Whither the BSO?
Here's an excellent article by Jeremy Eichler from Sunday's Boston Globe on the challenges faced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra as it makes its way both through the current season and, more importantly, though the process of selecting a new music director.
While James Levine clearly engergized the BSO and pleased the critics with his imaginative and demanding programming, his tenure as music director might in retrospect be seen as a seven-year delay in the crucial process of the BSO's reimagining for the new century. Very much a musician of the 20th century in both repertoire (championing old-school "modernists" such as Schoenberg, Carter and Wuorinen rather than the current generation) and interpretation (e.g., Mozart performed as if the historically-informed movement had never occurred), Levine was never, even had his health permitted, going to engage the here-and-now as have the other conductors cited by Eichler in his article. Like the Red Sox, who only won their championships when they cast off much of the cozy provincialism of the Yawkey years, the BSO desperately needs some fresh ideas from outside of its normal orbit.