Ricardo Morales to New York?

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The New York Times hints as strongly as you can without coming out and saying so that Philadelphia Orchestra principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales is trying out and headed for the New York Philharmonic.

"The departure of Mr. Morales would be a blow as the Philadelphians are working their way past a leadership vacuum and severe financial problems," reports the Times.

Actually, the departure of Mr. Morales would be a blow even if the Philadelphians were not working their way past leadership and financial struggles. The more relevant question is this: Is this the thin end of the wedge? With management proposing ideas for cutting the size of the ensemble and the season - not to mention pay checks - is this the beginning of Philadelphia losing its best players?

Leaders of the orchestra will have a lot to answer for if this turns out to be the first stroke in the dismantling of the Philadelphia Orchestra as we know it.

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