A New Think Tank On The Future Of Orchestras

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“Andrew Balio sees the Future Symphony Institute as a first step toward creating a permanent orchestra think tank, perhaps sponsored by a foundation or university someday. Whether or not that happens, the Baltimore session promises to add fresh food for thought, starting with how the institute came about.”

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Fed-Up Riccardo Muti Quits Rome Opera

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In a letter to the director of the chaotic, strike-plagued, financially unstable house, the conductor wrote, “There are no conditions [there] to ensure the serenity necessary to my leading successful productions.”

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Atlanta Symphony Lockout: Donald Runnicles Speaks (Very) Frankly

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“The lockout is essentially the board and management punishing the orchestra … It’s a one-sided attempt to force the orchestra to its collective knees. It also paints the orchestra as this intransigent group of musicians. But in fact they have shown extraordinary willingness to come to a common agreement, as what happened two years ago proves.”

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Labor War Over, Met Opera’s Army Mobilizes For Opening Night

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“The Met is an enormous operation – more than 1,500 people go to work there some days – and the weeks before opening night are among the busiest of the year. … A day spent backstage at the Met this week as the company prepared for its opening night on Monday provided a snapshot of the work, care and expense that go into putting on opera.” (includes video)

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Danish Radio Disbands Its Chamber Orchestra

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“Denmark’s state broadcaster DR announced yesterday that budget cuts would see its chamber orchestra close in January. DR’s Danish National Chamber Orchestra or ‘Underholdningsorkestret’ – previously known as the Danish Radio Sinfonietta – will cease playing in January though it would appear DR’s symphony orchestra will remain unaffected.”

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The Met Cuts 22 Nonunion Jobs

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“The company said it had eliminated nonunion positions across the opera house, cutting jobs in its artistic, finance, marketing, development, and technical departments — through attrition in some cases, but primarily through layoffs.”

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Why Do Jazz Fans Have No Sense Of Humor?

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“Jazz already has an unfair reputation for being unapproachable, difficult, and humorless: See Keith Jarrett cursing out festival attendees for snapping photos, or Gary Peacock shooing Elvis Costello offstage in disgust. But if jazz has a humor problem, it’s mostly afflicting fans and critics, not practitioners.”

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San Francisco Opera Signs Contract With Orchestra – And No Acrimony!

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“With a minimum of strife or public posturing, members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra have ratified a new contract with the company that provides the musicians with annual raises of 3 percent a year for the next four years … [and] changes to the musicians’ health coverage that are expected to save the company $300,000 to $400,000 annually.”

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Qatar Philharmonic Music Director Han-Na Chang Quits Mid-Tour

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“The musical director who took Qatar’s fledgling orchestra to the BBC Proms has quit, less than 24 hours after its triumphant debut at the festival in London. The shock departure of Han-Na Chang, the star cellist hired a year ago to transform the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra into a world-class ensemble, came amid reports of clashes with its management.”

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