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After years of financial troubles, the Louisville Orchestra's major donors have said they will no longer continue to artificially prop up the Orchestra. They have demanded that the board field an orchestra this community can afford. That means 50 full time musicians.
For the first time in the Orchestra's history, this board of directors is determined to do the hard and necessary work the donors and the economics have demanded, but since the musicians don't like that message, they want to kill the messenger. They want the board to agree to an outside consultant who will have binding authority to change the management and change the by-laws of the board and everything about how the Orchestra is run. Management isn't the problem. Economics is the problem.
The musicians keep getting distracted instead of staying on a productive path. The musicians themselves should insist that their negotiating committee get focused on one thing: getting the musicians back to work.
I can tell you, as a board member, we would much rather have a deal with our current musicians, but the board's responsibility isn't to the musicians – it's to the community. We are charged with putting an affordable symphonic orchestra on the stage. If the current musicians aren't going to play, then we must find musicians who will.