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Orchestras: May 2008 Archives

Love Triangle


Making noise

Misunderstood and underappreciated, percussion players step forward to tell their story.

By Graydon Royce
Star Tribune

For three hours, Joe Nathan sits and watches the Minnesota Twins play ball. Then, the relief pitcher is asked to get three quick outs in the ninth inning. In 2007, the Twins played 1,458 innings. Nathan pitched in 72. Yet if he fails, a victory is lost. He is indispensable to the club.

Imagine now the percussionist perched at the back of the Minnesota Orchestra. He waits in fretful anticipation as the instruments around him furiously exhaust themselves, playing Mahler's Ninth Symphony. Finally, Osmo Vänskä fixes his eyes on the percussion section and gestures for the cymbals.

Read more about this at the Star Tribune website:

Breakthrough in Vienna


Staatsoper Taps Woman Concertmaster

By Susan Elliott
Musical America

Thursday, May 8, 2008 may go down in history as a major milestone in classical music. The Wiener Staatsoper, most of whose orchestra members comprise the Vienna Philharmonic, appointed a woman as its concertmaster. Albena Danailova, of Sofia, takes first chair in September. According to custom, if all goes well for two years, she will then move into the position permanently.

Her appointment is significant for two reasons: One, she is the first woman to have the post at the Staatsoper, and two, in her new job she will oversee a core of instrumentalists – the Vienna Philharmonic – that has long deemed women musicians to be inferior to men.

Read more about this at the website:

End of the Road in Columbus

Columbus Symphony

Symphony will shut down for summer with future in doubt

Picnic with the Pops series canceled

By Jeffrey Sheban
The Columbus Dispatch

After 57 years of music making, including a triumphant concert in New York's Carnegie Hall, the Columbus Symphony says it will shut down June 1.

Out of money and having failed to reach a new labor agreement with the musicians, the orchestra's board of trustees said today that it is canceling the summer Picnic With the Pops and Popcorn Pops series and most likely its 2008-09 season, scheduled to begin in October.

Columbus would become one of the nation's largest cities without a full-time professional orchestra.

Read more about this at The Columbus Dispatch website:

Riccardo Muti

Muti to be Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director

By F.N. d'Alessio (AP)
San Jose Mercury News

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association named maestro Riccardo Muti on Monday as the next music director of the CSO, the 10th conductor to hold the prestigious post.

CSO Association President Deborah Card announced that Muti, 66, had signed a five-year contract to serve as music director beginning in September of the 2010-2011 season. The post has been vacant since Daniel Barenboim retired in 2006.

Under the terms of the contract, Muti will conduct a minimum of 10 weeks of CSO subscription concerts each season, plus lead the orchestra in domestic and international tours.

Read more about this at the San Jose Mercury News website: