Final season for RPO music director Arild Remmereit

Posted at: 11/30/2012 9:05 AM
Updated at: 11/30/2012 5:26 PM
By: Lynette Adams

Photo from RPO.orgThe Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has announced it is searching for a new music director. On Wednesday, the board voted to end it's contract with conductor Arild Remmereit at the end of this season.

The RPO signed Remmereit a little more than a year ago to a four year contract, but the board decided it is “best to move forward without him as music director.”

From what people are telling News10NBC this is about a difference in style. It seems Remmereit's personality and those of the RPO staff and management have collided and apparently this is what it's come to.

Ed Fiandach, former RPO Board Member, said, “I'd like to see the CEO step down. I would like to see the board president step down.”

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Board of Directors have given Arild Remmereit until the end of this season. Wednesday night, the board voted to terminate his four year deal. But since that decision, a ground swell of opposition is rising. Some community members are now calling for other resignations and a reinstatement.

Fiandach said, “I would like to see them completely rescind this whole mess over Arild and go to the community and say we're sorry, nobody's perfect, we haven't been perfect, but we all love the RPO.”

Ed Fiandach is a former member of the board. He is outraged over this decision. He says not only is Remmereit doing an outstanding job but this will hurt the RPO financially.

Fiandach said, “It's going to be very difficult as the tax season closes out for people to come forward with donations with an organization that is this muddled in it's actions.”
That is already happening, honorary board member Betty Strassenburgh has canceled the $100,000 she pledged for the RPO's 2014 and first ever Carnegie Hall performance and a petition demanding the RPO re-instate Remmeriet was launched Friday.

Glenn Pezzulo, Remmeriet's attorney, said, “For some reason when we're trying to encourage dialogue, the board doesn't want to let Arild come and speak to it and I don't understand why.”

Glenn Pezzulo is Remmereit's attorney. He says his client wants to work this out and is committed to building a number one orchestra. He says the board made its decision on faulty information possibly even some fabrications.

Pezzulo said, “If I was trying to give a message to the RPO board is that a door even if slammed can even be reopened and that's what they should bear in mind.”

The RPO did release a statement in response to News10NBC's calls on Thursday. “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.”

News10NBC did contact the RPO again on Friday and our calls were not returned.

The RPO statement goes on to say it will work out the details of Remmereits departure and form a search committee to find a new
music director.