David Graham, President
Henry Fogel, Festival Director
New Hampshire Music Festival
We have been season ticket holders and patrons of NHMF for many years, and have always eagerly anticipated the summer classical concert series. Under the baton of Maestro Polivnick, the resident orchestra has always been exquisitely prepared and the performances inspiring and delightful.
We now understand that you have come to believe that you “must add excitement and freshness to the concerts” in order to offset “erosion in our classical music audience”. Perhaps. The tactics you have chosen to employ in pursuit of this goal, however, appear counterintuitive at best and permanently damaging at worst:
– “…higher standards(?), longer hours(?), and a much more engaged commitment(?) than in the past.”
– “a more intense and longer rehearsal cycle.”
– Your references to the orchestra members as “employees” rather than the high status professionals that they are. (Do you read your own concert program?)
– Essentially “laying off” the entire orchestra and then inviting all to participate in a vague reapplication process. (And you express surprise at the reaction?)
The damage that you have done to this fine orchestra cannot be undone. We intend to withhold our ticket order and delay our 2010 commitment as Patrons of NHMF until we are assured that your new business model” has not done permanent damage to this summer jewel of the North Country. Perhaps we will see you in 2010. Perhaps not.
Very truly yours,
Braxton Hinchey, Ph.D.
Susan A. Goodwin, Ph.D.
Silver Lake, NH
30 July 2009