Seattle Symphony - Gerard Schwarz Article

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by davidzgeorge, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. davidzgeorge

    davidzgeorge Guest

    Sep 18, 2007
    Beltsville, MD
    anybody here read the article about Gerard Schwartz and upcoming lawsuits in the NY Times? Sounds like the Seattle Symphony is NOT a place to be right now...too much drama. Did they ever hire a principal bass?
  2. PaulCannon


    Jan 24, 2002
    Frankfurt, Germany
    NS Design / AER Endorsing Artist
    They have had the same principal bass for six or seven years, Jordan Anderson. Their former associate principal wanted to step down into the section, but the audition they held for his job this past summer yielded no winner. The next audition is in February.
  3. mattgray

    mattgray Guest

    Nov 16, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    Sounds quite sad that musicians would resort to such thing. However, you never know. There's always two sides to a story. Events like these, however, portray the music business as something, well, not too attractive.
  4. mjt0229

    mjt0229 Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    That article was a very interesting read, but I'm not sure how much I trust the papers to get all the facts right. I've been attending Seattle Symphony concerts and finding that the performances are mostly mixed. Occasionally, they've put on a really great show, but sometimes I get the sense that they don't really care much.

    It's really hard to tell what's going on behind the scenes. As the caliber of the orchestra has improved, it's possible that some of the old-timers who haven't improved with it may no longer be keeping up - and it's possible that they're upset by suggestions that they need to get better or get out. But at the same time, Mr. Schwartz doesn't seem to have much tact when dealing with his musicians, and many anecdotes in the article suggest that he exercises autocratic methods when they're not warranted. Outside of the paper, I've heard anecdotes and rumblings hinting of these kinds of problems and all sorts of childish behaviors between the factions, that seem to demonstrate that no one can really claim the high ground.

    That said, these days I get nervous when anyone values loyalty over other qualities, you see where that's gotten us. For example, Schwartz appointed a horn player, overriding a 9-1 vote against after a proper audition. That's not fair, and it's not good for the orchestra.

    Given that Gerry's been here for 22 years, one does wonder whether the orchestra might do better with someone else at the helm - if not because of the current strife, then just to breathe some fresh ideas into the group and bring in a music director who has no history in the current dispute.