Blind auditions needed for 'Phil'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 February, 2001, 12:00am

Regarding the sacking of musicians at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, [musical director] Dr Samuel Wong certainly has the right and the duty to remove less-able musicians from the orchestra, but I question how he did it.

It was my impression that most orchestras use a procedure called 'blind audition'. Musicians wanting to either get or keep a job play anonymously, behind a thin curtain, and are evaluated by a panel of impartial experts: music professors, conductors of other orchestras, and the like. There is no possibility of bias arising from either the candidate's personal particulars - age, gender and race - or the conductor's expectations. The panel evaluates the music they hear, and have no knowledge of anything else.

If Dr Wong wishes to improve the 'Phil' while avoiding all criticism, he should arrange 'blind auditions' for the entire orchestra. If the musicians at the Phil had an effective organisation, they would insist upon it.


Kowloon Tong