Rochester, N.Y. - A group of displeased members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra are on the verge of a new plan to return popular music director Arild Remmereit to the Eastman Theater.
The group, known as the RPO Community Supporters wants to gain seats on the RPO Board of Directors. A vote is set to take place on Wednesday during the board's annual meeting.
"At least by attempting to introduce a write-in vote for a new slate, we would begin the process of changing the board and changing the mindset of the management," said Ray Grosswirth, one of six people the community group hopes will be elected.
The group said their efforts stem from the termination of Arild Remmereit's contract last fall following differences between Remmereit, musicians and leadership.
"I stopped giving, I stopped making donations," said Betty Strasenburgh, a longtime RPO donor. She withdrew $100,000 that she said was earmarked for a concert at Carnegie Hall in 2014 scheduled to feature RPO musicians and Remmereit.
Board Chairwoman Elizabeth Rice said the 80 percent of the board votes to oust Remmereit and stands by the decision.
"I would have liked a different ending," said Rice.
Remmereit cleaned out his desk in November and has not responded to messages from the organization, according to Rice.
"He has shown no interest in being reinstated, let along finishing the season," said Rice.
The RPO bylaws state that board candidates' names be submitted in writing by October and that that did not happen with regard to the community group's choices.
"They are a little late in getting it to the party," said Rice.
Nonetheless, Grosswirth said they will try to gain board seats at Wednesday's meeting.
If their efforts are not successful, Grosswirth said the group is prepared to sue the RPO.
Remmereit's attorney Glenn Pezzulo did not return a request for comment on this story.