4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Will blind auditions make classical music appealing?

If there were more white Hip Hop artists would more white people like Hip Hop?

"Intolerance" performed by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
"Intolerance" performed by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

The author of a thought piece in the New York Times wants to get rid of blind auditions for top tier orchestras in order to create more diversity in orchestras.

A blind audition means the musicians auditioning for an open spot in an orchestra perform behind a screen. The auditors do not even have the musician’s name. This process ensures there is no discrimination based on race, gender, age, body type, weight, or visual playing style.

The musician is evaluated only on the quality of the music produced. A blind audition creates equality of opportunity. What the New York Times article is suggesting is called equality of outcome. With equality of outcome, the players that fulfill the desired outcome of the audition are given an advantage.

According to the article, blind auditions were put into practice after a 1969 court case that was brought against The New York Philharmonic by two African American musicians. Since then, the number of female orchestra players has risen dramatically. The number of African American and Latinx players has not.

Imagine, if you will, an orchestra holding an audition but only allowing African American and Latinx players to apply because the orchestra wants to add those demographics to the roster. That is what the New York Times is suggesting.

The article makes sure to emphasize that the percentage of African American and Latinx players is low. It makes no mention of the diversity of Asian players in orchestras.

The conductor Sir Simon Rattle claims that there are more people taking piano lessons in China then there are people living in Germany. The Asian culture is participating in classical music with astounding numbers and the number of Asian players in American orchestras reflects that. Other cultures are not participating at the same level.

This is not a racial issue, it is a cultural issue. The dominant culture in America right now is Hip Hop. People of all races and ethnicities love Hip Hop. However, the vast majority of Hip Hop artists are African American. African American culture produces great Hip Hop.

No one is suggesting that if there were more white Hip Hop artists then more white people would like Hip Hop. Plenty of white people love Hip Hop culture because the culture appeals to them not because the performers are of a certain racial makeup.

The culture of classical music is not very appealing. There’s not a lot of alcohol, no dancing, limited potential for sexual encounters, and everyone is sitting quietly. It’s not a party and people like to party. Getting rid of blind auditions will not change that.

For whatever reason, classical music journalists have the idea that if the demographics of orchestras reflect the demographics of the greater community it will improve community engagement.

I’m not sure what “community engagement” means. Hopefully, it is code for buying a ticket and making a donation because that is what classical music organizations need.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

A friendly reminder from your neighborhood meth dealer

Surefire Meth-od
Next Article

Duet with dad

San Diablo Allstars, Marujah, J.D. Boucharde, Jenn Grinels, Eve Selis
"Intolerance" performed by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
"Intolerance" performed by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

The author of a thought piece in the New York Times wants to get rid of blind auditions for top tier orchestras in order to create more diversity in orchestras.

A blind audition means the musicians auditioning for an open spot in an orchestra perform behind a screen. The auditors do not even have the musician’s name. This process ensures there is no discrimination based on race, gender, age, body type, weight, or visual playing style.

The musician is evaluated only on the quality of the music produced. A blind audition creates equality of opportunity. What the New York Times article is suggesting is called equality of outcome. With equality of outcome, the players that fulfill the desired outcome of the audition are given an advantage.

According to the article, blind auditions were put into practice after a 1969 court case that was brought against The New York Philharmonic by two African American musicians. Since then, the number of female orchestra players has risen dramatically. The number of African American and Latinx players has not.

Imagine, if you will, an orchestra holding an audition but only allowing African American and Latinx players to apply because the orchestra wants to add those demographics to the roster. That is what the New York Times is suggesting.

The article makes sure to emphasize that the percentage of African American and Latinx players is low. It makes no mention of the diversity of Asian players in orchestras.

The conductor Sir Simon Rattle claims that there are more people taking piano lessons in China then there are people living in Germany. The Asian culture is participating in classical music with astounding numbers and the number of Asian players in American orchestras reflects that. Other cultures are not participating at the same level.

This is not a racial issue, it is a cultural issue. The dominant culture in America right now is Hip Hop. People of all races and ethnicities love Hip Hop. However, the vast majority of Hip Hop artists are African American. African American culture produces great Hip Hop.

No one is suggesting that if there were more white Hip Hop artists then more white people would like Hip Hop. Plenty of white people love Hip Hop culture because the culture appeals to them not because the performers are of a certain racial makeup.

The culture of classical music is not very appealing. There’s not a lot of alcohol, no dancing, limited potential for sexual encounters, and everyone is sitting quietly. It’s not a party and people like to party. Getting rid of blind auditions will not change that.

For whatever reason, classical music journalists have the idea that if the demographics of orchestras reflect the demographics of the greater community it will improve community engagement.

I’m not sure what “community engagement” means. Hopefully, it is code for buying a ticket and making a donation because that is what classical music organizations need.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Venting frustration over Baby Yoda eating frog eggs

How expressing an opinion on something cripples one’s ability to poke fun at it
Next Article

Less Mexico, more San Diego please

No sympathy for Trump fans
Comments
1

It is an excellent thought. Classical music is in dire need of promotion, and greater participation of different demography can ensure a great upliftment of this genre. I believe that it is a better way to improve engagement. I am part of a music group that believes in the vision of reaching and uplifting musicians from all segments of society. https://www.gothictropicmusic.com is a collection of some worth-listening music and some good collection of blog articles.

Aug. 4, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close