Orchestra Digest: December 11th

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This week: Thunder Bay Symphony appeals for support; strong reports from Cleveland, Indy, and Minnesota; and a circus video we can't watch, but can't look away...
 
 
Thunder Bay Symphony deficit & other business news
 
The Thunder Bay Symphony is calling on supporters to help it through dire financial straits, CBC News reports; they have set a fundraising goal of $225K. Board chair Paul Inksetter and Executive Director Shannon Widden spoke to CBC yesterday morning on the challenges facing the orchestra.
 

The Cleveland Orchestra's annual report carried lots of good news, the Plain Dealer reports: increased attendance, endowment growth, and record-setting philanthropy were some highlights. The Orchestra's leadership is in transition, with longtime executive director Gary Hanson handing off to Quebec native Andre Gremillet.

 
Ticket and subscription sales also boosted the Indianapolis Symphony to a third-consecutive surplus, the Indy Business Journal reports. The $900K surplus in 2014-15 topped both of the previous years'. 
 
The court battle between groups seeking to revive the New York City Opera ended peacefully last week, as Gene Kaufman's group withdrew, the NY Times reports. A group backed by Roy G. Niederhoffer called NYCO Renaissance is now the only proposal; they plan to mount Puccini's Tosca in January, perhaps under the NYC Opera name. 
 
Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have donated $250K to their orchestra to establish a fund for musician-led education and outreach programming, the NY Times reports. The money was earned through musician-produced concerts during the 2012-14 lockout; the nonprofit organization which musicians formed during that lockout will dissolve after filing 2015 taxes. The announcement came with the MinnOrch's annual report for 2014-15, which finished with a small surplus. 
 
 
High wire acts, and not high enough
 
A scary sight was captured on YouTube Tuesday at the Toronto Symphony: a suspended circus performer floated perilously close then collided with a member of the cello section. (Both musician and instrument were okay.) 
 
TSO management responded on Slipped Disc: "We put the safety of all artists first and foremost... And today a safety review was also conducted post incident and their performance was altered to ensure no future potential risk to the audience, musicians, performers or instruments." 
 
2016 Grammy Award nominations went out to the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston, Oregon, Philadelphia, and New Zealand, WQXR reportsYannick Nézet-Séguin was also nominated for a recording of Mozart's opera Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
 
 
Conductor news
 
Detroit Symphony music director Leonard Slatkin will leave following the 2017-18 season, the Detroit Free Press reports. Slatkin's legacy will include a commitment to new American music; tours to Carnegie and Florida; numerous recordings; and steering the organization from a painful lockout into an artistically vital success story. 
 
The Vancouver Symphony has appointed Saskatchewan native William Rowson as assistant conductor, the Georgia Straight reports. Rowson most recently led the Stratford Symphony and Toronto's Sneak Peek Orchestra as principal conductor. 
 
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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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