Please click here to learn about the most recent news and updates in our contract negotiations.
The Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra have learned that the FWSO management has created a Frequently Asked Questions page about our contract negotiations on the FWSO website. Unfortunately, this page includes many errors and misconceptions. We have compiled a list of facts that address the errors, and you can read it at our website here.
Dear Fort Worth: Reflections from our Departing Musicians
For our 2016-2017 season, you may notice that five familiar faces from our family will be missing from the stage. Double bassist George Dimitri has chosen t0 retire from full time orchestra life and four others are taking one season sabbaticals. Read on to find out what they will be doing instead. George, Jane, Victoria, Scott and Louis-Philippe, you will be greatly missed and we all wish you the very best in your endeavors!
George shared some of his thoughts with us about his reasons for moving on and what he plans to do next:
"I have just concluded a thirty year tenure in the FWSO. As I told Miguel upon announcing my early retirement, I have been so proud of our music-making achievements, to mention only a few: a triumphant weekend in Carnegie Hall in 2008, many years of presenting Composers-In-Residence with tremendous performances of profound and entertaining works, and culminating artistically with the excellent recording of Lutosławski Concerto for Orchestra just released in 2016.
The Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, my dear friends, have worked their whole lives, to bring a message inexpressable in words, to their community. This message is invaluable to the spirits of those who can hear it.
In 2010, when the first round of substantial cuts to the sustenance of FWSO's invaluable artists occurred, I realized that the great progress we had achieved was at risk. I began considering other options for the rest of my life's work.
While taking a sabbatical in 2014, I rediscovered my own compositions, improved my health, and realized, in its absence, how physically grueling an orchestra musician's work is. I realized that were more cuts to be initiated, it would represent that the rest of my life's work was devalued in the hearts and minds of the leaders of this great Fort Worth institution. The rest of my beloved colleagues' life's work is devalued in the hearts and minds of the leadership of the FWSO Association. Actions speak louder than words.
I am looking forward to new horizons in my life, and I will always cherish my career at FWSO. I will miss greatly The Musicians of the FWSO, and our supporters and audiences. But, I still feel great concern whether, or not, the community around this vital Fort Worth institution will muster the needed sustenance, for the artists, to keep the music so great.
George E Dimitri"
Assistant Principal Oboist Jane Owen shared this:
"I will be spending next season acting as a negotiator for the Symphonic Services Division of the American Federation of Musicians. I'm not moving away, and I hope to even be able to play as a substitute or extra with the symphony, so you may still see me on stage sometimes! In my new job, I will be traveling to assist other orchestras around the country with their negotiations, as well as handling situations from home with conference calls and Skype. I'm very excited about this opportunity to help fellow musicians achieve fair pay and good working conditions. There is no substitute for hearing great symphonic music played live by musicians who dedicate their lives to their art."
Cellist Louis-Philippe Robillard will be moving to Salt Lake City to perform with the Utah Symphony and Assistant Principal Violist Scott Jessup will be moving away, pursuing another line of work outside of music. Our Principal Clarinetist Victoria Luperi is joining the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as their Associate Principal Clarinetist. As a side note, she will be joining her husband Andres Franco there, where he is an assistant conductor! Many of you may remember Andres from seasons past at the FWSO when he was our assistant conductor. Indeed this is how the couple met, but that's another story! You will have one last opportunity to hear Victoria perform with our orchestra in our pre season festival in August at Bass Hall, when she will be our featured soloist in Mozart's beloved Clarinet Concerto. You won't want to miss it!
Pictured above, from top down: Scott Jessup, assistant principal viola; George Dimitri, double bass; Jane Owen, assistant principal oboe; Louis-Philippe Robillard, cello; and former assistant conductor Andres Franco with his wife, principal clarinetist Victoria Luperi.
You can watch the first of three recently released videos featuring these and other musicians here, or by clicking the video link below.
Above, watch the first of three recently released videos. You can also see all three on our website, and here: Video 2; Video 3.
Welcome Our New Musicians Kyle Sherman, Principal Trumpet
Kyle Sherman has been playing with us as an extra musician for several months, and we are now thrilled to introduce him to you as our new Principal Trumpet player. Stay tuned in the coming months to meet our other new members.
How old were you when you started playing your instrument?
My dad had an old trumpet from his college days hidden away in his office. I found it when I was about 10 or so and started making noise. Gradually the noises got better!
Winchester, Texas, population 50. I grew up literally at the end of a dirt road, 15 miles from the nearest gas station.
Master of Music, Yale
Bachelor of Music, Oberlin Conservatory
My parents live outside of Austin, in the Hill Country. My grandparents still have the same working farm and ranch near Winchester, where I was raised. In fact, the house where my parents and I lived when I was young is the same house my grandfather grew up in.
In a few words or sentences, how would you describe yourself?
Outside of performing, I really enjoy teaching my students, cycling, kickboxing, craft beer, the outdoors, and watching the Texas Rangers.
One of my lifelong goals is to live on a working farm and ranch, just like my grandparents do.
At the beginning of the summer, the Fort Worth Opera announced its 90 day campaign to raise one million dollars. The musicians of the FWSO were delighted to join Mayor Betsy Price and other local arts supporters in helping them reach their goal, with a $1500 donation of our own. We applaud the Opera for another fantastic season and for continuing to strive for innovation and excellence.
Have you gotten your T-shirt yet? These shirts were beautifully designed by our principal violist Laura Bruton. They are $20 each, adult sizes S-3X, and can be purchased online by emailing orders to us at email@example.com. We are also selling yard signs with the same design for $10 each.
T-shirts and yard signs will also be for sale at select venues, so stay tuned to our Facebook page to find out when and where we'll be!
Pictured left are Seth McConnell, timpani, and Keira Fullerton, cello. Right, violist Aleksandra Holowka stands behind a yard sign with her daughter, Ela, and neighbors, violist Dan Sigale and Samson.
Harmony in the Kitchen Recipes
This month's recipe is from Bill Clay, Principal Bass. The salad is another favorite from our June picnic and uses the popular new spiral cutters available at many kitchen stores.
Bill's "Caprese" Salad with Zucchini Noodles
This "caprese" started with a recipe from a paleo cookbook, but it excluded the vinegar and mozzarella. I couldn't bring myself to call it caprese without those ingredients so I put them back in. In the end, it's really neither caprese or paleo, but it's easy on effort and on the palate.
4-6 zucchini and/or yellow squash (to yield 5 cups julienned)
1 8 oz package cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
1 8 oz tub fresh mozzarella (I use ciliegine size, sliced in halves)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons (to taste) champagne or balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt (coarse) and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
Using a spiral cutter (I have a veggetti), julienne the squash to make faux-noodles.
Place squash noodles in a colander and salt liberally (1-2 tbs), then leave for 20-30 minutes to allow excess water to drain.
While waiting, combine cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl and toss.
Leaving the squash in the colander, thoroughly rinse off salt and leave to drain another 5 minutes (you could also use a salad spinner at this point).
Toss the tomato mixture with the squash noodles then add salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind the "noodles" will already be salty from the draining process).
Place in a serving dish and top with basil just before serving.
Thank you to the many additional musicians who performed with us this month!