This week: Good news from Chicago, legislative wrangling in Minnesota, saving the day in Shanghai, and bad news or just bad journalism?
The good, the bad, and the ugly
The Chicago Symphony's financial health is good, the Chicago Tribune reports. The orchestra set fundraising records for the third straight year, and finished with a relatively insignificant deficit.
The latest Milwaukee Symphony financials are not so great - a $1.8 million deficit, on recorded income of $15.86 million, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Former Journal Sentinel music critic Tom Strini also weighed in on the crisis, arguing for the orchestra's value and calling on music director Edo de Waart to take a more proactive stance.
Minnesota state leaders are debating the value and funding of their leading cultural asset: the Minnesota Orchestra. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on former Gov. Arne Carlson's call for increased public support.
Meanwhile, some Minnesota legislators are wondering whether previously approved funding should be revoked. The Star Tribune reports on controversy over $16 million in funding for Orchestra Hall renovations.
The New York City Opera has been liquidated, but post-mortems continue. New York Times business writer James B. Stewart looks at the poor investing strategies that caused the NYCO endowment to dwindle from $51.6 million in 2001 to just $5.2 million by June 2013.
ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge posted an essay deploring a run of recent, negative stories in the press, including an October 5th radio piece on NPR: "It's Been a Really Bad Week for Classical Music". NPR host Arun Rath replied with a letter, and an apology on Twitter.
Looking at high achievers in government, business, and broadcasting, the NY Times Sunday Review considers: "Is Music the Key to Success?" The writer, Joanne Lipman, finds evidence of substantial benefits among amateur musicians.
The Louisville Orchestra has appointed Teddy Abrams its next music director, The Courier-Journal reports. Abrams, 26, will become the orchestra's youngest-ever music director when his tenure begins next fall.
Less than 3 weeks ago, the Louisville Orchestra appointed Andrew Kipe its new CEO, as The Courier Herald also reported. Kipe, age 40, worked most recently as the general manager of the Phoenix Symphony.
Andrew Thompson, the St. Louis Symphony's contrabassoonist since 2012, passed away suddenly on October 15th, due to a heart condition. The St. Louis Beacon printed an obituary, including remembrances from colleagues, conductors, and teachers.
NACO's tour of China
The Toronto Star reported on a disaster averted in planning the National Arts Centre Orchestra's just-completed China tour. The NACO concert in Shanghai was nearly cancelled, before some last-minute diplomacy by managing director Christopher Deacon and tour manager Nelson MacDougall "sewed it back together".
The tour's political ramifications earned more coverage in the Toronto Star, as Canadian Governor General David Johnson combined a historic state visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping with attendance at NACO's Shanghai concert on Oct. 19th.