Orchestra Digest: Dec. 19, 2016

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Industry news: TSO surplus amid board exodus; new hall in Milwaukee


The Toronto Symphony posted an $831k surplus for 2015-16, with increases in administrative expenses balanced by an unusually large contribution of $5m from the Toronto Symphony Foundation, the Globe and Mail reports.


News of a shake-up on the TSO Board followed soon after the annual report. Board Chair Richard Phillips departed along with four of five other executive committee members, including Sonia Baxendale, the interim CEO last season following Jeff Melanson's resignation. The Globe and Mail reported on the leadership change, though little explanation was given.


Musicians of the Slovenian Philharmonic went on strike earlier this month in response to abusive behaviour by recently appointed music director Uroš Lajovic, Slipped Disc reports. They are calling for the dismissal of Lajovic as well as general director Damjan Damjanovič. The International Federation of Musicians issued a statement last week in support of the striking musicians.


The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, known for innovations in programming and accessibility, reported a $245k surplus for 2015-16, setting records in numbers of households attending and ticket revenue, the Star Tribune reports.


An abandoned theatre may provide a new home for the Milwaukee SymphonyMilwaukee Public Radio (WUWM) reports. The MSO has raised over half of the $120m needed to convert the Warner Grand Theatre into a concert hall.


Canada and culture: Female conductors; NAC makeover


"Why are there so few female conductors?", The Walrus Magazine asks this month, noting that while Canadian women are among the field's rising stars, the gender gap persists.  


Last week the Vancouver city council unanimously approved a motion recognizing arts and culture as one of four "pillars" of sustainable development, the Georgia Straight reports. Cities around the world, including several in Canada, have adopted a policy statement to this effect, Agenda 21.


First built 50 years ago, the National Arts Centre may finally achieve its founder's vision after a major renovation, the Globe and Mail reports. The renovations will expand the Centre's size, scope, and reach across the nation - while moving the main entrance to face the city.


Sing-Along Messiah; Winnipeg welcomes refugees; early music ed in Montreal


Tafelmusik's Sing-Along Messiah turned 30 this year, the Toronto Star reports. The event has become a beloved tradition for many. Conductor Ivars Taurins spoke with Tom Powers last week on CBC Radio's Q.


The Winnipeg Symphony will welcome refugees with free admission to a concert showcasing multicultural dance traditions in February, MetroNews reports.  


Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony are bringing early music instruction to preschoolers at École St-Rémi Annexe in Montreal North, CBC reports. The program, La Musique aux Enfants, will extend over two years with intensive daily lessons.



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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