Orchestra Digest: May 12

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This week: Winnipeg Symphony takes Manhattan, big plans in Windsor, a final season for the Green Bay Symphony, and the NY Times considers the status of the artist today. 
 
 
Canadian orchestras in the news
 
The Winnipeg Symphony represented Canada in this year's Spring for Music at Carnegie Hall - the final year of the festival - and brought the soul of a city, as music director Alexander Mickelthwaite told CBC News.
 
Writing in the New York Classical Review, critic George Grella called the WSO's Carnegie Hall performance "surprising and spectacular", singling the orchestra out for its eccentric program. 
 
On now, the Hamilton Philharmonic's annual What's Next festival explores a full range of Canadian composers; it's led by the HPO's composer-in-residence and festival co-director Abigail Richardson-Schulte, the Hamilton Spectator reports.
 
Victoria Symphony composer-in-residence Michael Oesterle talked with the Times-Colonist about his time with the orchestra, and the completion of his Home cycle, which addresses the experiences of immigrants to Canada. 
 
And Windsor Symphony music director Robert Franz spoke with OurWindsor.ca as his first season wrapped, and considered upcoming projects, including a new national competition for young musicians. 
 
 
News from the US
 
The Alabama Symphony reached a 3-year agreement with musicians, including 2% salary increases each season, Birmingham News reported.
 
Next season will be the last for the Green Bay Symphony, Press-Gazette Media reports. The board cited poor financial support, falling attendance and subscriptions, and high costs for its decision to dissolve the orchestra. 
 
And New York Times film critic A.O. Scott wrote an essay called The Paradox of Art as Work, amidst extreme shifts in the artistic and digital marketplace.
 
 
Compiled by Matt Heller, Calgary Philharmonic and OCSM Past President. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php

Orchestra Digest: May 2nd

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This week: More on the international ivory ban; a new CEO in Toronto; a classical high in Denver; and Vänskä returns to Minnesota. Here are stories we're following...

 

Ivory ban

With the Winnipeg Symphony's performance at Carnegie Hall just days away, stage supervisor Lawrence Rentz is working overtime to get instruments there safely, Global News reports. WSO production staff are also ensuring that the orchestra is in compliance with the US restrictions on imported ivory and rosewood.

The import ban has already affected one prospective Winnipeg Symphony audition candidate: Taddes Korris, an Edmonton-born double bassist studying at Manhattan School of Music, cancelled his audition plans due to the new policy, CBC News reports

The AFM requests musicians sign a petition and fill out a survey related to the ivory ban - the deadline for both is today. Please follow this link to complete both!

 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: May 2nd

Orchestra Digest: April 12

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This week: More CBC cuts, the San Diego Opera reconsiders closure, and the Canadian Arts Summit considers how we select leaders. Here are stories we're following....
 
 
Public policy 
 
News broke this week that the CBC will cut 657 jobs and eliminate programs due to a projected $130 million budget shortfall, the Globe and Mail reports. The cuts represent about 8 percent of the broadcaster's current workforce.  
 
New restrictions on ivory importation to the US could severely limit musicians' travel and touring, as NPR News reports. The Cleveland Orchestra has warned the restrictions may interfere with the orchestra's plans to tour Europe this fall, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
 
The Canadian Arts Summit met last month in Banff, and a hot topic was recruiting new arts leaders - and to what extent (if at all) Canadian candidates should get preference to foreigners. A commentary in the Toronto Star considers the controversy.
 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: April 12

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