John Duffus’s views of a good arts administrator 杜輝尊眼中理想的藝術行政人員(1986)

johnduffus
John Duffus 杜輝尊 (簡介)

原載香港管弦協會會刊《起拍》1986年3至5月號之「樂友社特刊」,作者不詳
Originally published on ‘Friends Supplement’ of “Upbeat" (magazine of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society), Opus 6, No.3, March-May 1986, author is uncredited.

(按:本來排版是先中後英,但由於譯文水準不佳,建議讀英文原版)

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John Duffus, our General Manager, was the guest at a ‘Meet the Artist’ session on 27 February 1986. Mr. Duffus had only returned from the Orchestra’s China Tour forty eight hours previously, and was a bit tired but very excited because the tour was vey successful and a great triumph for the Philharmonic in many ways.

He started off with background information about how he became an arts administrator. He started to learn the piano at age six. Even thought he loved music, he had no intention to make it his career. At 15, he visited a television studio and was fascinated with the technology he observed. He then decided he would become a television producer one day.

When he first attended college he studied economics, but realised he was not interested in it and later switched to music. Upon graduation, he became the Programme Assistant of the Radio Section of the British Broadcasting Company. After that, he began an 8-year association with the Scottish Opera, initially as Personal Assistant to the General Administrator and thereafter as Assistant General Administrator and Technical Controller During these years, he founded it to be an excellent training ground.

He was appointed General Manager of the Philharmonic and has for 7.5 years managed the Orchestra. He admitted that he had no academic training as an arts administrator and picked things up along the way. In his personal view, the most important requirement as an arts administrator is that one must be an artist/performer or has to have a love for arts.

Arts organisations all over the world are being subsidized one way or another and an arts administrator has to make sure that the public subsidy is well spent. Most artists, stage designers, and music directors are only concerned about producing the best performance without music consideration for the budget, It is the arts administrator;s job to decide how to spend the available funds. he has to maintain a perfect balance between funding and production, to produce the best function within the budget. This, in fact, is an art in itself. He has to create an atmosphere in which the performing artist an give his best to the public, it is his job to achieve artistic perfection. He has great respect for artists in general when consideration is taken about the effort and time spent in training. An arts administrator has to be a combination of many things, including psychiatrist, social worker and shoulder to cry on.

In this business, last minute cancellations, illnesses of artists, delays, unavoidable situations occur often and the arts administrator has to deal with them tactfully. He enjoys the challenge and fun. John Duffus will be leaving the Philharmonic to put his knowledge and expertise to good use by forming his own company in Hong Kong managing artists and to promote performances and productions. Although he is leaving us, he will stay in the local music scene. Friends had a real nice chat with him and the session lasted for an hour and a half instead of our usual one hour. Our best wishes to you Mr. Duffus!

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樂友社會員於二月廿七日與杜輝尊聚談,聽他談及在職期間的苦與樂。當晚,杜輝尊有點累,因樂團的中國巡迴演奏剛始束,他才下機四十八小時,即使是這樣,他卻很興奮,因為演奏相當成功。

杜輝尊首先憶選初入行的情形。他六歲習琴,卻沒打算以音樂為終身職業。在他十五歲時曾參觀一間電視錄影室,被電視台的一切設備所吸引,於是他決定日後要成為一位電視監製。

杜輝尊在大學裡是修讀經濟的,但他對這科目沒有多大興趣,後轉修音樂。畢業後,他在英國廣播電台任節目助理一職。後轉往蘇格蘭歌劇團,先任總監助理,繼任助理總監,再任技術主管,在蘇格蘭歌劇團八年,他認為這段日子對他日後發展相當有幫助。

在七年半前,他來港出任管弦樂團總經理一職,杜輝尊謙虛地承認自己沒有正式的藝術行政人員訓練,只是從工作中學習,他個人認為作為一個藝術行政人員的先決條件是本身必須是一位藝術家或表演者,或者是一位藝術愛好者。

差不多全世界的藝術團體都是被資助的,藝術行政人員要善用那些納稅人金錢。每一位藝術家,舞台設計稍,音樂總監都想製作一個最完善的演出,卻甚少考慮到藝術團體本身的預算有限。藝術行政人員要在財政及藝術成果方面作一個平衡,以有限度的資源製作一個最完美的表演。杜輝尊對藝術家非常敬重,因為訓練一位藝術家的時間及努力比其他職業為多。他認為一個藝術行政人員需要是一個心理學家及肯聆聽別人傾訴的社會工作者的組合。

在這一個行業,藝術家突然染病、缺席、遲到或者不能避免的情況常有發生,藝術行政人員需應付得體,杜輝尊覺得這十分有挑戰性。他快將離開樂團,在香港設立自資公司,推廣及安排藝術事業,所以我們仍會常見到他。當晚大家都談得很融洽,聚談會持續至個半鐘頭,比平時的一小時長一點,大家都希望杜輝尊事業更上一層樓。