It worries me a little, but I try to turn those worries into motivation to play better. We’re all aware of the challenges certain arts institutions are facing these days. I read those headlines and horror stories, and I wonder what I can do to make things better, and I keep coming back to the same thing: put my best playing forward all the time. I believe that maybe if I play a solo particularly beautifully, somebody in the audience will hear it and want to buy another ticket, or bring a friend, or make a donation, or buy our CDs. We have people in management whose job it is to raise money, market our products, and engage the community — if they succeed in those jobs, and I succeed in my job of bringing the best clarinet playing I can to our audiences, I think we’ll be okay.
Nashville Symphony principal clarinetist James Zimmerman, on being asked “There are a lot of headlines about how the orchestra is dying these days. Does this worry you?”