Orchestra Digest: September 15th

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This week: NLRB ruling in Hartford; ESO's big park gig; turning off cell phones as selling point; and remembering violinist Jacques Israelievitch. Here are stories we're following....
 
 
Union news
 
Labour Day brought several stories on the current state of unions: the New York Times' Upshot column reported a new study showing that an area's rate of union membership can predict upward mobility in lower-income children
 
Less happily, AP News reports that no union mines are left in Kentucky, where coal miners battled for decades to organize and improve conditions.
 
The US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against Hartford Symphony, saying management violated their musicians' contract by not providing a schedule for the current season by May 1, the Hartford Courant reports. Negotiations continue, and neither side has threatened a work stoppage so far. 
 
 
From the symphonic beat
 

Could concert halls and opera houses be our last device-free refuge? NY Times critic Anthony Tommasini argues that this might be an underused selling point for orchestras, in a world of constant (and frequently overwhelming) connectivity. 

 
By popular demand and despite cold weather, the Edmonton Symphony returned to Churchill Square last weekend, CBC News reports. Last year's performance there was due to the temporary unavailability of Hawrelak Park, but an enormous showing led to this year's return engagement. 
 
The Minnesota Orchestra posted a balanced budget for 2015, the Star Tribune reports, with rising ticket sales and donations. The orchestra drew 5% from its endowment, which is standard for nonprofit arts organizations. 
 
The Atlanta Symphony has a new executive director: Jennifer Barlament will leave her current post as Cleveland Orchestra GM, the Journal Constitution reports. The ASO also recently announced a surplus for 2014-15. 
 
A $6 million dollar gift to the Baltimore Symphony made headlines in the Sun; the Krieger Fund has earmarked the donation to support eduction programming. 
 
And longtime TSO concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch died last weekend at age 67, the Toronto Star reports. Just last month, he was presented with the Order of Canada at his home in Toronto.
 

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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