The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has seen its fair share of rough waters over the past few seasons. In 2015, they endured the Valentina Lisitsa firestorm and 2016 was pockmarked by way of the very public annulment legal battle between former president and CEO, Jeff Melanson, and his estranged wife, Eleanor McCain. According to an article by Martin Knelman in the 5/21/2016 edition of The Toronto Star, all of these high profile problems along with an active music director search contributed to a $12 million deficit. According to an article by Andrew Willis […]
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Toward the end of March, 2016 we examined the nasty PR mess the Toronto Symphony Orchestras (TSO) has been caught up in by way of the very public annulment legal battle between former president and CEO, Jeff Melanson, and his estranged wife, Eleanor McCain. Melanson, who departed his position after 16 months on the job, recently launched a PR volley against McCain, daughter of food industrialist and 13th wealthiest Canadian Wallace McCain. The 4/25/16 edition of The Globe And Mail published an article by Tu Thanh Ha and Marsha Lederman where Melanson asserts that […]
A morals clause, a provision in a contract or work agreement that prohibits or penalizes certain behaviors, have been around since the early part of the 20th century but by and large, they haven’t entered into mainstream employment agreements throughout the performing arts field. For the most part, they really aren’t applicable and/or the salaries involved didn’t rise to a level that would trigger these sorts of concerns. But the steady rise of the top-tier executive class, and its associated signing bonuses, frontloaded perks, and $1+mm salaries, may bring about unintended consequences […]
In a timely coincidence with the recent Toronto Symphony / Valentina Lisitsa social media equivalent of Godzilla vs. Mothra, ArtsHacker Phil Paschke published an article on 4/12/15 that includes a social media response flow chart by Jonathan Michael at Bplans.com that should not only be a mobile device shortcut but printed out, framed, and sitting on the desk of anyone in this field tasked with managing their institution’s social media profiles. It’s such a good resource it should inspire envy for nothing thinking of it first.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) / Valentina Lisitsa firestorm is a good reminder that capable damage control and responsible flexing of social media muscle are important skills to develop and maintain. For organizations, damage control seems to be a lesson that is slow to matriculate. Remember the Richard Dare/NJSO crisis or the Detroit Symphony scrambling to backtrack on comments about hiring replacement musicians? Just wind your way through Adaptistration’s archives and you’ll find a litany of instances where orchestras ended up scrambling to catch up instead of getting out in front of events. […]