I agree, that is a really great article and points the way towards a path that many of us are discovering.
One word of caution: Recording fest no longer exists. About 6 weeks ago I contacted Dr. Hurwitz and after giving me their somewhat non-standard pricing formula and then quoting me a price much higher than that advertised on the recording fest website, he disclosed to me that the orchestra wasnt making enough money on Recording Fest so the project was closed down.
As more and more US composer look to central and eastern Europe to record live, the orchestras in the region are quickly becoming very hip to the capitalist way. Pricing is creeping up with the established groups like the Prague Symphony but at the current $25-30 /player/hour (standard pricing formula) its still a great deal.
On the other hand, many city and regional orchestras are getting in the game. This June I will be travelling to Bratislava, Slovakia to record with their City Orchestra. Their demo CD sounds fine but you never really know until you get there. Nevertheless, at $12/player/hour its worth a try. Im doing a 15 minute score I wrote for a movie called Bottom Line and the orchetra fee is $1900.00 for a 50 piece group. You would be hard pressed to find a qualified midi guy in the US to sequence such a score for that price.
If anyone is interested in reading a similar article about my experience with the Prague Symphony you can check out
Your article about your experience with Prague Symphony Orchestra is excellent. It seems you had parallel wonderful experience in many ways. The tuning standard, language barrier, differing player technique, etc - brought back memories.
Sorry to hear that the RecordingFest is no more. It was such an excellent program. Last I spoke with Dr. Hurwitz, it seemed there was so much interest with the EM publicity and all seemed to be going well.
You are right about Orchestras in Eastern Europe no longer being the bargain they once were.
Neverhtheless, there are other orchestral bargains that still can be found in some of the lesser-known cities and the rates are still surprisingly low.
If I only knew that by letting the secret out, those capitalistic dollars would have raised the prices, I may have thought twice. But then again, it was such a marvelous experience to share.
The Manchester Choral Society ( http://www.mcsnh.org ), of which I am a member, just spent $18,000 on musicians for the orchestra on two performances of Bach\'s Mass in B Minor this past Saturday and Sunday. The price included both performances plus two rehearsals.
I would have liked at least two additional rehearsals with the orchestra, but those guys have to make a living too. Still, ya gotta sell a lotta tickets to make up $18,000 for the band...
On one hand, it\'s great that you can do that. On the other hand, how do those musicians eat? And on the third hand, how are all the musicians in the US going to eat if Eastern European orchestras work for a fraction of our minimum wage?