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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000503.txt from 2005/08

From: Karl Krelove <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Low Eb in Brahms Symphony
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:58:49 -0400

dnleeson wrote:

>I think Adam's advice is both absolutely sound and very difficult
>to follow. You want to shut up, stay out of their way, and hope
>that things work out in your favor. Almost any action you take
>that would demonstrate the fact that they are screwed up will
>hurt you.
>What Symphony Orchestras do not have are serious managers of
>events relating to logistics. The fact that the conductor was
>going to be out of town during your audition and that he would
>automatically veto the committee's suggestion relating to you
>should have been seen six months ago by the "manager of
>logistics." But they don't have such a person and they don't
>function intelligently. Orchestral management creates problems by
>their casual attitude towards a businesslike environment, and
>then presume that they can solve them on the fly.
I agree with you and Adam, but keep in mind that this is a community
orchestra. The conductor is as likely as anything a local music teacher
(college or high school) who simply had a vacation planned when the
committee members were all available and decided to hold auditions.

One of the things about community (i.e. amateur) orchestras is that
there's often some ambiguity about who really is in charge. The folks
who have organized the group and play every week because they love to
play orchestral music feel they've organized and should run the group
for their pleasure. The music director, on the other hand, may feel his
musical superiority (whether real or imagined) gives him a mandate to
run the orchestra in a way that will produce the highest possible
quality musical result. Sometimes - rather more often than not, I think
- there's a conflict inherent in this and lots of community orchestras
fire their music directors when the conflict becomes untenable. This
isn't necessarily disorganization, it's a difference over who "employs"
whom. Even more reason, therefore, for a new or prospective player to
just keep his/her head down and wait for everyone to sort out their
priorities and relationships.

>You see this attitude in almost all activities of an orchestra
>and the one you auditioned for is neither better nor worse than
>any of the others. None of them have the slightest interest in
>creating an environment where the players are treated politely.
>Instead, they are viewed as a bunch of babies and disgruntled

This, in my limited experience, is more true the higher on the ladder
the orchestra stands - witness the contract disputes that erupt in the
newspapers here in U.S. cities when major (professional) symphonies are

Karl Krelove

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