Orchestra Digest: February 1

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This week: Financial worries in the UK and Memphis, a shocking robbery in Milwaukee, and the Vancouver Symphony celebrates music of Asia. 
Financial news
While British orchestras are seeing rising attendance and appealing to younger audiences, their financial margins are getting smaller due to decreased public funding, The Independent (UK) reports. The survey data was released by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) in advance of their annual conference, in London this past week. 
The latest US orchestra to report a serious cash crunch is the Memphis Symphony, which announced a major restructuring campaign this week, the Commercial Appeal reports. On Friday civic and community leaders affirmed the importance of the MSO, pledging that the city would rally to its support, the Commercial Appeal also reported.
A recently struggling American orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, reported improved financial numbers for 2012-13, the Democrat and Chronicle reports. The RPO is readying its 2014-15 season announcement, with promises to "shake things up a bit". 

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Orchestra Digest: January 24th

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This week: New seasons for TSO and COC, departing music directors in Victoria and Regina, and remembering maestro Claudio Abbado.
Deals and departures
The Detroit Symphony has reached a 3-year agreement, including small annual wage increases, the Detroit Free Press reports. Both sides applauded the collaborative tone and lack of rancor. 
Victoria Symphony music director Tania Miller will step down in August 2017, the Times Colonist reports. Miller's tenure began in 2003, and will be names music director emerita following her departure. 
Victor Sawa announced he will step down as Regina Symphony music director following the 2015/16 season, CJME reports. That will be Sawa's 20th season leading the RSO. 
And Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb announced that he will lead negotiations with the company's 16 unions, the New York Times reports. Gelb's predecessor, Joseph Volpe, had continued leading negotiations during Gelb's 4 years as GM; the current contracts expire in July. 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: January 24th

Orchestra Digest: January 15th

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This week: An end to the MinnOrch lockout, positive numbers in Buffalo and San Antonio, and Vancouver's new festival. Here are orchestra stories we're following....
  • The Minnesota Orchestra will return to work on February 1st, ending a 15-month lockout. The Minnesota Public Radio and the Minneapolis Star Tribune covered the MinnOrch's new 3-year agreement, and reactions from all sides. It is still unclear whether Osmo Vanska might return as music director. 
  • The Buffalo Philharmonic reported a balanced budget and rising contributions in 2012-13; the Buffalo News detailed the positive numbers.  
  • The San Antonio Symphony also posted a small surplus in 2012-13, helped by advance ticket sales. The San Antonio Express-News reported on the Symphony's finances. 
  • The Vancouver Symphony launches its inaugural New Music Festival this weekend; the Georgia Straight interviews music director Bramwell Tovey, who also started Winnipeg's New Music Festival. 
  • While Hamilton Opera is ending operations, tickets for its cancelled performances will be honoured by the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Hamilton Spectator reported
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
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