Orchestra Digest: September 7

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This week: Warring words in Minnesota; orchestra updates from London and Windsor; and audiences hear with their eyes. Here are stories we're following...
 
 
The pen is mightier
 
Former US Senator George Mitchell has been mediating talks between Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management, the New York Times reports. Last week management proposed a 2-month play and talk period, with an imposed 2-year contract with a 25% pay cut if negotiations were not successful.
 
On Thursday, musicians voted to reject that offer, the NY Times reports. Interviewed Friday on Minnesota Public Radio, musician representative Tim Zavadil affirmed musicians' support for the proposal offered by mediator George Mitchell, which included a play-and-talk but without the 25% pay cut provision. 
 
Commentaries this week included an article by former Minnesota Orchestra cellist Mina Fisher, published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; a cross-blog exchange promoted by Save Our Symphony MN; an open letter by ROPA President (and Minnesota native) Carla Lehmeier-Tatum, published in the Winona Daily News; and a letter by your OCSM executive board, featured as a letter of the day by Save Our Symphony MN
 
We encourage you to write a letter of your own. The Minnesota Orchestra Musicians' website provides a list of MOA board member contact information, with advice and plenty of examples. Please also copy your letter to: contact (at) minnesotaorchestramusicians.org, saveoursymphonymn (at) gmail.com, ocsm.secretary (at) gmail.com
 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: September 7

Orchestra Digest: August 28

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This week: Announcements, commentaries, discoveries. Here are stories we're following, as we wish you a happy Labour Day weekend! 

 

Announcements

 
This week Nashville Symphony musicians ratified a one-year agreement that includes a 15 percent pay cut, The Tennessean reports. The cuts are in line with those given to CEO Alan Valentine and music director Giancarlo Guerrero last month. The Nashville Symphony will open its 2013-14 season next Thursday, as planned.
 
August 21, 2013 was proclaimed "ICSOM Day" in Kansas City, by Mayor Sylvester "Sly" James. A Proclamation issued by the mayor is available online.
 
The Regina Symphony reported a surplus last season, its first since 2008-09. The Leader-Post interviewed executive director Maxim Antonshin about the successful year, and what's ahead for next season. 
 
The Winnipeg Free Press reports that violinist Victoria Sebastian Kereluk, a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from its inception in December 1948, died on August 18th at the age of 87. Kereluk later taught at the Banff Centre and performed as a member of the Victoria Symphony, among others.
 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: August 28

Orchestra Digest: August 23

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This week: OCSM in Saskatoon, ICSOM in Kansas City, Domain-gate in Minnesota, and happy birthday to Wagner. Here are stories we're following....
 
 
OCSM, ICSOM, and Advocacy
 
Last week's OCSM Conference in Saskatoon featured the Musicians' Pension Fund of Canada, counsel Michael Wright on age discrimination, panel discussions on symphonic media and management relations, a strategic planning exercise, and a keynote address on "Fourth Generation Theory" by Drew McManus, available at the Adaptistration blog. Delegates will be delivering their own reports; we've also posted a Conference highlights page on OCSM's website.
 
The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) is in Kansas City right now, adjourning on Saturday, August 24th. I'm here representing OCSM, and will have more news to come, but here is a great preview which appeared in the Kansas City Star.
 
As ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge says in that article, it's about advocacy. Canada has its own new Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Shelly Glover, and the Globe and Mail recently profiled her -- meet Canadian culture's new federal cop. 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: August 23

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