Musicians of DaPonte String Quartet Have Wage Discontinued

(Picture courtsey: DaPonte String Quartet / Fb)


In accordance with the Press Herald, the 4 musicians of the Maine-based DaPonte String Quartet not too long ago acquired letters within the mail informing them that their full-time, salaried jobs have been disestablished. The choice was made by the Pals of the DaPonte String Quartet, a nonprofit that was established to arrange the group’s affairs and funds.

The affected gamers are violinists Lydia Ford and Ferdinand “Dino” Liva, violist Kirsten Monke, and cellist Myles Jordan. The quartet has been collectively for 30 years, and whereas it is had different configurations of gamers, these 4 musicians have been performing for over 10 years.  Every participant had been receiving a everlasting wage of $40,000 and was supplied $10,000 as a severance fee.

The Pals of the DaPonte String Quartet say they’re aiming to remodel their nonprofit into a bigger group, which is able to provide a broader and extra various vary of music carried out by a wider pool of musicians.

Moreover, the board filed the mandatory paperwork to vary the group’s identify to “Chamber Music Maine” with a bigger imaginative and prescient in thoughts. That imaginative and prescient, nevertheless, clearly doesn’t embrace the DaPonte Quartet full time, for whom and by whom the nonprofit was initially arrange.

“It does really feel somewhat unusual to obtain strolling papers from an institute I based,” stated cellist Myles Jordan.

“That is our livelihood, and it’s the livelihood we’ve constructed stone by stone, ourselves, over 30 years,” he added. “[The termination] has been two years within the making, and it’s been perpetrated with nice ability and self-discipline, and in full secrecy.”

In accordance with Jordan, mistrust and frustration have been brewing between the musicians and the board for a while, with the shortage of range within the quartet’s repertoire proving to be one thing of a sticking level for the Pals.

“They stated our music is insufficiently various in its illustration of girls and other people of shade,” Jordan stated. “It’s true that the majority of what we carry out is the music of European useless white males, however that’s what we’re educated to do.”

The gamers plan to pursue authorized motion as a result of they assume it possible that the Pals acted in contradiction to the group’s bylaws. The Board, nevertheless, are already ready for that eventuality: they’ve employed Ari Solotoff, a widely known native lawyer who specializes within the performing arts. Earlier than he entered the authorized sector, Solotoff was the chief director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

“Nonprofits repeatedly consider their programming with regard to finishing up charitable goal,” stated Erica Ball, the Govt Director of the Pals of the DaPonte String Quartet. “What the board did was take motion to vary the compensation mannequin for performers, which is able to assist us accomplish the aim of offering extra various chamber music.”

In keeping with this, Board President Thomas Davis stated the Pals group continues to be keen to work with the quartet, however relatively than a wage, the musicians can be paid per efficiency. “I do know they’re sad, however I’m optimistic we’ll work with them sooner or later,” Davis stated.

The DSQ was shaped in Philadelphia in 1991 and got here to Maine in 1995 on a Rural Residency Grant from the NEA and Chamber Music America. Their upcoming concert events embrace a Profit for Ukraine with pianist Diane Walsh performing the music of Schumann and Brahms. Held on Could 22 on the Meetinghouse Arts Freeport, in Freeport, Fundamental, the live performance’s proceeds will go to Companions for World Well being Ukraine.

“The only mission of the Pals was to assist the quartet, and to say in any other case is totally disingenuous,” wrote former board member and donor Kathleen Moses in a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald.

“The quartet has been enriching lives for practically 30 years with their concert events, academic applications and workshops. The Pals of the DaPonte String Quartet has made an enormous and shameful mistake,” she stated.