Mon., July 11
Small Orchestras' High Wire Act before the High Court
It's been a tough road for symphony orchestras in recent years: graying audiences, dried-up endowments, bankruptcies at the country's biggest orchestras, and concert halls sitting half-full as public tastes shift. Nowhere is this more apparent than for youth and community orchestras, where community support and steady ticket sales represent the thin line between solvency and dissolution. While committed to community outreach and music education, they're simultaneously hamstrung by a fickle public that sees them less as cultural ambassadors, more like stuffy polyester leisure suits -- slightly out of style.
Their job got even harder when warhorses of the repertoire, the core of the 20th century canon, shifted out of the public domain and back to private copyright: gone were Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Shostakovich's 5th, Stravinsky's Symphony in C, and so many other staples.
But they're not going down without a fight. Conductor Lawrence Golan, Maestro of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington, saw the trend, got fired up, and filed suit. Now his case, Golan v. Holder, is in the U.S. Supreme Court, with the fate of small orchestras hanging precariously in the balance. Today we're joined by Golan to talk about the case, the road ahead, and the relevance of classical music in our mobile, shifting cultural landscape.