I remember sitting down with Jack McAuliffe, then-vice president of the League of Symphony Orchestras (formerly known as the American Symphony Orchestra League) a few years ago and asking him why orchestras didn't lobby harder for more government funding, the way that they're funded in Europe and Asia.
"Because then there would be strings attached," he told me bluntly. "Our system is actually much better."
Really, Jack? Well, get a load of this hot mess, courtesy of the Times' Dan Wakin. Apparently, any self-aggrandizing doofus with a few extra large in his pocket can weasel his way up to the podium of the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and at least 50 other well-respected orchestras around the world to conduct a single piece of music. Badly. Kudos to Philharmonic trombonist David Finlayson for speaking truth to (financial) power, even in these troubled times. Here's hoping Zarin doesn't make him pay for it with his job.