The most interesting news I've gotten this week comes from Mr. CKDH at All is Yar, who started from personnel changes at the LAPO and casually dropped in a startling fact about the Met Orchestra.
First, the good news: the LAPO has a new principal flutist, Denis Bouriakov. Bouriakov is the orchestra's fifth principal flute in the last seven years, following the departures of Mathieu Dufour, David Buck, and Julien Beaudiment. I am sure that everyone is holding their breath and hoping that he sticks, given the comings and goings.
Next, the bad news: the orchestra has announced that Michele Zukovsky, principal clarinet and an orchestra member for more than fifty years, will be retiring. She's had a fantastic career and is one of the rocks of the LAPO. I've heard her play and she was great. Hale and farewell, Michele Zukovsky! You will be missed.
And now the startling fact about the Met Orchestra: They've had four principals depart in the last couple of years. Principal clarinet Anthony McGill now holds the same position at the NYPO; principal bass Timothy Cobb also moved across the plaza to the NYPO. Now both of its principal flutes have left, Bouriakov for the LAPO and the other, Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, for the CSO, where he'll take the chair vacated by Mathieu Dufour, who has left for the Berlin Philharmonic.
Well, now: that the Met has serious financial problems isn't a secret, and it could be a sign of those problems that they're losing so many principals to other orchestras. It's bad news for them, in any event; that kind of churn in first chairs is not good.