Orchestra Digest: October 3

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This week: Atlanta lockout reaches week 4; Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony hires a new executive director, and Calgary Phil celebrates their retiring President/CEO.

Atlanta lockout news

The Atlanta Symphony has been locked out since Sept. 6, and concerts through Nov. 8th have been cancelled, ArtsATL reported. ASO board member Ron Antinori resigned and spoke out in protest against the lockout and the decision to cancel concerts.

Music Director Robert Spano also spoke out against the lockout, lamenting that “our brilliant and creative musicians, who need to be intimately involved in the creation of our path to the future, have been asked to leave the building — and Atlanta is left with a deafening silence.” The New York Times reports on Spano's public statements in support of musicians.

This week ASO President and CEO Stanley Romanstein resigned, saying in a statement that his leadership "would be an impediment to our reaching a new labor agreement with the ASO's musicians," the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. His interim replacement is Terry Neal, a retired Coca Cola executive and current ASO board member.
Aspen Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher wrote a commentary for the Huffington Post, titled "Atlanta Symphony Lockout is Enforced Silence." Fletcher argues that the tactic of locking out musicians is "wrongheaded", and that it doesn't work.
Atlanta Symphony musicians have begun their own series of free public concerts, beginning last weekend. ArtsATL previewed the first concert, last weekend at Kennesaw State University's Bailey Performance Center.
Atlanta Symphony musicians have received many donations from other orchestras across the US and Canada. There is also a petition online to end the lockout, launched by Atlanta community members.
Elsewhere in the news
Among those donations was $7,500 USD from the musicians of the Toronto Symphony. Many of those musicians were recently written up in a Toronto Star article, "The secret lives of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra."

And Globe and Mail classical music writer Robert Harris penned a noteworthy review of the TSO's opening concert, "Toronto Symphony Orchestra sampler shows why classical matters". Harris writes that "classical music provides something that is simply unavailable anywhere else in our society."
Weeks after a major labor dispute threatened to derail the Metropolitan Opera, the company is back at work and pulled off a big opening night on Sept. 22nd. The New York Times profiled the entire operation, which on some days includes more than 1,500 people.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has appointed Andrew Bennett its new executive director, the Guelph Mercury reports. Bennett is currently General Manager of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música in Portugal.

Symphony Nova Scotia announced a successful 2013-14 season, with ticket sales up 19% to over $1 million, the Chronicle Herald reports. 2013-14 was Chris Wilkinson's first season as CEO of the Symphony.

The Calgary Philharmonic also reported a successful season at its AGM this week, the Calgary Herald reports. Longtime President and CEO Ann Lewis-Luppino announced she will retire at the end of the 2014-15 season, ending a 9-year tenure which solidified and stabilized the organization.

Compiled by Matt Heller, OCSM 1st VP. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php.
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