Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blog entry

John Thomas Dodson:
Beyond the Score was extraordinary this morning - a model of imagination. I remembered thinking that there must be a number of orchestras rethinking their capacities for audience engagement as it took place. At least I hoped it did. In a Discovery Channel world, this is one of the fruitful ways forward for the field. Strangely, it was so well done that I had one private worry: I hoped that all of the marvelous technical achievements wouldn't discourage the smaller budget groups from pursuing this idea. There is a LOT that can be done in this vein - even without the vast resources we experienced today. As an aside, kudos to Sir Mark Elder, who completely entered into the project and brought his artistry to the young musicians of the Chicago Civic.... I can't imagine that they would ever forget such an event.
I heard a wonderful question today in one of the conductor/artist administrator sessions: "Are you doing anything NEW or just making incremental cuts to survive these times?" The question didn't come from the podium - perhaps it should have - but it really captured the challenge of these economic realities. We can't just cut, wait and survive. We have to create and re-imagine ourselves. I loved that moment: a quiet, thoughtful challenge to all of us.
Off to Peer-to-Peer Roundtables. I had better hurry...I'm presenting one of them. More later.

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