Orchestra Digest: February 1

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This week: Financial worries in the UK and Memphis, a shocking robbery in Milwaukee, and the Vancouver Symphony celebrates music of Asia. 
Financial news
While British orchestras are seeing rising attendance and appealing to younger audiences, their financial margins are getting smaller due to decreased public funding, The Independent (UK) reports. The survey data was released by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) in advance of their annual conference, in London this past week. 
The latest US orchestra to report a serious cash crunch is the Memphis Symphony, which announced a major restructuring campaign this week, the Commercial Appeal reports. On Friday civic and community leaders affirmed the importance of the MSO, pledging that the city would rally to its support, the Commercial Appeal also reported.
A recently struggling American orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, reported improved financial numbers for 2012-13, the Democrat and Chronicle reports. The RPO is readying its 2014-15 season announcement, with promises to "shake things up a bit". 
Other items of note
A Stradivarius violin on loan to Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster Frank Almond was stolen last Monday, CBC News reports. Almond had just performed at Wisconsin Lutheran College, when an armed robber attacked him in the school parking lot. Milwaukee Police and the FBI are investigating the robbery, and welcome any leads: click here for the Police Department website.
And the Vancouver Sun previews the Vancouver Symphony's new Pacific Rim Festival, two concerts next weekend showcasing music with Chinese and Korean influences, and guest soloists of Chinese and Korean ancestry. 
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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