Orchestra Digest: October 17

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This week: A nimbler symphonic future; an impromptu requiem in St. Louis; mediation in Atlanta; and Canadian orchestras commemorate WWI. Here are stories we're following....


Bold moves

NY Times critic Anthony Tommasini writes about new directions in symphonic marketing and programming: As subscriptions fall, orchestras aim higher. Many orchestras, including the LA Phil and NY Phil, are experimenting with nimbler scheduling and promotion of concerts, as well as varied events and venues.

A St. Louis Symphony performance of Brahms' German Requiem became the occasion for a community response to Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, the Washington Post reports. As shown in a video accompanying the story, twenty-three protesters staged a flash mob at intermission, standing up to sing a "Requiem for Mike Brown", which was received with respectful applause; they then left the hall without incident, leading a chant of "Black Lives Matter."
Atlanta Symphony: A cause worth fighting for

The Washington Post filed an extensive report on the Atlanta Symphony lockout, which has reached week 6. The article notes that 3 ASO musicians have already left for permanent jobs elsewhere; and that ICSOM, ROPA, and OCSM orchestras have so far contributed over $165,000 to help the locked out musicians. Last week OCSM posted its Call to Action.

All sides in the lockout began meetings with the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service last week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. FMCS Acting Director Allison Beck is leading the meetings, which are accompanied by a media blackout.


Canadian remembrances of WWI
The Victoria Symphony commemorates the anniversary of the First World War with a newly commissioned work by composer Tobin Stokes, The Piper, part of a community collaboration entitled Lest We Forget, Victoria News reports. The series culminates with performances of Britten's War Requiem on Nov. 8 and 9th.
The National Arts Centre Orchestra will also commemorate WWI next week, with a tour to five cities in the UK, the Ottawa Citizen reports. One of their concerts will be at Salisbury Cathedral, a 13th-century gothic cathedral near where Canadian troops trained.
People in the news

"With a mature organization like the San Francisco Opera, a CEO should stay 10 years," SF Opera General Director David Glockley said in 2011. Glockley followed through on those words, the SF Chronicle reports, announcing that he will retire in 2016.

And the Regina Symphony hired a new executive director this week: CKOM reports that Tanja Derkson will take the post, after serving the Winnipeg Symphony as Director of Education and Outreach for eight years. The RSO is still in the midst of a Music Director search.

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

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