Letters to the Editor


February 02, 2003

ASO should be open on Dunner matter

The recent distress brought to the Annapolis and Anne Arundel community by the apparent "Star Chamber" handling by the Annapolis Symphony Board of its dispute with Music Director Leslie Dunner continues. The membership that has so faithfully supported the Orchestra, through good times and bad, has not yet been given anything but carefully couched, uninformative, press releases to show why a very fine music director has been peremptorily sent on his way, for no discernible reason. Recently Marty Mankamyer, President of the United States Olympic Committee, was quoted as saying " ... We are a public treasure, a public trust. We have to be prepared to be transparent. We also have to be prepared to declare how we are handling that trust." I would suggest that the Symphony Board can do no less than follow the precepts laid down by President Mankamyer.

Philip Doubleday Hale


Dunner's tenure at ASO has been rich

Not renew Leslie Dunner's contract? Maestro Leslie Dunner's presence as the Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra has been extremely beneficial not only to the orchestra but to the community as well.

As for the orchestra, Dr. Dunner's dynamic leadership has produced a musicality that is full, deep and rich of sound. His credentials were and still are excellent as had been ascertained prior to his selection and he enjoys national and international acclaim.

His community involvement has been extremely positive. The interaction with the schools in an innovating and enriching way has been beneficial to the students helping to develop not only music lovers but hopefully musicians as well. I speak from personal experience, when as a youngster, having been introduced to classical music when Walter Damrosch was conductor of the New York Philharmonic Symphony with our school participating in an enrichment program with the symphony. Believe me it works!

The decision rendered by the executive board seemed to have been a surprise for the director, orchestra and most assuredly the community as well. If there were issues that required resolution, could they not have been settled without so drastic a measure?

The gracious manner in which Dr. Dunner's arrival was heralded gave way to a very cavalier and ungracious way of announcing his departure. We all know that directors do come and they go but the decision seems unwarranted and ill-timed. As for ticket sales, marketing was remiss in its promotional duties because the product created by the director was and still is there. That is not his responsibility.

I have been as subscriber for 15 or 20 years, and the decision puts this subscription in jeopardy.

Laura L. Parker


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