Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why Dilettante went down

This will sound off topic, but.... Most of us have heard that the music web site Dilettante was shut down recently. I can only provide a good guess as to the reason but I bet it is close or right on target: it ran out of money. Many small businesses fail for the same reason – not enough up-front capital. However, there is a difference in this case and that is that the site is (was) an arts site. As such, it needed patrons - the kind that help fuel the top orchestras and ballet companies and museums of the world - not investors and not more members and not more advertisers. Without philanthropy, the arts would be dead. That’s not the way things should be, but, as long as the massive money goes to Frank Sinatra and Liberace and the Beatles and Lady Gaga, that’s the way it is. With patrons by his side, Mozart might have lived a longer life. Bach and Handel and Haydn and Beethoven and Wagner and Stravinsky did. What does any of this have to do with violins? We are all in this together, whether we are on stage front and center at the Met or playing last chair in the second violin section of a small regional orchestra.

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