P-I Flogged by Blog

L'affaire Talvi comes ever more to resemble Italian opera, with cries of "Vendetta!" "Calunnia!" and "Maledizione!" filling the air. Ilkka Talvi was the Seattle Symphony's concertmaster for over 20 years until the nonrenewal of his contract last season engendered a lawsuit, arbitration, and a gossipy blog (www.schmaltzuberalles.blogspot.com) full of all-but-undisguised attacks on SSO music director Gerard Schwarz and others. Talvi's latest online salvo is the posting of a letter from his attorney, Cliff Freed, to Seattle Post-Intelligencer A&E editor Duston Harvey complaining of an article by P-I music/dance critic R.M. Campbell that reported on the arbitration agreement. Among other things, Freed accuses Campbell of misleading the public and calls him "just another hack." Harvey reports he hasn't received the letter, but noted that Freed "didn't say that what Campbell wrote was incorrect." In the meantime, we consult the blog daily, as it veers from Verdian battle cry for justice to Donizettian mad scene. GAVIN BORCHERT


"Organizational restructuring" has begun at the Seattle Rep. Director of production Ten Eyck Swackhamer was let go after eight years to make room for a colleague of new artistic director David Esbjornson, Nick Schwartz-Hall. Also let go was publicist David Tucker. Any more departures? Director of communications Cynthia Fuhrman says, "[Esbjornson] has told us all pretty openly that, at this point, that's it." STEVE WIECKING


The Rep's Fuhrman also commented on the recent appointment of attorney James F. Tune as the new CEO and president of ArtsFund, the local organization that channels corporate donations to the arts. Says Fuhrman, "[Jim] was on our artistic director search committee—other board members responded more from a board point of view, while Jim [always] seemed to be responding to the art point of view. He's a gentleman's gentleman." STEVE WIECKING


With City Council elections on the horizon, local music industry types are hosting a bipartisan candidates forum at Neumo's on Capitol Hill (6 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, mixer at 8:30 p.m.; 925 E. Pike St., 206-834-1000). The idea is to review current and wanna-be council members' positions on issues of interest to musicians, club owners, promoters, and the music-loving public—things like affordable health care and housing for artists, zoning concerns, and support for all-ages venues. "The issues (on people's minds now) aren't black-and-white like the Teen Dance Ordinance [city restrictions on all-ages concerts that were finally tossed out in 2002]," says Dave Meinert, a promoter and governor of the Recording Academy (Grammys). "They're much more complex, with long-term implications." RACHEL SHIMP


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