The Minnesota Orchestra musicians have been playing each concert as if it’s their last—maybe because they fear or feel it might be their last.
The late Finnish composer, Sibelius described his composition “Symphony No. 2” as “a struggle between death and salvation.” That’s what has been confounding city orchestras lately.
With lockouts, labor disputes, deficits, not to mention dwindling audiences, the classical music ensembles struggle for survival. Symphonies in different cities over the past 2 years have all encountered strikes/lockouts partly because of the weak economy. The withstanding challenge of diminishing audience additionally has brought much difficulty among city orchestras to keep their identity to continue playing good classical music.
Orchestras typically have high overhead costs, and aren’t just as popular now as they were before. When the lockouts wipe away the orchestras, there may be a ‘professional orchestra’ to replace them but no more would they be as outstanding and as highly respected.
Read more about the current struggles of city orchestras here: Are City Orchestras Becoming Extinct?