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Do something NOW for kidnapped conductor. This means you.

Rodolfo Cazares, conductor at Bremerhaven, has been held by Mexican bandits for 16 months. The Mexican authorities are doing little or nothing to procure his release. Various musical visitors have spoken up on his behalf, but progress seems to be stalled.

Rodolfo’s wife, Ludivine, tells us that on November 18 the regional orchestra of Cannes, Orchestre Cannes-PACA, will give a concert on its behalf. Its conductor, Philippe Bender, would like to publish and read out messages of support from fellow-conductors around the world.

If you are a conductor, please post a message of solidarity for Rodolfo below and we will pass it on to be read at the concert.

If you happen to know a famous conductor, please ask him or her to add their name and their message to this rallying call.

Please. This is no idle gesture. A man’s life could depend on it.


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  1. My thoughts and prayers go out to you for your safe return! Music helps foster togetherness and fosters empathy. I hope your captors come to their senses and release you soon. I hope the authorities begin working towards your release as soon as possible. We all stand with you.

  2. Even if you are not a conductor, post and pass along this rallying call. This tragic nightmare could happen to any musician!

  3. I’m not much of a conductor but I’m trying. But I certainly want to add my message of support on here.

  4. Mexican Ambassadors and Consulates in all our countries should receive the appeal. Tourism is an industry for Mexico. Airlines and hotels should also be contacted to save their business if he’s not released and quickly.

    Ann Summers Dossena

  5. Johann Zietsman says:

    The arts court agreement. It helps people from different perspectives discover their commonalities in the safe space that the universal language of the arts create. Please release this artist so that he can continue to build bridges between cultures.

  6. james judd says:

    I wish I could be there to support and hear the concert on the 18th, but I simply add my voice of hope for a speedy release, and a plea that the authorities who can and should, will move quickly and safely to ensure your freedom.

  7. We write in support of anyone in harm’s way as a result of a kidnapping. I am aggrieved particularly since a man of music is a man of peace. Please return this man alive to his family safe and unharmed.

  8. Paula Witney says:

    Make the world better. Let this conductor go!

  9. Dear Ludivine,

    You husband deserves all our support, and our international attention. I would be curious to know if there has been any contact with his kidnappers and any conditions. Perhaps we can help.

    Coming from Texas, I am saddened that my neighboring country is so dangerous, as so many others have experienced a similar fate, from tourists, to diplomats to now musicians. I have a strong relationship with the Cannes orchestra and friendship with Philippe Bender, and I express my solidarity with this great orchestra for their benefit concert. If I could be there I would. But know that in spirit, and in musical support, I express my hope that Rodolfo is safe and that his kidnappers will soon release him. It is too much to expect such thugs to have any respect for human dignity or culture. But you can know that I, Norman, Philppe, and all other musicians of the world stand in support of you and your efforts to secure his release. Music is intangible, though it touches our minds and hearts. Love is very tangible, and that directly touches our bodies and souls. We share your concern with love and we share your distress with compassion. The world deserves his music, and Rodolfo deserves his freedom.

    • Luc Pradel says:

      Cher John,

      Heureux de te compter parmi les soutiens de Ludivine..

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Dear John,

      I am deeply moved by your attention, your support, and by how much you are sensitive with others musicians, conductors and orchestras to the cause of Rodolfo. It means so much to me to know that the music community and more generally the world of arts are ready to help their colleague Rodolfo. I am very grateful and thank each and every one of the music world.

      To answer to your question: unfortunately, we don’t have contact any more with the kidnappers since 15 months. Some few rumours are circulating that he is alive but the Mexican authorities don’t help us to verify it ! It is very discouraging to see that a average citizen like me has to resolve the kidnapping of her husband by herself! But now I know I am alone anymore. I hope for that we can get Rodolfo free together.

      With deep friendship

  10. Please release Mr. Rodolfo Cazares!
    There are values and things in life which are universal.
    The longing of humankind for music and music making is one of them.
    A person like Mr. Cazares who has the talent and training to be a professional musician is an important mediator for those values.
    He has to be free to bring music to people, to all kind of people.
    Please release Mr. Rodolfo Cazares!

    Tobias Gossmann, musician

  11. Fanien Gabel says:

    Cher Rodolfo,

    Les mots pour condamner l’infamie dont vous etes la victime ne sont pas assez forts… sachez neanmoins que tous les artistes du monde entier vous soutiennent, pensent a vous et surtout ne vous oublient pas. Soyez assure de notre ineffable soutien.
    Fabien Gabel

    • Luc Pradel says:

      Cher Fabien,

      Il faut mobiliser le monde de la musique et faire connaître la situation de Rodolfo à tout les publics.

  12. I join in the universal condemnation of those who hold our colleague Rodolfo Cazares against his will and for no reason other than the bullying tactic of robbing someone of their freedom for personal gain. We were always led to believe that Mexico operated a code of honour. This is a terrible and saddening betrayal of human values.

  13. I will write my statement in Portuguese for 3 reasons: first of all because I’m Portuguese; second because this way we also turn this gesture more internationaly wider; and third because Rodolfo being Mexican speaks Castellano, which is a very close idiom to Portuguese.
    Here it is:

    Caro Rodolfo e família

    Não há palavras para condenar a brutalidade de tão ignóbil acto de selvajaria social e humana! Qual pode ser a justificação para se raptar alguém, e afastá-la dos seus entes queridos por tão longo tempo? Qualquer motivo, por mais válido que pudesse ser na sua origem, perde toda a legitimidade com semelhante atitude de cobardia, principalmente por utilizar inocentes para atingir seus fins.
    Também os pensamentos dos colegas portugueses estão contigo neste momento terrível, e que a tua libertação incondicional seja um facto muito em breve!
    Para a esposa, Ludivine, e toda a restante família, apenas posso desejar toda a força do Mundo neste momento tão difícil!

    • Obrigado, Luis!

      • Message from Leonard Slatkin, music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra: ‘Along with my colleagues I ask that Maestro Cazares be released as soon as possible and that he be allowed to practice his art and craft. Our hearts go out to his wife and family at this time.’

        • Message from Susanna Mälkki, music director of the ensemble intercontemporain, Paris: ‘I join the worldwide appeal for the freedom of Mr. Rodolfo Cazares. I fullheartedly support all efforts to his release as soon as possible.’

          • Ludivine Cazares says:

            Thank you very much Ms Mälkki for your support.

            I transmit to you a fraternal greeting.

        • Ludivine Cazares says:

          THANK YOU for this message from heart Mister Slatkin!

          Best wishes

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Querido Luis, tus palabras me conmueven. Gracias por esas lindas palabras de fraternidad!

      Un abrazo fraternal

  14. Rodolfo: desde todas partes del mundo, estamos pensndo en tí, para que te dejen libre. La tristeza no va a paralizarnos. Seguiremos luchando y seguiremos creyendo en que volverás. Fuerza!

  15. bruno ferrandis says:

    Dear Rodolpho!
    I hope you get out very soon and safely from this trap!
    Bruno Ferrandis Conductor/Music Director Santa Rosa Symphony CA
    Cher Rodolpho
    J’esoère que vous sortirez très bientôt et en bonne santé de ce cauchemar!
    Bruno Ferrandis Chef d’orchestre

  16. Dear Rodolfo,

    I send this message to you with the whole worldwide musical community. We hope and pray for your imminent release and that your captors can find the truth and goodness in themselves that you are always pursuing through your art.

    In solidarity,

    Dane Lam

  17. Olivier Ochanine says:

    I am horrified to hear of this, not just as a fellow conductor and musician but as a fellow human. Wishing for your safe release so that you may be back among us very soon. Hang in there, not sure if you’ll get any of these messages soon, but when you do, just know that many of us are thinking of you and look forward to celebrating your return.

  18. I hope he will be released by these thugs at once.

  19. donald runnicles says:

    I join in the crescendo of protest at the monstrous abduction of Maestro Cazares. On behalf of the many musicians and orchestras with whom I work , I appeal to those responsible for this crime to come to their senses and release this extraordinary musician, father and artistic ambassador.

  20. You are in my thoughts, maestro. We will help you to return to your family and friends, to your life. These terrorists must not be allowed to take Mexico away from the community of man. I once conducted in Mexico City and felt first hand a tiny fraction of what you are going through with orchestra officials warning me about the possible perils of being out and about. So hand in there. You are not alone.

  21. Music is supposed to bring people together. Please release him so the music can continue.

  22. I’m a musician at the theatre in Bremerhaven, where Rodolfo has worked as a conductor and pianist.
    Thank you so much for your kind words and support! It’s very encouraging and we are very grateful.
    It’s important to create as much publicity as we can to push for Rodolfo’s release. Rodolfo is a musician, and he is in a terrible situation which he has nothing to do with.
    We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to sign the petition below that Rodolfo’s wife, Ludivine has created, to pursuade the authorities to do more to secure Rodolfo’s release.
    Many thanks,

  23. Jesus Cazares says:

    Rodolfo wherever you are I really hope you are safe along my other family speaking from my deepest place of my heart, your BROTHER and family will wait for you FOREVER

  24. STEVEN WITNEY says:

    This is abhorrent . Music is meant to bring peace across cultures. Let him go!!!!!!

  25. I am deeply shocked and moved. I find no words, but anyone may understand, how I’m feeling. Thank you to the orchestra of Cannes, which I had the pleasure and the honor to conducting in 1998, and to its conductor Philippe Bender for doing something.

    Ino Turturo

  26. … for “DOING” something, of course. Automatic correction in smartphone. Sorry about that.

  27. I give my full support to the appeal demanding his freedom. He should be with his family where he belongs!

    Mr Lebrecht – perhaps you could highlight the online petition that has been set up by the family in a future post? The more who know the better.

  28. Eivind Gullberg Jensen says:

    Dear Rodolfo,

    I was totally shocked when I first heard about this! Wherever you are, we hope you are safe and will soon be able to return to your family and to your art.
    The whole family of musicians around the world pray for your release, and our hearts go to you, your wife Ludvine, and the rest of your family, who is suffering from this horrible unright!
    Unfortunately I cannot attend the concert on the 18th. But I hope you will feel the support and presence of all musicians from all continents!

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Thank you so much Eivind for these warm words. I hope too that Rodolfo heards his family of musicians.

      All my love
      Ludivine, wife of Rodolfo

  29. Since I am Itaian, I will write in my language, so close to the spanish, hoping that by this way Rodolfo would feel better my friendship and solidarity.

    Il rapimento di una persona è sempre un crimine disumano, ma quello di un musicista è anche simbolicamente il sequestro di una comunità: quella degli artisti e di tutti coloro che amano l’arte.
    E’ chiudere la bocca all’Arte, che è condivisione di valori umani profondi e universali.

    Esprimo tutta la mia indignazione per questo orrendo crimine, e faccio appello alle autorità del Messico e a tutti coloro che possono e debbono collaborare affichè si adoperino in ogni modo per ottenere la liberazione del collega Rodolfo Cazares.
    MI auguro che Rodolfo possa tornare al più presto alla sua famiglia e al suo lavoro così importante per tutti noi, dovunque ci troviamo nel mondo.

  30. The abduction of a person is always an inhuman crime, but that of a musician is also symbolically the kidnapping of a community: the artists and all the Art lovers .
    And since Art is above all sharing deep and universal human values​​, I express my indignation at this horrible crime, and I appeal to the authorities of Mexico and all those who can and must collaborate in every way to secure the release of Mr Rodolfo Cazares.
    I whish Rodolfo to return soon to his family and his work, that is so important for all of us, wherever we are in the world.

    • To Norman, has it been established whether ransom has been paid? Some Mexican friends indicate that it has been paid twice and the likelihood of Rodolfo being alive after so many months is slim. Has there been any results from our efforts? Ann

      • Ludivine Cazares says:

        Dear Ann,

        we don’t have any news from Rodolfo since 15months in spite of the paying of a ransom.


  31. Maestro Cazares doit être libéré immédiatement , la musique est un art universelle qui porte l’Harmonie parmi les Hommes et les Femmes de la planète . Sa place ne peut être dans une prison!
    Avec tout mon espoir
    Richard Boudarham
    Directeur musical de l’Orchestre Symphonique Bel’Arte de Paris (France)

  32. My heart sank when I read this.

  33. Ago Verdonschot says:

    It’s really crazy that this can happen to a conductor.
    I will think of you, and pray for you, and your family and your loved ones.
    Let is soon be over. For you, your family, the musicworld, and the whole world in general.

    Ago Verdonschot,

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Thank you very much for being in thoughts with my husband and his family.

      fratenal greeting

  34. I have only just been made aware of the kidnapping of Rudolfo Cazares. I am completely shocked and saddened and implore those responsible to return him to his family in good health. I hope that those who have taken him can look into their own hearts and search for the feelings of compassion and love that have been momentarily swept aside.
    Please free Rodolfo Cazares. We will be forever grateful to you

  35. How is it possible, that in 2012, the kidnapping of a brother conductor, or any artist for that matter, can go on this long without a definitive response from police and government?

    Rodolfo, you are in our prayers, as is your family. We stand with you, but must now do what we must to see that you are free. Beyond prayer, beyond hope, beyond thoughts, we will put pressure where it must be placed to speed your safe return.

  36. I too send my appeal to the captors of Maestro Cazares to release him immediately. On behalf of the Conductors Guild, an international service organization of over 1500 members worldwide and whose work supports the art and craft of conducting, we lend our voice in condemnation of this senseless act.

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Dear Allen Anderson, I express my thanks and heartfelt gratitude for this warm message of solidarity.

      I am very grateful to you and all the members of your organization for your support.

      fraternal greetings
      Ludivine, wife of Rodolfo

  37. Kevin Scott says:

    Please release this man – he is a musician, and as musicians we must unite to protest this heinous act of lunacy on the part of ill-informed individuals who wish to see everything political and nothing more. The government is also not helping in procuring his release, and should!

  38. Please release maestro Rodolfo Cazares soonest! No innocent human being should be held captive for any reason. Allow him to be reunited with his family, hopefully he will be able to overcome the horror of this immensely inhuman and long time in isolation, and allow him to return to the musical scene where he belongs, giving people joy through music!

  39. I invite the Mexican government to do all it can to obtain the release of our colleague Rodolfo Cazares. It would also be good to hear from the Mexican authorities explaining what they have done to date to secure the release of Rodoldo Cazares. Perhaps they could summarize their efforts by posting right here in this blog.

    I also think that the Conductors Guild in USA, American Federation of Musicians US and Canada and Mexican counterparts as well as other musicians’ service organizations, unions/syndicates should launch a concerted campaign. Such a campaign should offer even more publicity to this tragedy and boycotts of Mexico both professional and touristic.

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Dear Nurhan,

      thank you for this relevant message and your solidarity.

      fraternal greetings
      Ludivine, wife of Rodolfo

      • I join in the universal condemnation of those who hold conductor Rodolfo Cazares against his will.
        This is a terrible, chocking and inhuman treatment of a musician…any human being!
        What are police and Mexican authorities doing about it?
        I challenge the Mexican government to do all it can to obtain the release Rodolfo Cazares.
        My support and solidarity also goes to Ludivine, wife of Rodolfo and the rest of the family.
        I join the worldwide appeal for the freedom of Mr. Rodolfo Cazares.

        Paavo Jarvi
        Music Director
        Orchestre de Paris

        • Ludivine Cazares says:

          I am very glad to read these warm and sincere words from Paavo Jarvi. I hope for that Rodolfo can feel all the strong and positive energy that all conductors, orchestras, musicians and opera singer send. I am sure that Rodolfo find a way to escape in the music. Music makes feel free.

          Unfortunately I don’t know what Mexican authorities are doing to help. They never answer my questions. I never received any information about the investigation. The situation is very worrying

          I sincerely thank you for your support. The hope is in the force of our union.

          Sincerely yours,
          Ludivine Cazares

  40. As artists, and especially as musicians – in order to let our art speak globally, we must be free to travel without fear. As conditions for the population get worse, politically, economically, physically, etc., the need for arts and music increases exponentially. Therefore, I implore the authorities in Mexico to ensure the quick and safe release of this innocent victim of a crime, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so he can return to his art, and return to his loving family and friends!

  41. A human being has been wrongly denied freedom. In any instance, this is a reprehensible crime. But this case is an even greater travesty because Mr. Cazares is a musician, an artist who has dedicated his life in the service of others, to create art for the greater good of society. Any government that does not actively participate in the protection of its citizens has clearly forgotten its primary role, to serve its citizens. You are in my thoughts Mr. Cazares, and I hope that you may be able to return swiftly from captivity to a life of enriching others.

  42. Philippe Aiche says:

    Quoi de pire que la privation de liberté pour un artiste?
    Sinon la mort et l’oubli.
    Une société qui ne respecte pas ses artistes est condamnée à l’auto-destruction.
    Artistes du monde entier unissons nous pour combattre l’ignominie!
    Tout mon soutien et ma ferveur dans l’espoir d’une libération rapide de Rodolfo Cazares et de tous les otages du crime et de la barbarie dans le monde entier.

    Philippe Aïche
    Violoniste et chef d’orchestre
    1er violon solo de l’Orchestre de Paris.
    Directeur Musical de l’Orchestre des Lauréats du Cnsm de Paris

    • Ludivine Cazares says:

      Cher Monsieur Aïche,

      Vos mots sont à la fois significatifs et très touchants.
      Mon mari est en très grande souffrance, c’est certain. Rien de pire que la privation de sa liberté ne pouvait lui arriver en tant qu’artiste ; néanmoins je me dis sans cesse que c’est une chance qu’il ait comme fidèle compagnon la musique car c’est elle qui est la fenêtre par laquelle il peut s’évader dans un monde de libertés et de plaisirs. C’est elle qui l’aide à se sentir vivant et libre. Je crois aux miracles par la musique, et grâce à vous tous : musiciens, artistes, mélomanes et amis de la musique, grâce à votre union et votre solidarité au-delà des frontières, je suis sûre que nous provoquerons le miracle tant attendu.

      Merci infiniment de votre soutien Monsieur Aïche. Celui-ci m’est très précieux.

      Mes amitiés
      Ludivine Cazares

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