Orchestra Digest: April 16

Share on Facebook
 
This week: Raves for OSM and Victoria Symphony tours; raises for Oregon and Grand Rapids Symphonies; and the Met Opera bids farewell to the James Levine era. Here are stories we're following...
 
 
Canadian orchestras: tours and new seasons
 
The Thunder Bay Symphony announced its 2016-17 season, the final season for music director Arthur Post, the Chronicle Journal reports. Highlights include world premieres by Christos Hatzis and Jordan Nobles, and a season opening Mahler 4.
 
Rising star soloists and guest conductors highlight the Edmonton Symphony's 2016-17 season, the Edmonton Journal reports
 
A recent tour by the Montreal Symphony left critics raving across the US: "Refined viruosity" - Boston Globe; "Gallic brilliance" - Chicago Tribune; "an orgiastic smashing of meter into tiny pieces rendered with frighteningly stark precision" - San Diego Union-Tribune. (I think that's a compliment.)
 
The Victoria Symphony's tour gathered some kudos as well: "Verve and passion and volcanic energy" - Ottawa Citizen. Music director Tania Miller filed a series of reports for the Victoria Times-Colonist, and spoke to the Toronto Star about changing expectations for female conductors. 
 
 
US orchestras: contract news
 
The Oregon Symphony signed a new 3-year contract, which will raise musician salaries for the first time since 2011, the Oregonian reports. Musicians accepted pay cuts and givebacks in 2010, 2012-13, and 2013-14; the current raises will be tied to the national Consumer Price Index. 
 
Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony agreed to a three-week furlough, equivalent to a 10% cut in annual pay, to address financial instability, Texas Public Radio reports. SAS President David Gross promised a clean balance sheet by 2017-18.
 
After 11 months of negotiations, the Grand Rapids Symphony reached terms on a 5-year musician contract, MLive reports, including small incremental pay raises. The GRSO is in the final stages of a music director search as well. 
 
Writing in Classical Voice America, journalist James L. Paulk reviewed the labour history of the Atlanta Symphony and some promising developments since the 2014 lockout.
 
 
People in the news
 
Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine, hailed as "transformative" and an audience favourite, will step down after this season, the New York Times reports. Levine has faced a series of health problems, including Parkinson's disease. 
 
Symphony Nova Scotia composer-in-residence Dinuk Wijeratne won the Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year, the Chronicle Herald reports. Wijeratne's Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems can be heard on the Afiara Quartet's recording, Spin Cycle.
 
Allegations of professional and personal improprieties brought an abrupt end to Jeff Melanson's tenure as Toronto Symphony President/CEO, the Toronto Star reportsSonia Baxendale, a member of the TSO Board, is serving as interim President/CEO.
 
And CBC reports on a touching gift: after homeless busker Mark Landry's violin was stolen, Orchestre Métropolitain staff contacted Maison du Violon and hand-delivered a new instrument.
 

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 17th

Share on Facebook
 
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

Share on Facebook
 
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.
Joomla Templates: by JoomlaShack