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Beaten-up Brazilian maestro explains his injuries on TV

Israel de Franca, the conductor and violinist who was beaten up by Spanish police in Granada in what he maintains was a racial incident, has been talking about the assault on Spanish TV. Watch the video here.

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  1. I have a lot of experience with conducting, and it is really important to be nice as a conductor, since the players really are playing for you, and in many ways, when people ask “what does a conductor do”, they are pointing out something which is true: often times, the conductor is preventing anything real from happening. It’s hard to say. I have been a great conductor and I have been a crappy conductor, so I think the job of the conductor is to clever and witty and have a plan for the pieces. The interpretation is important. Tempi, crescendi… again, the real problem is that in the first rehearsal, the conductor must tell the orchestra that they did not take his tempo. Which is going ot be the case. In which case, the job of the conductor is to make chamber music — and that is the art of the compromise. In the concerto setting, the conductor is just following the soloist… unless he has a better or more relevant idea. I worked in Eastern Europe as a conductor for 5 years and it was fun. I mean, the hard part is filling up the rehearsal time with activities without annoying the orchestra. Often times orchetsral musicians suffer from extrremely high rates of mental illness. It’s true. Sitting there being told to do by one maestro after the next after the next… cannot be good for ones’s self-esteem. It is sad, actually. But then the orchestra’s attitude is, “we can and will hire a different cog if you are not going to do your cog-work in this orchestra”. It’s tough. A tough tablet to swallow. Therefore, the best orchestral musicians are the most clever oves: trading ID cards without the management noticing so that they can have guest weeks here and there, for example… making jokes with their stand partners.. and teaching, of course: the professor gigs have been the most rewarding, not just financially, but also in giving me a nice feeling that I am valuable…

  2. And Nick, this has to do with the case of a Brazilian musician beaten up in Spain because. . . ?

  3. Big shout out to the excellent online Spanish music publication, Mundoclasico.com for being first to break this story about the Brazilian violinist beaten by Spanish police in Spanish. It appeared shortly after the Slipped Disc blog post, and paralleled pretty closely what was said there, but it beat all other Spanish news sources to the story.

    http://www.mundoclasico.com/ed/documentos/doc-ver.aspx?id=7098f285-e14f-47d7-adfd-843d379ef0ee

    Mundoclasico was also the 1st to break the news in Spain of the Joshua Bell Zaragoza robbery. The rest of the world knew, but Spain didn’t until Mundoclasico.com reported on it.

    Mundoclasico’s editor is the noted Spanish journalist Xoan M. Carreira and it’s clear he’s doing a superb job of keeping his Spanish readers informed of important and timely classical music events. Bravo!

  4. Unbelievable… One couldn’t think of a sweeter, gentler musician than Israel de Franca. See his picture with Philip Pickett (who conducted the Orquesta Cuidad de Granada a couple of weeks ago) on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NewLondonConsort?ref=hl#!/photo.php?fbid=354167671348344&set=a.227845553980557.46908.222613624503750&type=1&theater

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