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CLASSICAL  September 2005

CLASSICAL September 2005

Subject:

Boston Book Of Lists

From:

Laurence Glavin <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 25 Sep 2005 14:32:52 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (32 lines)

A publication called the Boston Business Journal puts out a book of lists
every year primarily oriented toward business interests, but that also
includes items of general interest.  I like to peruse it as a demonstration
of the importance of the arts in Boston, and every year one organization
never fails to emerge as number ONE among performing arts organizations
in the area: the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  It plays before a total of
over 623,000 ticket holders during the Symphony Hall season (the BBJ
omits attendance at Tanglewood and the Pops concerts along the Charles
River, a space called the Esplanade, where 200,000 turn out for the July
4th Fireworks concert alone).  The budget figure is $74-million; the
revenue stream is $70-million (oops, that's a $4-million-dollar deficit.
No wonder the tickets are going up in price.) I suspect that this is
small potatoes next to the two major spectator sports franchises, the
Red Sox and Patriots, but less than the Bruins (when they play) and the
Celtics.  Considering the significance of the Orchestra in the City (and
ancillary businesses such as hotels and restaurants), it's a puzzlement
why local media fail to provide coverage of events below the Beethoven
sign.  The TV stations will cover opening night galas, then ignore the
BSO for the rest of the season.  The Boston Globe newpaper is most
prominent in coverage of this Orchestra, plus visiting orchestra and
the more high-profile musical events, but even they have cut back on
the number of personnel who write reviews and feature stories.  Not so
ephemeral performers and organizations that don't approximate the impact
of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  I won't even mention the lesser paper
in town that has substantially dropped the ball in this area.  (A sports
metaphor is appropriate because their Sports section after a few staff
cuts is still a huge portion of their operation).  Perhaps some members
of the media in town will observe this list and rethink their dismissive
attitudes toward classical music!  To quote Steve Martin..."nah".

Laurence Glavin
Methuen, MA

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