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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Symphony To NYC: "Going to Carnegie Hall is the crowing achievement of one’s career as an individual musician, and for orchestras it is much the same."

Posted by Matt Davis on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Update, 10:50 Good to see the Oregonian's David Stabler picking up on this story, too.

Original post: Blogger Noble Viola, a professional violin-ish player with the symphony, Charles Noble, has weighed in on the hot subject: Should Mayor Sam Adams give $200,000 for the Oregon Symphony to go to New York to play a concert for one night, that nobody in Portland will even see? In a year where budgets are so tight, we are facing the very real probability of closing a fire station? Well, evidently, if you're a professional violin-ish player, the answer is yes:

Going to Carnegie Hall is the crowing achievement of one’s career as an individual musician, and for orchestras it is much the same. Once you go to Carnegie, you declare yourself to the world that you have arrived.

But we constantly face the obstacle that music is an ephemeral art: it happens and then it’s gone. There is no fire station, mall, bike lane, or homeless shelter left behind to admire. But the orchestra itself (made up of people who love this city and make it our home) does remain, and so do our audiences, who spend money in the downtown core, lobby their schools for more arts education, pay taxes, and yearn for a more artistically viable community. Our going to Carnegie is for them, really, and for all of those musicians who have come before us, working entire lifetimes to make the Oregon Symphony a great orchestra — we love Portland, we love playing for our fantastic audiences here, and we want to take that love and joy and Oregonian spirit to Carnegie hall and knock their socks off in NY. Isn’t that worth a measly $200,000?

Not this year, it isn't. No. And there's a great point made by Bob Priest in the comments—shouldn't the rich arts donors in this city smooth the way?
while i agree with nearly every point in the excellent article above, i also can well imagine one of the more diamond-encrusted symphony patrons uncorking a tax-deductible check for 200K without undo duress. after all, what’s a measly 200K for someone worth 50,000,000?

let’s put it this way, 200K to someone with 50Mil is the equivalent of someone worth 250K ponyin’ up 1K.

my basic belief is that when there is a SIMPLE way around intense karfufflage, let those that can smooth the path, git to it.

Does the symphony simply need to hire a better fundraiser?

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