Rochester, N.Y. – Arild Remmereit failed to take steps to mend a strained relationship between him and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra staff, according the chairperson of the RPO board.
In a lengthy statement released Saturday, Elizabeth Rice lays out the timeline she says led to the board’s vote Wednesday night to terminate Remmereit’s contract two years before it expires.
“Shortly after the RPO appointed Mr. Remmereit to be music director-designate in summer 2010, tensions developed between him and members of the RPO staff, board and orchestra,” Rice said.
She claims the board hired a labor relations consultant to map a way out of the bramble, but argues Remmereit did not heed the consultant’s advice.
Remmereit’s lawyer, Glenn Pezzulo, lays blame at RPO’s doorstep claiming RPO breached his contract “in respect to creating a hostile work environment for Arild, not providing him decisions regarding the hiring of personnel.”
Pezzulo adds that Remmereit was not given the opportunity to address the board directly before its vote.
On the vote, Rice says a “vast majority” of the board voted to terminate the contract.
She ends saying, “Mr. Remmereit’s departure does not signal a loss of focus on innovative programming.”
It remains unclear whether Remmereit will finish out the 2012-2013 season with the RPO.