Restless in Seattle
Some indeterminately large population of the Seattle Symphony's musicians is clearly dissatisfied with the leadership — musical or otherwise — of music director Gerard Schwarz, and once again the P-I's intrepid R.M. Campbell has the story. It's always difficult in a situation like this to gauge the real extent of the problem, and Richard does a good job in laying out the possibly dubious parts of the survey that was distributed among the orchestra's musicians. Any orchestra has its share of full-time malcontents, reflexive apple-polishers and so on. For that matter, the survey itself sounds like it might have been a fairly slipshod affair.
Still, it doesn't matter whether the majority of the players are pro- or anti-Schwarz or somewhere in between. The mere fact that the dissension has become so open and noticeable is a problem for the orchestra's board — or it should be. If the argument is about whether most of the musicians in the orchestra think the music director is doing a sucky job, or only some, you're already a tempo or two behind.
Plus, you want to bring in people who know what they're about. I loved this detail:
Don McDonough, founding partner of the Seattle survey firm Evans/McDonough, strongly criticized the survey in his two-page report.
"It is our professional opinion that there are serious flaws in the questionnaire design, data collection and overall methodology, and as a result of these deficiencies the results are highly suspect," reported McDonough, who misspelled Schwarz's name throughout the document.