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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
W.L. “Lefty” McLawhorn’s letter of March 14, “Roanoke’s conductor pulls in the talent,” is indicative of how far down the slippery slope orchestras (particularly Roanoke’s) have fallen with regards to pops concerts.
Orchestra pops concerts were originally conceived as a means to fund the classical concerts, a necessary evil in the quest to keep classical music vital. What has ensued is a breeding ground for aging rockers, has-been crooners and Broadway stars.
Contrary to McLawhorn’s assertions, the appearance of these performers has nothing whatsoever to do with the reputation of an orchestra or that of its conductor. Half of the time these so-called artists don’t even know what orchestra they are performing with, as evidenced by Tony Bennett’s appearance with the RSO when he thanked the “uh, Virginia Orchestra.”
This has everything to do with the grotesque proportion of orchestras’ budgets allocated for these concerts at the expense of the true artists and repertoire that should be paramount in the mission of a symphony orchestra.
Concert violinist and member of the Kandinsky Trio
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