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The Axelrod violins may not be such a good idea for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra after all.

by Drew McManus
August 2, 2004

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I apologize in advance to my regular readers for posting an article today that is both short and repetitive. But timing is everything and I have to point out a recent article in the New Jersey Star-Ledger that breaks the astounding news that some of the violins Herbert Axelrod sold to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) may very well be fakes.
The Star-Ledger article goes on to assert that the entire deal was just a scam Axelrod was foisting on the NJSO. What’s really interesting is that back on May 10th, 2004 I posted an article here at The Partial Observer claiming exactly that.
The Star-Ledger article also goes on to claim that the then NJSO executive director, Lawrence Tamburri, exaggerated claims made by one violin appraisal expert to help validate the deal to purchased the instruments. The article continues by pointing out that Tamburri was able to secure the top executive post at the much larger Pittsburgh Symphony based on his being one of the architects of the Axelrod violin deal.
Once again, in the article here at The Partial Observer I mentioned that Tamburri’s reputation had been artificially enhanced by this scam and the entire situation would have a detrimental effect on the orchestra management industry.
What’s really important to see here is not that these things were mentioned here first, but that independent online journals such as The Partial Observer offer the world a fast paced forum with the ability to present ideas sooner than has been previously been possible through traditional print media.
The Partial Observer editor, Mark Johnson, deserves a big round of credit for his work with providing such a forum for internet users. He also deserves recognition for standing by my original NJSO article like a journalistic “David” when legal “Goliaths” from New Jersey came knocking at his email door.
I think we all underestimate how valuable the freedom of the press really is to all of us. I know that for me, it has a whole new meaning.
I promise that in the next installment of Neo Classical will get back to the business of examining the future of classical music!

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