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Out-of-town sabotage: Orchestra Nova

The musicians of Orchestra Nova had a conductor ready to step in for the first concerts of the 2012-2013 season. They were willing to go on with the sold out concerts which were an exploration of the music from the movie Amadeus.

The concerts did not happen. On Saturday evening, members of the orchestra went to Qualcomm Hall in case there were patrons who were unaware that the concert was canceled. They asked a security guard for permission to hand out leaflets. It was granted.

Who knew they would run into Orchestra Nova CEO Beverly Lambert? The musicians' presence was perceived to be confrontational. The musicians left when asked by a different security guard.

However, they did inform Lambert that it was their intention to be at tonight’s venue, Sherwood Auditorium, and to hand out leaflets there as well. There were no incidents.

The situation does not appear to be improving after Jung Ho Pak’s resignation.

Pak’s resignation came with two day’s notice. There is no reason to cancel a concert to which patrons have subscribed. Conductors are sometimes forced to cancel their appearance the day of a concert but that does not mean that the concert is canceled.

There is always someone to step in. What happened to “the show must go on”?

For the record, Orchestra Nova does have an associate conductor. This would be the person who steps in when the principal conductor bows out.

It would appear that Pak’s resignation and Lambert’s decision to cancel are moves designed to injure the organization.

Neither Pak nor Lambert live in San Diego County. Pak resides in the Bay Area and Lambert in New York. What commitment to the community do they have? None, if we judge their commitment based on their recent actions.

It is the San Diego classic music community and the Orchestra Nova patrons who are being punished.

There is no excuse for canceling concerts when the means to perform them are available. What happened to Pak's commitment to saving classical music?

It was Pak's vision for saving classical music that started this entire mess. It would appear he is now content to destroy classical music if it doesn't serve his so called "artistic vision".

The Orchestra Nova management is expected to make an announcement tomorrow.

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The musicians of Orchestra Nova had a conductor ready to step in for the first concerts of the 2012-2013 season. They were willing to go on with the sold out concerts which were an exploration of the music from the movie Amadeus.

The concerts did not happen. On Saturday evening, members of the orchestra went to Qualcomm Hall in case there were patrons who were unaware that the concert was canceled. They asked a security guard for permission to hand out leaflets. It was granted.

Who knew they would run into Orchestra Nova CEO Beverly Lambert? The musicians' presence was perceived to be confrontational. The musicians left when asked by a different security guard.

However, they did inform Lambert that it was their intention to be at tonight’s venue, Sherwood Auditorium, and to hand out leaflets there as well. There were no incidents.

The situation does not appear to be improving after Jung Ho Pak’s resignation.

Pak’s resignation came with two day’s notice. There is no reason to cancel a concert to which patrons have subscribed. Conductors are sometimes forced to cancel their appearance the day of a concert but that does not mean that the concert is canceled.

There is always someone to step in. What happened to “the show must go on”?

For the record, Orchestra Nova does have an associate conductor. This would be the person who steps in when the principal conductor bows out.

It would appear that Pak’s resignation and Lambert’s decision to cancel are moves designed to injure the organization.

Neither Pak nor Lambert live in San Diego County. Pak resides in the Bay Area and Lambert in New York. What commitment to the community do they have? None, if we judge their commitment based on their recent actions.

It is the San Diego classic music community and the Orchestra Nova patrons who are being punished.

There is no excuse for canceling concerts when the means to perform them are available. What happened to Pak's commitment to saving classical music?

It was Pak's vision for saving classical music that started this entire mess. It would appear he is now content to destroy classical music if it doesn't serve his so called "artistic vision".

The Orchestra Nova management is expected to make an announcement tomorrow.

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Comments
2

There is a very good reason classical music is dying: The musicians refuse to innovate. Who in their right mind refuses an offer for a 16% pay raise? It takes a union to make such a stupid decision.

Congratulations to Garret Harris and the musicians union leadership: You've destroyed my appreciation for professional musicians with your sense of entitlement. You killed an orchestra that gave me great personal joy. Yes, I was a regular patron of Orchestra Nova, SD Opera and Symphony. No more. I'll save my money just listen to MP3s. At least I can pick recordings from musicians that were not afraid to play with passion.

FACTS:

  • Orchestra Nova (ON) offered the AFM performers an astoundingly huge 16% pay raise in exchange for allowing the conductor to change musicians from show to show. The conductor wanted to select musicians based on passion. The musicians refused.

  • ON offered the AFM a deal to keep the shows running under the old contract in exchange for an agreement not to strike. The AFM refused. Andrea Altona, president of the local AFM, indicated the union's intent to strike when she told KPBS: “That’s one of the last rights we have left and there’s absolutely no benefit to us to waive that right at this point."

  • ON was about to fail 6 years ago when Lambert and Pak took control. Attendance was plummeting and sponsors fleeing. They came to SD as progressive entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. The result: Sold out shows and a new fresh audience.

  • Pak and Lambert are exactly the kinds of people we need to attract to San Diego: They created new jobs -- seeking to create an arts scene similar to Silicon Valley]4. (FYI - Pak and Lambert are not complete outsiders anyway. Pak owns property here and Lambert lives in SD part-time - just like many of the musicians.)

  • No other performing artists unions guarantees job security.

I know. I've been a SAG union actor for more than 15 years. Conductors are to music what directors are to film. Without providing artistic control to the conductor, the orchestra can be nothing more than a group of musicians playing off sheet music. Unfortunately for the audience, the AFM just wants to maintain the status quo that is killing classical music.

Conclusion: Orchestra Nova was exceptional. It was killed by a union that refused to adapt to a new model that was attracting new audiences willing to pay top-dollar to see great shows. Rather, the AFM seeks a form of tenure that is unique to musicians at the expense of the audience. Pathetic the AFM chooses silence over music.

Oct. 24, 2012

Olin, I know I have a snowball's chance in hell of changing your mind. That being said, I kind of want to lay into you a little bit. I get no compensation as a writer for responding to comments so I'm doing this out of the goodness of my heart, not my sense of entitlement.

Olin are you on or closely affiliated with members of the Orchestra Nova board? That is not a rhetorical question.

I am impressed with my immense powers which can kill your appreciation of music, which has shaped the Western World for centuries, with a single post in my blog. You are truly one of the philistines. Enjoy your non-professional orchestra karaoke concerts.

BTW, an orchestra IS musicians playing off sheet music--extremely difficult and complex music which requires immense talent and 1000's of hours of practice to be played proficiently.

However, who needs proficiency when you can have passion?

They're not passionate enough? What does that mean? Is there ever too much passion? What if the audience isn't passionate enough to hear the passion in the music? What if the music isn't passionate? What happened to being a servant to the passion of the composer? Passion. What is it?

Olin do enjoy it when a football player scores a touchdown and then does a passionate celebration that results in an-ahem-penalty? Oh, right, that's called self-serving egotism. I'm about sick of passion.

Good God man, you've got me craving some Gregorian Chant. Those monks are feeling it. They're so passionate with their chanting. If they weren't how could chant survive for 700 years? Point being there are other virtues besides becoming overwrought.

This guy must have been a terrible musician. I mean, look at his lack of passion. How could he possibly accomplish anything in classical music without beating us in the face with his baton?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doJVlS7nn_g

As a SAG member you should know that most movies have a conductor for the sound track. Should that conductor also be the director of the movie? Should that conductor also be in charge of costumes and makeup? Should that conductor also be giving the actors notes or line readings? No. Conductors conduct music. Stage and movie directors direct actors. They are completely different disciplines. One conducts the other directs. Is that clear? Conductor, director, different.

There is one famous conductor who also directed some of the productions he conducted. Bonus points if you can name him.

Progressive entrepreneurs? Really? Entrepreneurs? Job creators? I know it's election season but give it a break man.

Oct. 25, 2012

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