Michael Finn was recently named as the new Executive Director for the orchestra. He proposed a residency program that would bring Juilliard students down to Florida to perform concerts and outreach programs, Recent news seems to indicate this idea has been abandoned, but I am still rattled by an article about the program that ran early in May. One of the paragraphs in the article, written by Jan Sjostrom, began "The proposed initiative would not only give the symphony access to high-quality performers..." Oh dear.
I have worked with many of the musicians in that orchestra and can attest to the fact that they are world class musicians. In fact, that group is chock full of "high quality performers" who have degrees from the best music schools in the country, including Juilliard. Yet this article implies that the local musicians aren't up to the standard of the students that would be brought down. This does a grave disservice to the orchestra and the community. I sincerely hope Mr. Finn will take quick and decisive action to dispel this misconception. I hope he works with the artistic management to create vibrant exciting concerts that energize the audience and highlight the amazing talents of the musicians in the orchestra; musicians who are working and living FULL TIME in that community. They deserve the full support of Mr. Finn, the Board and the Management and I sincerely hope the organizational leadership will work with them in good faith as partners committed to bringing the best possible musical experience to the community.