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January 24, 2013

The RPO issues are receiving national and international attention with headlines on the influential website.

Rochester Philharmonic – Coup In The Making?

Cellist Ingrid Bock’s statement is becoming a subject of intense interest on Noman Lebrecht’s “Slipped Disc” website:

From → Uncategorized

  1. Jane Schuster permalink

    It is hard to believe that this conflict is going on. To save the orchestra and to restore Rochesterian’s faith in the process, from the beginning I have thought that the Board should be replaced en masse and an open and fair representative board that has the trust of donors, orchestra members, and the public should replace it. We need a fresh wind to sweep the situation clean.

    Considering the uproar the board’s decision has caused, in the interest of community, the present board should step down, egos aside. Not to do so is tragic. Let the future in instead of clinging to an outmoded past.

  2. Jane Schuster permalink

    What does “awaiting moderation” mean?

  3. Amie Klepper Bush permalink

    The Board has terminated Arild effective immediately. What the heck is going on over there?! I will not attend another concert of the RPO as long as Rice or Owens is still in place. Fools, power-hungry fools. I was at the JoAnn Faletta concert where Owens was booed. I wished the entire audience would have booed him off the stage. He does not “represent” anyone but himself. He should be immediately dismissed and Arild reinstated. What a buffoon. What a travesty this is. It makes me sick.

  4. Booing someone for dedicating a concert to victims of a massacre is not acceptable no matter WHO gives it. It was announced before he went out who was coming out and why, and even though the intent of the boos was clear to those who were aware of the conflict, it was not at all appropriate for a sentiment that came not just from him, but from the whole RPO organization, most importantly the musicians. I don’t know Bill Owens personally or professionally, so I have no idea if he should be ousted, but that shouldn’t matter. Basic human decency, respect, and maturity should have kicked in.

    Ms. Bush, I don’t know what you do, but imagine you’re a musician on the stage. Your gift is to be able to play music, to move emotions, and to express yourself in a uniquely beautiful way, with your colleagues, many of whom have become much more than deskmates. You want to pour your emotions and bring some sort of peace to the audience through your music, and you want the audience to know that you and your colleagues dedicate this performance, and all the music and emotion that comes with it, to victims of a massacre. By no fault of your own, the deliverer of this message is someone who is embroiled in a conflict, and as you physically and mentally prepare yourself for the first notes, you hear booing. As a musician myself, I can only imagine myself being filled with anger and hurt that someone would defile what you were trying to offer for one of the purest causes imaginable. You may think it sounds sappy, but this is our life, and this is one of the ways that we grieve. Put yourself in the musician’s shoes.


    Peter Maurer, I hope that you stick to your statement in the comments of the D&C article “Don’t use bullying tactics amid RPO disagreement” regarding booing… I would hope that you would have something to contribute to this discussion…

    • rpocommunity permalink

      Mr. Marini,

      What Mr. Owens did the night he was booed was unwise. Had he understood how popular the Maestro was–something that could have been gleaned had Owens not aggregated the ticket sales of all concerts–he would have avoided the stage. Also, Owens’ presence seemed quite insincere. How does one dedicate a concert that was already planned, unless one means to dedicate a portion of revenues from that performance?

      As for manners, I’m having a hard time with that. How do I handle this situation? Several individuals were dismissed Wednesday night in a way that was…disturbing. Were it just me in this fight, I’d take my money (which, admittedly, isn’t much) and walk away. One of two things would happen: 1) The RPO would fail due to an overwhelming lack of public support of like-minded patrons; or 2) it would survive or perhaps even thrive without me. It would be easy for me to put this in the past.

      However, it is not just me. There is a large community of people whom I have connected with, and are equally outraged.

      In my job, I’m an auditor (not the accounting kind, I’m afraid). I conduct interviews of people regarding administering and receiving government benefits, and must glean a picture of how an organization runs, and discern whether someone is telling the truth. I’ve found glaring inconsistencies with the board’s story. For example, why did Ms Rice neglect to mention that Owens was given an adviser, when she mentioned Remmereit was assigned one? This has happened repeatedly, and happened multiple times at the Members Meeting. Thus, I have determined that the character of many of the board leaders is flawed. Given all that Rochester has already lost recently due to greed, arrogance, and lack of foresight, must we even give up our visionary Music Director? The Maestro who has reminded us that we have a heritage to be proud of and must continue to build upon?

      So what do I do? Do I stay at home and argue on the internet? Do I picket silently in freezing weather? (I don’t do the shouting/chanting thing well.) Writing the RPO and board seems to have no impact. My voice as a subscriber, member, patron, customer, and community member is clearly not heard or recognized, nor are the voices of other members in our community. Many on the board, in my opinion, have practiced deceit, and I feel they must resign. So tell me, how can I make my voice heard in an effective manner without being rude? “Nothing” is not an option, and it shouldn’t be in a town that has spoken against injustice in the past.

      • Mr. Rpocommunity, who I assume is Mr. Maurer,

        Thank you for your response. I do appreciate that you took the time. And of course, I understand your dilemma and frustration with lack of ways to be heard, especially based on the description of the latest Annual Meeting. I won’t for a second try and tell you that you shouldn’t be upset, or that you shouldn’t express yourself. My point was this: there is a marked difference between manners and inappropriateness.

        I would illustrate it thus: to vocally protest “out of turn” at the Annual Meeting would be considered bad manners, but I seriously doubt that anyone would be offended by it. Annoyed? Maybe. But while people are making personal pleas on behalf of their vision for the orchestra, I think it’s reasonable to say that no one would really feel that their views are devalued or being distracted, because it’s all the same thing: about how to proceed with the orchestra. On the flip side, to have the same kind of outburst during a completely unrelated (and what I would consider more emotional or more tender subject) would fall into what I call inappropriateness. While it’s clear we agree on whether it constitutes bad manners, your response has left plenty of wiggleroom for the argument “well, there was just no other way to express ourselves”.

        I’m disappointed that you wouldn’t take a more firm stance. Here’s what I would consider an appropriately direct response:

        “I DO NOT condone the booing of any guest conductor, nor the orchestra itself. There are other means of expressing one’s feelings on the subject that would be more effective in this community. I feel the same way about picketing…I DO feel that more passive forms:of voicing our opinion–handing out leaflets and buttons, and posting on the internet–are fair game and much more effective.” – Peter Maurer, in the comments from the D&C article “Don’t use bullying tactics amid RPO disagreement” (

  5. Amie Klepper Bush permalink

    Your argument doesn’t hold up because the booing was NOT directed towards the musicians. I think they’re all bright enough to be able to discern that. In would actually be in SUPPORT of the musicians, who are being used as pawns in a political power struggle between the Chair of the Board, who seems to have some kind of personal beef with Mr. Remmereit and is behaving like a smug jerk, throwing his weight around and acting like he should be making artistic decisions for the orchestra, and Mr. Remmereit. From what I can tell, he seems to have had it in for Arild from the start.

    Given the climate that night, I think it would have been appropriate for the RPO to choose ANYONE to deliver that message on stage, rather than the polarizing Mr. Owens. His presence detracted from the somber moment because of he himself, not because of the reaction to him.

    But this isn’t about that. That was simply my anger at this godawful situation. I’d like to run Owens and Rice out of town on a rail, if I had any say at all. This whole thing is a cryin’ shame.

    • With all due respect, Ms. Bush, my argument *does* hold up because I know from personal contact with my friends who play in the RPO (and from posts on the RPO Facebook page) that this was their reaction. Any insinuation that taking offense from the booing is a reflection on their intelligence is more a reflection on one’s inabiliity to put yourself in their shoes.

      Do I think you shouldn’t be angry at Owens? Nope, I’m not going to say that. Do I think they should have picked someone else to deliver the message? Sure. But do I also think that it’s reasonable that adults act with maturity and respect in the face of this tragedy whose pain and grief was especially fresh at the time? Absolutely.

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