Orchestra Digest: November 14

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This week: Light at the end of the lockouts; tough week for music directors; and orchestras covering themselves. Here are stories we're following...

Emeging from lockout

Last weekend Atlanta Symphony musicians ratified a 4-year agreement, ending a 2-month lockout, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The ASO returned to action last night, with a program including Beethoven's 9th symphony; though the AJC reports that financial problems at the Woodruff Center persist.

A poll in the Atlanta Business Journal asks "Do you care if Atlanta has a symphony orchestra?"; the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with 94% responding affirmatively.

The Minnesota Orchestra's strong rebound from lockout has come under the watch of interim President/CEO Kevin Smith. Smith this week accepted the job on a long-term basis through the 2017-18 season, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Others in the news
One of the longest-serving managers of a major orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra executive director Gary Hanson, announced plans to retire after nearly 28 years, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Hanson is a native of Toronto.

Vancouver Symphony music director Bramwell Tovey's car was robbed last Saturday, and among items stolen were two irreplaceable scores, CBC News reports. One was the manuscript of a new string quartet to be premiered this evening, which Tovey has been scrambling to recomplete.

Another kind of crisis faces Calgary Philharmonic music director Roberto Minczuk: his family's application for Canadian permanent residence has so far been stalled by red tape and immigration bureaucracy, the Calgary Herald reports.

Etc.: Opera sees red, and orchestras hire reporters
Despite soaring attendance, the Canadian Opera Company faced a $2.9 million budget shortfall last season, the Globe and Mail reports. The COC Foundation helped lower the deficit to $952,000 with a $2 million transfusion, and the reduction of one production could help prevent future deficits, board chair Philip Deck says. The National Ballet of Canada meanwhile reported a small surplus for 2012-13.

With newspaper arts coverage dwindling, many organizations are hiring their own arts journalists, the Washington Post reports. These include the Chicago Symphony, which launched Sounds & Stories last December, and the Baltimore Symphony's newly-launched BSO Stories.

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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