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$85 Million Fund for Cincinnati Music


Dave Horne

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link to NY Times article

 

Arts, Briefly

$85 Million Fund for Cincinnati Music

 

 

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Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF

Published: December 11, 2009

 

Oh, how lucky to be a Cincinnati musician. Louise Dieterle Nippert, a 98-year-old minority owner of the Cincinnati Reds whose fortune descended from a founder of Procter & Gamble, has established an $85 million fund to support classical music in the city. Announced Thursday night, the fund will provide about $3 million a year to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, or 75 percent of the funds annual distributions; $500,000, or 12 percent, to the Cincinnati Opera; and $200,000, or 5 percent, to the Cincinnati Ballet. The rest will go to an array of smaller musical institutions. The Cincinnati Symphony cut staff recently and has built up about $3.8 million in accumulated deficit. The gift provides some breathing room for a major regional orchestra at a time when music institutions have been severely strapped in their finances.

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Ironically, this is bad news for many musicians:

 

For the past 30-40 years, the Cinci Ballet had an orchestra made up of freelance musicians. This gift means that they lost their jobs.

 

http://www.doublereed.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?id=7673

Yes, this is big news. However, the Cincinnati Ballet has had its own orchestra for the past 30+ years, and this "transformational gift" to the CSO completely does away with the Ballet Orchestra. The 45 or so players in the ballet orchestra are now out of a job. The new executive director of the CSO seems to be intent on taking as much of the work in the Cincinnati area as he can and having the CSO play it, instead of the freelancers. The takeover of the ballet is only the beginning - I expect there will be a lot less performing work for the non-CSO musicians here.

 

Quality-wise, it's probably a good move. It's just a shame when any musician has to lose a gig.

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So Dave, what is your cut?

 

By the way, Ballet orchestras have been under fire for quite some time. The Pittsburgh Ballet fired their orchestra three or so years ago, and have only taken them back provisionally, and only for a handful of ballets per season. This move in Cinci might or might not have cost the Ballet Orchestra musicians their jobs, but it probably saved live music for the ballet. And I can tell you that a major performance of ballet in a major venue from recorded music is definitely lacking.

 

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, the PSO is so busy that they will never be a threat to the other musicians in town.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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So Dave, what is your cut?

 

If I've informed just one person, I have received all the award I need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:laugh:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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So Dave, what is your cut?

 

If I've informed just one person, I have received all the award I need. :laugh:

 

In our area they formed a regional 1% sales tax that was supposed to support the arts. We're already paying for two new stadiums, the old one that they tore down, and we are getting stuck for a piece of the University of Pittsburghs new basketball hall (supposed to be $68 million, but ended up over $200 million) and I know we'll get hit for the cost of the new ice arena for the Penguins. But somehow the sports teams managed to get their hands on over 90% of this tax, with the remaining percentage being split among over 150 arts organizations. This just pisses me off to no end, as sports teams are for profit enterprises and should not be supported by the government (or at least, not until they stop paying their workers hundreds of millions of dollars for 5, 6, or 7 year contracts), everyone involved in sports is running around in limos and own huge mansions in gated communities and the arts organizatiuons go begging, but in a study done a couple of years ago it was shown that more people attend events in the Cultural District each year than go to all of the games of the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins combined. But we still pump our money into the hands of rich cats. Senseless.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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It is admirable that money was left to the Arts. Indirectly, it could lead to more opportunities for other musos. Especially if the trustees are benevolent and/or have no desire to maintain a personal retirement fund. ;)

 

OTOH, it is an unfortunate by-product of capitalism that "well to do" entities get the lion's share of welfare, er, bailout, er, loose change and are still allowed to keep their own profits too. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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So Dave, what is your cut?

 

By the way, Ballet orchestras have been under fire for quite some time.

 

Cleveland doesn't have a Ballet. They moved to San Jose 10 years ago. For several years we have visiting companies 4 weeks a year. That ended, too expensive and the audience turnout was poor.

 

Ballet is a dying world.

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ballet - you can't get that kind of sleep at home!

 

Ah yes, Texas! When I think of culture, I think of Texas. ;)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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ballet - you can't get that kind of sleep at home!

 

Ah yes, Texas! When I think of culture, I think of Texas. ;)

 

To some folk, it ain't dance if it don't involve a brass pole and a handful of $1 bills.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Ah yes, Texas! When I think of culture, I think of Texas. ;)

 

The [Houston Theater] district, with 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,580 movie seats, ranks second in the United States [behind NYC] for the number of theater seats in a concentrated downtown area and is one of only five cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines (the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Ballet, and The Alley Theatre).

More than two million people visit the Houston Theater District annually to experience its magic and excitement.

 

The Alley Theatre received the 1996 Tony Award for best regional theatre.

 

Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the U.S. to win a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy.

 

Houston Ballet is the fifth largest ballet troupe in the country and the youngest of the major national dance companies in America.

 

The Houston Symphony performs more than 200 concerts throughout the world for more than 300,000 people each year.

 

What do you have Dave? Bill? :P

 

Source 1, source 2

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Since you asked: From the Benedum website....

 

Registered with the National Trust for Historic Places, the Pittsburgh Benedum Center and has been named the "Number One Auditorium in the U.S." by Billboard magazine. It features a stage comparable in size to the Paris Opera House and the New York Metropolitan Opera, and is one of the few theaters in the United States large enough to stage full-cast, first-run Broadway shows.

 

From the cultural trust website...

 

A visit to Pittsburgh would not be complete without a trip to its historic Cultural District, created by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Cultural District is within walking distance from the city's best hotels, restaurants, shops, and public parks and David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Among the options of art and live entertainment - classical and contemporary music, ballet, modern dance, visual art, opera, musical theater, and drama - you are sure to find something new and exciting to do year round in the Cultural District under the auspices of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. As a 14-square block area between the newly designed David Lawrence Convention Center and Stanwix Street, the Cultural District encompasses 88 retail shops, 47 dining establishments, eight public parks and art installations, and five world-class theaters in which 1,400 performances are held each year. Drawing millions of patrons to the Cultural District, its resident artist groups offer a cultural variety unmatched by many cities.

 

One of the oldest performing companies in the Cultural District, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has entertained audiences from around the world for over a century. Music lovers should not miss an evening at the splendid Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall listening to the world's most beloved symphonies, popular music, and more. (a couple of years ago, the PSO was invited to perform for the Pope. This year they toured China and Asia in some sort of big-deal trip... Bill)

 

As the country's eighth oldest opera company, Pittsburgh Opera draws on an important legacy of music making. Performances by such illustrious singers as Birgit Nilsson, Beverly Sills, and Luciano Pavarotti are just part of the rich history of the present-day company, elevating Pittsburgh Opera into the ranks of America's top opera companies.

 

Pittsburgh Opera - along with Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Pittsburgh Dance Council - perform at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. A movie palace during the early twentieth century, the Benedum is now faithfully restored to its original opulence, the Benedum Center boasts an excellent array of the arts: from ballets and operas to everyone's favorite Broadway shows.

 

Pittsburgh CLO celebrates the magic of live musical theater throughout the year with its critically acclaimed summer season at the Benedum Center and A Musical Christmas Carol at the Byham Theater each December. Since 1946, the CLO has enjoyed an exceptional reputation for producing fresh new productions of Broadway classics along with dynamic new works, becoming one of the largest and most established regional musical theater organizations in the country.

 

As the eighth largest ballet company in the United States, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre performs an eclectic repertoire ranging from the great nineteenth century classics to new works by some of the world's most exciting young choreographers. A renowned performing company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has earned a reputation for creating innovative and original works that attract new audiences every year.

 

Since 1975, Pittsburgh Public Theater has drawn diverse audiences with its proud tradition of producing world-class theater. Some of the plays that received their world premieres on the PPT stage have gone on to enrich the American theater. Since 1999, the Pittsburgh Public Theater company has performed at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's O'Reilly Theater, which incorporates a unique thrust configuration, in which the audience views the performance on three sides, offering an up-close and intimate theater experience.

 

Adjacent to the O'Reilly is the Cultural Trust's Theater Square, which houses a main box office where you may purchase tickets to any Cultural District performance, as well as find easy and accessible parking.

 

Even movie enthusiasts will enjoy the delights of the Cultural District - in particular contemporary and foreign films presented by Pittsburgh Filmmakers at the Harris Theater. This early twentieth-century movie house is named in honor of native Pittsburgher John P. Harris, who created the nation's first nickelodeon in downtown Pittsburgh.

 

The newest addition to the Cultural District community, the architecturally stunning August Wilson Center for African American Culture will house a variety of performing, visual and education programs that celebrate the contributions of African Americans within the region and the impact of cultural expression from Africa to the African Diaspora.

 

Named after legendary playwright August Wilson, the Center was designed by San Francisco-based African-American architect Allison G. Williams. The Center, which cost approximately $40 million to build, includes galleries, classrooms, a 486-seat theater, a gift shop, a cafe and multipurpose spaces available for rental and use by the community and to be used for visual and performing art and expression.

 

For visitors who appreciate modern dance, the Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, showcases an outstanding season of dance with a host of extraordinary talent and exciting premieres. As the largest presenter of international performances in the city, the Dance Council achieves an unrivaled level and quality of dance - a testament to its history and continued success at attracting the world's finest companies.

 

Complementing the assortment of performances in the district, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and The Pittsburgh Symphony present the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series during the fall and winter months; plus, each presents live music, uproarious comedy, and everything in between all year long.

 

In addition to the Cultural District's live performances, visitors will also enjoya wide range of visual arts at the Wood Street Galleries, SPACE gallery, 707-709 Penn Galleries, August Wilson Center Gallery, Future Tenant, Shaw Galleries, and many others.

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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See, and all I thought Pittsburg had was steel. ;)

 

On the down side, we do have the Steelers, kinda a disappointment all round this year....

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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"As the eighth largest ballet company in the United States, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre ..."

 

"the country's eighth oldest opera company, Pittsburgh Opera ..."

 

We all win, when we support cultural endeavors. That is the point to the thread, no matter how much fun we were having at the expense of Texas.

 

Texas has been a player in the arts for a long time (all that oil money, I guess...) and Pittsburgh and Houston have done co-productions for events that were too steep to be funded by any one producer.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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We all win, when we support cultural endeavors. That is the point to the thread, no matter how much fun we were having at the expense of Texas.

 

+1

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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"

"the country's eighth oldest opera company, Pittsburgh Opera ..."

 

 

Old doesn't mean much. :evil:

:D

 

Try to convince my bones of that!

 

The Pittsburgh Opera gets involved in some pretty big deal events, as does the Ballet and some of the smaller companies. The last one I had any part of was the Operas presentation of the Grapes of Wrath, which was a pretty big deal...

 

http://pennsylvania.broadwayworld.com/article/Pittsburgh_Opera_Presents_THE_GRAPES_OF_WRATH_Starting_1118_20010101

 

which is close to my heart because that happened just before what appears to be a career-ending injury, I haven't worked in the theater district for about a year now, I got hurt working on a Christmas show at the Benedum. Another "important work" was Dead Man Walking, first presented in Washington (Seattle???)and restaged here.

 

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_196808.html

and their staging of Salome, and Turandot... as well as some of the pieces held in smaller venues like the Byham, world premieres and works by breaking artists...

 

it probably is worthwhile to mention that Pittsburgh has been named Americas Most Livable City twice in ten years.

 

Which explains, of course, why I am moving away.....

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Symphony- Pittsburgh wins.
Why do you say that? The Houston Symphony is supposedly pretty good, but I've only heard that from them and would not know how else to tell. I know you're more connected to that scene.

 

And yes, Bill, it's mostly all that oil money. There are a lot of rich philanthropists in the history of Houston and their names are all over our buildings, some of them multiple times.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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"

"the country's eighth oldest opera company, Pittsburgh Opera ..."

 

 

Old doesn't mean much. :evil:

:D

 

Try to convince my bones of that!

 

 

Simple. Money! Houston Grand Opera has truckloads of it. They hire bigger conductors, bigger stars and have 30 shows a year (Pittsburgh has 20), plus one more rehearsal per run.

 

Why do you say that?

 

Again, money. Pittsburgh has a lot more of it. They pay a lot more, tour more, record more and have more prestige.

 

"Sound" is somewhat subjective. It's hard to say who is "better". Jobwise it's easy, Pittsburgh pays 20K more.

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We all win, when we support cultural endeavors...

 

Except, of course, for the members of the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra.

 

Larry.

 

I believe that this shifts jobs from one set of players to another, rather than actually serving as a net loss in total jobs. Had the community supported the Ballet to start with, this would not have happened. In Pittsburgh and many other cities, these jobs have disappeared,or are under siege. In Cinci it looks as if someone was able to make a political grab, to get those jobs for his people. Not pretty, but better than a net loss.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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We all win, when we support cultural endeavors...

 

Except, of course, for the members of the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra.

 

Larry.

 

I believe that this shifts jobs from one set of players to another, rather than actually serving as a net loss in total jobs. Had the community supported the Ballet to start with, this would not have happened. In Pittsburgh and many other cities, these jobs have disappeared,or are under siege. In Cinci it looks as if someone was able to make a political grab, to get those jobs for his people. Not pretty, but better than a net loss.

 

Not really:

 

The CSO players have a 52 week contract. With this new thingy, they still have a 52 week contract. They don't get raises. What they do is can some gigs to make room for the ballet gigs, they get rid of some holiday shows since they will be doing Nutcracker instead. Ultimately nothing changes jobwise.

 

The 45 ballet players are simply fired. It's not a full-time job, not even close. Even so, it will be a big loss for them.

 

This could backfire BIGTIME, someday. All symphony players get paid for every service. Most pits can only hold 50-60 people. There are 90 people in the Symphony, so they will pay 90 people for a ballet that 60 play for.

 

The pay scale for the CSO is probably 300 a gig. For the ballet players it's probably $150.

 

Ballet Orch- $6750 a show (plus doubling, principal scale etc).

CSO -$27K a show!!! Huge, earth shattering difference.

 

You could hire the ballet orch for 4 shows, or the CSO for 1. That means the CSO probably won't play much more than a few Nutcrackers.

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