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On the Contract Extension of DSO President Anne Parsons

June 10, 2011

On the Contract Extension of DSO President Anne Parsons

 

The apparently blue skies that opened up with the ending of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike turned grey and stormy with the recent revelation that the orchestra’s board had offered DSO President Anne Parsons a three-year extension of her contract.

 

In March, shortly before the orchestra’s nearly six-month strike ended, the board approved the extension of Parson’s lucrative contract. That wrong-headed decision, preceded by the sad news that Emmanuelle Boisvert, the orchestra’s longtime concertmaster, was departing to join the Dallas Symphony, makes the DSO’s weather forecast gloomy indeed.

 

Clearly, Parsons’ contract extension is a collective slap in the orchestra’s face, an arrogant confirmation by the board that her campaign to severely alter the orchestra’s artistic purpose and vision will continue.

 

But it is vital to remember that the blame for the ongoing struggle for our orchestra’s future lies not with the inept Parsons but with the board and its autocratic chair, Stanley Frankel, who issued a lavish statement supporting her.

 

As long as Frankel and those misguided DSO board members who agree with him continue to exert power within the organization, the future of the orchestra as a viable  artistic force remains in serious jeopardy.

 

So the storm clouds continue to gather. Don’t expect to hear any thunder, though. The entire DSO percussion section has already departed for more secure artistic futures.

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