Orchestras as Charities

Pittsburgh Symphony picket lineA link to a good New York Times article about a sobering but all too true reality.  The current model of 52-week contracts for all but the largest orchestras is unsustainable.  A fact that we, as musicians, must come to terms with and work with orchestra mangements to secure a future for classical music.  I have witnessed the difficulty of development departments trying to raise money for arts programming from wealthy donors who begrudgingly give more out of civic pride than interest in the product.  Until demand for classical music increases–which means a generational committment to primary and secondary music education–more scenes of musicians on the streets with pickets will be seen.  My public elementary school had a string program which even provided instruments for those that didn't have them, and all students had music class once a week.  That kind of committment to the arts I sadly don't see.

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