From Critic to Dramaturg
September 24, 2010
Last night at the Berkeley Symphony, I was chatting to a patron about my new role as the organization's resident dramaturg. He said: "Gosh, that means you won't be able to write about the orchestra anymore," in concerned terms.
Well obviously I won't be able to write about the orchestra anymore. But his comment seems totally beside the point. In my twice monthly column about culture for the New York Times / Bay Citizen, I have to cover all the arts, and classical music is one of many fields to write about. If I ever did get to write about the Berkeley Symphony, it might be once every couple of years, if that, as the region is so rich with classical music material to cover. So it's not like the orchestra would be losing out on any big media coups there.
I'm guessing -- and hoping -- that the Berkeley Symphony will gain a lot more from having me teach classes, organize interesting pre-concert programming and find other creative ways of connecting audiences to the music than it would by having me scribble an occasional half-baked commentary about its concerts here on my blog.
It's an interesting experiment at any rate and I applaud the orchestra for going in this direction. We'll see what happens.