Not sure if this a taboo subject, but I think its pretty damn necessary to talk about this, as change can only happen when people know about these things! Recently, at auditions, the people who seem to win, in Europe and from what I've heard, in the States, particularly in some major orchestras, know, have known, studied with the principle or some of the players in the section, and the section members like those particular players. This seems completely unfair, but also more rampant, given the economic crisis, and the lack of posts in orchestras in general. I know this is a fact in Europe. I personally, won a job in Europe, through pure sheer, absolute luck, in that, the person who should have won, had a very very bad day, and was not particularly desired in the section by one or two of the members...I was just the odd guy out, who happened to not make any mistakes, and sounded alright. There were viola auditions some time back, the winners were 2 subs. for example. SO, how can we change this. Auditions should be fair, or what the hell are people doing, spending thousands of dollars and hours at schools and conservatories training to be their best when they have a 2% chance of getting a job. I mean, think about the BSO, NY, Phily, don't most of those player come out of schools associated with the orchestras in players in the section. I'm not trying to be a dick here, or hurl nasty accusations, but I do think its worthy of discussion... Thoughts??