One of them had a letter in the Strib today
calling the Board members bold leaders--and saying that he himself is on the Board.
They are the kind of people who think nothing of writing to the paper to say, "Look at me! I am a bold leader!"
They are the kind of people who would do that within the culture of Minnesota, for the love of Pete. That's who we're dealing with here.
I think it's a very indicative letter--he goes into all sorts of buzzwords about strong leadership making difficult decisions and not winning popularity contests. What it boils down to is that the people in the MN Orchestra's leadership think that "the Orchestra" is a thing in itself, not made up of Doug and Burt and Wendy and Cathy and all the other actual musicians--and that they
leaders of that entity than the people who actually comprise it could ever be. It looks fairly clear to me that they made decisions about fundraising direction and how to handle financials and are now so locked into those decisions that they cannot see them as malleable. Their proposed contracts have become what they have
to do--not just one option that they have selected among many. And even when you think that you've picked the best
option, I think it's crucial to remember that it was a choice
. Your opinion of the best option may have to shift when you take other people's thoughts and behaviors into account, or when other factors in the world change.
I think the management of the Orchestra has gotten itself into a mindset wherein their opinions and decisions are Cold Hard Reality. We in science fiction can watch people shrieking about "The Cold Equations" and know how badly that
can go wrong. But if I'm reading them right about the Cold Hard Reality, it certainly explains why they are treating musicians and the listening public like children, why they feel they don't have to explain themselves, etc.
I think that actual artists--visual artists, writers, musicians--are intimately familiar with doing things one way and then another. It's part of selection, revision, interpretation and reinterpretation. It's not exclusive to the arts, but it's essential to the arts. And it looks like a major worldview clash to me from here.
I could, of course, be wrong about all of this. That's another option.