posted by September 10 at 14:33 PMon
From the Times:
After more than two decades at the helm of Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz announced today that he will step down when his contract expires in 2011.
Schwarz, 61, is among the longest-tenured musical directors in America and has been a towering figure on the Seattle arts scene during a period of unprecedented growth.
That’s right, Seattle Times, give him that goodbye blow job.
Fact is, Schwarz is one of the more reviled conductors/musical directors in the country. And while his charm with the richie-riches basically built Benaroya Hall, his massive ego and death-grip on his baton have hurt the city’s music culture.
He should’ve stuck around as a fundraiser, conducted every once in a great while, and handed the reins to younger, more capable hands many, many years ago.
But don’t take my word for it. Trust the New York Times, which did a little more reporting on the story:
“I’m ecstatic,” John Weller, a violinist, said minutes after Mr. Schwarz made the announcement to the players at the end of a recording session. “I’m on top of a cloud right now.”
“There is a God,” he added, saying that it felt like a “crushing burden” had been lifted.
The players’ leadership committee carried out a survey of the musicians that amounted to a resounding vote of no confidence in Mr. Schwarz. They voted 61-8 in favor of new artistic leadership, and 61-12 for the formation of a search committee.
I can’t imagine why the Seattle Times wouldn’t print that well-known fact. What’ve they got to lose?
But whatever. Schwarz is leaving. We get a new conductor/music director in a couple of years.
If Seattle isn’t under water by then.
I just remembered why the Seattle Times is doing a half-assed job with this story: Because their classical music critic took a buyout six months ago and they didn’t replace her.
This is what you get when you don’t have dedicated critics: crappy coverage.