Orchestra Digest: October 1

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This week: Minnesota Orchestra music director resigns, the New York City Opera liquidates, and the NACO heads to China. Here are stories we're following...
 
 
Minnesota loses Vanska
 
Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vanska has resigned, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. In a short statement given by his London agent, Vanska said, "This is a very sad day for me." Players and the board released statements expressing their regrets as well. 
 
Vanska's resignation came less than a day after the Minnesota Orchestra canceled its appearances at Carnegie Hall in November, as reported in the Pioneer Press and the New York Times.
 
Earlier in the week MinnPost featured a commentary on the deep tensions between Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management, and another about the management's most recent proposal. The lockout reaches its one year anniversary today. 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: October 1

Orchestra Digest: September 23

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This week: Bold words from Pinchas Zukerman, new seasons in Toronto and Saskatoon, a big rally in Minneapolis, and negotiations all over. Here are stories we're following...

 
Canada news
 
National Arts Centre Orchestra music director Pinchas Zukerman, who will leave the orchestra in 2015, says that major changes are needed at NACO: to its mandate, its facilities, and perhaps even its name. Zukerman's comments arose in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen last week.
 
The Toronto Symphony season opens this week, and the Detroit News reports on the opening concerts. TSO music director Peter Oundjian is well-known to Detroit audiences from his tenure with the Detroit Symphony. 
 
Novelist and Toronto Star columnist David MacFarlane writes that for those new to opera, the Canadian Opera Company's season-opening production of La Bohème is the place to start. The COC's 2013-14 season begins next week.
 
Last week Saskatoon Symphony musicians promoted their new season by hitting the streets - or more accurately, the parking lots. The Star Phoenix reports on their mini-performances as part of Saskatoon's second annual Park(ing) Day.
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: September 23

Orchestra Digest: September 15

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This week: countering negativity in Minnesota, weighing proposals in London, agreement in Baltimore, and a conductor provokes outrage in Norway. Here are stories we're following....
 
 
Minnesota Orchestra update
 
Writing in Polyphonic.org, Robert Levine took a careful read of the recent financial analysis released by the Minnesota Orchestra management, as reported in the Star Tribune. Levine points out several examples of misleading data and sloppy conclusions. 
 
Last Sunday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board posted their "Verdict on orchestra: Costs are too high". ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge response was printed this week: "Minnesota Orchestra: Star Tribune shouldn't echo leadership's dirge"
 
Minnesota Orchestra musicians made a counter-offer to management last week, the Star Tribune reports, though management disputed the validity of the counter-offer. The exchange seemed to indicate that the two sides are at least communicating. 
 
 
Orchestra London real estate battles
 
The London Free Press brought city council's consideration of two plans for new concert halls up for public debate, and found the public largely in favour of the Grand Theatre's proposal. Meanwhile, the Free Press obtained a consultant's report casting doubt on both proposals
 
Adding to the intrigue, the Free Press reports on an anonymous benefactor's pledge of $1 million to back the plan favoured by the Orchestra, which would create a new performing arts facility. 
 
Both plans got a public hearing on Wednesday, with some live updates by Free Press journalist Patrick Maloney. That's the latest report as of this writing - stay tuned for more.
 
 

Read more: Orchestra Digest: September 15

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