New Florida Ensemble Faces Debts—and Anger—Left by Its Predecessor

Classic Arts News   New Florida Ensemble Faces Debts—and Anger—Left by Its Predecessor
The creation of a new string ensemble in Florida has raised eyebrows among musicians and audience members owed money by its predecessor, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

According to the paper, the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra shut down in the fall of 2005, leaving musicians unpaid and audience members without refunds.

Months later, Amichai Hendel, the president of the ensemble, has created a new group, called the Renaissance Classical Orchestra. The new group, he says, has no legal connection to the old, although it will be fulfilling 11 of its engagements this year.

Hendel told the Sun-Sentinel that audience members who are owed money should contact board members of the former group. But Jacqueline de los Santos, a bassist and board member, sent the paper back to Hendel, saying that he had "handled all the money."

Meanwhile, the local musicians' union has filed a complaint against Hendel, saying he owes $25,000 to musicians from the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra. "We believe that he formed this [new] corporation specifically to avoid those wages and to avoid his obligations under the contract," said union treasurer Jeffrey Apana.

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