Letter from Richard Schneider


Hello Detroit Symphony Board -

Make it a New Year’s Resolution for 2011 to end this crisis and conclude a good faith bargaining agreement with your musicians.  You’ve had the best possible advice from two of your state’s highest elected officials.  Your musicians have pulled the moral high ground right out from under you by giving the Detroit community an ongoing series of performances that are unprecedented in their scope and quality by any professional orchestra in similar circumstances anywhere else or previously.  In addition, in their public statements the musicians have laid their cards squarely on the table and offered as many concessions as they could, more than they should.

It’s time to bring an end to the reverse Mida’s touch (I’ll spare you the graphics) of your erstwhile management and treat your musicians as the professionals they are.  If you are laboring under the delusion that great players are a dime a dozen, you’ll discover the error of your ways too late if you succeed in downgrading the DSO to some kind of glorified conservatory orchestra.

Finally, have you thought through the possibility that the whole thing could fold on YOUR watch?  Have you thought how such failure would make you feel?  How you would face your peers in your cultural milieu?

Make it a New Year’s Resolution.  Happy New Year.

Richard Schneider
New York City

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