Orchestras in the news
The Toronto Symphony announced its 2015-16 season last week with an emphasis on the orchestra rather than high-profile soloists, as the National Post reports. "If you constantly bring in superstars, you can undermine people's view of the orchestra as the jewel," music director Peter Oundjian said. The Globe and Mail also previewed the TSO's new season.
And shows are still on for London-based symphonic rock group Jeans 'n Classics, the Free Press reports. Leader Peter Brennan wants people to know that the group is very much a going concern; they broke off their affiliation with Orchestra London in 2012.
Management and musicians of the San Francisco Symphony reached a new 3-year agreement through November 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Two years ago, a brief strike cancelled several concerts and an East Coast tour.
Canadian orchestras (and Opera) in the news
Windsor Symphony executives will go before city council on Monday, seeking to extend its agreement to manage the city's Capitol Theatre, the Windsor Star reports. Executive Director Sheila Wisdom credits new music director Robert Franz, quality musicianship, and strong programming for the orchestra's recent successes.
This week: We again focus a separate edition on news from London, where musicians continue to garner popular support, while former manager Joe Swan wades into controversy.
Many OL musicians also performed on the Serenata chamber music series, (London Free Press report) and a "community connection" concert this past Wednesday conducted by Uri Mayer (London Free Press report). They are promoting their performances with the Twitter hashtag #WePlayOn.
London Institute Director Amir Farahi wrote an opinion piece for the London Community News, arguing that arts organizations deserve municipal support. Farahi points out that the cultural sector directly contributes $540 million to London's GDP.
Former OL executive director Joe Swan continues to face media scrutiny, including a Free Press investigative report focused on questionable consulting contracts. Among the paid consultants was Swan's son, an 18-year old dance student at the time.
Many OL employees were never paid, the Free Press reports, including accounting firm NPT. The unpaid bill is further delaying the city council's calls for audited financials.
London Mayor Matt Brown and his staff are evaluating a proposal by Centennial Hall to showcase the Musicians of Orchestra London in three concerts this spring, CTV News reports. Centennial Hall manager Don Jones hopes the concerts will prove that the orchestra can be a successful business model. Representing the musicians, concertmaster Joe Lanza said this was the first he had heard of the proposal.
The proposal for a new London performing arts centre remains viable, according to London lawyer and lead promoter Jamie Caskey, the Free Press reported. Caskey represents Music London, an organization which included Orchestra London; a feasibility study by independent consultant firm Novita is now in the works.
Compiled by Matt Heller, OCSM 1st VP. http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php.
- A Call to Action: support musicians of Orchestra London
- Orchestra Digest: December 21
- Orchestra Digest: Orchestra London update, Dec. 19th
- Orchestra Digest: December 6th
- Orchestra Digest: November 21
- Orchestra Digest: November 14
- Orchestra Digest: November 1
- Orchestra Digest: October 24
- Orchestra Digest: October 17
- ATL Symphony: Call to Action!