Ernest Fleischmann, managing director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 27 years, has announced he will retire in June 1997.
Fleischmann, 71, said he would stay on as a consultant through June 1999 and delay his actual resignation if no successor has been found.During his lengthy tenure, the dynamic, frequently controversial Fleischmann built the L.A. Philharmonic into an orchestra with a $40 million annual budget. He brought young talent, such as conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Simon Rattle, to the podium and encouraged more adventurous programming. At the same time, he also built the Hollywood Bowl into a popular moneymaker.
In 1987 he delivered his famous broadside "The Symphony Orchestra Is Dead, Long Live the Community of Musicians" at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His proposal to rethink and restructure the fabric of urban culture had critics arguing for months.
Two years before, he announced he had been appointed head of the Paris Opera. Subsequently he changed his mind but not before Los Angeles journalists had indulged in a frenzy of farewells, not all of them complimentary.
In the wake of his announcement, some fear Fleischmann's departure may further complicate the status of Disney Concert Hall, the orchestra's planned new home, which has been delayed by spiraling cost estimates and a $150 million fund-raising gap.
- PAUL KELLOGG, artistic director of the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., has been appointed artistic and general director of New York City Opera, succeeding Christopher Keene, who died in October.
Kellogg, 58, is the first non-musician to head the company in its 52-year history. However, he has already hired George Manahan, a talented young conductor, as music director and appointed John Conklin, a designer with 30 years' experience at City Opera, director of production and Sherwin Goldman executive producer.
Kellogg says he plans to retain the Glimmerglass post.