Orchestra Digest: March 17th

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This week: New seasons and Canada's 150th anniversary; Montreal Symphony tours US; remembering Maestros Mueller and Harnoncourt; and farewells to ICSOM's Bruce Ridge. 
 
 
New seasons and Canada's 150th
 
The Toronto Symphony will receive $7.5m in federal grants to prepare a "national musical celebration" of Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017, exclaim.ca reports. The project will involve 36 orchestras in communities across the country, TSO VP of Marketing Dave Postill announced. 
 
Singer Eleanor McCain is celebrating Canada's 150th with a recording and tour of 32 famous Canadian songs, performed with 10 Canadian orchestras, the Globe and Mail reports
 
The Vancouver Symphony announced its 2016-17 season this week, including festivals devoted to new and British music, The Georgia Straight reportsMetroNews covered Symphony Nova Scotia's season announcement. 
 
The Windsor Star reported on Robert Franz's extension as the Windsor Symphony's music director, which came as the orchestra announced its own 2016-17 season. 
 
 
Tours, maestros, and farewells
 
The Montreal Symphony is on tour in the US this week, with stops in 10 cities including Chicago and New York. The Chicago Tribune filed a profile of the orchestra, including its resurgence under Kent Nagano
 
The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) announced that its longest-ever-serving Chair, Bruce Ridge, will step down this August. Bruce has written, spoken and been widely quoted as an industry expert, including testifying before the US Congress. He will be greatly missed. 
 
The Philadelphia Orchestra will visit Mongolia in June 2017, as part of an Asian tour - and what may be the start of a long-term residency, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports
 
Legendary maestros passed away last week: BBC News remembered Nikolaus Harnoncourt, age 86, who was considered the "pope" of the baroque music revival. The Philadelphia Inquirer celebrated Otto-Werner Mueller, age 89, who taught generations of conductors and orchestral players at Curtis, Juilliard, and Yale. 
 
 
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.
 
 

Orchestra Digest: March 2nd

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This week: Grammy winners and Juno nominees, new seasons, maestro succession in Toronto, and a world record in Atlanta. Here are stories we're following....
 
 
Awards and announcements
 
Awards season is upon us, with 2016 Grammy Awards going to the Boston and Seattle SymphoniesWQXR reported. You can check out all the 2016 Juno nominees at CBC's website - Orchestre Métropolitain and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal are among them. 
 
We've also entered 2016/17 Season announcement season - so far, National Ballet of Canada (reported by the Globe and Mail), Canadian Opera Company (ditto), Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (Waterloo Record), Regina Symphony (CJME News) and the Toronto Symphony (Toronto Star) have announced. 
 
While announcing the Toronto Symphony's 2016/17 season, music director Peter Oundjian also told the media that he will leave after the 2017/18 season, the National Post reports. Possible successors are already being debated, including Krzysztof Urbánski, Jakob Hrùša, Long Yu, Andrey Boreyko, and Alain Trudel. 
 
 
The business pages
 
It's been 2 years since the end of the Minnesota Orchestra's lockout - a "near death experience", CEO Kevin Smith puts it - and the orchestra is doing better than almost anyone could have hoped. The NY Times reports on the comeback. 
 
In Atlanta, a new agreement turns over operations of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, previously run by the Woodruff Arts Center, to Live Nation, Inc., the Atlanta Business Journal reports. The Atlanta Symphony will continue to perform there. 
 
Ending a 36-year run, New York's Long Island Philharmonic announced its operations have ceased, WSHU reportsNewsday arts writer Peter Goodman chronicled the orchestra's rise and fall.
 
The International Federation of Musicians (FIM) is advancing a petition for fair treatment for musicians travelling on EU flights - you can read and sign it at Change.org.
 
 
Milestones
 
Atlanta Symphony bassist Jane Little has set the Guinness World Record for longest professional orchestra career, WABE News reports. At age 87, Little has performed an astounding 71 seasons with the ASO. 
 
 
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.

Orchestra Digest: Jan. 30th

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This week: Crisis averted in Fort Worth and Hartford; Thunder Bay Symphony seeks an assist from city hall; and downsizing Canadian journalism. 
 
 
US news
 
The Fort Worth Symphony narrowly averted a strike, signing a one-year contract this evening, the Dallas Morning News reports. Earlier in the week, musicians had voted to authorize a strike and rejected management's "final contract offer" of 8.7% pay cuts; the temporary contract will freeze 2014-15 wages and conditions. 
 
Last week, Hartford Symphony musicians accepted a pay cut upwards of 30%, agreeing to a contract management said was needed for the orchestra to survive. WNPR commentator Steve Metcalf considers the challenges now facing the HSO in their attempts to rebuild. 
 
The New York Philharmonic announced Jaap van Zweden (pronounced 'Yahp van ZVAY-den') as its next music director, the NY Times reports. Zweden, who currently directs the Dallas Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, will take over from Alan Gilbert following the 2016-17 season. 
 
 
Canadian news
 
The Thunder Bay Symphony's fundraising appeal extended to city hall last week, where board chair Paul Inksetter asked councillors to advance grant funds that would normally go to the orchestra following budget ratification, CBC News reports. Inksetter reported the orchestra was about halfway to its $225k fundraising goal. 
 
Inside Toronto explores the curious history of the Cabbagetown neighbourhood, home to founders and leaders of the Toronto SymphonyCanadian Opera Company, and other major arts institutions. 
 
The Winnipeg Sun posed 20 questions to Winnipeg Symphony music director Alexander Mickelthwaite to preview the orchestra's New Music Festival. 
 
And Postmedia, Canada's largest newspaper chain, last week merged newsrooms and downsized its staff in Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver, the Globe and Mail reported. Cuts to the "mainstream media" impact all of us, the Globe and Mail's Marsha Lederman writes
 
 
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.
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