“Timing continues to be almost everything, and in the world of symphonic music, Jeff Melanson’s timing is watch-worthy,” writes William Littler in Friday’s (12/19) Toronto Star. “The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s new president and CEO comes aboard at a time when the ship does not appear to be sinking. Mind you, the good news is recent. At last month’s annual meeting the orchestra was able to declare a surplus for its 2013-14 season of $222,000. The previous season racked up a loss of $1.3 million. … All well and good, especially in view of Melanson’s declared intent to make the ink in the orchestra’s books perennially black.” Melanson seeks “to make the orchestra a more active player in the community. It is not generally recognized that included among the orchestra’s 132 concerts this past season were enough to accommodate 50,000 school students. … Melanson sees them as a key element in developing the audience of the future and would like to expand their reach to 250,000 students. … He thinks the orchestra needs to partner with the other arts, adapt to changing technologies and question what is being put on stage.  … he says he discovered that what is needed is evolution, not revolution.”

Posted December 19, 2014