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.
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.

Orchestra Digest: Jan 16th

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This week: Play and talk at Hartford and Fort Worth Symphonies; the NY City Opera returns; an impressive new Canadian Opera Company season; and remembering Boulez and Masur.
Orchestras in the news
While concerts go on, Fort Worth Symphony musicians and management are publicly clashing over the direction of their orchestra, KERA News reports. Musicians are calling for an expanded budget and fundraising vision; management says cuts are necessary. Negotiations will continue next Monday. An open letter and petition to FWSO management is online at GrowthNotCuts.org.
Play and talk continues at the Hartford Symphony as well - negotiations there have lasted over a year. Last week musicians unanimously rejected a management proposal that would have meant roughly $1.5m in wage cuts; musicians have offered $750k in concessions, the Hartford Courant reports. NPR commentator Steve Metcalf recently wrote that the symphony is facing a precipice.
The New York City Opera is back, with performances as soon as next week, the NY Times reports. The recovery plan by an organization called NYCO Renaissance received approval from the NY state attorney general's office on Tuesday; City Opera orchestra musicians cheered the news.
A campaign to support the Thunder Bay Symphony continued with a pre-Christmas appeal in the Chronicle Herald. The TBSO faces significant funding challenges, and turning to the community with a goal of $225k.
Globe and Mail critic Robert Harris calls the Canadian Opera Company's lineup for 2016/17 "its most balanced, season in years". Rarely heard operas - a remounting of Harry Somers' Louis Riel (premiered in 1967) and Handel's Ariodante - join the bill with favourites including The Magic Flute, Tosca, Norma, and Gotterdammerung. 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: Jan 16th

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