Though they haven’t played since October 2009 and the symphony filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in December 2010, the Honolulu Symphony musicians saw a new opportunity to perform together emerge today as tickets went on sale for the first performances of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.
The new organization has embraced an ambitious plan with their first masterworks concert occurring barely a month from now on March 4. A Pops season will be announced soon.
I spoke to Jonathan Parrish who headed the previous symphony’s musicians’ union orchestra committee at a meeting on Monday and he told me there was some scurrying going on to offer all the tenured musicians their places back. Many had moved away and might not return. Fewer had than I thought and some of those who did, have returned to town to play for the opera.
JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony had been assisting the revival efforts as artistic adviser and programmed this first abbreviated season.
Steven Monder, former president of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, had also been active in trying to see the orchestra revived. Though it doesn’t say on the website or explicitly in the press release, an article printed this last November reported he “had already signed on as president.”
Obviously, there will be a “Wait and See” period since there had been a number of years where the former organization was constantly teetering on the brink.
It may have been purely by necessity, but I thought it shrewd to announce the revival during the opera season and have the opera ticket office handle their sales. Even if there isn’t a large overlap in the audiences, the opera patrons are watching the symphony musicians play and the opportunity to purchase tickets to the symphony is close at hand.