I don’t find this NYT story surprising–sounds like a good business model for, albeit one that is pretty questionable ethically:
Every year foreign orchestras with exotic or impressive-sounding names crisscross the country. They follow grueling routes and play in arts centers, small theaters and school auditoriums in places like Pembroke, N.C., and Modesto, Calif.
The orchestra of Kislovodsk, from one of its publicity photographs.
But they are not always what they seem.
The Dublin Philharmonic that played two years ago in nearly 50 towns? Mostly Bulgarians. The Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra that toured the United States last year? Largely freelancers. The “Tschaikowski” St. Petersburg State Orchestra, which is scheduled for a major American tour next year? Even the man advertised as its principal guest conductor said he had never heard of it.