Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Új konduktorok: egy kis pletyka *

(New conductors: a little rumour)
Unverified, and unverifiable

I was told the other day:
  • eighty-three new conductors graduated from the Pető Institute in Budapest this summer
  • of these twenty have been offered jobs at the Pető Institute
  • services in small towns in and the countryside in Hungary are not attracting conductors to fill vacant jobs
So, granting further study, parenthood, career changes etc., where do the rest go? Presumably some, perhaps most, go to seek their fortunes on the international conductor market.

'I was told...'

This is no way to run a railroad. The fragile web of Conductive Education services around the world, and the largely invisible private market, are almost wholly dependent upon the Pető Institute for their conductor workforce. There seems no foreseeable chance of significant change in this situation.

As far as the continuation of conductor-training at the Pető Institute and the long-term future of present international conductor-employment are concerned – the two exist symbiotically. It might go a tiny way towards securing the future of both if the Pető Institute were to publish concrete information of its annual conductor output and what, as far as is knowable, conductors go on to do once they have graduated.

At the very least this would offer a hint of dialogue

The year 2011 may of course be too late to start this with any hope of its developing much further to mutual benefit.. Who or what can honestly now do realistic business-planning for a future extending beyond the next couple of years or so?

The information reported above is no more than a passing pletyka.

* Pletyka

pletyka. A Hungarian word translatable literally into English as a 'gossip' or 'rumour', but meaning something rather more.

I first met it in Hungary when that country was part of the Soviet Bloc. Credible information was hard to come by and no one trusted anything that sounded official. News and information could still travel fast, however by word of mouth: pletyka.

There is no need to have played the children's game 'Chinese Whispers', or taken part in a psychology of rumours (Aussage) experiment, to know what this leads to.

So the best way of dealing with a pletyka when you heard one was not to believe it literally – or even not believe it at all – but cross-check, double-check and reality-check, to see whether a pattern might begin to emerge through the fog. Then wait to have your resulting surmises confirmed or, as often as not, confounded by events. Most frustrating and worrying, especially for those in no position to wait before having to decide and act anyway.

In the context of those days my contacts with Conductive Education seemed to involve a pletka at every turn. But, once Hungary became part of' the West, I naively thought, those days would pass.

What can one say?

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