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Orchestra Nova Artistic Director Resigns, Concerts Canceled

Musician's Union Local 325, of which I am a life member, is right on this one. Like it or not, the musicians are equal partners in this endeavor and must not cede all power to the musical director. We have already fought those battles. The history of unions is certainly checkered but overall have produced living wages and better and safer working conditions.
As for Mr. Pak's "vision" for the orchestra, it is misguided and leaves out the primary reason for the existence of the orchestra, and that is the music! What he demands is superficial to that purpose.
Pak's statement:
“Bottom line is what happens on stage needs to be as electric as Mick Jagger on stage or Lady Gaga because that’s essentially who we’re competing against,” Really?
Yikes, have you seen the "Stones" lately. Keith Richards supposedly smoked his fathers ashes. Perhaps the entire orchestra should just get stoned before every concert! Gotta' keep up.
Seriously, soloists can emote as they see fit, with a group it is the cohesiveness of the ensemble that is important and individuals should not distract from what is most important - the music. Chamber music is some of the most beautiful music produced on earth and can stand on its own merit if performed well.
I am sorry Mr. Pak but you are not Toscanini nor George Szell. They were tyrants but only to the extent that they wanted to produce the most beautiful music possible. Does Itzhak Perlman lack emotion and passion because of his limits of movement? Of course not, because the music is a reflections of what is in his heart and soul. Heart and soul is what is taught in every musical institution worth it's salt along with technique, sound production, phrasing and other important musical tools. How far one can jump out of a chair with every forte or by a wearing a clown costume or playing while using hula hoops is only cosmetic.
What are the limits? Apparently Mr. Pak doesn't want any. Perhaps just pre recorded music with dancers and actors? Perhaps, dancing pigs in tutus for Carnival of the Animals?
Unfortunately, it ended being his way or the highway. He chose the highway. Play the concerts and find a serious conductor.

October 18, 2012 at 1:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )