Tag Archives: Cultural Authority

On the American Orchestra

Very happy to see my article about the state of American orchestras is posted on The New Republic’s website. It sparked a Twitter conversation with a host at Vermont Public Radio who clearly feels the perspective offered is snobbish and retrograde. “Yes, we know it’s not 1950 anymore. Get over it,” he says. I wasn’t around in the 1950s, and I strive only to idealize the past selectively and cautiously, when it offers a examples worthy of emulation. But I do think that orchestras have made a lot of bad choices in the past 20 years, that they have sacrificed their ability to lead, educate and develop intellectually engaged audiences. It’s a loss of cultural authority, actively squandered. I don’t think it retrograde to point that out, especially given the tremendous loss of creative, counter-cultural power that orchestras might now wield.

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Filed under Culture, Music, Orchestral