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RPO Conductor's Contract Officially Terminated

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Rochester: RPO Conductor's Contract Officially Terminated
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The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has terminated its contract with its Music Director Arild Remmereit.

The board of directors is terminating the contract immediately.

Remmereit's contract was originally set to be terminated August 31st of this year.

The board says Remmereit failed to fulfill his job responsibilities since November
and showed no interest in being reinstated or finishing the season.

For the first time, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra explained what led to conductor Arild Remmereit's termination in November.

It was a room divided. The board says Remmereit failed to work collaboratively with the CEO and staff. Some donors upset with the termination are taking action. As for the musicians, they just want the focus back on the music.

This year's annual meeting was less than routine.

"We can no longer in good conscience continue to donate or subscribe," said one woman.

Some RPO members stood up for conductor Arild Remmereit and the creativity they feel he brought to the orchestra.

"I have turned in our tickets for tomorrow night's concert."

A group of RPO members, seeking to add alternate candidates to the board, asked a judge to sign a restraining order to delay the meeting.The request was denied.

Eighty percent of board members voted to fire Remmereit. The orchestra's lead tubist says most musicians agree with the decision.

"Musicians are frustrated that our voices have not been heard and we do stand by the board and their decision," said Craig Sutherland, Musicians Committee co-chair.

The RPO says Remmereit was terminated because he failed to work collaboratively with the CEO and staff. The board says he missed auditions and failed to provide programming for upcoming performances.

"From his interactions with the management and the board members, we need a leader who's not going to divide the institution but bring us together," said Sutherland.

The board says Remmereit cleaned out his office before the termination was announced.

"He had not responded to any of our requests that he conduct. Other people are fighting back on his behalf but he is not fighting back in terms of I want to get back on the podium and conduct this orchestra," said RPO board chair Elizabeth Rice.

The board is now focusing on the future and dealing with a $750,000 annual deficit. Rice says the annual campaign is already $200,000 ahead of last year's.

The board is using guest conductors and doesn't expect to fill the position for a few years.

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