Strike out the band: Cleveland Orchestra not coming to Bloomington

January 18, 2010
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1/19 update: The Cleveland Orchestra reports that, while most residency events have been postponed at IU, the company's Music Director is in Bloomington working with students.


A long-planned residency by the Cleveland Orchestra at Indiana University Bloomington won't be happening this week, thanks to a walk-out by the famed company's musicians. The January 18-20 visit was to include a public concert, master classes, an orchestra management seminar and more. Here's what was planned.

Touring symphonies are rare these days--and such longer, educational residencies even rarer. Press materials from IU state that this would have been the first "world-renowned orchestra to visit Bloomington since 1991."

The loss is a big one for IU, although the New York Times reports that cancelled concerts at IU and elsewhere will be rescheduled.

Your thoughts?

  • Really?
    Too bad for IU and Bloomington. Hopefully they can get this excellent opportunity rescheduled.

    Lou said touring symphonies are rare these days - someone should tell Carmel this fact.
  • Heard Story on NPR Yesterday
    Heard the story of the Cleveland Orchestra on NPR driving home yesterday. Apparently the orchestra played a free concert for MLK on the weekend and then went on strike at midnight.

    Apparently, the orchestra and its staff took a pay cut last year and the only ones not to were the musicians. The orchestra's management is seeking a one-year 5% reduction, yet the union is balking at the idea.

    I think it will interesting to see how this plays out, particularly in a town hurt hard by the recession. I'm not sure the public will look too kindly to the situation. Not to mention, the NPR story revealed the average salary is in the low six-figures and that concert attendance has been decreasing.
  • Problem solved
    Shame the Cleveland Orchestra didn't get to go to Bloomington (and shame on them for that) - but they actually agreed to a new contract this afternoon and all is well... Hopefully they'll make it to IU soon.

    As for Cleveland - where I live and write this from - the town hasn't been hurt as hard by the recession as one might think... there was no great boom here in recent years - so no real bust... Factory jobs left years ago. Healthcare (Cleveland Clinic) is booming like pretty much no other place in the US... just steps from the Orchestra's home. Plus, the Cleveland Orchestra still has a $100 million endowment... pretty big as things go... despite, as everywhere this past year, an attendance decrease.. They'll be fine.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.