The pandemic ushered in a prolonged period when many musicians could not perform with their orchestras. This time has been psychologically and emotionally fraught not only for musicians, but for orchestra staffers as well, and it has brought heightened attention to the importance of health and wellness. Instrumentalists, composers, orchestras, and therapists are stepping up to help their colleagues by creating programs that provide solace, support, and a space to talk.
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Few activities are as central to orchestras as auditions for musicians. “Blind” auditions, in which musicians perform behind a screen to shield their identity, were instituted in the 1970s to redress the longstanding exclusion of people of color and women from orchestras. While blind auditions were successful in some regards, particularly in increasing the proportion of women musicians at orchestras, the percentage of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) musicians has not risen significantly over time.
Orchestras raced to put music online in the pandemic as a matter of necessity. But the move to streaming only accelerated a trend that was already underway. As we begin to transition to a post-pandemic world, orchestras must weigh the costs and benefits of streaming, audience expectations, and how to balance in-person and virtual presentations.
By Rebecca Winzenried It’s been a year of unprecedented change and adjustment, but the focus at the League of American Orchestras remains constant: finding ways to help American orchestras not just survive, but thrive.
A new guide from the League of American Orchestras makes the case for the vital importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion at orchestras—from the board perspective. How Orchestra Boards Can Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion discusses the urgency of this work and offers practical advice, contextual information, and strategies for boards and orchestras to become truly representative of the communities they serve.
As musical life begins to resume after more than a year of pandemic-induced hibernation, we are finding that the world seems to have changed at a faster pace than actual chronological time. What fresh approaches can we take to restart our musical lives, continue to innovate and experiment, and embrace our brave new worlds?
News and updates from orchestras everywhere. In this issue: “All Rise” in Tulsa A Space of Their Own Spring Awakenings
Orchestras innovated as seldom before during the past year, pivoting from business as usual to inspired improvisations, themes, and variations that were unthinkable just 18 months ago. The pandemic crisis and the fierce urgency of calls for racial justice have led orchestras to make enormous changes at the last minute and move into the here …
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