Orchestra News

Image of an Assyrian Orchestra, from a slab in the British Museum, dating from 7th century BC. There are 7 portable harps, a dulcimer, two double flutes, and a drum.

Detroit: Drew McManus posts some recent not-so-great news about the possible binding arbitration deal the DSO musicians wanted to begin negotiation with DSO management.

Philadelphia: Management have been threatening Chapter 11 for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Honolulu: Drew also posts a link to the Liquidation Auction of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra which filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy last year after 110 years running.

Louisville: Despite the overturned Chapter 11 for the Louisville Orchestra, there are still difficulties as the LEO outlines very well.  Also notice that the Louisville Orchestra have effectively shut down the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association website which is one of the reasons we’ve been seeing Keep Louisville Symphonic in our parts.

Brazil: Brazil Symphony Orchestra to re-audition the whole orchestra???

In other news related to my research.  Last weekend as I was working on my database for ethnic orchestras (see my post Music of the Whole World: The ABCs of Intercultural Music) I was just stunned with the numbers of organizations I’ve been coming up with.  After 1990 it almost seems like an exponential blossoming of ensembles and increasingly larger and larger ensembles (this is just for North America).

Continue reading

“…and it never occurred to me that musical tastes and offerings will change as demographics change…”

Keni Washington and his OMniverse Jazz Sinfonia

Keni Washington and his OMniverse Jazz Sinfonia at the Madame Walker Theater Indianapolis 1997

So today, as I mentioned last week is a cello sectional coaching day, but I was so distracted by thoughts about the current DSO situation that I found it hard to concentrate at the task at hand.   What I also had on my mind, in light of the recent piece I rediscovered and blogged about a few days ago, Changing US Demographics and Classical Music, and especially as Elysia and I have been having a discussion about such issues in a review of a Sacramento Philharmonic concert she went to this weekend which included a composition (“New Conception”) by Egyptian Composer, Nader Abassi, was the quote (in the title of this blog post).

It was a response to a possible solution for the DSO that I had made back in August at the Cello Chat forums.   I tend to envision an orchestral world that isn’t so dominated by European styled Orchestras sure–and I’m not at all shy about stating my desire to form my own World Music Orchestra that would be international in a way that Orthodox Orchestras will probably never be. Continue reading

“DSO: Change tune or be replaced”

Was going to get in a little practicing before leaving to go teach when I saw the latest development regarding the Detroit Symphony Orchestra current predicament after the Orchestra musicians vote no to the latest offer by the DSO this weekend.  A brief snippet below:

Players pressured to take tougher deal than they rejected

Lawrence B. Johnson / Special to The Detroit News

A very different Detroit Symphony Orchestra could emerge in the coming months unless the DSO musicians reverse themselves and agree to terms even more stringent than the offer they rejected over the weekend.

The DSO administration is prepared to move forward with a newly assembled group of players that would include only those members of the current orchestra who agree to unilaterally presented terms, DSO Vice President Paul Hogle said Sunday.


Without setting a date, Hogle said the time has come for a new symphony model to emerge, an ensemble that not only plays traditional concerts but also fully engages the community as ambassadors, educators and performers.

DSO cellist Haden McKay, shocked by the news that management may simply move on with replacements, said the plan is the equivalent of “an atom bomb.”

DSO violinist and musicians’ spokesman Joe Goldman said, “What kind of orchestra does (board chairman) Stanley Frankel think he’s going to have without any professional musicians in it?”

The full article is at the following link:


Drew McManus has posted a good synopsis of the situation as it unfolded as well as some more info here:


EDIT (03:11):  and my old cello teacher (and still a mentor, even if he may not know it) makes some very good points in his recent blog post about the situation: