Are auditions ever really blind?

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/20101019_Questions_in_wake_of_a_tryout.html

The New York Philharmonic is trying to buy a musician from another Big-Five Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra. The NYP is trying to acquire virtuous Clarinetist Ricardo Morales. Being from a musical background, I know for a fact that the “blind audition” is nothing more than a hoax. I have seen many auditions in my local community where the person who was playing acting principal lost the audition 2 times before he finally made it to the 2nd round where he was unanimously approved. I know there are numerous other orchestras throughout the country, San Francisco for example, that decide to pick no one till there “special guest” makes it to the unscreened round.

I finally can almost slightly agree with all of the turmoil over artistic quality debates occurring in Detroit. With big orchestras, such as when the LA Phil tried to STEAL the CSO (Chicago’s) principal flute last year, trying to nab who they want when they want I can understand the fear of the top—but not very top—orchestras in the country losing their best musicians. Since this unionized business with strict contractual rules can’t manage to follow them, I too would fear for my job if I was a middle of the pack player (or worse). I believe the fears come from the common man of the orchestra, the one that could not win another comparable job ever again. The fear is that they are stuck with this declining/decomposing institution, and that if they don’t hold the top 1% players financially hostage then they will lose their overly inflated pay check.

Justin

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