Orchestra Musicians Vow to Keep on Playing

By Tamara deMent
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Apr. 27, 2011

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While Blackburn and Wigler point to the Orchestra’s board as the culpable party in the organization’s current financial debacle, Carol wishes to see Philadelphians step in and support the Orchestra more.

“I would like to see more of a reaction, either pro or con from the Philadelphia people. After all, it is their orchestra,” Carol says. “I just think … everything about [the bankruptcy] shows the negativity on the part of Philadelphia. A city is only as good and as important as what they produce culturally. To me, the Orchestra has always been the No. 1 playboy in the cultural activity.”

Carol emphasizes the shame of such a prestigious organization being the first of its kind to be brought low by bankruptcy. He adds that the Philadelphia Orchestra has had a lot of firsts. “The first to be involved with a movie, the first to be on television, the first to go to China … the first to do an awful lot of things. It’s unfortunate they had to take a negative step and be the first major orchestra to declare bankruptcy.”

Wigler also frets over the Orchestra’s reputation. “I think bankruptcy is just disgraceful,” he says. “What about Europe, what will they think?”

Wigler, who fought in Germany during WWII, recalls listening to broadcasts from the Berlin Philharmonic on the battlefield. “They kept on playing even though they were surrounded on all sides,” he says. “That’s how much music meant to these people.”

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. pete said... on Apr 27, 2011 at 02:49PM

“High European culture is not appreciated
anymore, so why should anyone be surprised
that the orchestra is not bringing in listeners?

It's not about money, it's about a culture which
is passing away.

Let the orchestra go, and put on your head
phones. Listen to a decent version of any
one of the great symphonies in private, over
and over again.

Philly's orchestra is a treasure, but there will
be no one left who really appreciates the
greatness of classical European culture.
Most of those people will be dead in the
next 20 years.

Interesting as well that the Curtis Institute
is building a new wing and in a few decades
there will be no orchestras or ensembles
which will hire graduates.

Junk culture has consumed old Europe like
it consumed painting, sculpture, and film.

Let it go and move on.”

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2. Susan said... on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:13PM

“Nothing can ever beat the sound of a live orchestra playing. No matter how good a recording is it can never recreate the same sound and emotion that a live orchestra can. I have been taking my children to the Philadelphia orchestra's children's concerts and I am certain that they will grow up expecting there to be an orchestra around for them to listen to and enjoy.”

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3. JAKE said... on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:03AM

“the legal, public relations and accounting costs will be higher than the 25 million they have to put into the pension fund. and these are the bightest and most prominent philadelphians?”

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4. NYMike said... on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:44AM

“"Let it go and move on.”
In that case, let's close all museums (with many old European paintings), libraries (Shakespeare,etc.) and all other institutions, as the USA descends into a cultural abyss. What an idiotic attitude!

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5. Anonymous said... on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:31PM

“Most board members are just that: bored members who know or care little about classical music and still less about the musicians who make it.

What they do love is the honor and recognition of having their names associated with a high-level cultural institution.

None of the musicians is fooled.”

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6. SF Herb said... on Apr 28, 2011 at 02:01PM

“A crying shame that the communicative art of music should be rendered lifeless in the blind quest of the bottom line. A world class orchestra suffers at the collective hands of low class administration.
Can a new dark ages be far behind?”

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7. pete said... on Apr 29, 2011 at 06:28PM

“Once again my excessive negativity
has caused me to comment in a way
that I regret.

I just can't help it.

Hatred has taken over my life.

I pray that God will give me some
sunshine in my heart someday”

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