Our second edition of The Podium for 2014 provides an interesting discussion about ‘cost disease’ and other challenges faced by orchestras around the world. Written by our colleague Mark Pemberton, Director of the Association of British Orchestras, its revealing subtitle (‘That’s no way to run a business!’) sums up the conundrum – an essentially loss-making enterprise that must nevertheless function in a fiscally responsible and artistically innovative way.
Since the last edition of The Podium, I have attended the League of American Orchestras’ conference in Seattle, Washington. I was joined there by our US-based correspondent Gordon Williams, and his run-down of the conference canvasses some of the issues it raised. The League sets a high bar when it comes to events of this kind, and there is always something to learn and many people with whom to share ideas and solutions for the kind of challenges posed by Mark’s analysis.
As we go to print, the 2014 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards has just wrapped up. Huge congratulations to the Young Performer of the Year, 16 year old violinist Grace Clifford, who also won the Best Recital, Best Chamber Music and People’s Choice awards. Grace has just taken up a position at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia – someone to look out for in the future! Congratulations also to the runners up, oboist Andrew Kawai, and violinist Anna da Silva Chen, who also won the Nelly Apt Scholarship, and to Kiran Phatak who won Best Performance of an Australian Work for his performance of Brett Dean’s Demons for solo flute. Thanks to our hosts, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, to all who were involved in making the event a wonderful success, and finally to our conductor Christopher Seaman, who will be known to our American and British readers.
Don’t forget to check out our Speed Read for perspectives from other parts of the world, and read about our featured Member, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Our Top Tip this time is a shameless plug for Symphony Services International’s own product, the Goodear Acoustic Shield.
I hope you enjoy this edition.
Chief Executive Officer