Which leads to musicians. Ok, a few hard facts – 1) No, your orchestra would not be in tremendously better shape if you were running it. You went to school for music. Knowing how to play your instrument does not give you an understanding of how to run a business; 2) Any rule you have put into your orchestra’s contract that limits access to media in any way is seriously detrimental to your continued livelihood; 3) The orchestra in your town is not there for your benefit. It is there for the benefit of the audience. The audience is paramount and any consideration about anything that does not put the audience first is seriously detrimental to your continued livelihood.
(Sadly, I’m in groups that would love to put up YouTube videos and recordings, but the Big Boys in the New York union headquarters nixed that. Sometimes we really do want to do the right thing. Honest!)
The article to which Bill Eddins was referring ends with this:
American orchestras will keep failing. I feel less for them than for the excellent musicians who will be displaced. But face a few facts. American orchestras will no more grow than Mother Nature will take the liver spots off my hands. We have grown old together. Darwinism is at work, and American orchestras must adjust: to smaller dreams, fewer orchestras serving wider areas, fragmented listenerships, hopes for some kind of government help and, above all, a way of preserving the past, electronically if not by word of mouth.
Am I as hopeless as they? Not quite. But I do believe we are in for a lot of aches and pains, and I think our boom days are long gone.
(Thanks to Bruce Hembd for bringing these to my attention.)