Reflecting on the BSO's unappetizing summer season
The orchestra has steadily eroded the summer season from what was, when I got here nine years ago, a respectable blend of real music and casual ambience. For a while there, we even got chamber music prelude concerts before the orchestral programs.
I can understand how things change economically, and I know that it's much harder to drum up audiences in the hot months than the rest of the year, but does the BSO really have to stoop to Bugs Bunny and Disney tunes, and rot out Beethoven’s Ninth yet again? As Jed Clampett would say, pit-ee-ful, just pit-ee-ful.
I know that other orchestras struggle to attract audiences in the summertime, unless they spice things up with video game music, Hollywood favorites and the like, but it some of them still manage to find room for solid classical material. The National Symphony’s summer lineup at Wolf Trap, for example, balances lots of that pop culture stuff with three real classical evenings (including a concert version of La Boheme).
Surely the BSO could come up with a more appetizing mix. The best thing about this summer season is that I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty if I ended up missing most of it.