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Pain in Spain: two Basque orchestras face forced merger

The local government wants to fuse the Sinfónica de Euskadi (OSE), founded in 1982 with the Sinfónica de Bilbao (BOS), founded 1920. Both are considered to be among the country’s best ensembles.

OSE has the Colombian Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the new Houston music director, at its helm. It employs 90 musicians and 14 adminstrative staff,. BOS employs 54 musicians and 13 member staff; the Music Director is Günter Neuhold. Four decades of cultural growth in Spain have gone into reverse.



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  1. Pablo Suso says:

    There is a mistake in the info. BOS employs 97 musicians and at this moment 9 vacancies not cover…



  2. José Bergher says:

    Another merger! The illness is spreading. Merger as the magic solution to lack of money, lack of vision in the managements and governments. It doesn’t matter if many musicians are left without jobs. It doesn’t matter if two entities with traditions and pride of their own are fused into one entity with no tradition and, of course, no pride.

  3. Fun fact: Basque is the only language alive in Europe today that predates the arrival of the current Indo-European languages.

  4. Stephen Carpenter says:

    Forced merger. What an idea! Here in the US the RC Church has been doing that to parishes turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the issue of culture and identity while looking to divest the real estate. It’s created congregations with a built in rift because one or more segments are worshipping in someone else’s building.

    All you have to do is consider “real estate” to be musicians and you’ve got the same, if not deeper issues. Where the congregations just don’t go to church anymore, the musicians will be unemployed and as the orchestra tries to find its new identity more bodies by the wayside. Can we please be done with this “non-musical administrative nonsense and in the case of these 2 orchestras and this region the erasure of culture.

    • How can it be “someone else’s building” when they are all part of the same church? Aren’t all their buildings then not “their” buildings but “houses of god”?

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