This week: Canadian ballet companies dance on, younger listeners look to classical, Minnesota negotiations to restart, and a symphonic experience on the iPad. Here are stories we're following, in the news and on the web. Happy New Year!
- With Nutcrackers dancing across the nation, the Toronto Star reports that Canadian ballet companies -- including the National Ballet of Canada, Alberta Ballet, and Montreal's Les Grands Ballet Canadiens -- are doing quite well, and strengthening their marketing to reach young, tech-savvy audiences.
- A new survey of the younger demographic (aged 25 and under) shows a strong interest in classical music, Classic FM reports. The survey asked respondents what genres they would like to learn more about, and found classical and jazz at the top of the list.
- Minnesota Orchestra management offered to re-open negotiation talks in January, and cancelled concerts through Feb. 10th, Minnesota Public Radio reports. The talks would be without pre-conditions. The offer came just after the Minnesota state legislators raised questions about the Orchestra's finances and use of taxpayer funds for its major renovation of Orchestra Hall, local CBS affiliate WCCO reports.
- St. Paul Chamber Orchestra negotiations will also resume early in January, the SPCO Musicians' website reports. A federal mediator will take part in the discussions, and both sides have agreed to a media blackout of what takes place.
- Jacksonville Symphony musicians challenged their management's financial reports in a Jacksonville Times-Union editorial last weekend. Musicians claim that the Symphony Association has bargained in bad faith, charges the National Labor Relations Board has agreed to hear.
- A new iPad app, The Orchestra, promises listeners "a new density of informational delight", and a new way to introduce listeners to the pleasures of the concert hall, writes Seth Colter Walls on Slate.com. The app was developed with Esa-Pekka Salonen, and features him conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, and his commentaries about the music.