Orchestra Digest: October 24

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This week: NACO tour honours Canada's fallen heroes; Philly Orchestra calls it a comeback; and the battle over orchestra complement in Atlanta. Here are stories we're following....

This week all Canadians mourn the tragic loss of Corporal Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Quebec. Orchestras around the country are paying tribute, while the National Arts Centre Orchestra observed a minute of silence before Thursday evening's concert in Edinburgh, the first stop in their 10-day tour of the UK, as Edinburgh News reported.

CBC News also previewed NACO's tour earlier in the week, noting that the Oct. 29th concert at Salisbury Cathedral will be broadcast both on CBC Radio (on Nov. 9 and 11) and on CBC television in December.
The Philadelphia Orchestra - which just over two years ago was mired in a costly bankruptcy proceeding - has made a full and phenomenal recovery, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A "transformation fund" has raised over $69 million since 2009.

The Atlanta Symphony Players' Association reported "significant progress" on health care in mediated talks with ASO and Woodruff Centre administrators this week - but none regarding orchestra size, as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. The AJC story also summarizes a 4-year compensation proposal the Players offered last night.

Later this afternoon, ASO and Woodruff administrators rejected Players' Association proposals, the Journal Constitution reports. The impasse was again attributed to differences over the size of the orchestra complement. ASO/Woodruff negotiators have proposed a complement of just the musicians currently remaining; the two sides disagree whether that number is 76 or 77. In 2012, the complement was reduced from 95 to 88 musicians. 

Pointing to recent orchestra cutbacks and dismissals in Europe, most recently at the Rome Opera, the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) has launched a campaign to Stop Cultural Vandalism (see website for details.) The campaign culminates in FIM's first "International Orchestra Week", Nov. 17-23rd.

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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