Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday Talk | - about Pittsburgh's Ballet sans Musicians

FWIW, our Nutcracker boycott continues. They didn't get a donation from us this year either.

Nice ink about Pittsburgh in an out-of-town newspaper, LTE about music!
Saturday Talk | Live music isn't just mere sound

While it's good to read that the musicians of the Atlanta Ballet are not struggling financially this holiday season ('Nutcracker joys missed,' Living, Dec. 2), I think this article does a great deal of harm to the cause of live music for the Atlanta Ballet and for any ballet or theater. It gives tacit approval to the replacement of live orchestra with recordings as long as the musicians can make up the money elsewhere. But the harm to the community of musicians, to the art form of ballet, and to the cultural climate of Atlanta is much bigger than whether or not lost income can be made up by teaching a few more lessons or playing another church gig.

Do we want to live in a community that does not value live music? I don't, and it's not just because I'm a musician. The iPod generation already expects music to come through tiny ear pieces. The artistic experience of being in a concert hall or theater with hundreds of other people, all experiencing the power and originality of the live performance, is something I want to have for myself and for my children. Presenting great art isn't about the bottom line; it's about something intangible that will never be replaced by electronic means because it is at heart human. The situation in Atlanta demands that musicians educate the audience to what we already know: live music is worth the price.

Here in Pittsburgh, the public responded with one voice when the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre tried to eliminate their resident orchestra, and the result is a company rededicated to the use of live music. I hope the residents of Atlanta come to the same realization before something precious is lost.

CYNTHIA ANDERSON, Anderson is an oboist with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra.

We're getting ready for our holiday concerts. Grant plays first chair in the Phillips Elementary School performance as Erik moved to middle school. Erik's gig is Tuesday night.

In other fronts, our church pagent is now with two Marys. The one had a bad case of stage freight in today's dress rehersal. Seems that the dalmation is going to be put into a new role. Joseph -- quite a guy. This year he is Mormon-like and still not inclined to squak about a DNA test.

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