Orchestra Digest: December 4, 2012

*This week: Collaborations in Toronto, merger talks in London, Pinchas leads the SPCO, sudden departures in Rochester and San Antonio, Kansas City's uncommon orchestra, and sizing up Dudamel's return on investment in LA. Here are stories we're following, in the news and on the web....*

- PBS profiles the creator of the Toronto Symphony's last collaborative project: How Tod Machover and the City of Toronto are creating a symphony<http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/11/how-tod-machover-and-the-city-of-\
>. The project enters its next phase on Dec. 6th, with a new software tool called Mediascore that allows collaborators to share ideas, whether or not they can read music.

- Two organizations pitching new concert halls for London, ON may combine their proposals, Metro News reports <http://metronews.ca/news/london/454178/concert-hall-proposals-not-mutually-exclusive-orchestra-londons-david-canton/>. Orchestra London board member David Cantor, who leads Music London, says the community task force might join forces with The Grand Theatre to expand and renovate the facility.

- The Kansas City Star offers a Fanfare for an uncommon orchestra <http://www.kansascity.com/2012/11/23/3931587/fanfare-for-an-uncommon-orchestra.html>, profiling the resurgent Kansas City Symphony. Under music director Michael Stern, and with its move to the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Symphony has become a source of civic pride.

- The renovation of Avery Fisher Hall will displace the New York Philharmonic for at least two seasons, the New York Times reports<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/arts/music/avery-fisher-hall-to-be-renovated.html?_r=0>,
and involve a "radical re-envisioning...of what it means to be a concert hall at a time of challenging orchestra economics and changing audience habits." The architect and acoustician search process is ongoing.

- Former music director Pinchas Zukerman led musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in an all-Mozart program on Sunday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports <http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/181768331.html?refer=y>. The sold-out audience greeted the players with several standing ovations. A petition to the board of the locked-out SPCO has been launched, and music lovers everywhere are encouraged to sign: SPCO Petition | End the lockout while negotiations proceed in good faith<http://www.change.org/petitions/board-of-directors-of-the-saint-paul-chamber-orchestra-society-end-the-lockout-while-negotiations-proceed-in-good-faith>.

- The Star Tribune takes a closer look at their other locked-out orchestra's troubled state: Minnesota Orchestra's board walked thin line on finances<http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/180782151.html?refer=y>.
Major endowment withdrawals in 2009 and 2010 balanced those years' budgets, but 2011 showed a $2.9 million deficit. Meanwhile Minnesota Public Radio reported <http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/state-of-the-arts/archive/2012/11/mn-orchestra-musicians-vote-no-confidence-in-ceo-hensen.shtml>the musicians' no-confidence vote on CEO Michael Henson.

- The Rochester Philharmonic's board has voted to terminate music
director Arild Remmereit's contract after this season, the Rochester
Democrat and Chronicle
reports <http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20121129/LIVING/311290050/RPO-board-votes-terminate-Arild-Remmereit-s-contract?nclick_check=1>. While board chair Elizabeth F. Rice didn't give specific reasons for the decision, the article notes that "Remmereit clashed with RPO President Charles Owens and Rice for most of last season over administrative and artistic priorities."

- The San Antonio Express-News<http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Symphony-faces-future-\
> reports the sudden departure of San Antonio Symphony President and CEO Jack Fishman. The orchestra's deficit challenges shouldn't dissuade strong candidates from seeking the job, according to ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge, as quoted in the article.

- Symphony Syracuse is taking shape as a new regional orchestra led by Musical Associates of CNY, the Syracuse Post Standard reports<http://blog.syracuse.com/entertainment/2012/11/musical_associates_of_cny_plan.html>.
The organization is inviting former season ticket holders of the Syracuse Symphony with free tickets to its new concert series.

- It's Nutcracker season, but the canned music at Washington (D.C.) Ballet is making critics say humbug. The Washington Post's Sarah Kaufman calls <http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/washington-ballets-the-nutcracker-lack-of-orchestra-takes-some-of-the-magic-out/2012/12/01/fe350\d54-3b82-11e2-8a97-363b0f9a0ab3_story.html>the recorded sound "an especially villainous mood-killer."

- New York Times readers including ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge weighed in on a retired Metropolitan Opera Orchesta violinist's concerns about the fate of our art form: Sunday Dialogue - Is Classical Music

- And the LA Times does the math<http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-dudamel-earnings\
>and decides that Music Director Gustavo Dudamel is a good investment for
the LA Phil, even at $985,363 in salary and benefits for 2010. The article looks at pay for many prominent arts executives and includes a comparison of the highest conductor salaries<http://graphics.latimes.com/towergraphic-high-earning-conductors/> in the US.

Compiled by Matt Heller, OCSM President. Sources include the discussion
groups of ICSOM <http://www.icsom.org/contact/index.php> and
as well as NPR's Deceptive
blog. All OCSM members are encouraged to join
where you can follow and participate in a great deal of discussion
about orchestras. Send an email with your name and orchestra to:
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