Orchestra Digest: October 10

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This week: Festive Montreal, kudos for Muti, musicians joining management, Vanska's farewell concerts in Minnesota, the NACO tours Hong Kong, and much more....

 
 
Success stories
 
Let's do the good news first: Broadway World reports that the Houston Symphony finished a record-breaking 2012-13 season, setting new high marks for attendance and contributions. 
 
The Detroit Symphony's fundraising jumped 43% to a record $18.9 million, the Free Press reports, driven by strong support from board members, and jumps in individual, corporate, and foundation giving.
 
The Philadelphia Orchestra's concert last week at Carnegie Hall was cancelled due to a strike by stagehands. But the Orchestra and music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin still played the concert for an appreciative hometown audience at the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
 
Reporting in the Huffington Post, critic Laurence Vittes called the Montreal Symphony "a top-tier ensemble" and praised the city's vibrant cultural scene. Vittes focused on the OSM's festival, "A Cool Classical Journey," and its Mozartian offerings. 
 
Toronto Star columnist William Littler reports on Kansas City's shiny new opera house, the Muriel Kauffman Theater, which was designed by architect Moshe Safdie. Safdie proposed a similar project for Toronto in the 1980's, though it was rejected in favour of the scaled-down Four Seasons Centre, designed by architect Jack Diamond. 
 
 
Negotiations
 
Negotiations are continuing at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, two weeks after musicians unanimously voted to authorize a strike. The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reports on the latest developments. 
 
Many media outlets covered last weekend's concerts by the locked-out Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by their departing music director, Osmo Vanska: the Minneapolis Star TribuneNew York Times, and Limelight Magazine, among others. Minnesota Public Radio broadcasted the concert live, and may still make it available as an archived recording.
 
The Journal-Sentinel reports on a $1.8 million deficit posted by the Milwaukee Symphony last season, and the reaction from the MSO's board and their new president, Mark Niehaus. Both are seeking long-term solutions to the disappointing results. 
 
The New York Times covered the trend of experienced symphonic musicians joining management - including Mark Niehaus (formerly the Milwaukee Symphony's principal trumpeter), and New Jersey Symphony President James Roe, who has served the orchestra as principal oboist. 
 
 
People
 
The New York Times covered the trend of experienced symphonic musicians joining management - including Mark Niehaus (formerly the Milwaukee Symphony's principal trumpeter), and New Jersey Symphony President James Roe, who has served the orchestra as principal oboist. 
 
Chicago Symphony music director Riccardo Muti has been "an unexpectedly galvanizing hit", the New York Times reports, and a genuine elder statesman for classical music in America. 
 
Dick Matthews, a co-founder of the Calgary Philharmonic, passed away last week at the age of 93, the Calgary Herald reportsCBC also covered Matthews' passing, with remembrances from CPO president Ann Lewis-Luppino.
 
And a story in the London Free Press focuses attention on city council member and Orchestra London executive director Joe Swan. Swan is walking a conflict of interest tightrope, as the council considers opposing proposals for a new concert hall.
 
 
NACO in China
 
Reports of the National Arts Centre Orchestra's tour are just starting to come in: the Ottawa Citizen covered NACO's first, sold-out concert in Hong Kong and a visit to a primary school in the same city
 
The Toronto Star also reviewed the concert in Hong Kong, which featured a composition by Chinese Canadian composer Alexina Louie.
 
 
Compiled by Matt Heller, Calgary Philharmonic and OCSM Past President. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php
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