Letter from John Hartwick
Dear Board Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,
As I contemplate the present state of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra I find myself asking many questions. Here are but a few…
Why is it so obvious to everyone but yourselves that Anne Parsons and her team have an alternate agenda that has nothing to do with preserving the standard of excellence of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra? Why has her salary grown during times when donations have diminished? Why does she live in a mansion while the symphony suffers during these “dire times”? Why don’t managers have to make the same sacrifices as the musicians, in regards to pay cuts?
Why can’t you see that the changes implemented by her staff will not only kill the orchestra, but ruin any chance of it ever being great again? Why is it that the musicians of great orchestras around the world see the situation here in Detroit as a tipping point, as setting a precedent, and as the beginning of the end, if the strike fails? Do you really believe that the best musicians in the world are going to consider coming to play in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra if the management’s changes stand?
Why can’t the management set aside their rule changes and accept the terms proposed by Governer Granholm and Senetor Levin? Why cut off your leg to spite your foot? What good could possibly come from failing to negotiate and comprimise in this situation?
I doubt I will get any response to this letter, not even to one of these questions, because you’ve obviously got it all figured out. You will stand behind your management to whatever end, supporting them through the destruction of a great institution and one of the last in Detroit. The effects are real and are already happening. The great musicians are hitting the audition curcuit. They won’t have to put up with this foolishness in other cities, at least not to this degree.
One last question…
Is there anybody on your board with the will and courage to fix this situation?
Assuming someone actually reads this…. I do appreciate your time and consideration.