I’ve been seeing orchestras struggle, strike, and fail since I can remember, so I’m not so sure it really is a new phenomenon. What worries me most is this new age of brinksmanship (my least favorite word ever). In an ideal world, music would be an escape from the annoyance of the politics, not another public forum for it.
Michael Unterman, Historical Performance Cellist
These events are indicating that the performing arts are being treated as an “extra” that is “nonessential,” but nothing could be further from the truth. The outlet and expression of art is just as vital to any society as education, and those who recognize this will continue to help us fight for arts awareness.
Celia Zhang, Fourth-Year Violinist
I think these events are unfortunate, but I believe they can serve as good opportunities to spark a renewed interest in our art.
Matt Lipman, Fourth-Year Violist
The dynamic between the audience and the performer has become increasingly distant, but I think the integration of the knowledge of the music and the composer into performances will allow the audience to have a greater appreciation and understanding of what they are listening to. This knowledge will create more support for arts.
Joe Desotelle, First-Year Percussionist
It’s sad, and I think musicians need to be their own managers, so that there wouldn’t be clashes between the musicians and [management]. For example, the Vienna Philharmonic has a rotating board of musicians in the orchestra so that everyone gets a chance to have a say.
Tavi Ungerleider, Second-Year Master’s Cellist
The economic climate being what it is, it’s not surprising that cultural institutions are facing hard times. But artists across genres must collaborate—and perhaps this is a time of cultural Darwinism in which irrelevant institutions fade away to be taken over by ones that hold greater significance in the present and for the future.
John Harnage, Fourth-Year Dancer
I hope these challenges shape future generations of artists who are leaders who are as involved with the artistic process offstage as they are onstage.
Karen Cueva, First-Year Master’s Violinist