Vacations in France, Leadership and Values

What a telling contrast!!   Ms. Parsons is off to France on a paid vacation (if verified) while the musicians are staying in town playing at homeless shelters.  The musicians have agreed to the Levin/Granholm 25% salary reduction compromise, while we are still in the dark as to Ms. Parson’s current compensation.  Have she and the management staff reduced their salaries to the degree they are asking the musicians to do so?  How much is Maestro Slatkin’s compensation to be reduced?  This stark contrast in actions and requested sacrifice begs for an explanation.


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8 Responses to Vacations in France, Leadership and Values

  1. Carolyn Barnett-Goldstein says:

    I am writing to correct the earlier comment on Anne Parsons. Apparently, I took a source’s email of Leonard Slatkin’s website ‘s itinerary is fact for many reasons . However, I have been corrected.
    The source was a former humorist, and he posted an email along the lines of “The Onion.”
    For those of you not familiar with “The Onion”, it is a humor magazine, spoofing the news.
    So, I was had. Anne Parsons is not going to perform in France with the Lyon Orchestra, and ,Mr. Slatkin. Consequently, she is not receiving remuneration.
    I am very sorry for any confusion. Please, pass the word, if and when necessary.
    Thank you.

  2. The biggest probloem which the DSO has is the fact that management is using a business model which is almost 100 years old. Neither side, musicians or management, has discussed creating additional revenue. Additional revenue will result from presenting additional concerts without additional rehearsals. The concept is simple: Adopt a two-week cycle for a new concert. Three rehearsals should be sufficient. The same week present three concerts at Orchestra Hall. The second week present 3-4 “runout concerts” in locations within a 40 mile radius. But, that week, present 3-4 children’s concerts in the venue where the evening performance will be held. Divide the series of 24 concerts into 12 2-week sets. There could also be 18 concerts and 18 2-weeks sets. Runout concerts would rotate around 12 venues which would each receive 4 concerts per year, plus a children’s concert the same day. If the model is based on 18 sets, then each runout location would have 6 concerts and an equivalent number of children’s concerts. Management wants to present more programs for young people, but why confine those programs to local schools. Think regionally. This is what the Minnesoat and New Jersey orchestras have been doing for years. Innovation is nothing new. I have lived in this area since 1965. The DSO on several occasions received funding for new programs, but NEVER built that funding into their next budget. When the money ran out, the new program was discontinued. The only program which has lasted were the concerts at Kensington and at Metropolitan Park by the beach. FYI, I am a conductor, musicians, music educator, former head of two arts councils, and currently direct a program designed to provide cooperative concerts in oakland County. I have also been a corporate executive of a $100 million dollar company.

  3. Thomas Klaber says:

    I’m not sure I would want anyone to know I was a featured bass trumpet for any reason. It’s the only brass instrument that sounds the same muted or open.

  4. Carolyn Barnett-Goldstein says:

    One more thing.Does her contract with the DSO state she can take jobs for remuneration elsewhere while serving as President? Does it state the DSO will accept her
    personal expenses to travel to another job that has no relationship to her DSO job, or the DSO, itself? Or will she claim she is nursing Slatkin,
    or that she had a meeting with a possible donor?

  5. Carolyn Barnett-Goldstein says:

    Anne Parsons is not there to hunt for donors. Anne Parsons is in France to perform as a featured bass trumpet player with an orchestra
    conducted by your Music Director, Leonard Slatkin. You might try his website.
    Of course, she will be paid for appearing while she continues to draw her check from the DSO.
    However, let’s not forget, one of the new work conditions being imposed on the DSO Musicians
    is that they will be told where, and when, and maybe, what, to play for a chamber music concert when they aren’t performing at Orchestra Hall. They are not to be paid for this, separately. it is to be included in their salary as part of the job description.
    But wait, possibly, she will send a “Wish you were here ” postcard.
    The question is who is paying for her trip? Is she going under the auspices of the DSO? Or does she have an Artist’s Management booking her talents?

    • David says:

      Seriously Carolyn, is she there playing bass trumpet, or is that a joke?

      Although at this point, nothing would surprise me……

      • Carolyn Barnett-Goldstein says:

        David,
        I am sorry, to answer you, so belatedly. Yes,it is apparently a real instrument. I did have to look it up, but it exists.
        Truth be known, I and a few musicians ,at first, also, thought it was a joke.
        If that were the case, the fact that the concert is posted on Slatkin’s website
        in his itinerary,with Parsons being one of two soloists under his baton, would be a better one.

  6. Maybe she is there hunting for donors for our endowment; in other words, doing her job. It seems so me to be an really innapropriate time for her to be in Europe. Yes, our world is small these days, with skype and email enabling everyone to stay in touch. But, with the rest of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2010-2011 season at stake, is this the right time to take off and be away from any possible late breaking negotiations??
    I hope she finds some generous donors there in France, or at least searches and finds some common sense and chooses to not send a message to audiences and musicians that she is really not that interested in saving the season.

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