Orchestra Digest: May 12, 2017

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Note to readers: As you may have noticed, Orchestra Digest postings have grown rather sparse this season -- due not to a lack of orchestra news stories, but to my own limited capacity to compile and share them all! 
 
I will continue to do my best to highlight and summarize relevant stories, and would like to invite all of you to share interesting stories as well. Just make sure to identify yourself by name and orchestra at the start of the post. We moderate posts to the OCSM List, so if we notice anything amiss, we will let you know before it goes out to the list. I'm also happy to hear from you with any general suggestions or contributions to improve this newsletter. 
 
Thanks and happy reading! - Matt Heller
 
 
Tours and headlines from Canada's 150th 
 
As part of its Canada 150 celebration this weekend, the Saskatoon Symphony will stage an unlikely twofer: a citizenship ceremony combined with an all-Canadian concert -- CBC reports
 
The TSO embarked on a two-week tour of Europe and Israel this past week: the Toronto Star spoke with interim CEO Gary Hanson on the importance of international touring. 
 
The National Arts Centre Orchestra is also touring widely this spring, including a recent outing to Canada's East Coast. The Chronicle Herald previewed its busy Halifax stop, which included a side-by-side, chamber music, master classes, and more. 
 
And while Harry Somers' opera Louis Riel is gaining wide recognition in a new co-production by the Canadian Opera Company and National Arts Centre, it tells a Canadian story which has come to seem more tragic than celebratory. The Globe and MailCBC and the NY Times previewed the production and the complicated history it recounts.  
 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: May 12, 2017

Orchestra Digest: March 9

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Welcomes: Elisa Citterio, Otto Tausk
 
The Globe and Mail profiles Tafelmusik's new music director, Elisa Citterio, a musician Jeanne Lamon describes as "a Tafelmusik person... She's going to fit in perfectly." Meanwhile, Musical Toronto lists nine causes for excitement in Tafelmusik's newly-announced 2017/18 season. 
 
Speaking to the Vancouver SunVancouver Symphony music director-designate Otto Tausk emphasized the importance of building trust and performing a broad repertoire. 
 
 
New seasons
 
The 2017/18 Vancouver Symphony season will bring farewells to Bramwell Tovey, the Straight reports, with world premieres by Tovey and Jocelyn Morlock, Mahler's 2nd Symphony, and much more.  
 
High-profile premieres and collaborations highlight the National Ballet of Canada's 2017/18 season, previewed by the Globe and Mail.
 
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony also announced its 2017-18 season, the Record reports, noting that in absence of a music director, the season was planned entirely by staff and musicians. The Chronicle also previewed an ambitious transitional season. 
 
The Winnipeg Symphony offered refugees and immigrants 1,000 free tickets to a recent performance and dance and multicultural music, CBC reports. The performance included Arabic translation, and an appearance by Mayor Brian Bowman
 
The National Arts Centre's annual report, titled "Groundbreaking", noted successful fundraising campaigns, renovations, and initiatives, the Ottawa Sun reports. There was a small deficit of $207k on a budget of $71m.  
 
An Ode to Canada, featuring a newly-commissioned Fanfare and Beethoven's 9th, will open the Windsor Symphony's 70th anniversary season, the Windsor Star reports
 
"Heroes" and "the North" are major themes of the National Arts Centre Orchestra's 2017/18 season, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Inspired by Glenn Gould, their "Idea of the North" festival will pair Canadian and Finnish music. 
 
 
 
Advocacy and initiatives
 
Female artists appear somewhat more frequently on NAC stages next season, Ottawa magazine reports#OrchestrasSoMale, an initiative by Brian Lauritzen (@BrianKUSC), is comparing US orchestras' appearances by female conductors and composers. 
 
LA Philharmonic president/CEO Deborah Borda penned an LA Times op-ed calling for President Trump's first travel ban to be rescinded: "Music transcends borders; it gives voice to artists and communicates with audiences regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or religion."
 
Alberta Ballet chair Larry E. Clausen contributed an opinion piece for the Edmonton Journal highlighting the importance of artists in our society, and the value of public support for the arts: "Artists need more than applause and appreciation". 
 
After 19 years as Calgary Opera's general director, Bob McPhee will retire this season, the Herald reports. He will continue to advise through the transition to a new director.  
 
The Winnipeg Symphony kicked off a new series in an unusual venue: Club Regent Casino. The Free Press previewed the Thursday Night Classics series, featuring popular classical music. 
 
 

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. Visit OCSM on Facebook, or tweet us @ocsm-omosc.

Orchestras Canada will no longer publish its email newsletter - the last issue is here. You may wish to follow OC on Facebook or Twitter, or become a member. You may also want to check Orchestras Canada's Job Board, sponsored by the CFM.

 

Orchestra Digest: All things new

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New names, hires, etc.: London Symphonia, Elisa Citterio, Saskatoon

Musicians formerly of Orchestra London unveiled a new name last week: London Symphonia. The Free Press reported the rebranding - you can also share some love on Facebook, Twitter, or on their new website.

Tafelmusik announced a new music director: Elisa Citterio, the Globe and Mail reports. A world-renowned baroque violin soloist, Citterio will take over in July, replacing Tafelmusik's founding MD Jeanne Lamon.

The Saskatoon Symphony is partnering with University of Saskatchewan, the Star-Phoenix reports. The new collaboration could include artists in residence, online programming, music education, and more.

The Hamilton Philharmonic named Diana Weir as executive director, the Spectator reports. Weir has been with the HPO since 2013, most recently as director of communications and development.

And from the new works department: Edmonton Symphony principal trombonist John McPherson is also its composer-in-residence. This weekend features the premiere of his newest symphonic work, Triune, the Edmonton Journal reports.



Sesquicentennial and new seasons: TSO, COC

The Toronto Symphony announced its 2017/18 season, Peter Oundjian's last as music director, the Globe and Mail reports. A festival of farewell concerts will cap off his 14-year tenure, in June 2018. The TSO has yet to name a new music director or executive director.

The 2017/18 Canadian Opera Company season will bring new productions of two Donizetti works and Strauss' Arabella - a premiere for COC - as well as revival's of Robert Lepage's Stravinsky Nightingale, Verdi's Rigoletto, and a controversial new co-production of Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, the Globe and Mail reports.  

Leading off Maclean's to-do list for celebrating Canada's 150th: the National Ballet of Canada. The Ballet celebrates its own 65th anniversary in 2017, sending 150 pointe shoes to Canadian landmarks.   

2017 will have no shortage of "arty parties", CBC.ca reports: including a new "Global Orchestra" at the Royal Conservatory of Music, crowd-sourced photos at Winnipeg's Museum for Human Rights, a big festival and tours for the National Arts Centre, and a family-friendly commission at the Toronto Symphony.

And speaking of TSO: Canada Mosaic kicked off last weekend at Roy Thomson Hall, the Toronto Star reports, with plans to feature composers and partner with orchestras across the country. The Globe and Mail also previewed the series.

 

 

Adventures in Marketing, and more

Opera Insights, a new series by the Canadian Opera Company, aims to lower the walls for opera newbies, Toronto Star reports. 

Orchestra X, an ambitious project by the California Symphony, aims to solve the millennial audience conundrum through an innovative technique: talking to millennials. A lengthy article on Medium summarizes some key findings.

Clyde Wagner is now president of Toronto's city-owned theatres, the Globe and Mail reports, and his job won't be easy. Critic Martin Knelman writes that all three have suffered from poor bookings and attendance recently, which lead to their merger.

Shards of Winnipeg's Capitol Theatre, demolished a decade ago, are for sale by Heritage Winnipeg, CTV News reports. Pieces of several architectural landmarks are being offered to the public at a local garden centre. 

Renowned musician Howard Leyton-Brown passed away last Friday, the Regina Leader-Post reports. Leyton-Brown was remembered by Victor Sawa and others as a remarkable, gifted musician and educator. He was 98.

 

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. Visit OCSM on Facebook, or tweet us @ocsm-omosc.

Orchestras Canada's weekly, bilingual newsletter features even more news from Canadian orchestras as well as advocacy information - click here to read the latest edition and sign up for delivery to your inbox each Wednesday. You may also want to check Orchestras Canada's Job Board, sponsored by the CFM.

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