The latest coverage of orchestras, people, and trends in the arts. Here are stories we're following.
Artists and institutions respond to war in Ukraine
Classical music institutions worldwide are expressing support for the Ukrainian people, including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (photo: Handout) wrapping its glass tower in blue and yellow, the Globe and Mail reports. For Dutch-Canadian conductor Arthur Arnold, the decision to resign as music director of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra felt fraught but inevitable.
Winnipeg Symphony music director Daniel Raiskin spoke with CTV News Winnipeg about his wife and her mother’s desperate escapes from Kharkiv and Kyiv to Slovakia, where they were reunited. Raiskin, a native of St. Petersburg, has spoken out against the invasion and in support of the Ukrainian people.
Estonian conductor Paavo Jarvi was in Moscow at the time of the invasion, conducting a Russian youth orchestra; he spoke with the New York Times about his decision to remain there and finish the project, and reflected on the impacts of a new cultural cold war.
The Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal withdrew pianist Alexander Malofeev from performances scheduled for last week for political reasons, while announcing plans to perform with Malofeev “when the context allows it”, the Montreal Gazette reported.
The NY Times also reported on the Metropolitan Opera’s decision to cut ties with Russian regime-linked artists, including Anna Netrebko; the Munich Philharmonic’s firing of its chief conductor, Valery Gergiev; the limits of cultural exchange during wartime; and the uncomfortable pressures and political questions arts institutions are currently confronting.
Elsewhere in the news
Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, whose treatment for brain cancer forced him to cancel performances last summer, has stepped down as artistic director of the New World Symphony in order to reduce his administrative duties, the NY Times reports. He has resumed performing this season, as the cancer has been held in check.
Mina Grossman-Ianni, who led the Windsor Symphony as executive director through a critical period, has died at age 78, the Windsor Star reports. The Windsor Symphony dedicated concerts last weekend to her memory.
The Regina Symphony and Indigenous artist Zoey Roy are collaborating for an educational program, Enough is Enough, also featuring CPO associate conductor Karl Hirzer, CBC News reports.
CBC’s Bob McDonald, host of Quirks and Quarks, analyzed a recent study showing educational benefits in 4th and 5th grade students who went on field trips to cultural events. McDonald recounts his own experience hosting an inspiring Victoria Symphony educational program.
CTV News reported on the premiere of "The Spirit Horse Returns", a new orchestral show for young audiences. The project brings together both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and composers to tell the true story of the Ojibwe Horses and was written by Winnipeg Symphony horn player Ken MacDonald. The show is available to stream this month at wso.ca.
The San Diego Symphony is embarking on a major renovation, valued at $125M USD, of Copley Symphony Hall, its main performance venue, the Times of San Diego reports.
And while the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony remain on strike, they performed their first independent concert as a full orchestra, reported by Spectrum News and San Antonio Magazine.