Earlier today (Sept. 28), the locked-out Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Musicians were notified that the Indiana Symphony Society has cancelled the fourth week of concerts in the 2012-2013 season. Below is a statement from Rick Graef, chairman of the ISO Musicians negotiating committee:
"Considering the progress with negotiations earlier in the month, the Society's decision to cancel yet another week of concerts is disappointing and disheartening. Our musicians have begun the process of filing for unemployment benefits, which was not the course of action we wanted to take. Like most Americans, our musicians financially support their families and loved ones. Going without pay and health insurance has made this difficult time even more challenging. We hope to return to the stage at Hilbert Circle Theatre soon, to continue playing beautiful symphonic music for the people of Central Indiana."
The ISO Musicians also announced that they will hold a second public concert on October 7 at 7 p.m. at the Palladium in Carmel's Center for Performing Arts. The concert will feature Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73, popularly known as the "Emperor," and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition with (as usual) Ravel's orchestration. Guest conductor Samuel Wong will be on the podium, and world famed Andre Watts is the featured soloist for the "Emperor" Concerto.
Tickets for the concert are priced from $20 - $35, with student tickets at $10. They can be purchased through the Palladium Box Office beginning Monday, October 1. Please call 843-3800 or visit here.
The Indianapolis Symphony Society locked out the ISO Musicians and terminated their health benefits on Sept. 10. Since that time, the musicians have been performing Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. outside of the Hilbert Circle Theatre and will continue to do so during the lockout period. The musicians also held a filled-to-overflow benefit concert for the ISO's Metropolitan Youth Orchestra at the Second Presbyterian Church on Sept. 22 that raised nearly $8,000.
Art Squared 2012 (slideshow)
Scenes from last weekend in Fountain Square, when troubadours taking part in Playing for Change Day roamed through Masterpiece in a Day, an art fair and an art parade.
From the ISO executive board:
Although the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and musicians continue efforts to seek a new agreement, the ISO announces the cancellation of the classical performances scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-29, in order to have adequate time to notify its subscribers and single ticket purchasers.
Concertgoers will be able to exchange into another performance; receive a credit for the ticket amount; donate the ticket amount to the ISO's annual fund; or receive a refund.
And from the players:
Earlier today, the locked-out Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Musicians (ISO Musicians) learned that the Indianapolis Symphony Society has cancelled the third week of concerts in the 2012-2013 season. Below is a statement from Rick Graef, chairman of the ISO Musicians negotiating committee:
"While we feel we are making progress in negotiations, we are disappointed that the Society has cancelled this week's concerts because it deprives the people of Indiana of a world-class musical experience. As musicians, we want nothing more than to be on the stage playing the music we have spent years training to play. That's why the musicians held a benefit concert last night for the ISO's Metropolitan Youth Orchestra to thank the local community for their outpouring of support during this difficult time. Despite the Society's actions, we are committed to supporting ISO programs like the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, because the music we love has made a marked difference in the lives of the youth and their families."
The Indianapolis Symphony Society locked out the ISO Musicians and terminated their health benefits on Sept. 8, 2012. Since that time, the musicians have been performing Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. outside of the Hilbert Circle Theatre and will continue to do so during the lockout period. The musicians also held a sold-out benefit concert last night for 850 people.
Among music fans in South Africa, everybody knew about the American psychedelic folk musician known simply as Rodriguez. His two albums, 1971’s Cold Fact and 1972’s Coming from Reality were legendary, trippy Dylanesque works with lyrics that spoke to progressive young whites living in the vile apartheid era. Adding to the appeal was the mystery of the sunglass-wearing man, about whom they knew next to nothing, except that he died onstage after shooting himself ... or setting himself on fire ... or something horrible.
The entertaining documentary Searching for Sugar Man follows two Rodriguez fans that set out to find the truth about their idol. Turns out that Rodriguez, a superstar in South Africa, was virtually unknown in his homeland. Though both of his albums received strong reviews from critics, they tanked in American. Rodriguez was dropped by his record company and left the business. Moreover, the singer-songwriter had no idea of his fame half way across the world.
I enjoyed the film but wanted to know more, so I poked around the Internet and came up with the following information not mentioned in the documentary. According to AllMusic, in 1979 Rodriguez was invited to perform some small theater shows in Australia following the chart success there of his album rereleases. A few years ago, he received attention in America and mainland Europe when hip hop artist David Holmes sampled his song “Sugar Man” for use in a mix compilation. Along with Cold Fact and Coming from Reality, Rodriguez has two live albums to his credit, the 1981 Australian recording Rodriguez Alive and the 1998 South African album Live Fact.
Don’t expect detailed explanations for everything Rodriguez-related; some of the American record label owners don’t want to talk about subjects like royalties. But whether you know the basics about Rodriguez or not, the documentary by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul does a fine job presenting a whale of a story.
Horror Hound Weekend, Sept. 8-9 [slideshow]
More than 1,000 horror fans rubbed shoulders with film celebrities and each other on the east side this weekend.
It's late Saturday afternoon at HorrorHound at the Marriott East, and quasi-famous 1980s actor Michael Biehn is on the spot. Near the end of the “Terminator” panel who would win in a fight: “Terminator”’s Sarah Connor or Ripley of “Aliens” fame. “Who would win” questions are a longtime staple in fan communities, but they don’t always get asked to a group that includes the leading man who played opposite both characters, not to mention five minutes before the “Aliens” panel will start.
Nearly everyone on the panel turns their attention to Biehn immediately, even though the question was addressed to the group. Biehn puts on his best “why are you guys looking at ME?” face before responding. “Weellll ... I’d have to say that if it was the Sarah from 'The Terminator,’ Ripley would win, and if it was Sarah from 'Terminator 2,’ she would win.’” Spoken like a true Hollywood diplomat.
Fascinating thing about mid-range conventions — the line between fan and pro is thinner than ever. The autograph lines generally aren’t terribly long, and while the celebrities may have security nearby, it’s not usually the big hulking intimidating sort. But by the same token, it doesn’t have that vaguely sad feel you get when you see performers at certain conventions who just seem lonely at their tables.
You get a certain sense for the ordinariness of the performers, whether it be the way the gang from “Aliens” praises the real-life Marines who say they were inspired to join the military by the film, or how always-somber-on-screen Lance Henriksen comes off like a sly old hippie in real life, or even the performers oohing and aahing whenever someone walks by in a particularly inspired costume. We’re all in this horror/action loving business together. However we may be involved.
Slideshow: 24 Hour Web Project at The Speak Easy
The 24 hour web project helps the Indiana Canine Assistant Network get a refreshed new look on their website for their 10th anniversary.
The 24 Hour Web Project gathers together a team of programmers and designers to help a non-profit organization have a useful website in exactly 24 hours. In that time, they create, design, develop and launch the site, hoping to also raise some awareness about the organization. This time they have worked with the Indiana Canine Assistant Network, a non-profit that works to train and place assistance dogs with persons with disabilities in Indiana. You can see their 24 hour hard work here: http://www.icandog.org/
Here is the latest news on these protracted negotiations, as of Saturday evening, Sept. 8. This blog will be posted without comment. My personal views on what has happened so far will be communicated in a NUVO web feature early this coming week. First, we present the players'-union side, Local #3 of the American Federation of Musicians, in a statement by Lara Beck, president of Beck Communications, acting as the union's public relations consultant:
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Musicians (ISO Musicians) announced today the Symphony Society rejected the ISO musicians' last ditch offer for a two month contract extension to keep the music on the stage while negotiations continue.
The two month contract extension that the Society refused would have allowed the ISO's Classical season opener on September 14th and 15th with Krzysztof Urbański and the Pops season opener on September 21-23 with Jack Everly and Time for Three to proceed.
"We are stunned and saddened that the Society refused our offer and cancelled these concerts, which ultimately punishes the people of Indiana by depriving them of a world class musical experience," said Richard Graef, chairman of the ISO musicians negotiating committee. "While we have continued to negotiate in good faith, and felt we were making some progress, the Society's unwavering commitment to cancel these concerts is simply baffling."
On Sept. 7, 2012 at 5:51 p.m., the ISO musicians made its most recent proposal for a short-term contract that would allow the musicians and the Society to "play and talk." This offer would have paid the musicians a weekly rate of $1250, which is 16.7 percent lower than their current weekly rate. The last offer from the Society was a weekly salary of $1,215. Had the Society approved this extension, it would have cost them less than $30,000 in salaries, overscale, and taxes.
The musicians also have provided 15 dates between September and November 8, 2012 to the Society so both parties can continue negotiations.
"Throughout this entire negotiating process, we have made it very clear to the Society that we want to be a part of the solution to their financial problems," said Graef. "That's why, using financial data the Society provided to us, we worked with a financial analyst to craft a sustainable financial model that puts the Society in a positive position both financially and artistically."
The negotiations between the Society and the Musicians have received national attention in the last twelve days. "The Musicians of the ISO are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support we've received both from our local community, and from around country," said Graef.
Earlier this week, Maestro Urbański conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, which served as his West Coast debut.
In his review of the concert, Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed referenced the contract negotiations between the Society and the musicians, and noted that Urbańksi's opening concerts were threatened.
Swed wrote, "Urbański has already caught the attention of the music world, especially in Europe. He is on the radar of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic. The Indianapolis Symphony would be crazy to blow the opportunity Urbański presents. If it does, someone else will snap him up in a second. I would if I ran an orchestra."
The full article can be viewed here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-hollywood-bowl-review-20120906,0,5763582.story
"As musicians, we want nothing more than to be on the stage with Maestro Urbański, Jack Everly and Time for Three, playing great music," said Graef. "To the people of Indiana, we are sorry the Society cancelled these concerts."
Now we present the ISS management side in a statement by Jessica Di Santo, ISO director of communications:
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Musicians, Local #3 of the American Federation of Musicians Union failed to reach agreement on a new contract, despite two days of negotiations to try to reach common ground. The previous contract expired on September 2, 2012.
The ISO worked day and night on a new contract, but regrettably were unable to reach a compromise in last week's ditch effort to maintain the start of ISO's 2012/13 performance season. The gap between what the musicians' union is proposing and what is essential to economically sustain the ISO's future is just too great. The union's proposed extension would only exacerbate the ISO's already difficult financial challenges.
In order to have sufficient time to notify ISO subscribers and single-ticket buyers of the performance schedule, ISO is forced to cancel its first two weekends of performances for the 2012-2013 season (Sept. 14-15 and Sept. 21-23). Additional performances may be cancelled unless an agreement is reached soon.
The ISO's intent all along has been to maintain the artistic quality of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and to do that in an economically sustainable way. The ISO's proposal, which the musicians' union has rejected, would continue the Orchestra's key music series, including Classical, Pops, Symphony on the Prairie and Yuletide Celebration; aggressively manage all non-artistic expenses; grow the annual giving campaign by raising an additional $2.5 million per year; develop a more robust planned giving campaign to support the endowment; continue ISO's commitment to quality performances while matching both the orchestra size and performance schedule to actual needs; and ensure that innovation remains an ISO focus for the future.
The ISO will work with the musicians' union to select a new date for talks and is committed to push forward in the hopes of reaching a solution. The ISO board and staff treasure the Symphony Orchestra and all that it means to the City and State.
NUVO will continue to provide updates to the negotiation process as they are made available.
At last--a bit of additional news from from the ongoing, protracted Indiana Symphony Society / ISO Players' Union negotiations. The following statements are provided by the union, a branch of the American Federation of Musicians. This was released at 7:20 p.m., Sept. 7.
"The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Musicians announced today that after a series of negotiations to settle on a new contract, they have proposed a two- month contract extension to keep the music on the stage.
"Last week, the Symphony Society threatened to cancel the Classical season opener on September 14th and 15th with Krzysztof Urbański and the Pops season opener on September 21-23 with Jack Everly and Time for Three if the musicians did not agree to their demands by today.
" 'This week, working with a mediator, the musicians and the society have made some progress,' said Richard Graef, chairman of the ISO musicians negotiating committee. 'This proposed two-month contract extension will keep the music on stage for the people of Indiana and allows for a period where we 'play and talk,' which has occurred in previous contract negotiations with the Society. It is unprecedented for the musicians to offer concessions during the 'play and talk' period.'
"As set forth in the proposed contract extension, the musicians would play at a weekly rate of $1250, which is 16.7 percent lower than their current weekly rate.
"Since 2003, the concessions made by the ISO musicians in their contracts have saved the Society more than $7 million.
"The musicians also have provided 15 dates between September 13 and November 8, 2012 to the Society so both parties can continue negotiations.
"Per the request of the mediator, both the musicians and the Society agreed to withhold public comment on the negotiations this week. That period ended today at approximately 5:51 p.m."
ISO director of communictions Jessica Di Santo responded for the symphony management:
"We were informed of the musicians union's latest proposal just before 6 p.m. this evening -- and apparently the same time it was sent to the news media. We haven't yet had sufficient time to analyze it and informed the union that we will respond tomorrow."
Di Santo stated that she will share the results of management's decision as soon as it is made available. This blog will correspondingly be updated.
Want to learn how to clean, re-string and tune a guitar? Or how to can your garden's bounty without fear of botulism? Or maybe you're more interested in having fun with fungi? While Sally Struthers might charge a very reasonable price for you to get a degree at home (well, perhaps not in permaculture), Trade School Indianapolis asks only that you give a little something of yourself in return for an hour or two of specialized instruction.
Trade School's inaugural month of classes opens Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Indianapolis City Market, with a party at 6:30 p.m. featuring brews from Tomlinson Tap Room, treats from Circle City Sweets and a raffle for a gift certificate donated by Edible Arrangments Indy.
Instructors for the courses will be on hand at the launch party, including Creek Stewart, whose “Natural Primitive Cordage” class will open the semester following the party at 7:30 p.m. A survival specialist whose lessons aim to prepare people for sudden survival scenarios ranging from natural disasters to terrorist attacks, Creek will teach how to make usable cordage from plants and tree fibers.
Trade School organizer Blaire Huntley says that the program is based on the idea of mutual exchange and cooperation: “This is an opportunity to learn for a very very minimal cost. I think that something that’s missing from a lot of communities is that people don’t take on another hobby or take on another skill because of the cost — or maybe they think that they don’t have anything else to offer besides money.”
Trade School was launched in New York City in 2009, when three co-founders of OurGoods, a barter network, thought about just how hard it is to learn a new skill without spending money. They created a system by which teachers propose a particular class and ask for barter items from students. For instance, for a baking techniques class, students might bring ingredients, clothes, vegetables or tips on doing something else. The first Trade School offered 85 different classes in 35 days.
Slowly, the project began spreading to other cities and countries, including England, Germany and Singapore. Huntley heard of the project while living in New York. “I think that a lot of people don’t realize how many talents they have, but I think that anyone is capable of sharing their knowledge,” she says.
Also on the course catalog are “Nail Art 101” (on how to spruce up that keratin-using basic household product; taught Sept. 12), “Writing Workshop: Self-Editing Tips & Techniques” (Sept. 19) and “Build Your Own Website” (Sept. 27). All classes are open for enrollment at tradeschool.coop/Indianapolis.
[A+E] Sports + Recreation
[A+E] Festivals + Parties
[A+E] Classical Music
[A+E] Festivals + Parties, DJs + Dancing, Rock, Hip-hop
[A+E] Sports + Recreation