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Publisher's Summary

In this Very Short Introduction, D. Kern Holoman considers the structure, roots, and day-to-day functioning of the modern philharmonic society. He explores topics ranging from the life of a musician in a modern orchestra, the recent wave of new hall construction from Berlin to Birmingham, threats of bankruptcies and strikes, and the eyebrow-raising salaries of conductors and general managers. At the heart of the book lies a troubling pair of questions: Can such a seemingly anachronistic organization long survive? Does the symphony matter in contemporary culture? Holoman responds to both with a resounding yes. He shows that the orchestra remains a potent political and social force, a cultural diplomat par excellence. It has adapted well to the digital revolution, and it continues to be seen as an essential element of civic pride. In a time of upheaval in how classical music is created, heard, distributed, and evaluated, the orchestra has managed to retain its historic role as a meeting place of intellectual currents, an ongoing forum for public enlightenment.

©2012 Oxford University Press (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • George MP
  • Freeland, MI United States
  • 05-11-18

True title

The orchestra is a short introduction. I wish it were longer.

I liked the stories and anecdotes; they brought the subject to life. Since this is such a dynamic topic, I would have liked greater currency.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • polestar
  • 01-08-18

bias

It is not about the orchestra as world culture its about the orchestra as a an American art/ business phenomenon with what promises to be a bias to New York!