The Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra made its first appearance at the BBC Proms last week to tumultuous acclaim. It also played at Aldeburgh, Rheingau and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, planting a significant footprint on European soil under music director Marin Alsop.
The orchestra then flew home, arriving Monday. Its instruments landed in Brazil a day later – only to find that Customs were on strike.
The airport refuses to release the instruments until Customs officials are back at work.
The orchestra has concerts tomorrow, Friday and Saturday.
‘The players are bringing spare instruments into rehearsal, ‘ artistic director Arthur Nestrovski told Slipped Disc. ‘They are borrowing whatever they can and hoping that all will be fine for the concerts. But the first concert is tomorrow and the Customs are still on strike…’
Is there no-one in Brazil with a spare key to the Customs shed? This does not look good for a country that aims to stage the next Olympics.