Open letter to the SLO Symphony director

May 19, 2015


Mr. Feingold,

Although you’ve now had the job of executive director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony for approximately a year, to my recollection you and I have never met. My late husband, Dr. Earle Blakeslee was the Symphony’s first conductor. I played in the second violin section.

Over the years I have enjoyed contributing my financial support to this now outstanding Symphony. Even though I am retired and frequently travel, I am still actively involved with the music community of San Luis Obispo.

I can tell you sir, that you may have won the battle in firing Michael Michael Nowak 2Nowak but you have lost the war. Numerous people with whom I’ve spoken have said unless Michael is reinstated they will no longer contribute. Musicians say they will no longer play and season ticket holders say they will not renew.

It is a Board of Director’s responsibility to oversee the finances and day to day management of an organization…not in this case to re-direct a conductor’s vision and repertoire.

I am writing to request that you reinstate Michael. If you are not comfortable working with him, then you are the one that should resign. You do not understand our very special community and with your intent on changing things apparently you never will.

This is a precious and special place. We like it that way.

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An excellent article from a long-time citizen and long-time supporter and contributor

to the symphony. I, too, have been a contributor to the symphony and have enjoyed

several concerts.

The basic problem with Mr. Feingold is that he is power-hungry. He finds himself in the

position where he can dictate to others and he loves the feeling this gives himself.

The only way this egotistical person can be brought down is to have happen exactly

what Diane has suggested – have contributions substantially decrease, season ticket

holders refuse to renew, musicians refuse to play, etc.

Unfortunately, I do not see that happening. There will be threats of actions; but in the end

Mr. Feingold will prevail and life will have to go on. He did not get in the position he is in

without the ability to read people. He understands there will be some short term

‘yelling’ and ‘screaming’ from many symphony supporters, but his read on people

has convinced him that this will blow over and in a few short months all will be forgiven

and/or forgotten. The end result will be that Mr. Feingold will have even further solidified

his power to do whatever he wants.

But, oh wouldn’t it be so nice to prove him wrong.

I suspect he’s toast in SLO…

Never give up the “good fight”. That includes letting outsiders come to SLO….and then weed out valuable artists (employees, etc.). Many of us are happy the way things are in SLO. It is a beautiful town—now if we can just stop these new banks from building it into a mini-Santa Barbara.

And for my money, that includes the developers come lately, realtors and CCSD board members that want Cambria to become “little Carmel”.

An intelligent person would heed the advice given by Ms Blakeslee. She represents the core and soul of the real San Luis Obispo soul. Mr Feingold does not. I am not sure how long you have lived in our community, but i know how long the Blakeslee’s, Madonna’s and others have been here and theirs is not advice to be ignored. You will play to empty houses with Ipods rather than human beings. If you don’t like it Mr Feingold, go back to LA or wherever it is you came from and take all the damn Johnny-come-lately Southern California pseudo socialites with you. You have done enough damage thank you very much.

I think quite a few “Johnny-come-lately pseudo socialites” have come from the Bay Area as well.

Thank you Diane…