Orchestra Digest: All things new

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New names, hires, etc.: London Symphonia, Elisa Citterio, Saskatoon

Musicians formerly of Orchestra London unveiled a new name last week: London Symphonia. The Free Press reported the rebranding - you can also share some love on Facebook, Twitter, or on their new website.

Tafelmusik announced a new music director: Elisa Citterio, the Globe and Mail reports. A world-renowned baroque violin soloist, Citterio will take over in July, replacing Tafelmusik's founding MD Jeanne Lamon.

The Saskatoon Symphony is partnering with University of Saskatchewan, the Star-Phoenix reports. The new collaboration could include artists in residence, online programming, music education, and more.

The Hamilton Philharmonic named Diana Weir as executive director, the Spectator reports. Weir has been with the HPO since 2013, most recently as director of communications and development.

And from the new works department: Edmonton Symphony principal trombonist John McPherson is also its composer-in-residence. This weekend features the premiere of his newest symphonic work, Triune, the Edmonton Journal reports.



Sesquicentennial and new seasons: TSO, COC

The Toronto Symphony announced its 2017/18 season, Peter Oundjian's last as music director, the Globe and Mail reports. A festival of farewell concerts will cap off his 14-year tenure, in June 2018. The TSO has yet to name a new music director or executive director.

The 2017/18 Canadian Opera Company season will bring new productions of two Donizetti works and Strauss' Arabella - a premiere for COC - as well as revival's of Robert Lepage's Stravinsky Nightingale, Verdi's Rigoletto, and a controversial new co-production of Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, the Globe and Mail reports.  

Leading off Maclean's to-do list for celebrating Canada's 150th: the National Ballet of Canada. The Ballet celebrates its own 65th anniversary in 2017, sending 150 pointe shoes to Canadian landmarks.   

2017 will have no shortage of "arty parties", CBC.ca reports: including a new "Global Orchestra" at the Royal Conservatory of Music, crowd-sourced photos at Winnipeg's Museum for Human Rights, a big festival and tours for the National Arts Centre, and a family-friendly commission at the Toronto Symphony.

And speaking of TSO: Canada Mosaic kicked off last weekend at Roy Thomson Hall, the Toronto Star reports, with plans to feature composers and partner with orchestras across the country. The Globe and Mail also previewed the series.

 

 

Adventures in Marketing, and more

Opera Insights, a new series by the Canadian Opera Company, aims to lower the walls for opera newbies, Toronto Star reports. 

Orchestra X, an ambitious project by the California Symphony, aims to solve the millennial audience conundrum through an innovative technique: talking to millennials. A lengthy article on Medium summarizes some key findings.

Clyde Wagner is now president of Toronto's city-owned theatres, the Globe and Mail reports, and his job won't be easy. Critic Martin Knelman writes that all three have suffered from poor bookings and attendance recently, which lead to their merger.

Shards of Winnipeg's Capitol Theatre, demolished a decade ago, are for sale by Heritage Winnipeg, CTV News reports. Pieces of several architectural landmarks are being offered to the public at a local garden centre. 

Renowned musician Howard Leyton-Brown passed away last Friday, the Regina Leader-Post reports. Leyton-Brown was remembered by Victor Sawa and others as a remarkable, gifted musician and educator. He was 98.

 

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.

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.

 

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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.

 

Orchestra Digest: Nov. 25

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Canadian orchestras: A landmark tour, new hires, and Canada's 150th in Ottawa 
 
Orchestre Métropolitain and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin announced a new Deutsche Gramophone recording and a European tour, both in fall 2017, the Montreal Gazette reports. The recordings will feature singers Rolando Villazón and Ildar Abdrazakov. 
 
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony announced a $178k surplus on $5.6m in revenue for the 2015-16 season, The Record reports. The KWS has so far not announced a replacement for Music Directory Edwin Outwater, who completes his tenure this season.
 
This week on CBC Radio's Q, host Tom Power interviewed Alexander Prior, the Edmonton Symphony's incoming Music Director, on the fixation with his age (24) and how to connect with young audiences. 
 
The Calgary Philharmonic announced the appointment of Vincent Ho as New Music Advisor, a position created for Mr. Ho, the Calgary Herald reports
 
The National Arts Centre has begun to unveil plans for Canada's 150th anniversary next year, CBC reports, including orchestra and theatre tours and a six-week Canada Scene festival next summer. The NAC building is scheduled to re-open on Canada Day after a $110.5m renovation.
 
 
US orchestras: Changing business models and an end to Pittsburgh strike
 
Pittsburgh Symphony musicians accepted 5-year contract, with a 7.5% pay cut this season restored gradually, the Post-Gazette reports. The deal concludes a 2-month strike, in time for Holiday Pops concerts in early December. 
 
"Orchestras are too important to fail," writes attorney Jonathan Kaledin, calling for increasing government support for symphony orchestras in a USA Today opinion column
 
US orchestras have grown increasingly dependent on philanthropic giving, the NY Times reports, summarizing data released by the League of American Orchestras. Beyond its attention-grabbing headline ("It's Official: Many Orchestras Are Now Charities"), the article delves into the varied and shifting business models of larger orchestras.  
 
 
A Canadian voice remembered
 
Baritone Bernard Turgeon, a legendary opera singer and educator, died in Victoria last week at age 85, the Globe and Mail reports. Among his achievements was a triumphant lead performance Harry Somers' opera Louis Riel, which premiered in 1967 and will finally be remounted by the Canadian Opera Company next year. 
 
 
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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