James Levine supposedly makes over $3.5M a year, a combination of his Boston and Met appointments. What does he bring that could possibly justify the expense? For me, even if one could bring back Toscanini, Furtwangler or Koussevitzky from the dead, they still wouldn't be worth that kind of money.
For me, the problem rests with those empowered with oversight. Boards tend to be populated by those who have enjoyed great success in business and naturally they will tend to trust those who, at the very least, share some similar measure of success. Unfortunately, it is can be far more difficult to measure success in the non-profit world and sadly Boards don't often see that there are differences. I was reminded of the recent obituary of the conductor Landau. In the obit, a quote from the President of the Board of one of the orchestras conducted by Landau was cited as a reason why Landau left the orchestra...the head of the board supposedly said something like the programming should be designed to attract donations. While there are no simple answers, one could assume, that the primary purpose of the organization was to raise money...but to what end? So it could raise more money? Is there ever enough money for a non-proft?
Disgraceful? Yes, but for me, it is equally absurd and sad.
Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
This guy is allegedly a "public servant." He should be fired and the office put under very strict oversight, with the executive budget cut to the bone. Someone wanting to get rich and live like a
CEO doesn't belong in charge of the Smithsonian, or the LOC or any other government institution. Such jobs are not for those in it for the rich and famous living large life.
No wonder so much audio material in the hands of the Smithsonian will never be conveniently available to the public (public = owners and funders of said museum). Disgraceful!
-- Tom Fine