Orchestra Digest: Oct. 5, 2016

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This week: Strike updates and the agreement in Philly; music directors on the move; and #WePlayOn consider their next incarnation. Here are stories we're following...
 
 
Strike updates: Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, and reactions elsewhere
 
 
Last Friday, Pittsburgh Symphony musicians went on strike after rejecting a proposal that would cut pay, freeze pensions, and reduce orchestra size, the NY Times reports. Concerts through Oct. 27th have been cancelled, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports
 
Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony appreciate your support, through phone calls and letter-writing and social media (on Facebook and Twitter). Please visit their website for news and updates.  
 
With a strike now at 4 weeks, Fort Worth Symphony management has cancelled concerts through Nov. 6, the Star-Telegram reports.
 
Fort Worth Symphony Musicians continue actively performing in the community and rebutting management statements in the press. Please follow their FacebookTwitter, and website for frequent updates and to sign their petition in support of "Growth, not Cuts"
 
The NY Times reported more details on the Philadelphia Orchestra agreement, reached Sunday after a two-day strike cancelled an opening gala concert. The three-year contract includes raises of 2% this season, 2.5% in the following two seasons, one position restored to the complement, and increased Sunday performances. 
 
While strikes often fuel a media narrative of decline, Douglas McLennan of ArtsJournal recently highlighted signs that many symphonies are thriving. McLennan includes examples from St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta, and elsewhere. 
 
NY Times critic Michael Cooper spotlights success stories in LA and Grand Rapids, in advancing the argument that challenges facing certain orchestras may be the result of local economic trends, rather than national ones.
 
 
Music director news; Re-branding in London
 
 
Bill Eddins will end his 12-year run as music director of the Edmonton Symphony after this season, the Edmonton Journal reports. Eddins listed the orchestra's 2012 tour to Carnegie Hall as a highlight of his tenure. He will remain involved to oversee a major project to expand the Winspear Centre.
 
It will be 14 seasons for Tania Miller, who conducted the opening concert of her final season with the Victoria Symphony on Sept. 24th, Victoria News reported. Executive director Mitchell Krieger said Miller has taken "a good orchestra and made it into a great orchestra."
 
Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell has been appointed the next music director of the Colorado Symphony, the Plain Dealer reports. The Denver Business Journal reports that the appointment came just after the Colorado Symphony announced an unprecedented budget surplus. 
 
While new music directors often get profiled in the local paper, it's the rare conductor who writes his own introduction. New Regina Symphony MD Gordon Gerrard did just that for the Leader-Post, describing the excitement of joining a new orchestra in an unfamiliar city. As part of initiatives to engage the community, Gerrard will contribute a biweekly column to the Leader-Post. 
 
Brent Assink, the San Francisco Symphony's longtime executive director, will step down in March,  the SF Chronicle reports
 
And #WePlayOn, the self-run orchestra of former Orchestra London musicians, is rebranding, with some crowdsourced help, the London Free Press reports. Their most recent media release also announced a slate of fall concerts, beginning Nov. 11th. 
 
 
Compiled by Matt Heller, OCSM 1st VP. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php. Visit OCSM on Facebook, or tweet us @ocsm-omosc.
 
Orchestras Canada's weekly, bilingual newsletter features even more news from Canadian orchestras as well as advocacy information - click here to read the latest edition and sign up for delivery to your inbox each Wednesday. You may also want to check Orchestras Canada's Job Board, sponsored by the CFM. 
 
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