red tide

There’s been quite a bit of unfortunate news for American orchestras in the past week or so.  Here’s a roundup of what I’ve noticed lately.  Fortunately, there is no mention of the Oregon Symphony here – and in fact, ticket sales for next season are very strong.  I think that people here in Portland are catching on to what some of the major orchestras in the U.S. are now realizing – that we’ve got great leadership in Carlos Kalmar, along with a great orchestra and management staff.

and, sadly, the Charleston Symphony suspended operations this week:

and there was one bright spot this week, in the form of a $30 million gift – for the MET.

And though it’s great for Carlos, Levine’s additional absence from the Boston Symphony may have some long-term consequences for the orchestra.

former PYP conductor named MD of Memphis Symphony

Mei-Ann Chen, currently Assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony, has been named the new Music Director of the Memphis Symphony! Congratulations to Mei-Ann! Continue reading “former PYP conductor named MD of Memphis Symphony”

odds and ends

Oregon Symphony Resident conductor Gregory Vajda conducts a recording of music by his mentor, the composer/conductor Péter Eötvös, entitled As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams.  The recording is one of three nominated for the prestigious 2010 MIDEM Classical Award.

Conductor Leonard Slatkin has a compelling essay up on his website detailing his experience of having a heart attack during a performance in Rotterdam last month.

Composer Jennifer Higdon had her new Piano Concerto premiered by pianist Yuja Wang and the Baltimore Symphony under conductor Andrew Litton.  One of Higdon’s upcoming commissions is a work for the group eighth blackbird and orchestra, to be premiered by the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano in June 2010.