Orchestra Digest: September 12

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This week: Musicians locked out in Atlanta, and orchestra news from SF, NYC, and Columbus.

Déjà vu in Atlanta

The Atlanta Symphony has been locked out since last weekend, and on Wednesday the ICSOM Governing Board issued a Call to Action for support of the locked out musicians. The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra quickly responded with a lead donation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the lead-up to the September 6 deadline, including a "last, best, and final offer" from management which players rejected, and a leaked letter by ASO President Stanley Romanstein.

Romanstein's own compensation package came under fire from observers, including blogger Emily Hogstad (Song of the Lark). Arts law specialist Kevin Case posted an analysis of the last, best, and final offer showing glaring problems in health coverage and orchestra complement.

On Sunday, ArtsATL covered the onset of the lockout, as the two sides' offers remained far apart. Bitterness lingers from the last lockout in 2012, when musicians accepted $14K in salary cuts and a reduction from a 52 to 42 week season.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: September 12

Orchestra Digest: September 5

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This week: Highlights from our conference; the TSO's successful tour; Jeff Alexander departs VSO for Chicago; and sounding out the classical internet.

Conference season: from Halifax to LA

Delegates met in Halifax this August 5-8. They'll report to each orchestra directly, but here's a quick rundown of some of the highlights

Any musicians in the Ottawa area on October 21st should consider attending the Canadian Arts Coalition's Arts Day on the Hill. Or visit the CAC website for resources to help you meet locally with your MP to advocate for symphonic music.

ICSOM (International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians) also convened last week in Los Angeles, with President Bob Fraser representing OCSM. You can read several noteworthy speeches from the Conference at ICSOM's website.

News from Canadian orchestras
The Toronto Star summed up a successful Toronto Symphony tour last week, its first European tour in 14 years. TSO violinist and OCSM Delegate Leslie Dawn Knowles also filed a guest blog post at Broadway World, covering some of the players' extracurricular activities while on tour.

After 14 years as the Vancouver Symphony's President and CEO, Jeff Alexander is moving on to the same post at the Chicago Symphony, the Vancouver Sun reports. Alexander succeeds Deborah Rutter, who recently accepted the top job at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center.
And the Edmonton Symphony was surprised by huge audience turnout for last weekend's outdoor Symphony in the City concerts, CTV News reports. The Edmonton Journal also previewed the concerts.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: September 5

Orchestra Digest: August 22

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This week: Met Opera reaches a deal, TSO tours Europe, great strides in Pittsburgh and Louisville, and a bass trombonist's remarkable comeback...

Behind the scenes at the opera
Monday's tentative Metropolitan Opera agreement included compromises on both sides, the New York Times reports. Musicians agreed to wage cuts, but management agreed to share those cuts, and to bring on an independent financial analyst to help keep the Met's budget under control.

The Canadian Opera Company has a new senior staff position, Chief Communications Officer, according to a press release posted on Broadway World. Steven Kelley, formerly director of marketing at the Houston Grand Opera, has been hired for the new position.

Canadian news
This weekend the Toronto Symphony is on tour in Europe for the first time since 2000; the Toronto Star offers a numerical account of the tour, which included stops in Amsterdam and Helsinki.

Tri-City News reports on the remarkable recovery of Vancouver Symphony bass trombonist Douglas Sparkes, who suffered a severe stroke in September 2011; he has been back with the VSO since Dec. 2012.

The Saskatoon Symphony is launching its 2014-15 season under the theme "Finding our Prairie Voice", the Star Phoenix reports. The SSO's guest artists are exclusively Canadian, and 14 are Saskatchewan natives.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: August 22

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