By now most people have heard the Philadelphia Orchestra has found a new music director. – YNS for short. He is a predictable choice given the youth movement afoot these days. Chicago bucked the trend by appointing Ricardo Muti. They are the only orchestra which ignored the orchestra group think these days (does that make the Muti choice revolutionary?) Maybe, before Dudamel, before Gilbert, and before the small army of sub-forty year olds took over a number orchestras in the UK the choice would have shocked or inspired. At best, Philadelphia has recruited the next big thing. At worst, the orchestra has found a music director for the next seven years.
(Sorry, but the section on James Garlick has been redacted.)
More contributor news. Did you read Michael Upchurch’s Seattle Times piece on the Toy Box Trio? No? Then ! Keep it up Dana and Harlan.
Did anyone notice Terry Teachout’s piece in the this past weekend? He wonders whether we even need regional orchestras in the digital age. With definitive recordings of just about every piece of standard repertory just a click away, why would anyone go hear a middle of the road performance of the same repertory with a local orchestra? It is an interesting thought experiment. I get hung up on what defines a regional orchestra. The Seattle Symphony is certainly a regional orchestra. So is the Oregon Symphony. Neither have the stature of America’s Big Five, or Big Seven if you include LA and San Francisco and both cater to audiences which stretch beyond the urban centers of Seattle and Portland. Maybe the answer isn’t to allow orchestras to die, or to load a season with pops concerts, but to reexamine the role and mission of the orchestra in the community? Playing the same old music doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore.