Foge Urges Support for Orchestra

The following letter, dated September I 995, was distributed to Louisville Orchestra season ticket holders and was included in a press kit received by this newspaper.

The author is Henry Fogel, Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Because of the importance of the Orchestra to our community and beyond, Louisville Music News requested and was granted permission to run it in its entirety in our publication.


Dear Friend of The Louisville Orchestra:

You are probably aware of my involvement as a mediator and facilitator on behalf of The Louisville Orchestra. Because you have been a supporter of the Orchestra, I would like to report directly to you on the situation.

I have chosen to donate my services on behalf of The Louisville Orchestra because of my belief that it is one of America's most important orchestras. I have over thirty of the Orchestra's recordings in my own collection and have long considered it to be one of the gems of the American musical scene. I offered to become involved and assist in any way I could because of that respect and admiration.

The issues that confront The Louisville Orchestra are complex and difficult ones, some of them resulting from the difficult times that all arts organizations in_America have been experiencing in the 1990s. There are no "right" or "wrong" positions in a case like this: very often responsible, intelligent people can simply fail to come to agreement because they hold different views that are arrived at honestly, though from different perspective. In situations like that, it is helpful for a neutral but informed party to help facilitate constructive discussions and that is the role that I am trying to play. I On September 8, a meeting was held in Louisville in which a group of about fifteen musicians from the Orchestra and fifteen members of the Board of Directors, as well as the management leadership, all participated. I want to report to you that it was a very moving and positive experience for me to witness. The immense amount of mutual good will and constructive attitude that was demonstrated by all of the participants gave me very strong reason to believe that The Louisville Orchestra is going to solve its problems. This group of some thirty people has been divided up into specific task forces to work on specific issues that confront the institution. and I will act as a resource to those task forces. Over the next four or five months a true institutional brainstorming and planning project will be taking place, which I believe will lay the foundation for a solid and successful future for The Louisville Orchestra. Every participant in that September 8 meeting showed a willingness to approach all issues with an open mind, a spirit of candor, an openness to new ideas and a mutual recognition ofthe fact that the future success of the Orchestra is in their hands. I could not have been more encouraged.

The Louisville Orchestra is now entering a new era — the era of an exciting new Music Director, Max Bragado-Darman. He has the ability to bring the Orchestra to new levels of musical accomplishment and intensity. What this Orchestra needs most of all right now, during this delicate and important period, is your support. With all of the sincerity that I can muster, I urge you tojoin in the excitement ofthe Bragado-Darman era. Come to concerts and support the Orchestra with your contributions. This is an extraordinary gem in the American musical scene and it deserves all of the support you can give it.

Sincerely, Henry Fogel