New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra assistant concertmaster Laura Hamilton
are backing a call to keep musicians playing in Broadway musicals.
The Save Live Music on Broadway campaign has been launched by the
American Federation of Musicians Local 802 and is being sponsored
by the non-profit Council for Living Music. Dicterow and Hamilton
have joined Juilliard School president Joseph Polisi and several
Broadway composers and lyricists in endorsing the campaign.
AFM Local 802 has criticised the new Broadway production – none of them string players – and using recorded music. Local 802 president Tino Gagliardi told the New York Times: 'They're getting away with putting an orchestra string section on a recording in order to save money.' But the show's producers argue that recorded strings are being used for artistic reasons, and that live string players couldn't achieve the synthetic pop aesthetic that some of the show's songs aim for.
The Save Live Music on Broadway campaigners cited a recent national poll of Broadway musical audiences, in which 91 per cent of those surveyed said the best part about a Broadway musical is the music, and in which three out of four respondents said they would not buy tickets to a show if they were aware it would be using recorded music to replace some or all of the musicians.