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  • Orchestra Digest: June 27

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    This week: Good news from Indy and Chicago, new hires in Vancouver, the CBC slashed again, celebrating Glenn Dicterow, and much more.
     
     
    News from the US
     
    The Indianapolis Symphony announced a 19% surge in ticket sales, led by subscriptions, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports. And the Chicago Symphony finished the season with $32 million in gifts from the Negaunee and Zell Family Foundations, the Chicago Tribune reports.
     
    The Shreveport (Louisiana) Symphony concluded successful negotiations, signing a 3-year musicians' agreement including modest salary increases, the Shreveport Times reports.
     
    A plan to stage Wagner's Ring cycle with a digital orchestra in Hartford, Connecticut provoked outrage, the New York Times reports. After several artists withdrew from the Hartford Wagner Festival, organizers announced that this summer's offering of Das Rheingold would be postponed.
     
    The US' main federal arts agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, has a new chair, a position which was left vacant for over a year. Jane Chu, the former head of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, has been confirmed by the Senate, the Washington Post reports.
     
    NY Times reporter David Carr wrote an essay on the paradoxes of a free music economy that loves musicians: Free Music, at Least While It Lasts
     
     
    Canadian orchestra news
     
    The Vancouver Symphony has appointed B.C.'s Jocelyn Morlock its next composer-in-residence, the Georgia Straight reports. The VSO also renewed assistant conductor Gordon Gerrard for a two-year stint as associate conductor, and established a new "composer-in-association" position, to be filled by associate principal trumpeter Marc Goddard.
     
    A former accountant for Orchestra London sued the orchestra and raised questions about the state of its finances, the London Free Press reports. Among concerns raised by Andrea Ruth was continued involvement by her predecessor, who was no longer employed the orchestra; the lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.
     
    The Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, home of the Calgary Philharmonic, will shed its corporate name this fall, CBC News reports. Epcor, a power utility company, has not sponsored the arts centre since 2010; a new title sponsor has not yet been secured. 
     
    And the CBC's latest round of cuts led employees to call for president Hubert Lacroix's resignation, the National Post reports. The announced cuts would slash staff by 25% over the next 5 years.
     
     
    People
     
    This weekend, Glenn Dicterow ends a legendary career as concertmaster of the New York Phlharmonic, the Wall Street Journal reports; he is featured in performances of Beethoven's Triple Concerto. 
     
    Earlier this month the National Symphony said farewell to six musicians and one librarian, who collectively served for 251 years, the Washington Post reports. The retiring members spoke about the history of the orchestra and highlights of their careers.
     
    The New York Times remembered Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, a frequent guest conductor in North America who briefly became music director of the Montreal Symphony. Mr. Frühbeck passed away on June 11th at age 80. 
     
    Julius Rudel, who passed away this week at age 93, led the New York City Opera for 22 years, the New York Times reports; last fall, he told the Times, “I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would outlive the company.”
     
    And the Florida Orchestra announced that Michael Francis will be its next music director, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The British conductor will continue as chief conductor and artistic adviser to the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden.
     
     
    Compiled by Matt Heller, Calgary Philharmonic and OCSM Past President. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA
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