Orchestra Digest: February 13th

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This week: A historic Cuba tour, an LA Phil close-up, and music directors on the move. Here are stories we're following....

Tours, awards, and new seasons

The Windsor Symphony will maintain a strong Masterworks series for the 2015-16 season, the Windsor Star reports. Among the highlights are a festival devoted to Mozart and a concert version of La Boheme.

Winners in the classical music categories at the Grammy Awards included the St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and violinist Hilary Hahn, New York Public Radio's WQXR reports.

Another Grammy-winning ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, will tour Cuba this May, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The MinnOrch, which toured Cuba most recently in 1930, will be the first US orchestra to return there since the beginning of normalized relations.

Next week the Berlin Philharmonic begins a residency in London, the Economist reports, including chamber concerts and a workshop with young musicians. The headline events will be a full cycle of the Sibelius symphonies and two performances of Mahler's 2nd Symphony, paired with German modernist composer Helmut Lachenmann.


This week the LA Times took an up-close look at several musicians of the LA Philharmonic, in a story accompanied by video, finding impressive focus attention to detail. The LA Phil is now the US' best-paid orchestra.
Colorado Springs Philharmonic principal tubist Charles Ortega continues to fight for survival, following an auto accident in January, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports. An online fund, Charlie's Fund, has been created to help with medical costs.

National Arts Centre Orchestra principal cellist Amanda Forsyth will resign from the orchestra to pursue solo and chamber music opportunities, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Pinchas Zukerman, who is married to Forsyth, is also in his last season as NACO's music director.

Eleven years into his tenure as Symphony Nova Scotia music director, Bernhard Gueller remains popular with musicians and audiences, the Cape Breton Post reports. Gueller began his career as a successful cellist.

Toronto Symphony resident conductor Earl Lee, another cellist-turned-maestro, was profiled last weekend by the Globe and Mail. Five years after a diagnosis of focal dystonia ended his playing career, Lee made his official debut with the TSO last Saturday.  

Quebec-native Marie-Hélène Bernard has been appointed president and CEO of the St. Louis Symphony, the Post Dispatch reports. Bernard previously led Boston's Handel and Haydn Society.

Alan Gilbert will end his term as the New York Philharmonic's music director with the 2016-17 season, the New York Times reports. Gilbert will have led the NY Phil for eight seasons; his decision was largely based on the scheduled construction of a new hall, which won't be completed until 2021 at the earliest.

The Milwaukee Symphony is also in search of a new music director, following Edo de Waart's announcement that he will step down after the 2016-17 season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. De Waart will also have led his orchestra for eight seasons.

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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