In Wednesday’s (4/3) Australian (Sydney), Tim Douglas reports, “Failed negotiations over venue fees against the backdrop of the Eurozone crisis have forced the cancellation of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s planned European tour this year. The tour of Germany, Armenia and Russia, announced earlier this year as a ‘last hurrah’ for well-loved Russian principal conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, fell over after an agreement with venues in St Petersburg and Moscow on appearance fees could not be reached. Ashkenazy, 75, is understood to have offered to waive his fee for the Russian concerts to ensure the tour would go ahead, but SSO managing director Rory Jeffes said yesterday the tour was a victim of the deepening financial woes in Europe. … Large-scale overseas tours—the 100-strong SSO tour was to cost $500,000 in flights and freight alone—rely on venue fees to offset costs. The orchestra’s 2010 tour of Japan and South Korea was ‘cost-neutral’ in that venue fees covered touring costs.”

Posted April 3, 2013