I didn’t come here to be consulted

Lord knows I try to be funny. I love coming up with absolutely absurd notions about music for your amusement. But OboeInsight reminds me that, try as I may, I just can’t compete with reality.

Canadian arts consultant Elaine Calder, hired by the Oregon Symphony to evaluate its weaknesses, has suggested that one problem is that the orchestra plays too much classical music.

She also suggested that zoos have too many animals and that sushi restaurants serve too much fish. It’s a symphony orchestra, you moron. What do you want them to play? Oh, right.

[Calder] points out that when the Edmonton orchestra played with Christian soft-rock singer Michael W. Smith, $250,000 worth of tickets were sold, mostly to symphony newcomers.

She also advocates performing in other locations, like churches, according to The Oregonian.

Oh, dear God. I’m all for pops concerts that boost the bottom line, but not pops concerts that are straight-up religious pandering. (How about some klezmer concerts and visits to the temple? An oud soloist and a trip to the mosque? Nah—it’s not like those people will ever assimilate. Besides, there aren’t enough of them to make pandering financially worthwhile!) If I were a patron of the Oregon Symphony, I’d be downsizing my donations by the exact amount they’re paying this blowhard.


  1. Well, “classical” music WAS born in church, a very autocratic church. Unlike todays “Christian” music, it was the antithesis of “popular” that is to say, peasant, music.
    By the time it got to the classical “classical period”, it had become merely royal.
    Ir wasn’t ’till the 50’s that Les
    Paul gave Elvis the tools to show the world what working class children could do.
    Now, of course we arrive at a new period of music in which “classical” music is percieved (to people with I.Q’s in the low hundreds) as anything played by an orchestra.
    The major problem faced by composers of today’s music is the question “What kind of music do you write?”
    One must say “classical” even though the classical “classical period is older than Keith Richard looks.
    Don’t even try to call it “Art music” I tried that once at a fiddle show in Monarch Montana.
    There are several books of musical humor that expand on the “consultant’s” theme.

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