Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NMSO follow-up

       I wrote a while ago about the unfortunate decision of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, along with mentioning the chapter 11 filing of the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as debt in many other organizations. Though the opinion of audience members, staff, listeners, and supporters is incredibly important, I think listening to a musician's point of view is the most fulfilling in these hard times.

       I received an email from Carol Swift-Matton, the Assistant Principal Second Violinist of the NMSO as well as a violinist of the Santa Fe Symphony, with a piece she had written about the demise. I hope that, with posting this, the viewpoints of musicians can be heard; they are the ones that are most severely affected by these bankruptcies. Here is her piece: 

Goodbye, NMSO
I am Carol Swift-Matton, NMSO violinist. Or should I say former NMSO violinist? Or violinist of the former NMSO? In case anyone is wondering how the NMSO musicians are faring, I can only speak for myself: the demise of the NMSO has broken my heart. What a joy these past 22 years with that orchestra have been for me! I had the privilege of working with NMSO’s wonderful music directors Neil Stulberg, David Lockington and of course the incomparable Guillermo Figueroa, as well as countless talented and inspiring guest conductors. As well, I have been fortunate to make music with colleagues of the highest caliber, who I also count as my friends. For me, the benefits haven’t just come musically; you see, the first concert I played with the NMSO was in October of 1989, a Pops concert with the legendary Henry Mancini. At rehearsal break the second day, I met a handsome and charming Frenchman who played bass in the orchestra, and then found  I could see him very well from my vantage point in the violin section. One thing led to another and next thing you know, we were married--20 years ago in May--and now have two beautiful daughters. So you see I owe quite a lot to the NMSO.
Yes, I can still make music, I can still play my violin, and I am exploring various ways to help keep the wolf from our door.  But the special magic that was THAT orchestra, with Maestro Figueroa at the helm, will never exist again. For that I am very sad.
Good-bye, NMSO. And thank you.

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