Orchestra Digest: July 16

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This week: Major new hires in Calgary and Thunder Bay; Nikki Chooi steps up at Met Opera; a stellar contract in KC, and more. Here are stories we're following....

New hires 
The Calgary Philharmonic appointed Rune Bergmann its next music director, beginning September 2017; as Slipped Disc noted, The maestro you'd never heard of now has two jobs. Earlier, Herald critic Ken Delong appraised the legacy of Bergmann's predecessor, Roberto Minczuk.
The Toronto Star speculates whether the Toronto Symphony may hire Gary Hanson as interim President/CEO. Hanson was born in Toronto, and recently retired from a successful term leading The Cleveland Orchestra
The Thunder Bay Symphony named Barry Streib its new executive director / general manager, according to a press release. Mr. Streib's background is in business, public service, and community event management.
And Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi will join the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as co-concertmaster, the Times Colonist reports. The 27-year-old was born in Victoria and first performed as a soloist with the Victoria Symphony at age 12.
US News
The new musicians' contract at the Kansas City Symphony may serve as a model for progressive, collaborative negotiation, the KC Star reports. The agreement will yield a 19.7% raise over 4 years, and was reached quickly and without drama. 
A brief strike by the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra threatened to cancel the opening night performance, the Chicago Sun Times reports. Just hours before the performance, a tentative 3-year agreement was reached, and the concert went on as planned. 
With negotiations stretching over a year and an extension about to expire, Fort Worth Symphony musicians and management agreed to enter mediation, the Star Telegram reports. Talks are to resume this week. 
The Baltimore Symphony, which just reached a 1-year contract extension with modest pay increases, announced a major new initiative to bring the city's poorest young people to concerts, the Baltimore Sun reports. A $1.2m donation by Mark and Patricia Joseph will increase the number of schoolchildren attending from 1,500 to 5,000 a year. 
An extraordinary donation by Marjorie S. Fisher will go directly to the Detroit Symphony's 78 current full-time musicians, the Free Press reports. The late philanthropist and long-time DSO supporter earmarked the gift for a one-time payment of $5,000 to each musician.
"The Dream Unfinished Project", a series of concerts to benefit the Black Lives Matter movement, continued last week amid tragic news, the New York Times reports. The initiative was started by Eun Lee, a clarinetist and music teacher in New York, as a means for classical musicians to pring people together and respond to social unrest. 
Quick commercial message: OCSM's annual conference is coming to Calgary this August 9-11 and members are welcome! Visit our website for information and register to attend a session.
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.
Orchestras Canada's weekly, bilingual newsletter features even more news from Canadian orchestras as well as advocacy information - click here to read the latest edition and sign up for delivery to your inbox each Wednesday.


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