There was much agitation among the cuckoo clocks at the start of the year when Miguel Esteban took over as director general of the once-proud, now moribund Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva. A co-founder of the Verbier Festival, blessed with film-star good looks, Miguel had whiled away a few years in personal banking before the muse called him back. He arrived to find Neeme Järvi coming in as music director to sharpen up playing standards and raise the profile. Good move, everyone thought. He went on to book Gustavo Dudamel, Yuri Temirkanov and Jaap van Zweden for the first time at OSR. The curve started to rise after years of flatness.
But hardly had Miguel got going than he was gone. The statement reads: «L’Orchestre de la Suisse romande porte à votre connaissance que M. Miguel Esteban n’exerce plus les fonctions de directeur général de notre institution.» Which means in plain English that Miguel’s out the door before his loafers touched the floor. Here’s an unilluminating press report.
No-one’s saying why, but the situation reeks of Swiss cheese and intrigue. If you’re an out-of-work orchestra manager, OSR is probably not the first place to send your CV in present circumstances. Unless you’re just in it for the very short term.