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New Research on Orchestra Fellowships Seeks Former Fellows

0 Polyphonic Administrator

Orchestras around the nation have responded in a variety of ways to the challenges of becoming more diverse and accessible institutions. Some have developed fellowship programs designed to support African American and Latino musicians moving from their formal music education into the ranks of professional players. The League of American Orchestras, which has a long

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El Sistema for Choruses

0 Ann Drinan

The El Sistema movement has swept the American orchestral world, with a considerable number of the almost 120 after-school programs affiliated with a professional symphony orchestra. Polyphonic has written frequently about some of these orchestra-sponsored El Sistema programs. The Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids program and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA program are perhaps the best known,

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New York Philharmonic Names Jaap van Zweden as New Artistic Director

0 Ann Drinan

NPR had a very nice piece about the NY Philharmonic’s new Music Director, Jaap van Zweden, on their evening “All Things Considered” program. You can listen here. It even includes a lesson on pronouncing his name!

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Roger Cline and the CSO Members’ Committee

0 Robert Levine

Only people who serve on orchestra committees can really understand the impact of such volunteerism on their families. That impact can be substantial, both good and bad. One example of the positive impact of such service is this article by Jennifer Mondie, a member of the National Symphony Orchestra whose activism was clearly inspired and

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Getty Grant Awards Announced

0 Ann Drinan
League_Logo

22 Orchestras Receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grants from the League of American Orchestras Intended to help stimulate growth and excellence in education and community engagement programming, the grants will fund orchestras’ long-term in-school and after-school music programs with social development components, as well as orchestras’ health and wellness programs for populations including hospital

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Hartford Symphony Ratification: Two Views

0 Ann Drinan

The musicians of the Hartford Symphony took a very difficult vote last Sunday night, after a lengthy but collegial discussion. The result was ratification of management’s “best and final” offer, which includes very significant pay cuts for the Core musicians. The entire package was a 38% reduction in musician compensation. Musicians in Hartford are closely watching developments

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When Jean Sibelius Almost Taught at the Eastman School

0 Stephen Danyew
EastmanTheatre

File this one under the category of “fascinating music school history.” According to Vincent Lenti’s 2004 book, “For the Enrichment of Community Life: George Eastman and the Founding of the Eastman School of Music,” the famed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius very nearly became a faculty member of the Eastman School to teach music theory and

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Jimmy Greene’s “Beautiful Life” CD

0 Ann Drinan

During a recent conference call among the Polyphonic team, the question arose about whether orchestra musicians ever make musical political statements. Certainly many orchestras performed for “Musicians Against Nuclear Arms” (MANA) back in the 1970s and 1980s. I personally put together a concert with the Hartford Symphony and other area musicians in 1985, featuring Benita

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Most definitely not a viola joke

0 Robert Levine

It’s not often a story this inspiring comes out of our business: Many people speak about the healing power of music, and I was lucky enough to be able to experience the truth of the idea. In the summer of 2013, I traveled with my now-wife then co-dreamer Lauren to the Middle East to bring

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DigitICE: Opening Access, Historical Records, and Performance Practice through Documentation

0 Ross Karre and Ryan Muncy
DigitICE: Opening Access, Historical Records, and Performance Practice  through Documentation

By nature, a composer’s work exists outside the bounds of human time. Works are remembered for centuries and, eventually, millennia, but the feedback loop varies greatly; it often takes years or generations for a composer’s work to receive deserved recognition. For performers, the feedback loop is immediate—sometimes rewarding, sometimes disappointing, always providing an opportunity for

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Hartford Symphony: RIP?

0 Ann Drinan

Things have gotten dire indeed in Hartford. Management issued a statement recently that unless a settlement is reached within the next few weeks, they will close down the orchestra at the end of January. In an unprecedented move, management added a service to the musicians’ schedule, requiring all contracted players (and paying them) to attend

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Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model

0 Robert Levine
League_Logo

It’s no accident that the most influential book in our field may have been Danny Newman’s Subscribe Now!.  Selling tickets by subscription has long been the foundation of orchestras’ earned revenue stream. And most orchestra musicians who’ve had to pay attention to their orchestra’s finances have heard some variant on how the subscription model is fading

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