Orchestra Digest: August 10

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This week: Victoria's peaceful Splash, the TSO's latest recording, cultural agency leadership, and symphonic player conferences. Here's what we're following....
Symphony and the City
Mozart may or may not make you smarter, but apparently symphony concerts can make cities more peaceful... The Victoria News was on the beat last Sunday, when the Victoria Symphony performed for a crowd of 40,000 without a single call for police service. 
The Atlanta Symphony's reduced season has had an impact on Atlanta's music scene, Arts Atlanta reports, with a 10-week drought of classical music concerts this summer. (Note: The ASO is slated to return to a 52-week season in 2013-14.)
Symphonic music lives on in Albuquerque, thanks to the newly formed New Mexico Philharmonic. A commentary in the Albuquerque Journal reviews the demise of the New Mexico Symphony, and the creative efforts of musicians including ROPA president (and cellist) Carla Lehmeier-Tatum to form the new orchestra.
The Hawaii Symphony, which emerged after the Honolulu Symphony's liquidation in 2009, this week announced the launch of its second season, the Kansas City Star reports. The HSO managed to break even in its first season, in 2011-12, but 2012-13 was completely cancelled, and 2013-14 will be significantly shorter. (Note: ICSOM Delegate Steve Flanter provided a correction of misleading information in the original article.) 
On Tuesday, the Toronto Symphony released its 8th recording on its own TSO Live label, Broadway World reports. The recording includes live performances of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, and is being sold via download and at Roy Thomson Hall. 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: August 10

Orchestra Digest: August 2

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This week: Suffering for our art, the TSO's Andrew Shaw departs, AFM President Ray Hair re-elected, and much more. Here are stories we're following...
Symphonic Life
The Montreal Symphony will present 30 concerts of 45 minutes or less during its two-day "A Cool Classical Journey," Broadway World reports. The festival takes place August 16-17. 
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson will travel to China alongside the National Arts Centre Orchestra this fall, the Ottawa Citizen reports. He will engage in trade talks, and also attend a NACO performance with Chinese officials.
Today's Los Angeles Times catalogues the ways classical musicians suffer for their art, physically. Torn rotator cuffs, hearing loss, hernias, and crippling tendinitis all get mention, as do rotations and time-off policies that can help. 
Climbing ticket sales at the National Arts Centre Orchestra have been credited to expanded programming, CBC reports. Managing Director Christopher Deacon says, "We're trying to appeal to a younger audience taste, so that's evolving."

Read more: Orchestra Digest: August 2

Orchestra Digest: July 3

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This week: Good news in Winnipeg; analysis of the Steinway deal; symphonic toothpicks in Ottawa; and Eddins on diversity. Here are stories we're following...

Accentuating the Positive 

  • The Winnipeg Symphony posted its sixth consecutive surplus in 2012-13, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. The positive financials benefitted from a 10 percent increase in ticket revenue, and an artistically successful season. 
  • "We are turning a corner," new Jacksonville Symphony board chair Martin Connor told the Florida Times-Union. Newly approved changes reduce the board's size, and aim to make members more engaged. Musicians signed an agreement this April, following long and contentious negotiations.
  • The Omaha Symphony generated $45 million in economic activity over the past five years, WOWT reports. Produced by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research, the economic impact study accompanied strong attendance and financial numbers announced by the Omaha Symphony this week.  
  • Responding to criticism in London's city council, Orchestra London board chair Joe O'Neill promised "an aggressive initiative (focused) on increasing corporate revenue", the London Free Press reports.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: July 3

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