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Request for new annual meeting denied

April 15, 2013

On April 11, 2013, State Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Fisher heard oral arguments in the case filed against Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra by attorney Eileen Buholtz. Ms. Buholtz’ s petition sought to set aside of the January 23rd annual meeting of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Inc. because of its many violations of its by-laws and the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. By decision and order dated April 15, 2013, the Hon. Kenneth Fisher denied Ms. Buholtz’s requests on all grounds.


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  1. ted cichanowicz permalink

    For some reason, this is a ‘battle’ that can’t be won. I still maintain that true harmony won’t be achieved until Charlie Owens steps down. At least then, healing can begin.

  2. Jennie Oberholtzer permalink

    We have not and will not resubscribe nor donate money nor volunteer until both Charlie Owens and Betsy Rice are no longer part of the RPO family. Does anyone know how the mutual lawsuits (Arild vs. RPO, RPO vs. Arild) stand at this point??

  3. The court decision confirmed what I had feared: that the court would be reluctant to intervene in the affairs of the RPO short of evidence for massive and deliberate fraud. It did not matter that the Board skated close to the edge of what they thought they could get away with, never mind democracy, transparency, and fair play.

    As for me, I did renew my RPO subscription because I want to see how the next season plays out. The list of guest conductors does not encourage me. Only one of the 13 (I do not count Christopher Seaman as a guest conductor) have I ever heard of, Hugh Wolf. The optimist in me would like to believe that there is a so far unrecognized Leonard Bernstein in the group. The pessimist in me says that the RPO is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Who with reasonable prospects elsewhere would want to come to Rochester after the treatment accorded Arild Remmereit?

    If Ms. Buholtz and her colleagues wish to continue their efforts to reform the RPO, there is precedent from the 1960’s of a successful effort to replace Board nominees. But that is going to require the assembly of a usable membership list in the face of Board stonewalling, and much effort to publicize the reasons for their discontent and the remedies they propose.

    Again, I point out to the disillusioned that much good music is available at the ESM from the Kilbourn Series, the Ranlet Series, as well as local students and artists. These smaller venues also have less pressure to accommodate to the most conservative members of the audience and more freedom to experiment. Especially noteworthy has been the stimulating Spring series featuring contemporary music ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound and the Jack Quartet.

    • Mr. Saunders,

      If Dawn Lipson and Debby Wilson are to be believed, there are 100 conductors that have applied for the position. Are they any good? I can’t say. Music is extremely competitive.

      Since the board and management seem to be unified with the musicians union against any board changes, it will be some time before changes are made.

      I’ll be going to at least one Eastman concert soon, myself.

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