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A Negotiation at the Hollywood Bowl.

August 5, 2015

Last night, my wife and I attended a summer concert at the Hollywood Bowl where we witnessed a negotiation that turned out quite well actually.

The negotiation took place between the musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and its guest conductor.

You probably know this:

Each of the musicians is a top professional and each has personal pride in performing. Each has a vision of how the music should be played, and there is probably more than a little ego involved.

The same is true of any guest conductor.

So here’s what they did:

They negotiated: when to start, when to stop, what tempo, what dynamics (i.e., how loud or soft), when to play out (e.g., solo vs. ensemble playing), when to subordinate to another musician playing a different line of music vs. when to join in, and so much more.

Inasmuch as each musician wants to shine, and so does the conductor, there is a constant struggle over who is in control of the performance and how it will go.

(Sort of sounds like a mediation, doesn’t it?)

Anyway, the concert was excellent. Here’s why:

Orchestral performance is a collaborative, balancing process.

That is, there’s a lot of give and take, and people have to work together for it to come out right.

Just like in mediation.

***

David I. Karp is a full time independent mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His website is at http://karpmediation.com .

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