoire of the past.
5 We must quickly advance the leadership potential of the coming generation
6 Advocacy for education reform and instrumental instruction should sit much higher
7 The rehabilitation of towns and cities must again become our work
8 Collective impact should be our daily bread
9 We must prepare for the next crisis.
Full article here.