Polyphonic.org has a very informative set of video interviews with Milwaukee Symphony principal viola and Milwaukee Musicians Association president Robert Levine. Greg Sandow interviews Robert on a series of issues facing modern orchestras, including changing dynamics between players and management in negotiations, perception of an orchestra as either a commercial enterprise or a non-profit organization, changes in the relationship between orchestras and the recording industry, and the Milwaukee Symphony’s foray into internet sales (including iTunes sales). Click on the photo to check out this interview series–it is very interesting.
I wrote in a previous post about the Milwaukee Symphony venturing into iTunes sales. This is definitely the way things are headed in all genres of music, and the Milwaukee Symphony is smart to move in this direction.
I have been a member of the Milwaukee Musicians Association for the past seven years due to my membership in the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, and Robert has negotiated our Collective Bargaining Agreements during my time there. If you have any interest in the inner workings of an orchestra negotiation and the future of the modern symphony orchestra then this interview series is definitely worth checking out.