Investigating the Seattle Symphony train wreckNews
Doug McLennan, founder of artsjournal.com, is a former orchestral player and a responsible journalist who lives in Seattle.
When Seattle’s music director quit his job by email, it was inevitable that Doug would want to dig deeper. But the Seattle Symphony battened down doors and windows. Nobody in charge will offer him a comment. Nobody else will speak, except off the record.
That has not stopped Doug from piecing together a devastating portrait of an orchestra in disarray.
…What raises red flags though, what is extraordinary about Dausgaard’s departure, is the manner in which he ended his relationship with the orchestra – in the middle of a season, effective immediately, and barely a month before he was about to embark on the first installment of a two-year Sibelius cycle, his passion project. Yes, music directors quit all the time, but virtually never in the middle of a season and, in the modern era, not effective immediately.
That’s what we know for sure. You will notice throughout this attempt to piece together the story behind the fiery departure is that there aren’t names attached to the stories. In contentious internal organizational situations, the zone quickly floods with gossip and inuendo. Of the some two dozen people interviewed for this story, only one agreed to go on the record. “That right there ought to tell you something about how bad a situation this is,” says one former board member before promptly going off the record. “This is a train wreck.”
Read on here.
If this were a listed company, you would sell your shares. Now.
UPDATEL Meanwhile, at Dausgaard’s other orchestra…