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The RPO board meets with the D&C

February 1, 2013

The RPO board met with the editorial board of the Democrat and Chronicle today, and also had a live Twitter feed.

An early version of the article discussing the meeting:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20130201/ENT01/302010046/Arild-Remmereit-Rochester-Philharmonic

The reason they held the meeting:
http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/editorial/?p=27056

And the Twitter feed:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/interactive/article/20130201/NEWS01/130201001/RPO-s-Owens-Rice-meet-D-C-Editorial-Board

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6 Comments
  1. ted cichanowicz permalink

    So Arild asked Rice to fire Owens awhile ago huh. Clearly he was on to something wasn’t he. Might be the reason why Owens told Betty S. that ARild would be gone within the year? Remmereit is taking all the heat but in reality Owens has not been a very popular Board leader since he arrived.
    Also I think maybe we need to know just how much interaction with ‘staff’ the other Music directors, who didn’t live in Rochester, had. Would this factor in at all? You would think anyway, that the Conductor’s MAIN function is to provide the music. Which he has done.
    Given the awful economy of the past year, its hardly fair to ‘blame’ Remmereit on reduced ticket sales. Fact is, he has begun to build a new generation of concert goers. That never ever gets mentioned by the Board.
    Finally, I don’t think the Board is shooting square by continuing to say that a large majority of the musicians were in favor of removing him. Many of the musicians are certainly not saying that. What possible sense does it make when Rice herself says Remmereit was against the musicians making concessions. This would seem to be a show of solidarity (even if unrealistic) towards the musicians.

    I don’t trust the Board and I trust Owens even less. Remmereit has hardly been his only ‘issue’ during his tenure. He needs to be removed so life can go on. The actions of the Board at the Annual meeting could only be described by many of us who attended as ‘appalling’ and unprofessional. My hunch is that a lot of this hubbub will severely fade away if Owens and Rice would do the right thing and leave instead of trying to make it sound like they are blameless and all the rest of us are morons. No matter how much of what they say contains grains of truth…it no longer matters. They are tainted and would gain much more respect if they would publicaly come out and say for the best interests of the RPO, staff, musicians, and the loyal patrons and audiences in Rochester they are stepping down so the RPO can regroup and recover.

  2. Yes, yes, and Yes! Ted, you are an extremely clear-thinking person!
    Don’t forget to go to the Democratandchronicle.com/poll and vote. The question is: Do you think Charles Owens should be fired? I can guess how you will vote…

  3. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

    – Marcus Aurelius

  4. ted cichanowicz permalink

    a couple of facebook comments are just not ringing true at all. There actually WERE many problems with Owens before Remmereit came to town. He has been controversial since he got here and make no mistake, the ‘harrassment’ incident is just one example of how and why he needs to go away. How much interaction with the ‘staff’ and the community outside of the concerts did Maestro Seaman actually have? I want to know this….and I want it to be truthful. How often did he have opportunity to ‘rock the boat’?
    The devisive one IS Owens but as long as he is CEO, this will never come out. But at this stage, whether the Maestro was hard to work with, whether he was rude, whether he made good music, whether he elevated the RPO beyond their boundaries…whatever….he is now gone and the way this whole thing came down puts a huge stain on the entire organization. Keeping the same regime in power…as part and parcel of why this came to be is like trying to put new paint over badly chipped and cracking paint. You just can’t cover it over. Its impossible, And its wrong.

  5. We can probably take these statements by the RPO board to be factually correct, though selective so as to put their position in the best light. I see no accusations against Remmereit that to me justify his firing. He was probably indiscreet in injecting himself into the concessions issue, but I feel the same way. How long are the musicians going to have to endure this roller coaster treatment that is really the result of poor fiscal forecasts by the Administration? If Remmereit’s attorney correctly describes Owens’ way of dealing with Remmereit’s requests, I think Remmereit is justified in feeling frustrated and angry. It is an unprofessional way for a CEO to operate. He should either follow through on promises made, or refuse the requests with a clear and diplomatic statement as to why implementation is impossible or undesirable. A good CEO should do his best to defuse conflict within his organization. Owens seems either to have made difficult matters worse or to have stoked controversy that could have been avoided. I cannot get out of my mind assertions by at least two people, never to my knowledge denied, that a decision was made at the very beginning to foreshorten Remmereit’s tenure. What better way to do this than to create conflicts that could have easily been avoided?

    • John Sullivan permalink

      “A good CEO should do his best to defuse conflict within his organization.”

      That, my friends, is the absolute crux of the entire issue. And to verbalize an intent to “have him gone in a year” is anathema to any kind of good faith desire to defuse conflict.

      Thank you, Mr. Saunders. Your view of this is right on target.

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