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  • Orchestra Digest: May 17th

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    This week: the MinnOrch takes Havana, hackers take over an orchestra, and a legal reversal in BC. Here are stories we're following...

    Orchestras and people on the move, from Havana to Calgary
     
    The Minnesota Orchestra is completing a historic tour of Cuba, including two concerts in Havana,  the Strib reports. Many journalists (including the NY Times' Michael Cooper) and diplomats accompanied the trip; it was seen as a breakthrough in cultural relations between the two nations, as well as a brilliant performance by a reborn orchestra. The last major US orchestra to visit Cuba was the Milwaukee Symphony, in 1999.
     
    The Cincinnati Symphony signed a 4-year labour agreement, which will increase the orchestra's size by 14 musicians, the NY Times reports. The orchestra has been bolstering its endowment and seeing rising attendance under music director Louis Langrée.

    Melia Peters Tourangeau will be the next President/CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Post-Gazette reports. Ms. Tourangeau leaves the Utah Symphony, where she has led a successful stint since 2008.

    The Calgary Philharmonic announced its 2015-16 season, the Calgary Herald reports, including a festival of fairy tales and legends, expanded forays into new and familiar venues, and a healthy dose of Brahms and Mahler.

    Canadian music directors take their bows

    Saskatchewan conferred its highest honour, the Order of Merit, on departing Regina Symphony music director Victor Sawa, the Leader-Post reports. Sawa just completed his 18th season as RSO music director.

    While he's not finished yet as music director of the Edmonton Symphony, Bill Eddins spoke candidly with the Edmonton Journal about next chapters, both his own and that of the symphonic art form.
     
    And the newest Canadian music director is Gemma New, a 28-year-old New Zealand native who has just been appointed by the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Spec reports. New is currently the associate conductor of the New Jersey Symphony.


    A major ruling in BC, and more news from Canadian orchestras

    The Court of Appeal of British Columbia has overturned the provincial Supreme Court's ruling last year, which set aside the AFM's trusteeship of the Vancouver Musicians' Association (Local 145). The AFM website celebrated the decision, though it's not yet clear whether the trusteeship will resume.

    The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is staging a "hackathon" next weekend, Communitech reports, and challenging tech-savvy music lovers to #HackTheOrchestra. Music director Edwin Outwater considers what that might mean, and the parallels between coding and music-making.

    And the Windsor Symphony announced a major donation from the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, a Catholic order that operated a long-standing music school in the region, the Windsor Star reports.


    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.

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