Petition Closed

“He sat right here and told me he would have Remmereit out within a year. Well, he did it – it took him a year and a half, but he did it.”
Betty Strasenburgh, former supporter of the RPO, on Charles H. Owens, CEO of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Charles H. Owens and Elizabeth Rice (Chair of the Board for the RPO) have refused to listen to the many fans and supporters of the RPO who were dismayed and upset by the abrupt termination of Music Director Arild Remmereit [as expressed in a previous petition, http://tinyurl.com/petition-RPO ]. While Rice will eventually face a term limit to her tenure, now is the time for patrons and supporters of the RPO to demand the departure of Chief Executive Officer, Charles H. Owens.

Careful study of the issue reveals that Owens’ manipulative leadership style is at the root of the problem. The hiring of Owens in 2007 coincided with the breakdown in communications and the emergence of a hostile climate in the RPO offices. This is amply documented by the many staff members who chose to depart after Owens was hired, and in their detailed exit interviews. Further, charges of sexual harassment against Owens added to the RPO’s considerable financial burden, as RPO funds were used to pay off the accuser. The veracity of the accuser’s claims is documented in surviving emails.

In hiring Arild Remmereit, Owens seemingly went along with the hiring committee’s advice, all the while planning to replace him with a more malleable Music Director, as soon as possible. The many musicians who are supportive of Remmereit obviously find themselves in a difficult position.

Clearly it is the dysfunctional administration that is destabilizing the orchestra, first by undermining Maestro Remmereit, and then by terminating his contract. Despite the lack of administrative support, Remmereit has done his job with great success – building and invigorating audiences, improving the connections with the community at large, and by raising the standard of the orchestra‘s performance to a remarkable degree.

Clearly it is time for CEO Charles H. Owens to go.

For more information on future plans please see the website at
http://rpocommunity.wordpress.com/
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/RPO-Community-Supporters/401017753310086
While I have communicated with the supporters of the RPO who are building the above pages, this petition is entirely my own initiative. Liane Curtis

Letter to
The Board of Directors of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
William L. Cahn - Chairperson, Honorary Board
Patrick J. Kelly
and 27 others
Gregory W. Smith
Eastman provides facilities for the RPO; the RPO provides faculty and many opportunities for Eastman Douglas Lowry, Dean of the Eastman School of Music
The Eastman School of Music is part of the U. of R. Joel Seligman, President of the University of Rochester
John K. Purcell
Jeffrey A. Wadsworth
La Marr J. Jackson
David W. Ackroyd
Dr. John M. Bennett
William D. Eggers
Megan Henry
Robert B. Stiles
Ross P. Lanzafame
Ilene L. Flaum
Elizabeth F. Rice - Chairperson of the Board
Patrick C. Burke - Vice Chairperson
Patrick Fulford - Vice Chairperson
Marie Kenton - Vice Chairperson
Ingrid A. Stanlis - Vice Chairperson
Steven Hess - Treasurer
Jules L. Smith - Secretary
James M. Boucher - Immediate Past Chairperson
William E. Cherry
Dr. Steven E. Feldon
Dawn F. Lipson
Mark Siwiec
Keith M. Wilson
Deborah Wilson
FIRE Charles H. Owens, CEO, and reinstate Music Director Arild Remmereit