Orchestra Digest: February 3rd

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This week: The orchestra is the jewel in TSO's new season, new agreements for SF Symphony and Yannick, and Edmontonians consider the post-Eddins era. 

Orchestras in the news

The Toronto Symphony announced its 2015-16 season last week with an emphasis on the orchestra rather than high-profile soloists, as the National Post reports. "If you constantly bring in superstars, you can undermine people's view of the orchestra as the jewel," music director Peter Oundjian said. The Globe and Mail also previewed the TSO's new season.

The musicians of Orchestra London will perform again this Sunday, with guest soprano Sonja Gustafson and conductor Brian Jackson joining them for Broadway musical highlights, the London Free Press reports.

And shows are still on for London-based symphonic rock group Jeans 'n Classics, the Free Press reports. Leader Peter Brennan wants people to know that the group is very much a going concern; they broke off their affiliation with Orchestra London in 2012.

Management and musicians of the San Francisco Symphony reached a new 3-year agreement through November 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Two years ago, a brief strike cancelled several concerts and an East Coast tour.

A group of investors led by hedge fund manager Roy Niederhoffer will work to revive the New York City Opera, the Wall Street Journal reports. Two competing bids were studied by US Bankruptcy Court Judge Sean Lane, who agreed that Niederhoffer's group gave a better proposal. 

Travel across the US border continues to be a worry for musicians whose instruments contain small amounts of ivory or Brazilian rosewood, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Some musicians may not even be aware of their instruments' materials, but US Wildlife Service agents are demanding they obtain passports confirming their provenance.


In her second month as the Regina Symphony's new executive director, Tanya Derksen is focused on people and partnerships, the Leader-Post reports. Derksen spoke about the RSO's current music director search and other initiatives she is guiding.

The Edmonton Symphony's Bill Eddins is in the last year of his contract as music director, the Edmonton Journal reports, leading to much speculation as to plans for next season.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead the Philadelphia Orchestra at least through the 2021-22 season, NY Times reports, thanks to a contract extension announced last Friday.
The Globe and Mail's Kate Taylor sat in on the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra's rehearsal for Wagner's Die Walkure, which opened this past weekend. Taylor interviewed music director Johannes Debus, on the challenges and rewards of this work. The COC also recently announced its 2015-16 season, as the Examiner reports.

Chicago's musical community is mourning the loss of classical music writer Andrew Patner, who died unexpectedly this morning at age 55, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Chicago Symphony and its music director Riccardo Muti issued statements expressing grief and sympathy.

And the Kansas City Star focused an extensive profile on violinist Susan Goldenberg, a veteran violinist with the Kansas City Symphony whose enthusiasm and devotion continue to inspire.

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.

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