Orchestra Digest: June 24

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This week: Floods in Calgary, agreements in Toronto and Pittsburgh, Tanglewood upgrades, and awards season. Here are stories we're following... 
When it rains it pours:
  • Rain and flooding deluged Calgary and nearby towns last week. While Calgary Philharmonic staff and many musicians were forced to evacuate, reports so far are that musicians, staff, and facilities were not harmed. 
  • A 2010 flood greatly impacted the Nashville Symphony - which continues to struggle under a debt burden. Last week an editorial in the Tennessean called on business and city leaders to help restore the orchestra.
  • The TSO's performance in this year's Luminato Festival was a hit despite the rain, Toronto Star writer Martin Knelman reports. The orchestra's outdoor concert on Saturday with a 'Music Mob' of fans was marred only by torrential rainstorms. 
  • Toronto Symphony musicians also signed a new, 3-year contract this week, OCSM Delegate Leslie Dawn Knowles reports. The agreement includes a salary freeze in year one with modest increases in years two and three; as well as new provisions relating to live concerts accompanying film. 
  • Negotiations at the Lexington (Kentucky) Philharmonic have reached a stalemate, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Players and management have clashed over the use of reduced size ensembles, hiring outside extras, and the focus of programming.
Financial news:
  • While many orchestras' seasons have now ended, the Minnesota Orchestra's lockout has not. Campaign for America's Future, a progressive organization, considers the unfortunate state of the orchestra in light of the enormous fortunes of its corporate board members. 
  • Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony, will undergo $30 million in upgrades over the next seven to eight years, the Berkshire Eagle reports
  • The Southwest Florida Symphony is facing a debt crisis, but recent fundraising efforts have begun to pay off, the News-Press reports. That includes an online campaign by principal flutist Bill Larsen, which has gathered $21,000 in donations. 
  • The Canadian Opera Company reported strong attendance for 2012-13, with a sold-out run of Tristan und Isolde and 90% attendance throughout the season, the Toronto Star reports. The numbers were nevertheless a slight decrease from 2011-13. The Lyric Opera of Chicago also filed strong numbers this past season, the Chicago Tribune reports
People and awards: 
  • Canadian conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni will leave Columbus when his contract expires in August 2014, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Zeitouni was appointed as music director in 2010. 
  • Edmonton Symphony executive director Annemarie Petrov was honoured with the Rozsa Innovation Award, which singled her out for her work in restructuring the administration of the ESO and the Winspear Centre, the Edmonton Journal reports
  • And the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians has released a documentary celebrating its anniversary, titled ICSOM: The First Fifty Years. A 90-second trailer is available on YouTube.
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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