San Antonio Symphony Won’t Renew Music Director’s Contract

The San Antonio Symphony has decided not to renew music director Larry Rachleff’s contract. “Rachleff lives in Houston, where he teaches at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He also is music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Chicago Philharmonic. The San Antonio Symphony Players Association issued a statement saying the musicians ‘are deeply disappointed and disturbed’ by the decision.”

New Hollywood Economics Squeezes Stars

“Movie and television studios, facing escalating budgets, rampant piracy and the uncertain future of new media, are demanding concessions from talent. But as actors, directors and writers feel the squeeze, many are not happy about it. Worse, the tension is not likely to ease soon. As studios are set to begin contract negotiations with talent in January, all sides are girding for battle.”

Boxing And Phil And Klimt, Oh My

What will Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year look like? It will be culture in broad strokes. “Last night the Liverpool Culture Company honoured that broad definition when it unveiled its long-awaited programme, a £95m mixed bag of 70 events ranging from the Berlin Philharmonic and a Gustav Klimt exhibition to the European senior boxing championships and a footballers’ wives fashion show.”

Successfully Reinventing Sadler’s Wells Dance

“A recent Arts Council report cited contemporary dance as the fastest-growing art form in Britain, but even so few could have predicted the scale of the response to Alistair Spalding’s most popular seasons – of flamenco, hip-hop or Brazilian dance. By the end of his first year, audience figures were up by 40 per cent, and this year is likely to see a similar sort of increase.”

Literary Idealism, Thriving In An Online Magazine

“Noted editor Tom Jenks solicited submissions from a few of his writer friends, then published six in the inaugural issue of Narrative Magazine…. There was no test marketing, no promotion, no advertising, no nothing other than a new Web site that had a two-page editors’ note and six pieces with some formidable bylines, including Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Jane Smiley and Rick Bass.” Three years later, Narrative is a success with readers. It’s also a nonprofit — and Jenks wants access to remain free. So now comes the fundraising.

Donors + Contact With Musicians = Real Money

A new trustee of the Seattle Symphony has already implemented a program designed to raise significant cash: It’s “a $500,000 multiyear challenge grant that will bring donors in direct contact with visiting artists. The program, called the Guest Artists Circle, enables participants to have a one-on-one dinner with a guest artist, appearing during the symphony season, in concert or recital; an opportunity to sit in the middle of the orchestra during a rehearsal with the guest artist, and premium seats for the performance.” Dinner with Yo-Yo Ma, by the way, is still available for a mere $70,000….

Wait! The Architect Isn’t Done Yet!

“The rush to architectural judgment is like a vice. It’s something you shouldn’t do — and an indulgence that’s hard to resist.” John King is reserving judgment on the Thom Mayne tower taking shape before the eyes of the public in San Francisco. But many of his readers have already formed strong opinions about it, demonstrating “that in an ever-more splintered world of self-defined tribes, the buildings around us are a shared experience — no matter how vividly at odds our reactions might be.”

World Trade Center Museum Delayed Until 2010

“The World Trade Center Memorial Museum’s opening has been pushed back beyond the original target date of 2009, the Daily News has learned. Though the WTC Memorial, with two sunken pools marking where the twin towers stood, is still due to welcome its first visitors in 2009, the adjoining museum containing WTC artifacts won’t open until mid-2010. The delayed museum debut must await completion of a visitors center, which will provide access to the museum’s underground exhibition space.”