A group that has been pressuring the Long Beach Symphony to retain Murry Sidlin as its musical director has decided instead to focus its efforts on helping him find other employment in Southern California.
"We've done everything we can," said Norman H. Gottlieb, founder of a group called the Committee to Retain Our Symphony and Sidlin which, among other things, had circulated a petition on Sidlin's behalf and staged a demonstration at a January concert. The symphony board "has remained adamant and apparently is not going to move. We've decided that it's hopeless."
Instead of continuing its drive to change the board's mind, he said, the group will begin contacting symphony orchestras throughout the area in an effort to land the popular conductor a new job within commuting distance for fans based in Long Beach. "A lot of subscribers will leave the Long Beach Symphony to follow him," Gottlieb said.
Sidlin, who lives in New Haven, Conn., was told late last year that this would be his last season with the Long Beach orchestra. Although the board has been vague in expressing the reasons for its decision, many believe it was because Sidlin had not made Long Beach his home. The symphony's season ends in June.