Dept. of Homeland Obviousness update

If the person who wrote the headline for this article went to J-school, they should get a complete refund on their tuition:

Honolulu Symphony Bankruptcy Disturbs Musicians
Musicians Fear Uncertain Future

HONOLULU — News of the Honolulu Symphony’s bankruptcy announcement is sending shock waves through the community.

Now the city auditoriums department must scramble to find other acts to fill the Blaisdell on dozens of dates vacated by the Symphony.

Some young musicians, who just came from the Mainland to join the symphony, said they are wondering why they ever took the risk.

At the musician’s union symphony musicians practice in spite of their uncertain future.

Matt Eckenhoff is one of eight musicians to just join the Honolulu Symphony that’s now filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“We are disappointed, really more than anything, we just want to play. That’s our livelihood. That’s how we make our money and we are sad we are not able to do that,” said Eckenhoff.

Eckenhoff said he still has not been reimbursed thousands of dollars he paid to move to Hawaii from Houston and said he’s just signed a six-month apartment lease.

“We haven’t given up all hope yet,” Eckenhoff said.

About the author

Robert Levine
Robert Levine

Robert Levine has been the Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony since September 1987. Before coming to Milwaukee Mr. Levine had been a member of the Orford String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, with whom he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and South America. Prior to joining the Orford Quartet, Mr. Levine had served as Principal Violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for six years. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, and the Oklahoma City Symphony, as well as serving as guest principal with the orchestras of Indianapolis and Hong Kong.

He has performed as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, the Midsummer Mozart Festival (San Francisco), and numerous community orchestras in Northern California and Minnesota. He has also been featured on American Public Radio's nationally broadcast show "St. Paul Sunday Morning" on several occasions.

Mr. Levine has been an active chamber musician, having performed at the Festival Rolandseck in Germany, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, the "Strings in the Mountains" Festival in Colorado, and numerous concerts in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee. He has also been active in the field of new music, having commissioned and premiered works for viola and orchestra from Minnesota composers Janika Vandervelde and Libby Larsen.

Mr. Levine was chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians from 1996 to 2002 and currently serves as President of the Milwaukee Musicians Association, Local 8 of the American Federation of Musicians, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras. He has written extensively about issues concerning orchestra musicians for publications of ICSOM, the AFM, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and the League of American Orchestras.

Mr. Levine attended Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland. His primary teachers were Aaron Sten and Pamela Goldsmith. He also studied with Paul Doctor, Walter Trampler, Bruno Giuranna, and David Abel.

He lives with his wife Emily and his son Sam in Glendale.

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