The Detroit Symphony- A Great Orchestra In Danger Of Going Under
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is one of America's top orchestras and has been in existence since 1914. Its conductors have included such eminent maestros as Paul Paray, Antal Dorati, Sixten Ehrling, Aldo Ceccato, Gunther Herbig ,Neeme Jarvi and its current music director Leonard Slatkin.
The orchestra has also made acclaimed recordings for Decca,Mercury and Chandos records . For many years, Detroit's auto industry provided generous support for the orchestra, but in these difficult economic times, that support has dried up, and the US government and the state of Michigan provide virtually nothing now.
A strike has canceled all the orchestra's concerts in Detroit's acoustically superb orchestra hall and elsewhere. The orchestra's management has been forced to make significant cuts in the muscian's salary and the orchestra's existence could be threatened. If this were to happen, it would be not only a tragedy but a national disgrace.
But what is the US government doing? Nothing. The Honolulu symphony in Hawaii is also threatened with non-existence, and orchestras all over the nation are reeling from the economic woes and lack of government and private support. The musicians in many other US orchestras have also been forced to accept pay cuts, and there seems to be no relief in sight.
The orchestra had flourished under its previous music director Neeme Jarvi of Estonia for about a decade,and had a recording contract with Chandos records of England. But it went for a period of about two years without a music director when Jarvi stepped down and its future is now uncertain.
As I've pointed out before, America's orchestras and opera companies are not a frivolous entertainment for the rich;they are vital part of our nation and improve the quality of life for so many people in all 50 states. In addition, they are good for the economy. If they flourish,they help the enconomy to flourish and privide gainful employment for many thousands of talented,dedicated and hard-working musicians,as well as the many people who work in administration.
Any one who thinks that our orchestras and opera companies are irrelevant and expendable could not be more mistaken. Please contact your senators and representitivews in Washington and remind them of this fact.