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Trouble in the Pit

January 14, 2013

The article “Trouble in the Pit” from The Economist discusses pay cuts being forced on orchestra members around the country and concludes with this comment from an arts consultant:  “[M]usicians in certain orchestras are being forced to pay for managers’ past mistakes, including aggressive empire building and insufficient provision for bad times.”

What were the RPO musicians forced to accept in their contract?

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  1. We were absolutely not forced to accept this contract. The musicians understand the financial climate in this country for the arts and and saddened by the fact that people who dont get their way have chosen to not give to the orchestra, This action only hurts the musicians and does nothing to help Mr Remmereit with the RPO or any other future orchestra he has the opportunity to conduct. I am aware you will take this comment off your site since it does not agree with your opinions — but there is the first ammendment right on all sides of this fiasco and I would hope responsible adults would welcome all opinions. Your are not doing Mr Remmereit any favors by your behaviours. I have been in this orchestra since Mr Zinman and Have been a proud member of this orchestra since 1975 and the Rochester community since I came to Eastman in 1970.

    • Peter Maurer permalink

      Ms Kemp,

      The RPO management says that fundraising is great in their discussion with the press, yet you suggest otherwise. Can you elaborate as to what’s going on? Details are absent.

      The “people who don’t get their way” are likely numerous and assist in paying your salary. Aren’t you interested in their opinion?

      Here’s my perspective, and the perspective of many others: the RPO have never played so well and so consistently except under the baton of Maestro Remmereit. (Though I should state I was born after the Zinman years.) You all sound amazing! By the end of a performance, we want more! Even my friends who have never had an appreciation for classical want to come back! Isn’t that what you want? To know that your hard work paid off? To know that thousands of people are giving their extended applause because they genuinely appreciate the marvelous creation you have brought forth? Don’t you want more and new people coming to see you perform?

  2. Your comment is right here, Kathy. It has not been taken down, and I highly doubt it will be. Our moderator DID remove a remark by one of the Board’s and CEO’s most vigorous opponents because it urged booing, and we don’t want to encourage such action.

    So a supporter’s comment has been taken down, and yours is here. You obviously don’t “get it,” and that is saddening.

    We are decent people who support Maestro Remmereit and clamor for positive change in the management of the RPO. You have no “first amendment right” to post on a website set up by a group you oppose; we are not a news outlet. And yet we leave your plea on here.

    We are not merely “people who don’t get their way.”

    We are serious about what we believe in. When people vote with their checkbooks, or write stipulations at the bottom of their checks, it is NOT out of any small whim. They are serious about donating to a musical organization that is efficiently and professionally run. No one has questioned the musicians’ prowess. But the act of terminating Maestro Remmereit’s contract and the way in which it was done calls into question the professionalism of the Board and management. And until serious change takes place, I expect many of those checkbooks will remain closed.

    In other words, your bosses have caused this problem, and the withholding of funds. THEY are responsible for fundraising. On top of their $750,000 deficit, they are returning checks and driving away donations.

    Kathy, maybe it’s time you told THEM that their actions are hurting the musicians?

    BTW, I know you were not forced to accept this contract. But maybe management would have made a better offer if they understood and heeded their donating public.

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