Friday, April 8, 2011

Snowbird symphony

As the Cleveland Orchestra wraps up its fifth year of residency in Miami, South Florida Classical Review’s David Fleshler notes that the orchestra received more than $8 million from local donors in the first three years of the residency, and wonders whether these visits have siphoned off support for local musical institutions and prevented formation of a Miami orchestra to replace the defunct Florida Philharmonic:’s-miami-residency-remains-both-prized-and-controversial/

A bit of Virginia musical history may be pertinent: Richmond was late in starting a local orchestra. The Richmond Symphony dates from 1957, nearly 30 years after the debuts of the Norfolk (now Virginia) Symphony and National Symphony of Washington. Richmond was a regular stop on tours by the Philadelphia Orchestra and other major U.S. and European ensembles. With a half-dozen or so concerts each season, these performances (led by the likes of Toscanini, Stokowski, Ormandy and Szell) amply satisfied the town’s symphonic appetite, and retarded demand for a hometown orchestra.