UPDATED 11/30/12 with statement from RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik.
The board of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday voted to terminate the four-year contract of Music Director Arild Remmereit two years early; his tenure is now set to expire at the end of the current 2012/2013 season.
A statement by RPO Board Chair Elizabeth F. Rice saying, “Arild has invigorated audiences with his focus on women composers and lesser known works, and his energy and innovative programming will be missed. For a variety of reasons, however, the RPO has decided that it is best to move forward without Arild as music director.” (The full statement appears below.)
Remmereit has been popular with audiences since he came on in the 2011/2012 season as the replacement for longtime RPO music director Christopher Seaman. But for several months reports have swirled of infighting between Remmereit and RPO CEO Charles Owens, and the orchestra brought in outside management consultants to work toward a resolution.
The RPO says that a search committee is being put together for a new music director, and that details of Remmereit's departure are still being worked out. City will continue to follow the story as it develops.
Below is the full statement from the RPO:
A Statement from Elizabeth F. Rice, Chairperson of the Board:
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra board of directors decided on Wednesday that 2012-13 will be Arild Remmereit’s final season as music director of the RPO.
Arild has invigorated audiences with his focus on women composers and lesser known works, and his energy and innovative programming will be missed. For a variety of reasons, however, the RPO has decided that it is best to move forward without Arild as music director.
The RPO is working out the details of his departure, is currently developing programming for 2013-14, and will create a search committee shortly to find a new music director.
UPDATE: On Friday, November 30, the RPO sent out an official statement on the situation from its Principal Pops Conductor, Jeff Tyzik:
As many of you know, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors decided on Wednesday that 2012–13 will be Arild Remmereit’s final season as music director of the RPO.
The RPO is working out the details of Arild’s departure and will create a search committee shortly to find a new music director. We thank you for your patience and continuing support as we begin this process.
We also wanted to share comments from Jeff Tyzik, the RPO’s Principal Pops Conductor since 1994 and a Rochester Music Hall of Fame inductee:
In my 20 years as a member of the artistic leadership of the RPO, I have been with this orchestra through many difficult times. Every organization undergoes changes, and I know that the RPO will weather its current difficulties to emerge as a more unified, stronger Rochester institution. I have complete confidence in our board leadership, staff, and musicians to deal effectively with our internal matters.
Here in Rochester, we are blessed with a great orchestra that has always played—and will continue to play—at the highest artistic level. The RPO has a bright future as a cherished part of our community, and I thank you for continuing to support us.