Orchestra Digest: Nov. 8, 2016

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This week: Music director designates in Victoria, Edmonton, and Calgary; play-and-talk at Pacific Symphony; and the allure of the octobass. Here are stories we're following...
 
 
New maestros
 
Three western orchestras have recently announced their next music directors, each taking over in 2017-18. Let's start with the Victoria Symphony, where 34-year-old Danish conductor Christian Kluxen takes the helm, the Times-Colonist reports. Kluxen earned rave reviews for a recent performance opening the orchestra's Masterworks Monday series.
 
The Edmonton Symphony has appointed 24-year-old British conductor Alexander Prior, the Journal reports. Prior, who is also a composer, earned high marks for an ESO performance of Nielsen 2nd two weeks ago. 
 
And the Calgary Philharmonic showed off its new maestro, Norwegian Rune Bergmann, in a recent concert reviewed by the Herald
 
Simon Rattle, who will take over as music director of the London Symphony in 2017, spoke to the NY Times in advance of Carnegie Hall performances with his current orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic. Rattle's busy autumn also included a residency at Carnegie, performances with the Met Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra, and a memorial concert for organist/choirmaster John Scott. 
 
 
Business news 
 
The Philadelphia Orchestra is adopting several recommendations from consultant Michael Kaiser, the Inquirer reports - including expanded outreach, new philanthropic councils and programming musicals. 
 
Two years ahead of schedule, the Atlanta Symphony completed a $25 million fundraising campaign to restore its complement of musicians, ArtsATL reports. The initiative was helped by a $2.5m donation from Delta Airlines. 
 
Musicians of the Pacific Symphony have been working with an expired contract since August 31st, the LA Times reports; they rejected a contract proposal on Oct. 23rd. The orchestra's part-time status and lack of guarantees are major points of contention.
 
The Canadian Opera Company posted a modest surplus for the 2015-16 season, $32,000, according to a press release issued on Broadway World. The COC endowment increased by $1m during the fiscal year, to $37.5m as of June 30, 2016. 
 
This week, the COC unveils Second Nature, an environmentalist-themed opera by Matthew Aucoin, to be performed on its Ensemble Studio School Tour, the Toronto Star reports.  
 
The Chronicle Herald reports on Symphony Nova Scotia's 2015-16 season, which drew strong attendance, a new partnership to bring in diverse audiences, and a $9,000 surplus. 
 
And media organizations couldn't resist the Montreal Symphony's latest addition: a rare octobass. Read, see, and hear it at CBC, the Violin ChannelClassic FM, or CTV News
 
 
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.
 
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