Chaos as Usual?

Fighting a crisis is nothing unknown to most music institutions in the United States. Headlines about orchestra strikes, delayed start of a season or impending shut-downs have swept across the Atlantic Ocean for years. In a country where public funding of the arts is sparse, declining private donations and dwindling audiences are even more dangerous than in Europe - but this is exactly what happened when the global financial crisis of 2008 struck. The United States is still dealing with the aftermath of the crisis, and some of the recent stories about U.S. music institutions sounded scarier then ever. Following embittered and unsuccessful contract negotiations, the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra were locked out for over a year, from October 2012 through January 2014. The New York City Opera, second-largest opera house in New York and internationally well-known, went into bankruptcy last year in October. At the same time, there are examples of American music institutions that seem to weather the storm.

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