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October 5, 1992 | LAURENCE VITTES LAURENCE VITTES..BD: SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Boris is Here!" read the marquee outside Oxnard Civic Auditorium on Saturday night. But it wasn't the famous cartoon character from "Rocky & Bullwinkle" who was being welcomed. It was Boris Brott, in his first appearance as new music director of the Ventura County Symphony. The 48-year-old, boyish-looking Brott, one of Canada's most active musicians, was not the Symphony's only new addition.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1998 | CHRIS G. DENINA
New West Symphony in Thousand Oaks has received a $500,000 bequest to create the Laura D. Toomey Endowment for Symphonic Music at the Ventura County Community Foundation, New West officials said. Toomey, who was a fan of the Ventura County Symphony for more than 30 years, wanted to make sure that the symphony would be around for future generations, symphony officials said. The Ventura County Symphony joined the Conejo Valley Symphony in 1995 to form New West.
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NEWS
October 4, 1990 | AURORA MACKEY ARMSTRONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Ventura County Symphony will open its 29th season on a high note this weekend, with good ticket sales, a healthy budget and what is probably the best set of musicians it has ever assembled. But backstage, the musicians are singing another tune. Says one symphony member: "It probably all comes down to a matter of identity. I think we are having a midlife crisis." Maybe, musicians and others say, the symphony is ready to break its anchor at the Oxnard Civic Auditorium and expand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 1995 | KELLY DAVID, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Two performances into its inaugural season, the newly formed New West Symphony has won praise as an orchestra bursting with potential. But notwithstanding promising reviews, the performances have failed to attract the audiences the Ventura County and Conejo symphonies--dissolved last spring to form a new, first-rate orchestra--once drew.
NEWS
April 9, 1992 | ROBYN LOEWENTHAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
At age 64, Frank Salazar is a man twice blessed. For more than four decades he has been able to work at what he loves most--making music. And after officially retiring this June from the music department of Ventura Community College and as music director and conductor of the Ventura County Symphony, he will continue his love affair with music. "I'm retiring from teaching at the college," Salazar said during an interview in his home atop the Ventura hills. "But I'm not retiring from life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 1994 | JULIE FIELDS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Worried about the threat of a last-minute strike by its musicians, the Ventura County Symphony Assn. is considering hiring a touring foreign orchestra to perform its first concert. "There are plenty of foreign orchestras that are either in the state or in the Los Angeles area around that time," said symphony board President Felice Ginsberg. "That's always an option," she said. "But that doesn't accomplish anything. All that does is add to the stalling." Symphony attorney Michael A.
NEWS
February 11, 1993 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Boris Brott continued his high-profile inaugural season with the Ventura County Symphony last Saturday at the Oxnard Civic Auditorium, but the amicable maestro wasn't wielding a baton this time around. Brott came center stage to conduct the house in singing the national anthem (what is this, a baseball game?), and then joked at the microphone, "This will go on record as the shortest concert I've ever conducted."
NEWS
May 7, 1992 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Retirement doesn't come easy, especially when you've founded an enterprise, devoted yourself to it for 30 years and watched it sprout wings. Such is the saga of Frank Salazar, who ably steered the Ventura County Symphony from a gleam in his eye in 1962 to its current status as a solid ensemble with generous community support.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1998 | CHRIS G. DENINA
New West Symphony in Thousand Oaks has received a $500,000 bequest to create the Laura D. Toomey Endowment for Symphonic Music at the Ventura County Community Foundation, New West officials said. Toomey, who was a fan of the Ventura County Symphony for more than 30 years, wanted to make sure that the symphony would be around for future generations, symphony officials said. The Ventura County Symphony joined the Conejo Valley Symphony in 1995 to form New West.
NEWS
December 3, 1987
Regarding the Oct. 29 article about the Ventura County Symphony, it seems that many negative statements were printed, but the reporter failed to pick up my positive statement that I have had 25 very good, rewarding years with the Ventura County Symphony. Since its inception in 1962, I have nurtured this organization, working with it and for it in a very positive way, not only as a playing musician, but as an orchestra representative, a board member, and as musical personnel contractor.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1995 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For casual observers, the debut of the New West Symphony, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Friday night and at Oxnard Civic Auditorium on Saturday night, will be just another gala occasion. But when music director Boris Brott strikes up this band for its first outings, it will be a major transition in a long, twisting saga. Once there were two orchestras in Ventura County.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1995 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For casual observers, the debut of the New West Symphony, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Friday night and at Oxnard Civic Auditorium on Saturday night, will be just another gala occasion. But when music director Boris Brott strikes up this band for its first outings, it will be a major transition in a long, twisting saga. Once upon a time, there were two orchestras keeping the symphonic faith in Ventura County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 1995
In case anyone in Ventura County is wondering what the musicians from the former Ventura County Symphony and Conejo Symphony Orchestra think about the recent "compromise" deal that the president of the American Federation of Musicians and the New West Symphony Assn. board president cut, here's what's being said: "Unbelievable, devastating, betrayed, reprehensible, a Swiss-cheese agreement" and other things I cannot print here. The musicians have been sent down the river by the very people they pay to represent them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1995 | PAUL ELIAS
A judge has awarded the former executive director of the Ventura County Symphony Assn. $5,000 in back wages because she was terminated after giving a six-month notice of resignation. Karine Beesley successfully argued in Small Claims Court that she was fired without cause Oct. 11, three months after she gave notice July 27. Beesley, who was hired in 1987, argued that she was entitled to her $3,242 monthly salary through Jan. 31.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 1995
I have played my last concert with the Ventura County Symphony. I had played bass with the orchestra for the past 13 years, the last eight as principal bassist. The sense of sadness was overwhelming because I knew I was playing for the funeral of the Ventura County Symphony. The mood of my colleagues was the same. After 30-plus years of painstakingly building the orchestra, and in three short years it's gone. Just like that. We thought it would go on forever. We never knew what was coming until it was too late.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1995
The truth has yet to come out about the so-called merger of the Ventura County Symphony and the Conejo Valley Symphony orchestras. I can't understand why the concert-going public of both areas aren't up in arms over this decision, arrived at in secrecy by the two orchestra boards alone. Look at the history. After more than 30 years of devotion and loyalty, Maestro Frank Salazar of the Ventura County Symphony was brutally kicked out of his own orchestra by a nameless, faceless, talentless board of directors without honors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1995 | PAUL ELIAS
A judge has awarded the former executive director of the Ventura County Symphony Assn. $5,000 in back wages because she was terminated after giving a six-month notice of resignation. Karine Beesley successfully argued in Small Claims Court that she was fired without cause Oct. 11, three months after she gave notice July 27. Beesley, who was hired in 1987, argued that she was entitled to her $3,242 monthly salary through Jan. 31.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 1994 | STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When first confronted with a noisy dispute between Ventura County's two symphony orchestras, Larry Janss labeled it "a clash of titans." But half an hour of bickering later, Janss revised his metaphor, telling the symphony directors that their rivalry resembled "a lot of monkeys" mixing it up "in a small cage." Whatever the analogy, the relationship between Thousand Oaks' Conejo Symphony and the Oxnard-based Ventura County Symphony has hit a sour note. And Janss--a member of Thousand Oaks' theater commission--will likely listen to a lot more dissonance this week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 1995 | LISA M. BOWMAN
The Ventura County Symphony drew $10,000 closer to the $150,000 it must raise to match a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts with a donation announced Monday from Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. The bank, which recently opened three branches in the western Ventura County, is donating the money to promote the symphony and the bank's arrival in the county.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 1995 | PAUL ELIAS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
After years of informal talks, weeks of speculation and a flurry of board meetings in the past few days, Ventura County's two competing symphonies are merging. * The Conejo Symphony and the Ventura County Symphony will become the New West Symphony next year, officials announced Thursday at a gathering at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
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