Francine Schutzman / présidente, section locale 180
Je crois que tous ceux parmi vous qui ont des droits acquis à la Caisse de retraite des musiciens du Canada (CRM Canada) ont reçu des lettres les avisant de changements apportés à la Caisse. J’espère que vous les avez bien lues, car il s’agit de changements qui auront un effet direct sur vos rentes de retraite. Le principal changement c’est qu’à compter du 1er janvier 2013, 50 % des contributions versées en votre nom par vos employeurs serviront à financer vos futures prestations et 50 % serviront à soutenir la caisse. Ces changements ont été apportés à la suite de modifications dans les exigences provinciales en matière de financement.
By Francine Schutzman / President, Local 180 and OCSM Past President
I believe that all of you who are vested in the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada have received letters telling of you of changes in the Fund. I hope that you read those letters, since your pensions will be affected. The biggest change is that, starting January 1, 2013, 50 per cent of the contributions that are made by employers in your name will go toward funding your benefit, and 50 per cent will go toward supporting the cost of the benefit being accrued from January 1, 2013 onwards. The changes were made in order to comply with recent changes in provincial funding requirements.
This week: New hires in Windsor and Edmonton; a shocking death in San Francisco; the Minnesota lockouts' impacts on freelancers; and critical takedowns of operatic productions, and of the Pope. Here are stories we're following, in the news and on the web....
- A front page story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune assesses the lockout's impact on the Twin Cities' freelance musicians, as well as on the regular members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. As some musicians pick up gigs around the country, many have had very little work at all, and a thriving freelance scene has withered. CBS News tallied the overall losses to the local economy: as much as $30 million if the entire season is canceled.
- This week SPCO musicians rejected management's "play-and-talk" proposal, but talks continue and the two sides "have nudged closer to an agreement", the Star Tribune reports.
- The Windsor Symphony named its new Music Director this week: Robert Franz will take the helm beginning in 2013-14, succeeding Music Director Laureate John Morris Russell, the Windsorite blog reports.
- Another notable new hire in Edmonton: Robert Uchida, the current concertmaster of Symphony Nova Scotia, will join the Edmonton Symphony as concertmaster beginning this August, the Edmonton Journal reports.
- Almost every week brings obituaries of some prominent musicians - this week we remember Van Cliburn and Wolfgang Sawallisch. But the passing of William Bennett, the principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony, seems of another type altogether - a stunning, untimely tragedy which left so many heartbroken. The SF Symphony posted a press release and WQXR has a remembrance of Bennett.
- By adding new technology and gender politics, have opera productions gone wacky? National Post business writer Terence Corcoran thinks so, and wrote a lengthy diatribe against the Canadian Opera Company's recent productions of Tristan and Isolde and La Clemenza de Tito. The piece provoked strong reactions on both sides - today National Post editor Paul Russell summarized the responses.
- Opera fans in New York will get a price break next season: the Metropolitan Opera is lowering its ticket prices by an average of 10%, the New York Times reports. Attendance has fallen this season, and general manager Peter Gelb acknowledged that prices had risen too high. The Met also announced details about new productions for 2013-14.
- U.S. cultural institutions of all sorts have been bracing for federal spending cuts known as "sequester", effective yesterday as the Washington Post reports. Across-the-board cuts of 5-6% will cause furloughs and delayed maintenance at museums and performing arts venues nationwide.
- As changes to Canada's Employment Insurance program have gone into effect, some E.I. recipients have been surprised by house calls, CBC reports. The in-person visits by HRSDC employees are intended to eliminate fraudulent claims, but opposition MPs have spoken out against them, saying they risk "intimidation" and treating laid-off workers as criminals.
- And NPR asks: What would the Pope program? Pope Benedict XVI's musical tastes fall to the straight and narrow, NPR's Deceptive Cadence blog reports, favouring Mozart and Beethoven. The outgoing pope is an amateur pianist and also a recording artist, of sorts -- his Alma Mater album was lambasted by Guardian music critic Tom Service as "pseudo-spiritual soup of intoned prayer, bstardiased Gregorian chant, syrupy orchestral arrangements and portentous vocalizing."
- Orchestra Digest: February 22
- Orchestra Digest: Feb. 17th
- Orchestra Digest: Feb. 8th
- OC Job Board: February 6th
- Orchestra Digest: Feb. 2nd
- Orchestra Digest: January 26th
- Orchestra Digest: January 18th
- Orchestra Digest: January 11, 2013
- Orchestra Digest: December 28, 2012
- Orchestra Digest: December 21, 2012