Judge allows composer’s suit against Brooklyn Philharmonic to go through

Posted on: May 21, 2013

Monday (5/20) on the WQXR Blog, Brian Wise reports, “A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge has denied an attempt by the Brooklyn Philharmonic to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the composer Nathan Currier, who alleges that the orchestra broke a contract by abruptly terminating the premiere of his oratorio mid-performance at Avery Fisher Hall. ‘It was disappointing and it will be appealed,’ said Harvey Mars, the Philharmonic’s attorney in a phone interview. A conference between the two parties is scheduled for May 28. The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, alleges that the Brooklyn Philharmonic stopped the April 21, 2004 performance of Currier’s two-hour Gaian Variations mid-stream so that the musicians wouldn’t go into overtime. Currier, a Juilliard-trained composer who has won a number of industry prizes, is seeking compensatory damages of $72,000, the amount he paid the orchestra to premiere his magnum opus, which is scored for a full orchestra, chorus, string quartet, vocal soloists and assorted soloists. … Currier’s lawsuit hinges on the interpretation of union rules for intermissions. Some officials at the Philharmonic believed that the musicians were entitled to two 20-minute breaks during the performance while other officials understood the breaks should last no more than 12 minutes. What followed, according to Currier, was a concert with two breaks totaling 29 minutes, timings that he had not anticipated.”

Posted May 21, 2013