Scene's cover story last week about the fight between former PD orchestra critic Donald Rosenberg, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Plain Dealer has garnered plenty of opinion and response. Here's one reader's take:
What makes Plain Dealer classical music critic Donald Rosenberg’s situation stand out is that his critiques of the Cleveland Orchestra were usually very fair and accurate [“The Orchestra Pit,” May 5, 2010]. He did a good job evaluating the technical and interpretive aspects of the orchestra’s performances, and I looked forward to reading his opinions.
When Franz-Welser Möst came along, everything changed. Reviews were consistently negative, even when the orchestra and conductor were great. At times, the thrust seemed to be less about the music and more about personal attacks — a clear departure from the norm.
A music critic’s obligation is to the music and nothing else. When expert opinion cannot be rendered objectively, that opinion has no value. There has to be accountability. The Plain Dealer should have dealt with this issue long before the Musical Arts Association had to take a stand.