STATEMENT BY RAY GROSSWIRTH
MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE FOR RPO COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS
Those of us who work on behalf of Arild Remmereit will continue our efforts through legal channels, inspired by widespread community support. We believe that just as a contract can be severed, it can also be restored. Our efforts are driven by our love, respect and admiration for the maestro.
My relationship with the RPO extends over 50 years, and I have never seen a better conductor than Arild Remmereit, in Rochester or elsewhere.
Persons, who shall remain unnamed, have slandered and plotted against Maestro Remmereit from the very beginning of his tenure, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Now, that these same individuals have driven the maestro out of his position (a position that can be restored), they are still not satisfied. They continue to distort the findings of the Craviso report, such as stating in public that the results were negative about Arild, and positive about the CEO. I advise taking a closer look at reports about the CEO, whether it be the Craviso report, or other legitimate inquiries.
Thus far, I have identified 14 musicians in the orchestra who have slandered Maestro Remmereit in blogs, media reports, and via the plotting that took place behind the scenes. Some of this plotting, which still continues, involves the shunning of musicians who support Arild, which has caused a climate of fear, whereby supportive musicians are afraid to speak out. Hopefully, supportive musicians (there are many), will put their fears aside and speak soon. (We know from history that terrible events have happened when good people didn't speak, due to the fear factor.)
Obviously, Maestro Remmereit is devastated by all that has transpired. To add insult to injuy, the RPO shut off the maestro's phone and took his car. A few musicians continue to slander him, which equates to kicking a man when he is already down.
In consideration of the fact that such events described above could also happen with another conductor, I recommend the following: 1.) The presidet of the local musician's union should not also be a member of the orchestra; it represents a conflict of interest, especially when the president is also closely aligned with the orchestra's CEO. 2.) A conductor should never be micro-managed by the CEO and board chair; 3.) The artistic freedom of a conductor should never be hampered by plotting within the orchestra or via the politics of an elected board.
As stated above, I will continue to work toward the best interests of Maestro Remmereit. I am hoping our group's efforts will be successful, whether it be reinstating Remmereit or changing the manner in which board members are elected. If our efforts fail, I will sever all ties with the RPO. I am truly ashamed at what has transpired, and will no longer want to have anything to do with this orchestra if the powers-that-be drive a great conductor and a terrfic person out of town.
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