This week: Strike authorized in Halifax, the Canada Council's agenda for change, Fleezanis and de Waart return in support of the Minnesota Orchestra, and an eloquent tribute to Charles Rosen's brainy musicality. Here are stories we're following, in the news and on the web....
- Symphony Nova Scotia musicians have voted to authorize a strike effective January 17th, Halifax Media Co-op reports. Negotiations are scheduled to continue through January 14th; musicians have demanded a base salary increase from $28,000 to $30,000 within the next two years.
- Orchestras Canada Executive Director Katherine Carleton reports on the Canada Council's "Change Agenda", a large-scale re-thinking of funding priorities for Canadian arts, and gives some recommendations for how orchestral advocates can involve themselves.
- A concert last weekend by the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra featured former music director Edo de Waart and former concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis - both of whom spoke to the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the challenges facing orchestras and cities, and their own support of Minnesota musicians.
- The Indianapolis Symphony's recent lockout ended with a short-term agreement and a fundraising challenge; this week owners of two Indianapolis professional sports teams responded to those challenges with donations totalling $1.5 million, the Indianapolis Star reports.
- The Detroit Symphony announced a 10-year endowment campaign and changes to its governing board structure, Crain's Detroit Business reports. The article incorrectly dates the end of the DSO musicians strike as May 2012; the strike ended in April 2011.
- The same day the Spokane Symphony reached an agreement ending their 4-week strike, Spokane Coeur D'Alene Living magazine published an in-depth article examining the musician's struggle for equitable pay. Musician representative Adam Wallstein spoke about the need to cobble together varied sources of income; even before the recent 11% pay cut, Spokane Symphony musicians earned a base salary of $17,460.
- Classical music may be an acquired taste but it's worth it, writes Andy McSmith in Britain's Independent. McSmith describes the young pianist Daniil Trifonov's performance of the Prokofiev 2nd Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra: "From his long, demented assault on a piano came a beautiful stream of sound."
- And in a postscript on Charles Rosen's recent death, Jeremy Denk asks: "Should a musician have a brain?" Denk recalls Rosen's inexhaustible conversation, and his brilliance in conveying the ineffable experience of listening to music.