The Louisiana Philharmonic Set To Perform In Three Weeks

According to a press release from the Nashville Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic will perform together for the first time since Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday, October 4 at 8 p.m. in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall…

The following is from a press release issued by the Nashville Symphony this morning:

The Nashville Symphony Presents
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in First Concert since Hurricane Katrina

Benefit Concert to Raise Money for Devastated New Orleans Orchestra and its
Fractured Concert Season

Nashville, Tenn.-September 14, 2005- In a display of bravery and spirit, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) will perform together for the first time since Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday, October 4 at 8 p.m. in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall. Presented and organized by the Nashville Symphony, current LPO Principal Guest Conductor Klauspeter Seibel and Music Director Designate Carlos Miguel Prieto will lead the majority of the 68-member Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert program, with repertoire to be announced in the coming week, will include a performance by violinist and composer Mark O’Connor. The concert will be produced for broadcast by NPR and Nashville affiliate WPLN-FM and offered nationally and internationally via NPR and its 780 member stations in the U.S., NPR Worldwide at 8 p.m., and streamed live on Net proceeds from the concert will go directly to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

The LPO was set to open its 2005-06 concert season on September 15th in New Orleans at the Orpheum Theatre, one block off of Canal Street, but widespread destruction to the city and its resources will cause a severe reduction to the orchestra’s season, if not a complete cancellation. It remains unclear when the LPO will be able to perform again in New Orleans.

“It will be such a gift for our orchestra to perform together again,” said Maestro Seibel. “Our musicians are spread out all over the country, and after a tragedy such as Katrina, nothing heals the soul more than seeing our colleagues, our friends, and playing music with them again…we are extremely grateful to the Nashville Symphony for giving us this opportunity.”

The Nashville Symphony has made all logistical arrangements and has reached out to sponsors and community members alike to make the Louisiana Philharmonic benefit concert possible. American Airlines will fly evacuated LPO orchestra members and staff to Nashville, and Nashville Symphony orchestra members, staff, and board members will provide housing for the LPO. Nashville Symphony musicians will also assist by helping fill vacancies for LPO musicians not able to attend.

“The entire leadership of the LPO is overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity to be together and offer what we do best for the recovery of our home in Louisiana — lifting spirits and healing wounds through the voice of music,” said Babs Mollere, Managing Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to donated airline tickets from American Airlines, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center has donated its space for the concert, as well as the maintenance costs and various other services. Several local restaurants have also agreed to provide food for the musicians and staff during their stay in Nashville.

“The Nashville Symphony and our entire city has been moved by the heartache and suffering of the people of New Orleans,” said Alan D. Valentine, President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony. “Reuniting our colleagues at the Louisiana Philharmonic and providing them with a forum to play together again will be an incredibly enriching experience for us all. This performance will certainly transcend all traditional definitions of a benefit concert.”

Tickets to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra benefit concert on October 4 are $30-$70 and can be purchased by calling 255-ARTS (2787) or by visiting

The LPO Relief Fund will help continue health insurance for musicians and staff, as well as instrument insurance for the musicians. Please send all donations to: LPO, c/o Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 14209, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

About the Participants:

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra- The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is the only musician owned, collaboratively managed orchestra in the United States. The result of a reorganization by musicians formerly with the defunct New Orleans Symphony, the LPO has been operating with its remarkably successful governance structure for the past 15 years. It is an orchestral model unique in the nation. After nine years of extraordinary leadership by Maestro Klauspeter Seibel and with his recent decision to retire, the LPO initiated an entirely collaborative music director search process resulting in the announcement this past spring of its new music director, Carlos Miguel Prieto. Maestro Seibel will retain the title of Principal Guest Conductor. Maestro Prieto was scheduled to appear twice with the LPO in the 15th season and take up the baton as fulltime Music Director next season.

Klauspeter Seibel, principal guest conductor- After serving nine seasons as Music Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans, Klauspeter Seibel will assume the new position of Principal Guest Conductor of that orchestra beginning with the 2004-05 season. In Germany, he is a regular guest conductor with the operas of both Frankfurt and Dresden. Previous music directorships include the Freiburg Opera and Philharmonic, the Nuremberg Symphony, the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, and the Kiel Opera and Philharmonic.

Seibel has guest conducted the Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, the Hamburg Opera, Vienna State Opera, Zurich Opera, New Orleans Opera and Opera Colorado, among others. On tour with the Hamburg Opera, he conducted highly acclaimed performances of Romeo and Juliet in Israel and of Wozzeck and Samson and Dalilah in Moscow.

Born in Offenbach, Germany, Seibel studied piano, composition, conducting, flute and horn in Nuremberg and Munich. He has been a recipient of the City of Munich Richard Strauss Award and a prizewinner at both the Malko Competition in Copenhagen and the Mitropoulos Competition in New York.

Carlos Miguel Prieto, music director designate- Carlos Miguel Prieto, considered one of the most dynamic young conductors in recent years, is music director of Mexico’s oldest orchestra, the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Houston Symphony, and music director of the Huntsville Symphony (Alabama). He was recently appointed music director designate of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning his tenure in the fall of 2006. Mr. Prieto has made guest appearances with such North American orchestras as the Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Florida Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, and every major orchestra in Mexico. He has also conducted orchestras in Germany, Holland, Russia, Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, Israel, and throughout Latin America.

Voted “Conductor of the Year 2002” by the Mexican Union of Music and Theater Critics, Prieto also received the Mozart Medal of Honor presented by the Government of Mexico and the Embassy of Austria in 1998. He has also recently made a series of recordings of Latin American and Mexican music for the Urtext label.

A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Universities (where he was concertmaster of the orchestra), Prieto studied conducting with Jorge Mester, Enrique Diemecke, Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo.

Nashville Symphony Orchestra- The Nashville Symphony is regarded as one of the fastest growing and musically diverse orchestras in the country. With more than 200 performances annually, the 85-member Nashville Symphony is an engaged arts leader in Nashville and beyond, offering a broad range of Classical, Pops, Special Events, children’s concerts and community outreach programs.

The Nashville Symphony is also a national and international ambassador for the citizens of Tennessee, receiving far-reaching acclaim for its recordings on Naxos, the world’s leading classical label, making the Nashville Symphony the most recorded and their CDs the best-selling of any U.S. symphony orchestra in the past five years. These recordings have received three Grammy nominations, including one for “Best Classical Album” in 2004 for the works of Elliott Carter. In addition, the Symphony’s Fourth of July performance in 2003 received nationwide broadcast on the A&E cable network, and their 2000 Carnegie Hall performance earned accolades from the New York Times as “youthful and fresh…a knockout.”

In 2003, the Nashville Symphony Association broke ground on the 1872-seat, $120 million Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which is designed to be one of the most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world. Set to open in September 2006, the Symphony’s new home in downtown Nashville will give the Nashville Symphony a venue equal to its growing reputation and superb music-making.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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