Something that would help our field, it seems to me, is to separate the Music Director position from the Principal Conductor position at orchestras. If nothing else, you'd get a wider range of musical tastes/interests at the top, which would serve the institutions well.
I've also seen too many situations where big/biggish-name conductors shoot down an idea that has the backing of their orchestras' creative staff, because it's just not of personal interest to them. Conductor ego is a substantial source of regressive energy in classical music.
We have a *major* resource problem in the field of new music. There's not enough $ to go around, and definitely not enough to make the field truly open and accessible. In that light, we need to be strategic about targeting the spaces where new resources could come to the table.
I've long been critical of orchestras, but I've never said we should tear them down. Far from it. Orchestras are central arts organizations with access to community resources of all kinds, including but not limited to $. That's why they have to become true leaders in the field.
Do you know how hard it is for a new music organization to develop the kind of resource base that an orchestra has? A few have come close, but it's practically impossible, especially now, with so much arts funding having dried up and no new apparent boom on the horizon from tech$
I'd like to see orchestras change their self-conception, to be central connectors within their communities, creating and supporting projects that intersected with The Orchestra Itself but also going far beyond that. But Music Directors need to be on board for this to work.
This is all, in part, a response to the understandable anger I see out there, especially from younger composers and performers who see the rug as being pulled out from under them as they embark on their careers. They're not wrong. But new music organizations alone can't fix this.
The scale of the problem is a scale that intersects with civic institutions, political figures, major foundations — in other words, with the arts ecosystem at the largest and highest scales. Orchestras are already plugged in at those levels. They already connect those dots.
If we're going to get real about bringing new resources into the field, and hopefully, radically transforming it in the process, I believe exerting pressure on existing large institutions is our most efficient path. And maybe our only path, short of tearing it all down.
And many people want to tear it all down, and I get that. But be careful. A lot of the resources that are there in the classical music world won't transfer easily to what we all do. Those resources, if scattered, may disappear for good.

OK that's all I've got. Back to writing.

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11 Sep 20

To: @JonMcTaggart (President, APM) & @DPDREW (President, MPR)

*Please RT/❤️ if you agree*

To SIGN YOUR NAME on the published doc, enter your info here:…

Signatures updated in the AM
UPDATE: upon sending this petition to the two Presidents, @JonMcTaggart replied to me with a letter that I would feel obliged to reprint, were it not nearly word-for-word identical to the statement just released by Classical MPR:
The statement is notable for a few reasons. Chief among them, though, is their own self-stated standard for how equity, diversity, and representation is measured by the station, as they themselves proudly highlight in this paragraph:
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