Orchestra Digest: June 5th

 
This week: A new organ and a referendum in Quebec, fall-out from the ivory ban, remembering Franz-Paul Decker, celebrating Jeanne Lamon, and more...
 
 
News across Canada
 
The Montreal Symphony is celebrating its massive new organ this weekend with a series of concerts, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail
 
Meanwhile, a Referendum on Local 406's disaffiliation with the AFM is before Quebec musicians this week. Online voting closes on Sunday; both sides are represented by websites online, at CFM Is My Union (FCM est mon syndicat) and at GMMQ's Referendum website (en français).
 
In London, Ontario, a plan to replace Centennial Hall continues to garner controversy, with a story in the Free Press questioning the equality of the partnership between Orchestra London and the Grand Theatre.
 
The Canadian Opera Company is working to build a younger audience demographic - way younger, as The Globe and Mail reports. An after school program is introducing kids as young as 7 to the opera.
 
 
...and beyond
 
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is in the midst of negotiations, and recently got admiring coverage from the New York Times of its musicians website and social media presences. The orchestra and union have already authorized a strike should negotiations fail, the NY Times reports; the current contract expires at the end of July.
 
US officials eased rules for travel with musical instruments containing ivory and other protected materials, the New York Times reports. Musicians continue to express frustration and confusion about the requirements for obtaining permits. 
 
Horror stories at the airport seem to be peaking: including the Pro Arte Quartet in Belgium (Slipped Disc)Time for Three on USAir (Indianapolis Star), and the Budapest Festival Orchestra in New York (NY Times). An article on the new customs requirements by Robert Levine is included in the most recent issue of Senza SordinoICSOM's newsletter.
 
 
People
 
Franz-Paul Decker, who passed away on May 19th, was remembered in the Montreal Gazette and The Globe and Mail as one of the great conductors of our time. Decker served as music director of the Montreal Symphony, and as a frequent guest in Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto. 
 
Former Symphony Nova Scotia concertmaster Robert Uchida's departure was covered by the Halifax Chronicle Herald; Uchida now occupies the same position in the Edmonton Symphony.
 
Courtney Lewis is the new music director of the Jacksonville Symphony, the Florida Times-Union reports. Born in Northern Ireland, Lewis has been associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, and is currently assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
 
The Oregon Symphony hired Scott Showalter as its new President/CEO replacing Canadian Elaine Calder, The Oregonian reports. Showalter has been a successful fundraiser for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 
 
And Tafelmusik celebrated the end of an era last month, as Jeanne Lamon played her last concerts as music director/concertmaster. The Globe and Mail reviewed the concert, and Lamon's remarkable accomplishments over 33 years. 
 
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