Sunday, October 15, 2006

He sleeps with the Trout Quintet?

On the Musicfront, in Seattle:

The past six months represent some of the most divisive and troubled moments in the history of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, with some orchestra members expressing bitter opposition to Gerard Schwarz, music director for more than two decades, as well as internecine battles among the musicians.

Stimulated by the renewal of Schwarz's contract in the spring, the conflict became increasingly nasty and violent: instruments were vandalized, cars keyed, anonymous phone calls made, mail stolen from backstage mail slots and doorbells at musicians' homes rung anonymously at night.

....John Cerminaro, principal French horn since 1995, is the main target, with Scott Goff, principal flute for more than 35 years, a secondary one. Both are regarded as prime allies of Schwarz.

In late September, Cerminaro found in his Benaroya mail box a razor in a magazine and, in a separate episode, a cup of hot coffee, both of which could have caused serious damage to his hands.

Friday morning at an orchestra rehearsal, Mary Ann Champion, interim executive director, addressed the musicians on what she termed, in an earlier interview, "a safe work environment and incidents backstage." She said she did not plan to mention any names but would tell musicians that management "will not accept inappropriate behavior" and promised "increased security."

The reaction by orchestra members was mixed, sources said. One key player gave Champion the finger as she left the podium.

Cerminaro's comments were subdued. "I have been the principal French horn with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony and the American Symphony Orchestra, and I have never seen anything like this. Beyond that I will not comment."

Next; checking to see just what's in those violin cases?

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