Orchestra Digest: June 8

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This week: remembering Mario; troubles in Nashville; rifts in London and Kitchener; debating classical music's vitality; and ads on CBC. Here are stories we're following...
  • Mario Bernardi, who helped found the National Arts Centre Orchestra and served as Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic, died last Sunday at age 82. CBC News and the Ottawa Citizen both filed remembrances. 
  • The Schermerhorn Center, home of the Nashville Symphony, is threatened with foreclosure, and the Symphony may face bankruptcy, The Tennessean reports. Negotiations with lenders are ongoing. 
  • The public rift between Orchestra London CEO Joe Swan and Centennial Hall manager Don Jones escalated, with demands for apologies answered by refusals, the London Free Press reports
  • Another dispute, involving the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Centre in the Square, also reached the press this week. The Record printed a letter by the Symphony's former CEO, John Spearn, calling for both sides and city hall to work together and resolve the conflict.
  • A letter claiming that "classical music is dying" made the editorial page of the NY Times last week. The author was the former executive director of Orchestra Nova San Diego. ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge responded on the same editorial page, arguing that reports of classical music's demise have been greatly exaggerated. 
  • CBC's Radio 2 and Espace Musique will feature advertisements for the first time following a decision by the CRTC, the Toronto Star reports. Critics argue that the decision puts the CBC on a "slippery slope" to full commercialization, though many defended it as necessary to maintaining CBC's core mandate.
  • Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra gave an impromptu performance on a plane grounded in Beijing, NBC Philadelphia reports. Fellow passengers eagerly documented the mini-concert on their cell phones. 
  • Renowned pianist Krystian Zimerman interrupted a recital in Germany last week to protest an audience member filming the concert on a phone, the National Post reports. Zimerman resumed the concert after a few minutes, telling the audience, "The destruction of music through YouTube is enormous."
  • And Young Musicians of Minnesota, a new advocacy group of students, launched a presence online and on Facebook this week, calling for an end to the Minnesota Orchestra lockout.  
Compiled by OCSM President Matt Heller. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php
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