Orchestra Digest: November 21

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This week: Montreal extends Nagano, Trudel to leave London, financial news from Kitchener-Waterloo and Windsor, and the long-term benefits of music lessons. 
Canadian music directors
The Montreal Symphony will keep Kent Nagano as its music director through 2020, the Montreal Gazette reports. Nagano has held the position since 2006. 
Critic James Inverne weighed in on the blog Classicalite, crediting Nagano with strengthening the OSM considerably during his tenure.
Alain Trudel, music director of Orchestra London, will end his term in 2014, London Community News reports. Trudel has been music director since 2011, but chose not to seek an extension.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: November 21

Orchestra Digest: November 7

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This week: a big hire for NACO, plans merge in London, Charleston decertifies, and turning great to good in Minnesota. Here are stories we're following....

Canadian orchestras in the news
The Canadian Opera Company reported a successful 2012-13 season, with record fundraising and strong artistic results. More financial details are included in a press release reprinted on Broadway World
The National Arts Centre Orchestra will tour the U.K. in 2014, CBC reports. Music Director Pinchas Zukerman will lead the tour, which will commemorate the First World War's centenary. 
And a young British conductor, Alexander Shelley, will take over as NACO's Music Director in 2015, the Globe and Mail reports.
A new hall for Orchestra London may be a step closer, CTV News London reports, as the two competing performing arts centre proposals by the Grand Theatre and the Orchestra have merged. More details about the combined plan are expected soon. 
While Toronto city politics reached a new low, the Toronto Symphony earned rave reviews for its performances of Orff, Britten, and Adès. Toronto Star critic John Terauds weighed the contrasts and coincidences.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: November 7

Orchestra Digest: October 28

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This week: Good news from Chicago, legislative wrangling in Minnesota, saving the day in Shanghai, and bad news or just bad journalism?
The good, the bad, and the ugly
The Chicago Symphony's financial health is good, the Chicago Tribune reports. The orchestra set fundraising records for the third straight year, and finished with a relatively insignificant deficit. 
The latest Milwaukee Symphony financials are not so great - a $1.8 million deficit, on recorded income of $15.86 million, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Former Journal Sentinel music critic Tom Strini also weighed in on the crisis, arguing for the orchestra's value and calling on music director Edo de Waart to take a more proactive stance. 
Minnesota state leaders are debating the value and funding of their leading cultural asset: the Minnesota Orchestra. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on former Gov. Arne Carlson's call for increased public support. 
Meanwhile, some Minnesota legislators are wondering whether previously approved funding should be revoked. The Star Tribune reports on controversy over $16 million in funding for Orchestra Hall renovations. 
The New York City Opera has been liquidated, but post-mortems continue. New York Times business writer James B. Stewart looks at the poor investing strategies that caused the NYCO endowment to dwindle from $51.6 million in 2001 to just $5.2 million by June 2013.
ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge posted an essay deploring a run of recent, negative stories in the press, including an October 5th radio piece on NPR: "It's Been a Really Bad Week for Classical Music". NPR host Arun Rath replied with a letter, and an apology on Twitter.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: October 28

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