This site has been a long time coming in certain ways, and I’m really happy it’s finally up and running.
I’m more of a musician than a writer, but over the last few years I began to follow a few arts sites more closely, even posting something once in awhile. I began to notice that each site tends to have its own sort of perspective and style, with a comparable level of discourse. That is, one site will tend to be more musician or performer-oriented, another leaning towards a management or business perspective, and so on. Certainly that is to be expected, but it occurred to me (and some of my colleagues and friends) that I might have a different take on various issues by virtue of the various professional situations and opportunities I’ve experienced.
I’ve been fortunate in my career thus far (such as it is), to wear a great many “hats”. I’ve held Concertmaster positions in several esteemed orchestras both in the US and Europe, worked with some of the top conductors in the business (and some not at the top, to put it kindly), held a couple of university jobs, played quite a bit of chamber music with some of the best musicians in the world, had a reasonable solo career (somewhat limited, but vibrant), and often have sat on both sides of the audition screen. At the moment I’m holding two Concertmaster positions in Milwaukee and Seattle (although the Seattle arrangement is somewhat unorthodox, as has been frequently noted), and I continue to work as a soloist, teacher, and chamber musician, record for a cutting-edge label, run a chamber music series based in Milwaukee, and generally enjoy the incredibly diverse set of activities that are my daily life as a musician.
Because of this diversity (and especially due to the complex set of duties associated with most CM positions), over the years I’ve found myself forced to look at many arts issues from several different vantage points, sometimes holding several completely opposing views of a situation in my head and genuinely understanding the different sides. This has been tremendously educational for me, and really broadened my horizons not just from a professional standpoint, but also artistically and in my own day-to-day life.
I continue to have deeply entrenched views and opinions (that will be probably be obvious once the column really gets going), but given some of the tectonic changes in the arts world over the last decade (especially in the music business), I’ve come to believe that a certain intellectual pliability has its advantages for pretty much everyone involved. I hope this column will somehow transmit that notion from time to time.
If you click on the “about” section, you’ll notice that I initially plan to post something the first Monday of every month, but more often if I feel like there’s something exciting happening or if I’m trying to avoid the violin. This is a column, not a blog (for now), and I’ll try and stick to that schedule. But in true contradictory style, I’m planning on posting something pretty soon, due to recent developments with the Milwaukee Symphony, specifically the appointment of Edo de Waart as it’s next Music Director. If you missed all the press, click here.
I was on the search committee in Milwaukee, and it seems like a good topic to look into on these pages. Stay tuned…….