Breaking: Major Canadian orchestra cancels season

Breaking: Major Canadian orchestra cancels season


norman lebrecht

September 17, 2023

We are hearing from multiple sources that the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has called off its season, 48 hours before it was due to begin.

There has been no official announcement yet.

The orchestra is one of the best in the country, widely represented on record.

Its website has been taken down.

UPDATE: We have received the email sent by the orchestra board to the musicians.

UPDATE: 6 hours later:
We are very sad to announce that the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony will not be commencing the season this week as planned. Scheduled concerts and all other activities of the orchestra for the 2023/24 season will not be proceeding. Based on the financial situation of the symphony, it simply wasn’t possible for the organization to continue with our planned events.
We don’t have more information to share at this time, but we expect to be able to provide more information soon. We’re working hard to contact all ticket holders in the coming days regarding next steps.


  • Carl says:

    Or perhaps: “C-Level, mid-sized Canadian orchestra cancels season.”

    • KW says:

      An entire orchestra and staff is out of jobs and livelihoods– and you show up to comment that they’re C level? Despicable.

      • Carl says:

        The truth isn’t pretty sometimes. They might be doing better if they weren’t C-level.

      • Anon says:

        Is it a full time orchestra or per service? How many musicians in this orchestra consider this as their full time employment? How many full time staff?

        If such a large no of staff & full time players are indeed losing their jobs then why isn’t there a union or professional organization representing them?

        C level isn’t comment on quality, it’s a catagory used to define the size & budget of orchestras.

        • MusicMatters says:

          The unfortunate reality is, even the top-tier orchestras members in the country have to have a second job. Music groups enrich the lives of the participants and the communities around them. It’s sad to any group, regardless of talent, size or paid status fold.

          • Helen says:

            Huh? I agree with your intent here, but it just is not true that the members of the “top-tier orchestras”, i.e the TSO, OSM or NAC, need to have a second job to make ends meet. (Many of them do hold teaching jobs because they have prestigious positions and students want to study with them, but that’s a different matter.)

            The KWS was a full-time orchestra, but not one well-paid enough for its members to necessarily be financially comfortable in the context of the rising cost of living in Southern Ontario. They were classified as employees under Canadian employment law, meaning they were entitled to collect employment insurance during the summer, which many of them did.

            To Anon’s question– “why isn’t there a union or professional organization representing them”– there is. The entire point of an organization declaring bankruptcy, though, is that it releases you of financial obligations you can’t meet. Even if there are assets to liquidate, which in this case seems like maybe there aren’t, employees usually don’t see much of it, and they don’t have the right to sue for severance. We’ll have to wait and see what exactly the situation is in KW and whether anything is going to be salvaged, but in general your company actually going bust means you’re toast and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

          • Arlin GUESS says:

            Unfortunately for ever one of those top tier orchestras there are multiple smaller orchestras that have extremely talented musicians, supportive fans but just not enough income to continue to perform. The musicians all have a second job to be able to do what they love. You want more people to come enjoy your concerts but if you charge enough for tickets to be solvent, no one could afford to come. Catch 22 for everyone.

      • MG says:

        I learned years ago that the letter classification is based on the orchestra budget not the quality of the group. A “C Level” orchestra could in fact be one of the best in the country.

        • IfYouDon’tHaveAnythingNiceToSay… says:

          I think it’s pretty clear from the context of Carl’s comments that he is using C-level to disparage quality.

    • Carlisanidiot says:

      Say you are a kuntbag, admit it kuntbag ^_^

      • Maria says:

        Disgusting comment. Yes, Carl is an idiot!

      • Qwiver says:

        Man sensitive. Fact doesn’t care about feelings or what you think is “offensive”. Life doesn’t care how soft you are. So toughen up.

        • Carlisanidiot says:

          Qwiver is grade A tough guy for sure. I hope he bottles his creamy toughness and sells it. Definitely not a giant weiner, definitely not a giant douche. He could have defeated Hitler with just one tough look. Move over Putin, there is a new tough sheriffin town. Xi? No fuckin wii. This man is tough

      • Norabide Guziak says:

        You again? Give me Carl any day.

    • Curvy Honk Glove says:

      Yeah, Carl. Eff those amateurs, right? I bet they did something to deserve this anyway. I mean… why should we really care about the outcomes of those “lesser” orchestras.

    • Janet says:

      Have you ever attended a KWS concert, Carl? Have any of your kids developed their skills in their excellent youth orchestra system? Do you care about the survival of classical music in our society, in communities big and small?

      • Maria says:

        He only cares about himself and his opinions he thinks are superior to anyone else’s. No regard for those who are affected, and their jobs.

    • John says:

      Your arrogance is only riveled by your ignorance

    • Andy says:

      It’s a damn fine orchestra and a hard working staff that serves its community with imaginative concerts and inspired educational initiatives. Perhaps their budget is modest, but not their aspirations, efforts and achievements.

      Miserabile visu. Sic transit gloria mundi.

      • John says:

        Served their community so well nobody stepped-up to fund them this year.

        • TJ says:

          This is the first and last time I will submit a comment. Many of your comments (from both sides) are simply awful. Ad hominem attacks rarely add anything of value to a discussion, debate or even an argument. Wow.

        • Andy says:

          Very true, the community didn’t step up to the plate. I wonder if it’s because so many people are busy perpetuating cruelty on social media platforms and simply didn’t notice the orchestra was in trouble.

    • Maximilian Syracuse says:

      The KW Symphony is actually one of Canada’s best, but it would take a real appreciator to know that.

      • Russell Oates says:

        A great group! They, in collaboration with (sadly, now defunct) Orchestra London, were the second group in Canada to perform/stage Mahler’s 8th Symphony, not long after the TSO did the Canadian première in the late 80s. Something I was proud to be a part of.

        • Andy says:

          Agreed, they’re one of Canada’s best. They tower head and shoulders above Ottawa’s NACO artistically despite receiving a tiny fraction of federal funding in comparison. That massive disparity is the real problem, not administration or board. The playing field is lopsided, and NACO gulps down more federal money in one year than KWSO receives in a decade. Shameful.

    • Maria says:

      What a horrible comment!

    • John says:

      Or “Canadian orchestra nobody every heard of cancels season.”

    • Zeno26 says:

      Orchestras make beautiful music. Musicians pour their hearts out and share their skills and talents to enrich our lives. It is not about rankings. Respect!

  • PHF says:

    Major Waterloo Orchestra… Major Canadian? I dont think so, it’s sad anyway… it is not about site.

  • David says:

    Who needs music in this age? Money will suffice.

  • Orchestral Musician says:

    This is very sad news! About 50 excellent musicians are out of work, and a community has lost their orchestra.
    They have a very nice hall, too!
    Here’s a very brief excerpt of David Greilsammer conducting and performing with this orchestra. Mozart c minor, with COVID-19 spacing.

  • Dr. Heather Taves says:

    This is a major Canadian fulltime professional orchestra that serves the urban Waterloo region of 600,000 people located an hour from Toronto in Canada’s largest metropolitan area, home to a large tech industry (where mobile phones were invented, and a quantum computing research hub with North America’s best mathematics degree program at U of Waterloo). The KW Symphony has an outstanding youth orchestra, also cancelled. It has been in existence since 1945 and its former music director Raffi Armenian spearheaded the building of one of Canada’s best acoustic concert halls. The orchestra has spawned many renowned small ensembles such as the Canadian Chamber Ensemble and has a large discography. The orchestra feeds the Laurier Faculty of Music, one of Canada’s most elite music programs. Graduates of its players are found in major North American Orchestras. Kitchener-Waterloo has always been a top classical music city with many choirs and several A-list concert series. This orchestra is a treasured jewel to all Canadian classical musicians.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Mobile phones were invented in Finland.

      • Heather Taves says:

        I should clarify my term as being the smartphone, in other words the mobile phone as we know it today combining computing and phone/text services, which was invented by Mike Lazaridis, who together with his partner Jim Balsillie founded Blackberry and ran it as a Waterloo-based empire until it was taken down by the iPhone. Fun fact: all Backberry messages ever recorded are still securely stored in Waterloo – including Obama’s texts! The movie Blackberry tells the story. Thus we do have local billionaires, so it does seem that an orchestra could find financial support. My deep sympathies to any KW musicians reading this.

      • John Pickford says:

        Yes, by Nokia but Carl is still a kuntbag to impute a very fine Canadian orchestra. It is surprising that no one knew there financial difficulties until right before the season was to begin. The loonie’s aren’t just slang for Canadian currency! Send in the Mounties!!

        • Ghatotkacha says:

          Incidentally, what exactly is a “kuntbag”? It actually sounds to me like something that must be really good, but maybe that’s just because I’m straight.

      • tanya says:

        There was Blackberry invented before mobile phone. It was invented in the company created by Lazaridis.

    • Caroline B says:

      Fantastic comment! The KWS has been important thousands of lives.

  • Monty Earleman says:

    Another colossal failure by another incompetent board.

  • Michael Macaulay says:

    Its budget size might make it fly under most folks’ radars, but beyond being a mainstay of the Waterloo Region’s artistic community for generations, the KWS has had an enormous impact on the global musical community. Former students of its musicians can be found in every major Canadian orchestra, and in principal chairs in the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony. A lot of exceptionally fine musicians and people have had their lives upended by this news, and my heart breaks for them. They are a resilient bunch of survivors who have weathered a lot of ups and downs over the years and I hope to see them all land on their feet.

  • Margaret Koscielny says:

    Some of these comments are so cruel, lacking in empathy and compassion. One wonders if they are generated by AI or just plain mean-spirited people who do not respect musicians, regardless of whether they are the top tier or regional.


    Everyone has a big mouth behind their keyboard. The orchestra filled the needs for the region. I’m sure the people on here are experts in their chosen fields. Lol. Why not just shut your mouths and move along? Carl I’m sure you’re a classy citizen. Best of luck I’ll use my full name in case anyone would like to discuss this some more and wants to look me up.

  • DeAnna Howe says:

    So very sad.

  • SlippedChat says:

    48 hours’ notice of “Don’t bother coming into work this weekend–or ever.” Such a lovely (not) sign of respectful collegiality.

    • John says:

      Suprised woke Canada allows this…their dancing prime minister better look into this

    • Charlie says:

      I suspect — although I have zero direct information — that the board realized they have a major shortfall and wouldn’t be able to fulfill their contractual obligations to the musicians. So… rather than try to limp along and risk being sued for contract violation, they just closed up shop. That’s entirely a guess, but I can’t see any other reason to just wipe it all out at once.

      I work with lots of per-service orchestras in America where the musicians don’t have any sort of significant contract. It was actually beneficial during COVID times when those per-service orchestras could put together small projects here and there. But the bigger orchestras with salaried musicians had to pretty much just shut down because they couldn’t possibly fulfill all the work outlined in the contracts.

  • Zarathusa says:

    Like I said in a previous posting: “Monetary problems relating to symphony orchestras are only now the “tip of the iceberg.” This sad Canadian episode is just the latest example of a world-wide classical music “epidemic”!

    • V.Lind says:

      Well, certainly a Canadian one: Regina, a more established orchestra, is on the brink. Audiences are just not returning to pre-pandemic levels. Curiously, up the road, Saskatoon is thriving.

      • Ghatotkacha says:

        Ah, well, but if you knew Saskatoon, you wouldn’t find it so curious.

        • V.Lind says:

          I’m afraid I do not know Saskatoon, but if it has a secret, I wish it would share it with its near neighbour and with K-W.

          I did know a good bit about Regina, and I know that corporate fundraising was like pulling teeth — this long before Covid. But it had very varied repertoire and drew some top notch guest artists, and had some nice imaginative programming.

          I know less about K-W, but had thought the area was quite well to do, and with a university with a music department you would have thought it was off to a start with programming. Unfortunately, they have been rather sparing in what they have so far released about their problems, which makes it rather hard to help find solutions.

      • Claire Maunsell says:

        You would not be surprised if you knew their CEO! He is creative, forward thinking, knowledgable and just a really great guy!

  • Robert Holmén says:

    From Wiki…

    “The orchestra comprises 52 professional musicians under full-time contract. KWS performs close to 90 performances during a 38-week season for a combined concert audience of over 90,000.”

    Not A-Level famous but certainly more active than “C-Level.”

    • meh says:

      As far as Canadian orchestra rankings go, this one is about a B tier group, a smaller core musician size and slightly shorter season but nevertheless full time employed and salaried as opposed to paid per service. it’s also an important orchestra in the lower Ontario region given that its proximity to the 405 highway allows it to visit many connected municipalities which (while having their own groups) don’t have consistent access to the major cultural hubs that are Toronto or Montreal.

  • Yuri K says:

    “Guns before music” (c)

  • An Abdication of Responsibility says:

    “…the Symphony is committed to being as supportive as possible to each of you.”

    The musicians ARE “the Symphony” you idiots. You (the board) have locked out everyone that does anything of any real meaning. There are 16 board members listed on the KWS website. SIXTEEN supposedly brilliant, experienced, knowledgeable people who have been trusted in ensuring the health and prosperity of this organization.

    How exactly did this situation come to be and how the hell are you going to be “supportive” when you aren’t even offering refunds to ticket holders and parents who already paid subscriptions and tuition for the youth orchestra?

    • Anon says:

      Unfortunately you are incorrect. The BOARD & ADMINISTRATORS are the orchestra. They control EVERYTHING. programming, budget, personnel…and they are well-aware of this and protect their power and jobs at all costs…the mission of performing music has been replaced with OUTREACH. gee, funny how that makes the ADMINS most important and the musicians the least important. in fact, the musicians are the lowest, least powerful, most-easily replaced employees by design. You can thank the non-profit tax system for that and the overabundance of college music degree programs.
      The musicians have a choice. Work for a large arts organization and be an underpaid union worker, or start a self-governed group and spend 99% of your time fundraising.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    We can now say that Classical Music has indeed met its Waterloo.

  • John says:

    Go woke…go broke.

  • Dr. Peter Gardner says:

    It is sad to see such a fine ensemble, one which has contributed so much to the musical fabric of Canada to end up in this situation. Those who do not understand , or care, what it takes to maintain such an ensemble or what it brings to the wellbeing and health of a community should keep quiet. Any orchestra and its players bring far more to a community than that which is seen on stage for fleeting moments.

    I have been concerned for some time about the gradual erosion of classical music in Canada in the face of the relentless onslaught of commercial music and interests much of which is of highly dubious and manufactured quality which does little for the wellbeing of the listener but a great deal for the pockets of the recording and promoting companies.

    Canada should “Stand on Guard” for its cultural integrity and mourn the demise of a worthy cultural institution and be ashamed that it has come to this. Watch out other ensembles.

  • DAS says:

    Not going to lie, the only reason I did a double take and actually read the article was the “one of the best in the country” comments (I guess every country has > 10 “top 5 orchestras in the country”). I know nothing of the internal finances of the group but, having served on multiple non profit boards including 4 musical organizations, I can say that 9/10 times an organization like this fails suddenly is because of a cash flow problem rather than an overall budgetary shortfall. That’s why it comes on unexpectedly for an organization that might have a multi million dollar budget (1/10 times it’s a pissing contest between the board and the artistic director). What’s surprising is that a cursory scan of the board’s members shows several with accounting, financial, and managerial experience so they should not have been blindsided. Their last posted annual report is from 2020 which I suppose is either a red flag or their website isn’t kept up to date. Will be interesting to eventually find out what is actually going on and hopefully can be fixed

  • MJM says:

    Only sheer incompetence could explain a need to shut down so suddenly. Whether someone saw it coming or not, and whether they were heeded or not. all circumstances reflect poorly on the culture of the organization.

    Most artistic organization board members don’t know squat about business. Even those in business only know THEIR business and can often be quite dull about operations outside their own. And most people with actual organizational leadership business experience find that NP boards waste lots of time talking nonsense and head for the door sooner than usual. Non-profit accounting is also more complicated than for-profit accounting for companies of a similar size, which doesn’t help. The most common artistic business strategy is pray for a savior.

    In my experience, only bankers with loan-generating experience know how to cut to the chase, but boards hate people like that, who point out the financial deficiencies in the “mission”.

  • Edward says:

    Sad, nice facility, great programs to remember.

  • Eric says:

    It seems quite strange, they have a big list of sponsors on their season promo video. Did someone in management stupidly take on a large debt load during covid ? Sponsor list at the end of their promo video

  • John S says:

    Most symphony orchestras today are having difficulties. Ultimately, the issues are not financial, but artistic and cultural. For example, take a look at the audition material to join these orchestras. It hasn’t changed in over 50 years!
    It’s time for a major overhaul of the symphony orchestras. Begin to hire for musical diversity.

  • CitizenG says:

    I was actually wondering if this has more to do with another round of lockdowns & they’re just using the monetary thing; although, I can believe orchestra’s are struggling financially, as well. It’s a shame, either way.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    No matter the size of the orchestra, it’s a tragedy for all concerned: the musicians, the staff, the community. The fact that management waited until 48 hours before the season opener to make the announcement is, in the most charitable interpretation, a sign that they were desperately trying to raise some rescue funds until the last minute.

  • drummerman says:

    Did management give them any sort of “warning” way before this 48 hour notice? If not, that is disgraceful, to say the least and I say that as someone who works in orchestra management.

  • J Barcelo says:

    How sad – another orchestra gone. Although the orchestra isn’t that well-known outside of Canada, and it wasn’t a top-tier orchestra, it nonetheless provided fine concerts for the region and lent a certain amount of civilization that is sorely needed. But folks, the world’s changing and a lot of wealthy people today see priorities other than supporting an old, maybe worn-out institution like a symphony orchestra. Most all of them are no more than museums of sound, replaying the same old European warhorses year after year. Contemporary music is largely unplayed, often for good reason: very few like it. So what’s the point of an orchestra when the recorded legacy of really fine orchestras is so vast? Despite recent movies like Tar and the Leonard Bernstein biopic, the work that orchestras and their leaders do is largely unappreciated by modern society. So the KW orchestra played for a total audience one season of 90,000. BFD. I’ve been to NFL games where there are 90,000 people for just ONE game.

  • Yuri K says:

    I’ve never heard this orchestra not do I have any their recordings in my collection. However, I am well aware that the top of a pyramid is always supported by its base. A country can’t have one top orchestra w/o having 5 of lesser quality, and they can’t have these 5 w/o having 25 third-rate and so on. Hence, erosion of the base will hurt the top eventually. I’ve read an article about the negative effects COVID-19 had on classical music,far%20outlast%20the%20pandemic%20itself.
    and it is obvious that the governments of those countries that imposed lockdowns (and Canada was among the toughest) must help classical music institutions in the same way the banks were bailed out by the US government in 2008/9. Unless they have other priorities, of course. Earlier, BSO cancelled 10 concerts in the 2022/3 season, so this may be a trend. For those of you who have libertarian minds and, therefore, despise government funding, why don’t you ask Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and their ilk for help?

  • Roger says:

    Sad to hear that they have canceled the season. Musicians and audiences are the victims of poor management. However, this is not one of the best major Canadian orchestras.

  • Nate says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to blame the continuing damage the strict COVid lockdowns had (and are still having) in every area of society. The negatives have far outweighed the positives. Thanks, Justin Trudeau ‍♂️

    • V.Lind says:

      Oh, knock it off. Canada handled Covid responsibly, and as a result fewer people dies than did in less careful countries. I am no Trudeau fan, but he did he right thing here. Even stopped clocks are right twice a day.

      • Corno di cacca says:

        [Oh, knock it off. Canada handled Covid responsibly, and as a result fewer people dies than did in less careful countries.]

        And this is the result for the arts – worth it, I’m sure, to reduce the danger to you, Miss Rosedale, and others who stood to lose nothing.

      • meh says:

        Not to mention the UBI that was provided (even if costly for the taxpayer) allowed for the country’s economy to keep operating and saved businesses from going under.

        • Dontatme says:

          It was not UBI. It was not universal. Only part of the population received CERB. And guess what, we are all tax payers you dolt.

  • Kurt Kaufman says:

    At the risk of adding yet another comment too many, I spent a summer in 1989 negotiating on behalf of my fellow musicians with our orchestra management until we hammered out something that neither side was particularly satisfied with, i.e. a successful compromise. Two months into the season management came back to us and said we had to open up the contract or go belly up. I can only assume that management was not negotiating in good faith. I appreciate how difficult it is to raise money for an orchestra, how limited the appetite of the general public is for its product. This was in Sacramento, California, a “C-level” equivalent if there ever was one! (40 weeks/year maybe ? I no longer remember.) Needless to say, none of us had earned our entire living working in the orchestra, and yet it provided a basic income for those of us who taught at nearby universities. When it was gone, our students often lost us as well. Sad all around.

  • irkling says:

    This is what happens when board members see their positions as honorary rather than working.

  • Amanda says:

    I serve on the board of a small orchestra in the U.S. Our musicians have other jobs. Is this a full-time job for the orchestra members? Unless it is their only source of income, perhaps the performers would be willing to do a benefit concert. They’d need to find a venue that would donate the space; with ticket sales and corporate sponsors, they could possibly start to get back on their feet. It is very expensive to put on a show, and sadly, many orchestras (including ours) are struggling.

  • Music Lover says:

    As the mother of a would-be Canadian orchestral musician with a Masters from a top US music school, I can tell you that this industry is heartbreaking. Few know how hard a classical musician works to attain the necessary skill – you have to be pretty much perfect at a huge repertoire. And then you go through the gruelling audition process, not once or twice but multiple times no matter how talented you are, only to find that another already-employed, more experienced musician has won the job and will now have two scarce full-time positions. Or you are one of two musicians to win the job “on trial” and play your heart out for 6 months only to be told “thank you anyway.” So you go back to practicing 4 hours a day for the next audition while working your day job. It is true that the brass ring pays pretty well – the several top Canadian orchestras offer a decent living, especially if you also teach at a local university – but it is a pitiless, soul-destroying process to get there…especially in the wake of Covid. To see one of the better orchestras go down is a tragedy. I wish more people understood the beauty and effort of achieving professional musicianhood in an orchestra today. We should all mourn the loss of one of our few fine ensembles, and the loss of a wonderful source of music for all Canadians.

  • Brandywine Blogger says:

    This is so very sad to read. As an American, we’re seeing this trend in orchestra labor and budget issues in Philadelphia, San Antonio, Chicago as well as our own excellent regional orchestra in south-east Pennsylvania.
    I’m not sure it’s Covid. In America, few parents take their children to concerts and when they do, it’s the moms going to Taylor Swift concerts with their daughters. And less money and importance is being given to music in the schools. Sports still reigns supreme in America. In the end, we all lose.

  • Michel Lemieux says:

    Their MD Andrei Feher is no slouch, having served as assistant conductor to Paavo Järvi in Paris.

  • Terry Sefton says:

    Would someone at Slippedisc please consider moderating the comments? Mean and small is one thing – using obscenely crude misogynist terms is another. As for KW Symphony – the ‘small’ orchestras across Canada don’t need to be internationally known to have a huge impact. Having a professional orchestra in town is like having a good bookstore in town – enriching in multiple ways – despite those who say reading has gone out of fashion. My heartfelt condolences to the musicians and staff at KWS

  • KW Youth Orchestra says:

    Kitchener Waterloo Symphony is going through financial turmoil because of fraudulent activities, latest of which is asking candidates of the 2023-24 Youth Orchestra to pay tuition fees and then announcing that program is cancelled with no refunds, this is an outright scam and fraud.

    If you knew there were financial troubles, why did you ask students to pay fees and then announce that season is cancelled, moreover have the audacity to say there will no refunds, who is siphoning all the funds? If the season does not start, then this is an outright scam and fraud, no wonder KW Symphony is in the state it is because scammers most likely running the organization.

    KW Symphony is run by bunch of scammers, horrible horrible people.

    • mehsister says:

      This toxic, speculative, accusatory word salad is not helpful. Why are you making accusations of fraud with no fucking evidence? Hold your tongue!

  • Caroline B says:

    I have so many wonderful memories of attending KWS concerts throughout my life, it was the first orchestra I had been introduced to as a child. The reality is (especially in our very harsh winter and severe weather conditions for nearly half of the year) it is completely impractical/dangerous to drive to Toronto to attend a concert. I very much hope something can be done. It is a loss for an entire community.

  • Mervon says:

    The musicians have started a Go Fund Me campaign. It has raised $100K in 24 hours. All those who can should participate. Losing this regional orchestra, one that employed 50+ musicians, plus staff, ushers, stage hands and played to nearly 90,000 people per season, deserves our collective support.

  • Kirsty Money says:

    I would say the bulk of these crude and ignorant comments are indicative of the disjointed, un-empathetic and inhumane world we live in today. Reading these comments makes me realise we need more LIVE art forms like Symphony Orchestras more than ever!!! What desperately sad news for the Orchestral Community in North America. My heart goes out to the musicians of the KW Symphony, for they are the heart of the organisation, and their dedication and artistry will be desperately missed in the community I have no doubt.