BECKER, John




Author Tags: Music

An arts critic who now lives in Manitoba, he wrote Discord: The Story of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as a critical study of the history and modern problems of the VSO. With a foreword by Max Wyman, the book chronicles the soul-searching, dissensions, acrimony and public begging that accompanied the financial troubles of Canada's sixth largest cultural institution in 1988 and 1989. (In 1971 Norah Mitchell and Sheila Foster published a pamphlet about the VSO called The Symphony Story.)

[BCBW 1995] "Music"

Discord: The Story of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Info



NOBODY LOVES A CRITIC. ESPECIALLY when they try to tell the truth. So perhaps it's a good thing that John Becker has moved to Manitoba. Becker, winner of the Western Magazine Award for arts criticism in 1988, is now releasing Discord: The Story of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Brighouse $14.95) to coincide with the next raising of the baton at the opening of the VSO's fall season. With a foreword by Max Wyman, this overall history of the VSO won't be music to the ears of many strong-willed managers, conductors, directors, union officials and musicians who would prefer to sell tickets rather than controversy. On Tuesday, January 26th, 1988, VSO President Dennis Culver told the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra musicians that all operations had to be suspended. Following tears, acrimonious accusations, sacrifice, soul-searching and public begging, Canada's sixth largest cultural institution was eventually bailed out.

[BCBW Autumn 1989]