Slipped disc: March 2011 Archives
The proposal was, to review the performance evaluation test with the collaboration of the Ministery of Labour. This was a personal proposal of the Minister, and the FOSB declined it.
The FOSB offered a "plan of voluntary dismissal" and the musicians refused it, believing that this plan only transfers the onus of dismissing such a large number of musicians.
On Tuesday, the management called and/or communicated by e-mail, 31 musicians to attend to the office next day. Two of them attended the call and they were communicated about their dismissal. The other 29 did not appear. Which does not mean that they will not be fired, it is just a matter or time.
Major Orchestras in England
ACE Grants have now been determined up to 2014/2015
By that time grants will be:
In other words, all will receive roughly the same (apart from RPO)- irrespective of their geography or artistic policies.
All represent a cut of around 11% in real terms - equal misery for all which could actually have been determined by one person with a calculator.
- What's the point of all the form- filling that all these orchestras had to undertake in order to bid for development funding or demonstrate plans for innovation and adventure or claim distinction as beacons of excellence which need to be nurtured.
- Where's the evidence of any assessment or judgement behind these grant figures?
- Where's the evidence of any real orchestral strategy for the country?
Exactly the same thing happened in 1999 when orchestras drowned themselves in paper setting out their strategies and plans which resulted in no changes whatever.
Now that the Arts Council have set the grants for the next four years, what's the point of employing a Music Department?
What's it going to DO?
How many more years of monitoring and assessing are there to be without any real change in structure of the orchestral scene which has been the fundamentally the same for half a century?
And whilst everyone in the business breathes a sigh of relief that it "could be worse", give some thought to the longer term implications of all this. For how long will we be able to expect people to devote their careers to playing in orchestras at the highest level now expected for £28k per annum in a contract orchestra or £93 per day as a freelance? And in view of the above across-the-board cuts these musicians can expect these figures to go down in real terms to something like £25k and £83.
(NL: Great British orchestras, indeed.)
PIANIST MURRAY PERAHIA'S RECITAL ON MONDAY, APRIL 4
Ticket holders who purchased tickets for this performance through CarnegieCharge or carnegiehall.org will receive automatic refunds. Those who purchased tickets with cash should return them to the Carnegie Hall Box Office in person to receive a refund. Ticket holders with questions may contact CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.
***Please note that this update supersedes previous press materials related to this concert.***
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall
Sony Classical is pleased to announce an exclusive agreement with the celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes to record the full cycle of Beethoven's piano concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Born in 1970, Andsnes has been performing internationally since he was nineteen years old and appears regularly in the world's leading concert halls with the most renowned orchestras. His combination of superb technique and depth of interpretation have earned him great acclaim, and theNew York Times has described him as "a pianist of magisterial elegance, power and insight."
"Beethoven - A Journey" will see Leif Ove Andsnes in partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for a three-year recording and performing commitment commencing in 2012 with the release of Pianos Concertos Nos. 1 & 3, followed by Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 in 2013 and the Fifth Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy in 2014 on Sony Classical. Each performance will be recorded live in concert in Prague with Andsnes directing from the piano. The project culminates in the 2014-15 season when Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will re-unite for major residencies in North America, Europe and Asia performing the complete Beethoven cycle.
Leif Ove Andsnes says "I feel privileged to be joining the Sony Classical roster and look a lot forward to embarking on this personal journey to perform and record Beethoven's complete piano concertos together with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Beethoven's music is for me both the most human and deeply spiritual music there is, and I can't wait to see where the next years will lead me in working on these magnificent pieces. I would like to thank both the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Sony Classical for sharing such equal energy and enthusiasm for our common Beethoven journey."
Bogdan Roscic, President of Sony Classical says: "We are very happy to start our relationship with Leif Ove with this massive project. It is literally a journey of three years and it will not just deliver the outstanding recordings for which he is known. Together with partners from other fields we want to create a unique tribute to Beethoven's genius and explore why he holds such a special place in the pantheon of composers. It is a huge undertaking and we are proud to be a part of it."
In the 2010-11 season Andsnes is pianist-in-residence with both the Bergen and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and has toured with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski and the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, performing Brahms' Second Piano Concerto. This Spring he embarks on a major recital tour performing two sonatas by Beethoven and works by Brahms and Schoenberg with performances in Scandinavia (Copenhagen and Bergen), the States (Boston, Chicago and New York's Carnegie Hall) as well as in central Europe (including Rome, St Petersburg, Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Hamburg and Geneva).
In addition to concert performances with the world's great orchestras, Andsnes excels as an interpreter of chamber music and pieces for solo piano, and can already look back on a long and distinguished career in recording, which ranges from Mozart and Schubert to Grieg and Rachmaninov and also includes a wide array of contemporary music. He has received numerous musical awards for his performances and recordings, among them the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist Award, five Gramophone and two Classical Brit Awards in the UK, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Echo Klassik Award in Germany, Diapason d'Or and Choc de Classica in France and the Record Geijutsu Academy Award in Japan.
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Select Committee Press notice
EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 MONDAY 28 MARCH
Cuts could be 'disastrous' for arts and heritage, but level of spending was unsustainable, Committee says
MPs criticise Arts Council 'waste'
A Report released today (Monday 28 March) from the Culture, Media and Sports Committee acknowledges that cuts in public spending will have a major impact on arts and heritage organisations, and some may well be forced to close. However, the Report, Funding of the Arts and Heritage, also notes that over recent years the arts have enjoyed a period of high levels of public investment and criticises the Arts Council in particular for wasting money on some projects.
John Whittingdale, Chair of the Committee said:
"Arts and heritage in Britain are among our greatest assets. They bring both great cultural and economic benefits. Since the Second World War, most arts and heritage organisations have operated on a mixed funding model, whereby their income is made up partly of public subsidy and partly of private investment and earned revenue. This model has worked for them, and our Committee continues to support mixed funding.
However, we also highlight that over the past twenty years the arts have enjoyed a period of particularly high levels of public investment. While this has created a vibrant and successful arts scene in the UK, there has also undoubtedly been waste. Our Report highlights in particular the case of the Public gallery in West Bromwich, which the Committee considers a gross waste of public money by the Arts Council.
We realise that cuts in public spending will have a major impact on arts and heritage organisations, forcing some closures and we regret that. However, at a time when cuts are biting across the board, it is right that all sectors share the burden. Our Report suggests ways in which arts and heritage organisations might improve financial management and explore other funding schemes."
The Arts Council
The Report notes that the financially comfortable period of recent years led to the Arts Council's spending on its own administration to rise to much too high a level. Government funding for Arts Council England increased by just over 150% to £453 million in the 12 years to 2010, while funding for English Heritage fell in real terms. While the Arts Council has undergone considerable change in recent years and has already cut its administration budget by over 50% the Committee believes that a further 50% cut can be managed.
The Report welcomes the launch of the Arts Council's National Portfolio funding programme, and notes that it has the potential to offer more strategic and finessed funding arrangements with arts bodies. However, the Committee is concerned about the timescale - the Arts Council intends to assess all the applications for the National Portfolio and to draw up funding agreements, in just two months. Given that so many arts organisations will not make it into the National Portfolio, the short time frame will inevitably leave the Arts Council open to criticisms that its selection process lacked rigour.
The Committee acknowledges the vital role played by the Arts Council in supporting a myriad of groups across the whole sector. Without this support many would certainly cut back or close. There have been mistakes, however, and the Report highlights the case of The Public gallery in West Bromwich as perhaps the worst example of a gross waste of public money by the Arts Council.
Other arts bodies:
The Report examines the Government's review of arm's length bodies, and notes the surprising decision to abolish the UK Film Council, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and the Public Lending Right. The Committee disparages the Government's lack of dialogue with these bodies during its review, as well as the surprising way they were informed of their abolition. The Report also raises concerns that the Government's decision was taken without any clear idea of which bodies would take on their respective functions.
With regard to the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the Committee is concerned that the Arts Council - itself under pressure - will not be as effective a replacement and urges the Government to review its decision again in 2012. With regard to the Public Lending Right body, the Report notes that no one who gave evidence to the Committee supported the decision to abolish it. The Report recommends that the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, not the British Library, is the appropriate organisation to administer the body's work.
The Report acknowledges the concerns of arts organisations across the board about the reduction in arts spending by local authorities, in combination with spending cuts from the Arts Council and notes that the impact of this "double-whammy" could be disastrous for some arts bodies.
The Committee recognises the important contribution that sponsorship and philanthropy can make to support for the arts. It regrets the decision to withdraw all funding from Arts & Business after 2012 and notes that the Government's philanthropy strategy, launched in December, made no mention of reform to the tax and gift aid system. Therefore the Committee very much welcomes the review of these systems, announced in the Budget on 23 March.
The Report acknowledges the importance of safeguarding the UK's heritage, as once lost it is lost forever. The sector relies on expertise and skilled professionals and the Committee notes, with concern, the continuing decline in local authority conservation officers and the impact this will have on the local planning decisions that affect heritage. Other sources of advice, such as the network of local architecture and design centres sponsored by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), also face a precarious future and the Report urges the Government to act to halt this loss of expertise across the sector.
The Committee commends the Government's recognition of the importance of heritage tourism in Visit Britain's budget, but notes that the heritage sector has already suffered disproportionately from funding reductions over the years. The abolition of the Regional Development Agencies will result in the loss of another important funding stream. The Report calls on the Government to take account of the burden our heritage sector has already shouldered when making future funding settlements.
Please find the full Report attached, under strict embargo until 00:01 hrs on Monday 28 March. Media inquiries and requests for interview should be addressed to Laura Humble on 020 7219 2003/ 07929 726 659/ email@example.com.
Committee Membership is as follows:
Mr John Whittingdale (Chair) (Con) (Maldon) Paul Farrelly (Lab) (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Ms Louise Bagshawe (Con) (Corby) Alan Keen (Lab Co-operative) (Feltham and Dr Thérèse Coffey (Con) (Suffolk Coastal) Heston)
Damian Collins (Con) ( Folkestone and Hythe) Jim Sheridan (Lab) (Paisley and Renfrewshire
Philip Davies (Con) ( Shipley) North)
David Cairns (Lab) (Inverclyde) Mr Tom Watson (Lab) (West Bromwich East)
Mr Adrian Sanders (Lib Dem) (Torbay)
Specific Committee Information: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 020 7219 6188
Media Information: Laura Humble email@example.com/ 020 7219 2003
Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/cmscom
Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv
WORKS OF ART FROM
THE COLLECTION OF JEFFREY ARCHER
TO BE OFFERED AT CHRISTIE'S
IN JUNE 2011
Evening gala auction on 27 June will offer mementos and collectibles, with all proceeds to benefit various charitable causes
Art collection to be offered on 28 June at Christie's South Kensington and will include works by Sickert, Monet, Renoir, Rodin and Warhol
London - Christie's will present two auctions associated with international best-selling author Jeffrey Archer in June 2011 in London. On the evening of 27 June at King Street, Christie's will host a gala auction with all proceeds to benefit charitable causes with Lord Archer as the guest auctioneer. On 28 June at South Kensington, a selection of approximately 150 works of art from Lord Archer's collection will be offered at a dedicated sale expected to realise in excess of £5 million.
Lord Archer: "I recently celebrated my 70th birthday - an event which prompts a certain degree of thought and realization. As a result, I have begun to restructure my art collection with a view to the future. At Christie's in June, I will host an evening gala auction with all proceeds benefiting charitable causes. This will include personal mementos that I have acquired over the years and is the ideal opportunity to highlight many great causes that are close to my heart. The commercial auction the following day will offer works of art from my personal collection as well as works from the Neffe Gallery, of which I was, for three decades, a business partner. I have always enjoyed being an art collector and amateur auctioneer, and these two events allow me to celebrate both."
27 June 2011
The gala evening auction will take place at Christie's King Street salerooms in St. James's and will offer a selection of approximately 20 mementos, collectible relics and items, both from Lord Archer's personal collection, with additional donations from several famous public figures. All proceeds will benefit charitable causes. On of the highlights donated by Lord Archer will be the senior timekeeper's stopwatch that recorded Roger Bannister's first four minute mile at Iffley Road on 6 May 1954, which will be sold to benefit Oxford University Athletics Club. Further lots will be revealed at a later date.
28 June 2011
The auction of works of art from the Collections of Lord Archer will take place at Christie's South Kensington on 28 June and will offer approximately 150 works of art with a total value in excess of £5 million. Lord Archer has been an avid collector of art since his university days, and this passion has driven him to ammass an impressive collection. It also led to a business partnership with the celebrated Neffe Degandt Gallery in George Street, London, a business which recently closed its doors on the retirement of the highly respected art dealer Christian Neffe. The collection to be offered at Christie's presents selected works of art from both the private and corporate collections of Lord Archer, with estimates as low as £1,000. Highlights include La Seine près de Vétheuil, temps orageux, 1878, by Claude Monet (1840-1926) (estimate: £800,000 to £1,200,000); L'Eternelle Idole (Grande Modèle) by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) (estimate: £300,000 to £500,000); Marilyn (Feldman & Schellmann II.24)by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) (estimate: £100,000 to £150,000); and Rue de la Boucherie with St Jacques by Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942) (estimate: £50,000 to £80,000).
Jeffrey Archer, whose novels and short stories include Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, Kane and Abel and Only Time Will Tell, has topped the bestseller charts around the world, with sales of over 250 million copies. With fifteen novels, six sets of short stories, three plays (all of which have been performed in London's West End), three children's books, one gospel, and three volumes of prison diaries, he is published in 97 countries and 33 languages.
Educated at Wellington School, Somerset, and Oxford University, he gained an athletics Blue, was President of the University Athletics Club, and went on to run the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds for Great Britain in 1966. Jeffrey has served five years in the House of Commons, nineteen years in the House of Lords, and two at Her Majesty's pleasure, which spawned three highly acclaimed Prison Diaries.
Jeffrey currently spends much of his time as an amateur auctioneer, conducting around 30 charity auctions a year, and has raised more than £39 million for various charities in the past 30 years.
Jeffrey has been married for over 40 years to Dr Mary Archer, who is chairman of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (incorporating Addenbrooke's and the Rosie Hospitals in Cambridge) which will be one of the beneficiaries of the charity auction on 27 June.
Spanish tenor Placido Domingo talks during a press conference about his performance scheduled for next 23 March, but not yet confirmed due to a trade dispute between the Estable Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Teatro Colon, the scene of one of the concerts, and the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. photo: EPA/LEO LA VALLE
Now in its seventh year, Easter at King's has forged an enviable reputation for presenting traditional and innovative repertoire for Passiontide and Easter. It offers a varied feast of services and concerts that illustrate, contemplate and celebrate the Holy Week and Easter narrative. In most years, BBC Radio 3 has broadcast from the Festival to listeners all over the world.
The climax of this year's festival is on Good Friday, 22 April, with a rare opportunity to hear Frank Martin's epic oratorio, Gologtha, which will be broadcast live on Radio 3. Martin wrote some of the most poignant sacred music of the 20th century. Golgotha (1948), written when the composer was at the height of his powers, is a personal response to the desolation of war-torn Europe. The awe-inspiring space of King's College Chapel, combined with the drama and sheer scale of Martin's work, will make the evening a rewarding musical and spiritual experience.
Easter at King's opens on Tuesday 19 April with a performance of Bach's St John Passion. The Choir of King's College Cambridge and Academy of Ancient Music combine forces again and the strong cast of soloists includes King's alumnus and Cambridge local Andrew Kennedy as the Evangelist, and former Cambridge student, Elin Manahan Thomas returns to sing soprano. There is an additional opportunity to enjoy this performance in London, at the Cadogan Hall on April 20th.
Chamber Music for Maundy Thursday, on 21 April, offers a chance for reflection and contemplation. The concert will take place at the east end of the Chapel by candlelight. The trio of top young artists, including Cambridge favourite and former King's chorister, Guy Johnston, will perform Vask's extraordinary allegorical work, Episodi e Canto perpetuo framed by works by Beethoven and Fauré.
Pergolesi's masterpiece, Stabat Mater, combines with Bach for the Easter Vigil programme on 23 April. The work conveys, with great beauty, deep and heart-rending compassion for Mary's suffering during the events of Good Friday. Bach's powerful Cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden was written for Easter and takes us from the crucifixion to the resurrection, whilst another work by Bach, the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto prefigures the celebratory theme of Easter Sunday. These three works provide the perfect mix of celebration and contemplation for a concert set at the heart of the Easter weekend.
Daniel Hyde, a former Organ Scholar at King's College, will give an organ recital on Monday 25 April, which concludes our Easter celebrations. However, we will be celebrating the Royal Wedding in style the following Saturday with a brass concert given by Prime Brass. The concert programme features some great British music, including William Walton's majestic Crown Imperial.
Throughout, the powerful and moving Chapel liturgies are fundamental to the series and are sung by the Chapel Choir. Good Friday is an excellent day to visit Cambridge with Allegri's famous Miserere mei Deus sung in the morning and the Lamentations of Jeremiah of Thomas Tallis at evensong. Alternatively, why not come to the concerts on Easter Eve and then stay the night so that you can also enjoy the services on Easter Sunday itself?
We are taking the Festival outside King's Chapel and into Cambridge for the first time in 2011. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of Victoria, the extraordinarily powerful Tenebrae Responsories will be performed in three late night services in three different Cambridge College Chapels. The climax of the three will be in King's Chapel on April 23rd.
Easter at King's Schedule
Tuesday 19 April
Bach St John Passion
Maundy Thursday 21 April
5.30pm Sung Eucharist and Stripping of the Altar
Chamber Music for Maundy Thursday
Beethoven Trio op 1 no 2 in G Major
Vasks "Episodi e Canto perpetuo"
Fauré Trio op 120 in D minor
9.30pm Victoria Tenebrae Responsories Clare College Chapel
Good Friday 22 April
10.30am Ante-Communion and Veneration of the Cross
5.00pm Choral Evensong
Frank Martin Golgotha
9.30pm Victoria Tenebrae Responsories Corpus Christi College Chapel
Holy Saturday 23 April
Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
9.30pm Victoria Tenebrae Responsories
Easter Day Sunday 24 April
10.30am Sung Eucharist
3.30pm Festal Evensong
Easter Monday 25 April
Daniel Hyde Organ Recital
Saturday 30 April
Music for Easter ...and a Royal Wedding
Some months ago you invited me to share with you details pertaining to my demise as principal cellist with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST). Although I did initiate a letter to you on that occasion (as a footnote to my ex-colleague, Mr. Gomez Rios winning the Solti conducting award) I have tended to keep this information to myself as part of my own personal odyssey. However, in the light of the Brasilian orchestral situation and the reactions it is provoking internationally, I would like to share my case with you and the orchestral world at large as an example of the successful purging of a long-standing member of a "European" Orchestra, in a campaign which employed similar criteria to those applied by the administration of the Brasilian Orchestra in Rio.
In my case the supposed need to subjugate a principal player to a "quality control" was eclipsed by the highly vindictive nature of the campaign against me, a campaign aimed principally at eliminating an uncomfortable voice raised in protest against the hijacking of the OST by a small group of musicians within the orchestra, in cahoots with an unconscious management and a misguided and immature conductor, in the face of an apathetic and intimidated orchestra.
The majority of us agreed that - after a meritorious career spanning almost two decades, in which time the OST rose from its roots as a semi-professional chamber orchestra composed of music-loving Tenerifans to a fairly professional symphony orchestra which vied with the best in Spain - maestro Victor Pablo's term had reached its logical and natural end. However, the pathological hatred towards him harboured by key members of the orchestral committee charged with finding his successor, led to the precipitous hiring of the first-best candidate, the Chinese conductor, Lü Jia, circumventing the rational search process which had in fact been initiated by Mr. Pablo and the serving orchestral manager at that time.
Around the same time (2006 or so), Mr. Paolo Morena, a friend of Mr. Jia's, was invested as leader of the OST by way of dubious proceedings resulting in Mr. Morena's becoming the first and only member of this orchestra to serve without having auditioned for his post, that is to say, without members of the orchestral collective having had any say in his hiring.
It was my vocal opposition to these goings-on which led to my being placed before a jury consisting solely of my accusers and their cohorts: Mr. Jia, Mr. Morena, the then Manager Mr. Santos and the two principal members of the orchestral commitee, Mr. Kirby and Mr. Jones, principal clarinette and bass, respectively.
The Spanish cellist, Asier Polo was apparently invited to sit on this tribunal but, much to his credit, did not show up on the day. I was found to be wanting in my performance, a decision I would not necessarily contest on and of its own merit, as the futility of the exercise was apparent from the very start. I had recently come off sick-leave for an arthritic elbow and severe depression having for months suffered exaggerated intimidation and persecution under Mr. Jia's heavy stick and by no means was I in conditions to confront such a test of nerves. The psycho-terror had included such measures as Mr. Jia programming the Wilhelm Tell Overture as the opening number of his inauguration as music director in an open-air concert with tens of thousands in the audience, with him doing his utmost to make my life as soloist as difficult as possible.
The decision of the jury was contested by the public workers syndicate I belong to and in a laughably open-and-shut case was struck down by a first-circuit judge here in Tenerife. The government - sole patron of the OST - appealed and won reversal of the sentence - no surprise given the notoriously partisan composition of local superior court. At our appeal to the national supreme court in Madrid it was stated that we would have had to have presented a precedential case identical in all details to mine. No luck there. So it was that I was afforded a small severance - 39.000€ after some 16 years of faithful service in which I appeared repeatedly as soloist with the OST, years in which I also made other significant contributions to the musical life on this island, conducting a local youth orchestra during two seasons of highly successful concerts (which were then inexplicably discontinued) and teaching at the conservatory. Left to my own devises I now struggle to make ends meet and feed my four children on an island where the existential possibilities for a classical musician are severely limited to say the least.
As for the OST: a little over a year ago the orchestra voted 54 to 7 against the renewal of Mr. Jia's contract, having apparently tired of his tyrannical and despotic tactics of intimidation and belittlement and disappointed at having gone nowhere with him (except for a single concert in Bejing) after having heard great promises about receiving international exposure. Although he remains as "principal guest conductor" he no longer figures as music director, much to relief also of the administration who had soon tired of his capricious modus operandi - a litany of unanswered emails, cancellations, dodgy programming, etc.
He leaves behind an orchestra trained like a show horse whose robot-like, soulless playing is a shadow of what it was once capable of in its hey-day. His arrogance and favouritism have worn thin in the eyes of the public (many of whose number no longer attend concerts) and orchestra alike - the childish posturing of his cronies, including but not limited to on-stage intimidation and the taunting of colleagues not of the inner circle (a speciality of Mr. Gomez Rios) have left an indelible mark. Needless to say, I am very grateful not to have suffered through this chapter in the history of the OST, a chapter which should serve as a great lesson - for those who care to analyse - about the squandering of the moral and ethical authority which in the best of situations should reside within the institution of the symphony orchestra, an institution which should be setting an example for harmonious coexistence among fellows. How very sad indeed!
Thank you Norman, for your untiring championing of the better side of human nature in the professional musical world and best wishes for all orchestral colleagues the world around.
1501 BROADWAY, STE 600
NEW YORK, NY 10036
March 18, 2011
Sr. Eleazar de Carvalho
President da Fundacao Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira
Av. Rio Branco, 135 sala 915
Centro Rio de Janeiro 20040-006
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada stands firmly in support of our musical brothers and sisters in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra!
Musicians throughout the world have learned of the unfortunate circumstances that now exist in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and are extremely disappointed to learn that members of the Orchestra have been issued an order to participate in "performance evaluations". If Director Roberto Minczuk chooses to follow the path of histories dictatorial and tyrannical conductors he will be remembered as such and he will not be welcome in front of American orchestras. We do not believe that the famous Brazilian Symphony Orchestra is of the same character.
Tyrannical behavior is hostile, humiliating and intimidating. Daily we witness people, throughout the world, freeing themselves from dictatorial rule. It is disappointing to see professional musicians in Brazil being subjected to such devastating, unprofessional an inhumane treatment. There must no longer be fear of tyrants anywhere in the world and especially in the beautiful and creative world of the arts.
An orchestra is the living instrument of the conductor. He/she must treat such an instrument with respect and nurture it to perform well. Without such treatment the orchestra, regardless of the individual level of performer, will never perform to its highest potential. A successful mark of a Music Director is how he leads, and nurtures; not in how he dictates! Musicians are dedicated artists who train for many years. Their performance is reviewed every time they appear on stage. Musicians cannot be creative or fully expressive under duress.
We encourage you to do all in your power to halt such egregious action. Please engage the musicians in productive dialogue as they are the family within your musical community.
Most Sincerely and Respectfully;
CHRISTOPHER DURHAM, DIRECTOR
SYMPHONIC SERVICES DIVISION
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS
1501 BROADWAY, SUITE 600
NEW YORK, NY 10036
212-869-1330 EXT. 1-220
646-269-3760 = CELL
Glyndebourne opens May 21 with its first-ever realisation of the founder's dream - a full Meistersinger with a crack team. Move over, Bryn Terfel. My money's on the Canadian Sachs.
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski
Director David McVicar
Designer Vicki Mortimer
Lighting Designer Paule Constable
Movement Director Andrew George
Fight Director Nicholas Hall
Hans Sachs Gerald Finley
Walther von Stolzing Marco Jentzsch
David Topi Lehtipuu
Sixtus Beckmesser Johannes Martin Kränzle
Eva Anna Gabler
Magdalene Michaela Selinger
Veit Pogner Alastair Miles
Fritz Kothner Henry Waddington
Kunz Vogelgesang Colin Judson
Konrad Nachtigall Andrew Slater
Balthasar Zorn Alasdair Elliott
Ulrich Eisslinger Adrian Thompson
Augustin Moser Daniel Norman
Hermann Ortel Robert Poulton
Hans Schwarz Maxim Mikhailov
Hans Foltz Graeme Broadbent
A Nightwatchman Mats Almgren
The Glyndebourne Chorus
Toby Purser conductor
Guy Johnston cello
Robert Poulton baritone
Britten: Four Sea Interludes, from Peter Grimes
Elgar: Cello Concerto
Attrib. Stravinsky: Song of the Volga Boatmen (world premiere)
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances Op. 45
Mussorgsky, orch. Landers: On the River (world premiere)
A Stravinsky premier - we think! Orion performs a long-lost orchestration of the Song of the Volga Boatmen, believed to be by Stravinsky, but still awaiting authentication. Conductor Toby Purser is totally convinced, but we want your opinion - come and be part of an audience vote saying whether you agree. The concert also launches Orion's Great Young Soloists Series with Guy Johnston, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2000.
Joyce DiDonato upcoming engagements
March 24 & 29; April 2, 5, 9*, 14, 18, & 21
Metropolitan Opera / Maurizio Benini
Rossini: Le comte Ory (Isolier - role debut)
* "Live in HD" international broadcast
May 7, 10, & 13
Metropolitan Opera / Maurizio Benini
Handel: Ariodante (title role)
Il Complesso Barocco / Alan Curtis
Théatre des Champs-Elysées
Il Complesso Barocco / Alan Curtis
Handel: Ariodante (title role)
Il Complesso Barocco / Alan Curtis
July 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, & 16
Massenet: Cendrillon (title role)
PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate release
KASPER HOLTEN TO JOIN ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
The Royal Opera House announced today that Kasper Holten has been appointed Director of Opera, to succeed Elaine Padmore when she leaves at the end of the 2010/11 Season.
A native of
As a director he has staged more
than 60 productions of opera, drama, operetta and musical theatre in
Other key productions include Le nozze di Figaro (Theater an der
In 2010 he created Juan - a modern cinematic version of Mozart's Don Giovanni. It has been shown in film
Kasper Holten studied theatre and music at the
Announcing the appointment, Tony Hall, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said: "I am thrilled that Kasper Holten is to join the senior management team. He has done some fantastic and innovative work as a stage director and at the same time he has confirmed the Royal Danish Opera's status as a major player in the international opera world. He joins The Royal Opera after ten years of superb artistic achievement, but also at a time of new economic challenges and further expansion in the digital arena. I look forward to working with him."
These sentiments were echoed by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera: "This is an enormously challenging job and Kasper's first two Seasons are packed full of exciting large scale productions. I have enjoyed all our conversations so far and I eagerly anticipate further creative planning discussions for future Seasons when he arrives in September.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Elaine Padmore for her wonderful friendship, support, counsel and leadership over the last ten years, and wish her every success in her future ventures."
Kasper Holten said "I had promised myself to
A Justiça do Trabalho rejeitou o pedido de liminar feito pelo Sindicato dos Músicos, que solicitava o cancelamento das avaliações de desempenho dos músicos da OSB. A Justiça entendeu que não existiu qualquer ilegalidade no ato da comunicação das avaliações, bem como ressaltou o caráter consultivo da Comissão de Músicos da OSB, que pode ou não ser convocada pelo Presidente da FOSB quando o próprio julgar necessário. A Justiça também entendeu que a FOSB, como instituição privada, tem o direito de usar da prerrogativa de empregador e avaliar seus músicos quando julgar conveniente.
Clique o link abaixo para ler o documento na íntegra no blog OSB Em Pauta.
The Labor Court rejected the request filed by the Musicians Union, which asked for the cancellation of the OSB musicians' performance evaluations. The Court also pointed out the consultative character of the OSB Musicians Commission, which may or not be called upon the FOSB President whenever he himself finds it necessary. The Court also understood that FOSB, as a private institution, has the right to make use of the employer's prerogative and evaluate their musicians whenever they find it convenient.
Eleazar de Carvalho Filho, President of the OSB Foundation
The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra achieved 70 years of uninterrupted
activity last year. We passed through several phases, some grandiose,
others with large difficulties in honoring the legacy of those who
founded the orchestra in 1940. The OSB was a pioneer among Brazilian
Orchestras in the recordings, tours abroad and in the identification of
talents recognized nowadays. As a private foundation, we have the
privilege of having the investment of public and private partners to
maintain our business and then continue to deserve the trust of loyal
subscribers and the general public. We have an obligation to be
accountable to society and our educational and social programs are
aimed at integrating us to Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.
Our various concert series represents the "product" for which we are
judged, either for the diversity and innovation in our programming, or
by soloists and conductors who present with us as guests and by the
quality and dedication of our musicians. The Reviewers praised the 2010
season and we are very grateful to the great artists that took part in
it. The OSB Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as their managers,
has worked tirelessly, without any sort of pay, to seek continuity and
the continuous improvement of the orchestra. We know that there is no
guarantee for our existence, and we have to keep on preserving the
tradition that has been conquered by OSB.
We have recently announced that we would carry out performance
evaluations in order to introduce an additional element to the
evaluation process that occurs on the day-by-day of the orchestral
body. We have scheduled individual assessments, within parameters that
occur in large orchestras and with musicians from abroad to make up
most of the evaluation boards. Our goal, when choosing external
evaluators and of recognized competence, was to ensure total
impartiality to the process, but also, especially, to be able to give a
set of suggestions to the musicians to their possible improvement.
After all, improvement is the key word in an orchestra like the OSB. We
set up a deadline of two months, during annual leave which is meant for
that period, so that musicians could get prepared properly. The
required repertoire, which was judged as being extensive by some, was
extracted, mostly from the same works that have been played over the
past two years. Finally, the decision was to cover the entire
orchestral body for equality reasons, to allow musicians to plead
change of level, and by believing that it was an important way of
communication and improvement.
The events that followed, also in warm demonstrations and protests in
this newspaper, on the Internet and through statements which,
unfortunately, have been distorting the truth and scratching the
institution image, make me do this reflection. Initially, also for
matters of respect towards our musicians because it is a subject of
interest only for themselves, we avoided making any public comment. We
have been open to dialogue in the past few weeks, we have reduced some
works that made up the evaluation and we have clarified doubts. The
tone of the demonstration of some musicians, unfortunately,
demonstrated that the desire was confrontational, contrary to a firm
purpose of the Foundation to improve the artistic level and turn the
OSB, in the coming years, again into the best orchestra in the country.
Little has been said, especially to the general public, that we have
presented the musicians with a new internal bylaw, with a greater
demand for work like that of other great orchestras, and a 50% increase
in earnings, raising the minimum wage to R$ 9000 monthly, which depends
partly on the number of monthly concerts. We believe those are
excellent conditions to ensure competitiveness and to attract foreign
and Brazilian musicians to fill job openings in our orchestra. It is
also an extraordinary sign for those students, including the 83 members
of our Young OSB, that the career of an orchestra musician can pay a
professional in a dignifying manner, which is commensurate with his
contribution to the orchestral body.
We have a great orchestra, but it can be even better. The Foundation,
through its Trustees, has given clear signs that it is expecting this
development and that it supports the artistic direction. The orchestra
believes that the artistic direction will drive the process fairly, but
with high levels of demand. Our statutory role, our duty to the legacy
we have received, is exactly that, the one of ensuring the future of
It was never our intention to hurt the respect we have for the
differentiated work that a musician performs. The evaluations that are
currently underway are only part of a continuous process of improvement
and artistic evolution. We totally understand and respect the sacrifice
of a life devoted to the study of an instrument and aimed at perfection
every moment. We owe our gratitude to those who for years have been
contributing to the story of our orchestra. By recalling that we are a
private institution, I recognize that we had the onus of including all
the musicians in the evaluations, for we believed it would be the most
correct way of doing it.
Let me conclude by bringing a personal testimony. I received from my
father, Maestro Eleazar de Carvalho, the legacy of a life devoted to
the craft of music and many years devoted to the OSB. This dream of my
father was discontinued for negative reasons and beyond his control. I
was given the responsibility to humbly continue this dream in the
Presidency of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra Foundation. The other
board members, the artistic direction and the managers will never be
able to fulfill that dream without our musicians. We expect from those
who share the goal of having a remarkable set, to continue to
contribute to it.
We would like to thank people in Canada for their support.
We are all deeply touched by kind words, thoughts and prayers we are receiving all over the world.
We were scheduled to depart from Narita airport in Tokyo 20 hrs after the first earthquake hit us. We were not sure, first, if we can make it to America.
We struggled with the decision of whether we should cancel the tour or not. Most of us have had to leave our families behind and two of our original members are not here because their homes were destroyed.
Still at the end, after having collected 93 members of our orchestra, we decided to forge ahead and come to America, because we believe music can uplift the heart and strengthen the spirit.
In this occasion, Maestro Previn will be contributing part of his honorarium to the Red Cross Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami relief fund.
Before the regular program, Maestro Previn wish to present Bach's Air as a tribute to the people of Japan.
The Chairman of NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo
Dear player from last Autumn's GoT orchestra,
Many of you may have heard already that George (surname withheld) received a letter in February telling him that he will no longer be leading the orchestra.
I heard the news on the grapevine last week, and was concerned that some players might not know and wouldn't have a chance to voice any concerns they might have about the handling of the matter. I am sending this email to as many players as I can just to make sure that everyone at least has the chance to find out about what has happened.
I don't know all the details of how this has come about. However, it seems to me that a colleague has been treated badly, and when we are working for such a prestigious company as Glyndebourne, we should not be so scared of losing our well-paid work that we are totally unable even to ask polite questions of the company.
The orchestra committee were approached by some members of last year's orchestra in the hope that they might be able to represent the orchestra's point of view in a letter to the management at Glyndebourne. However, having heard differing ideas on how best to present the orchestra's opinions, the committee members felt that the reactions of so many disparate freelance players who aren't currently working together can't really be expressed in a single letter.
Although the letter to George stated that GoT would be seeking a new leader for the 2011 tour, a member of the committee told me that assurances have been made that no new leader will be engaged until George has met with the head of human resources at Glyndebourne. This meeting is to take place in early April with Steven Naylor and Julia Murray-Logue. I think it is important that anyone who has anxieties about the situation voices them before this meeting.
Some years ago, Glyndebourne on Tour introduced official procedures for dealing with problems within the orchestra, and these were set out in the orchestra's booklet, explaining what a player could expect to happen if his or her playing or behaviour was giving cause for concern.
These steps included initial warnings, meetings with section leaders, a chance for the player to rectify the problem, a review meeting, and careful guidelines about what would happen if the problem was unresolved. These procedures are no longer printed in the tour booklet. Since the guidelines were introduced, several players have lost their positions in the orchestra after years of service without these procedures having been followed. George has been leading the orchestra for twenty years, and has received this letter out of the blue.
Glyndebourne on Tour receives Arts Council funding, and this use of taxpayers' money carries with it high expectations of a company being well run.
I am not suggesting any kind of rabble-rousing or militant action, but if you feel strongly about what has happened, please write a letter or email to one of the following:
- George, who must be going through a terrible time, and would value any support. He can also pass on your views at the meeting in April, if you wish.
- Someone at Glyndebourne - Gus Christie is the Executive Chairman, David Pickard is the General Director, Steven Naylor (who wrote to George) is the Director of Artistic Administration, and Julia Murray-Logue is head of human resources. The address: Glyndebourne, Near Ringmer, Lewes, East Sussex. BN8 5UU
- Jakub Hrusa, the Music Director of GoT.
Your letter can be anonymous, if you prefer, and any correspondence could be copied to another of these names if appropriate. I understand that freelance musicians value highly a patch of work such as this tour, and that the fear of not being asked to play with the orchestra again might make a player hesitant to speak his or her mind. However, I hope that we might be able to pull together to persuade the company to treat its orchestral musicians in a more reasonable way.
MILLER THEATRE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
presents a benefit concert for Japan
hosted by JOHN ZORN and featuring
SONIC YOUTH, YOKO ONO, SEAN LENNON, CIBO MATTO
with Mike Patton, Mephista, Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, and Zorn's Aleph Trio
100% of proceeds will be donated to support Japan earthquake relief efforts
Sunday, March 27, 8:00 PM
Tickets: $50, $100 · Students Tickets: $25
Sunday, March 27, 8:00PM
More than a dozen innovative artists at the intersection of indie rock, contemporary jazz, and avant-garde performance will come together at Miller Theatre to present a benefit concert to support recovery efforts in Japan. "The tragedy and devastation is really overwhelming," says John Zorn, who has organized and will host the evening. "I've always felt a strong personal connection to Japan, and I'm just glad to be able to do my part to help. It should be an amazing night."
The lineup includes feature performances by musician and artist Yoko Ono, and her son Sean Lennon; Japanese-American indie duo Cibo Matto; and the influential band Sonic Youth. Vocalist Mike Patton will appear as a special guest, and Mephista, Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, and John Zorn's Aleph Trio will also play short sets.
Both the performers and the theater are donating their services, ensuring that 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit near Sendai on March 11. Funds will be donated to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.
ARTISTS: Sonic Youth
Cibo Matto (Yuka Honda & Miho Hatori)
Mike Patton, vocals
Mephista (Susie Ibarra, drums; Sylvie Courvoisier, piano; Ikue Mori, electronics)
Marc Ribot, guitar
Uri Caine, piano
Aleph Trio (John Zorn, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums)
tragedy that has occurred this past week in Japan. Yakov and I worked
together in Germany, playing the Mendelssohn Concerto 3 times around
He was bright, energetic and a young conductor very much on the rise.
His heart seemed to move in rhythm with the music.....
God bless and may he rest in peace.
I'm deeply saddened by the news of the premature demise of my friend and colleague, Yakov Kreizberg.
He was such an inspirational musician, one could easily describe him as having "the Midas Touch": whatever symphonic repertoire he approached was turned into GOLD: as fresh as if recreated then, by Yakov's deep understanding of his main instrument, the Orchestra.
On the other hand only last summer though, I was astonished to hear him playing the piano in a small festival in France: a note perfect rendition of a Brahms Sonata with Julia Fischer, which he also played mostly by heart! Conductors are not supposed to plat THAT well anything else...
His cunning and humour were great assets for a companion at dinner table following a performance; lastly but not least his positive attitude to life -- an inspiration to a realist Brazilian, like me!
The few concerts we did together -- actually both in works by Rachmaninov with the BSO in Bournemouth & Amsterdam, and the Maggio Musicale in Firenze -- were among the very best-ever musical 'ententes' that I ever experienced.
I have no words to explain how great a loss, that someone so talented and still so young has been taken from us that early: apart from his music making, I'll never forget his warmth as a human being or his oh-so-tight hug each time we met: I SO need one now, dearest Yakov!
We have to announce that all shows scheduled from March15 to March31 are cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The circumstances caused by aftershock sequence following the earthquake on March 11 make it very difficult for us to present the performances.
Shows & Events Cancelled:
March 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 Opera Manon Lescaut
March 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 Ballet Bintley's Choice
March 22 Ballet Event Rehearsal from Take Five and Talk by David Bintley
Refund information will be posted separately on this website.
OSB em Pauta é o blog que a Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (FOSB) lançou nesta segunda-feira, dia 14 de março de 2011, para tornar públicos seus posicionamentos oficiais sobre os fatos relacionados à entidade.
Você é nosso convidado para visitar e participar do blog da mais tradicional orquestra do Brasil.
And here's the Carvalho statement:
MEDIA ALERT ** MEDIA ALERT ** MEDIA ALERT
The repertoire for two of the LA Phil's Brahms Unbound concerts, led by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, has been changed.
Osvaldo Golijov's Violin Concerto, scheduled for its world premiere performances May 5 - 8, will be replaced with Dutilleux's L'arbre des songes. Osvaldo Golijov regrets being unable to complete the concerto in time for these performances. The world premiere will be rescheduled for a future date. The scheduled soloist, Leonidas Kavakos, will perform the work by Dutilleux. The complete program is as follows:
Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 7, 2011 (Santa Barbara)
Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 2 p.m.
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, violin
BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture
DUTILLEUX L'arbre des songes, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1
Peter Lieberson's Percussion Concerto, scheduled for its world premiere performances May 26, 28 & 29, will be replaced with Gorecki's Symphony No. 3. Peter Lieberson regrets that due to ongoing health issues he is unable to complete the concerto in time for these performances. The world premiere will be rescheduled for a future date. Percussion soloist Pedro Carneiro will not perform.The complete program is as follows:
Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Friday, May 27, 2011 at 8 p.m. (Casual Fridays concert. Gorecki not performed.)
Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 2 p.m.
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3
GORECKI Symphony No. 3
For further details or questions, call 323.850.2000 from 10am - 6pm daily, or visit LAPhil.com.
*Por Nelson Rubens Kunze*
Estou acompanhando atônito os desdobramentos da crise da Orquestra Sinfônica
Brasileira (OSB). Como todos sabem, músicos se rebelaram contra um processo
de reavaliação de performance decidido pela direção da orquestra e pela
Fundação OSB. A ideia, segundo tem repetido insistentemente o maestro
Roberto Minczuk, é a de reclassificar artisticamente o grupo. Músicos
protestam e boicotam as audições, na internet ecoam queixas e até o blog do
influente crítico inglês Norman Lebrecht entrou na história [clique aqui
para ler http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2011/03/brazil_in_a_nutshell_-_so_what.html
Surpreendeu-me a dimensão que o assunto assumiu. Estamos falando da
reavaliação de instrumentistas de um grupo que há pouco mais de 5 anos era
um simulacro de orquestra. Simulacro mesmo! Não foram raras as vezes em que
a Revista CONCERTO lamentou a situação de penúria e abandono a qual a OSB,
uma das mais importantes orquestras do país, estava relegada. Com a nomeação
do maestro Roberto Minczuk, em 2005, a coisa mudou. Houve em sua gestão uma
pequena revolução, que teve entre as suas principais conquistas a
revalorização do músico e de seu trabalho. Não será isso o que significa a
realização de temporadas sinfônicas com renomados solistas e maestros
internacionais (Kurt Masur já seria suficiente, mas é uma lista extensa)? Ou
concertos com teatros lotados em palcos nobres como o Teatro Municipal do
Rio de Janeiro ou a Sala São Paulo? Ou ainda salários e remunerações pagos
mensalmente? Há poucos anos não era bem isso o que se passava.
Mas a pequena revolução não foi apenas do maestro Minczuk. Houve um grande
empenho para mobilizar um atuante conselho para a Fundação OSB (isso não
deve ser desprezado, seu conselho reúne personalidades eminentes e um
presidente com raro engajamento), houve empenho para conseguir formar uma
administração moderna e eficiente com profissionais que estão entre os mais
preparados do ramo, e, talvez o mais importante, logrou-se sensibilizar
grandes patrocinadores e apoiadores. Após anos de sufoco, a OSB começou a
respirar novamente. Isso, no Brasil, é uma pequena revolução. Desconfio que
no Rio de Janeiro seja um tsunami cultural...
Mas sejamos realistas: a orquestra, em uma escala de 0 a 10 , foi, digamos,
de 3 para 6. Não é pouco, pelo esforço que custou e pelo movimento que
causou. Mas está muito aquém do que a cidade do Rio de Janeiro e o Brasil
merecem. A Cidade Maravilhosa quer uma grande Orquestra Sinfônica
Brasileira, profissional, geradora de cultura e inserida no debate cultural
contemporâneo. Uma orquestra que possa orgulhar o país que abrigará a Copa
do Mundo, e que possa orgulhar a cidade das Olimpíadas de 2016. E
convenhamos que para isso falta alguma coisa.
A Fundação OSB não está propondo uma reavaliação de performance de uma
orquestra consolidada em um grande centro europeu ou norte-americano. Também
não se trata de reaudições em algum conjunto do interior da Inglaterra ou de
uma orquestra de alguma cidade da província alemã. Creio que o que se
pretende é a construção - sim, estamos em pleno processo de construção! - de
uma moderna orquestra sinfônica internacional em uma das mais belas
metrópoles do mundo, em um país que recentemente alcançou à sétima posição
na economia global. A OSB, com sua história de 70 anos, merece essa
oportunidade, e desde alguns anos há um esforço evidente nesse sentido.
Posto isso, parece coerente a decisão da Fundação OSB em promover a
avaliação de performance como medida para a classificação artística de seus
instrumentistas. Não será uma imposição unilateral e autoritária guiada pela
vontade do maestro ou diretor artístico. Haverá uma banca internacional,
isenta e imparcial. E o processo terá uma contrapartida, que é um novo
patamar salarial. Assim a Fundação OSB finalmente estabelecerá condições
para um vínculo empregatício que poderá garantir, também, a necessária
segurança para futuras aposentadorias.
Oxalá a OSB possa seguir contando com o grupo de exímios instrumentistas que
hoje a integra, e que contribuiu decisivamente para o atual nível de suas
realizações. E que o processo auxilie também para o amadurecimento de
modernos processos de gestão, próprios de uma orquestra sinfônica do século
For a new OSB (03/12/2011)
By Nelson Rubens Kunze*
I'm following astonished the crisis in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB). As you all know, musicians rebelled against a process of performance reassessment determined by the direction of the orchestra and the OSB Foundation. The idea, according to what maestro Roberto Minczuk has insistently repeated, is to reclassify the group artistically. Musicians are protesting and boycotting the auditions, complaints are echoing on the internet and even the blog of the influential British critic Norman Lebrecht came into the story [click here http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2011/03/brazil_in_a_nutshell_-_so_what.html to read].
It surprised me the extent that the subject took. We are talking about the reassessment of a group of musicians that just over 5 years was a simulacrum of an orchestra. Yes, a real simulacrum! Several times CONCERTO Magazine regretted the shortage and neglect to which the OSB, one of the most important orchestras in the country, was relegated. With the appointment of conductor Roberto Minczuk, in 2005, things changed. There was a small revolution, which had among its main achievements to revaluation of the musicians and their work. Or isn't this what it means the establishment of symphonic seasons with international renowned soloists and conductors (Kurt Masur would be enough, but it is a long list)? Or concerts in crowded venues such as the Municipal Theatre in Rio de Janeiro or the São Paulo Hall? Or salaries and wages paid monthly? That was not what was happening a few years ago.
But it was not only a small revolution of conductor Minczuk. There was a great effort to mobilize an active board for the OSB Foundation (this should not be despised, the council today is formed by eminent personalities and has a president with rare engagement), there was a commitment to achieve a modern and efficient administration with professionals who are among the most prepared in the field and, perhaps most importantly, they were able to gain major sponsors and supporters. After years of struggle, the OSB began to breathe again. This, in Brazil, is a small revolution. I suspect that in Rio de Janeiro it is a cultural tsunami...
But let's be realistic: the orchestra, on a scale of 0 to 10, went, say, from 3 to 6. It is not little, for the effort it took and the movement it caused. But it is far from what the city of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil deserve. The Marvelous City wants a large and modern Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, that generates culture and that is inserted in the contemporary debate. An orchestra for what the country that will host the Soccer World Cup can be proud of, and for what the city of the 2016 Olympic Games can be proud of. And let us admit, for this it lacks anything.
The OSB Foundation is not proposing a re-evaluation of performance of a consolidated orchestra in a major city in Europe or North America. Also this is not some reauditions in the English countryside or an orchestra in a little city of the German province. I believe the aim is to build - yes, we are in the process of construction! - a modern international symphony orchestra in one of the most beautiful metropolis in the world, in a country that recently reached the seventh position of the global economy. The OSB, with its history of 70 years, deserves this opportunity, and since some years there is a clear effort in that direction.
That said, the decision of the OSB Foundation to promote performance evaluation as a measure for the artistic classification of their instrumentalists seems consistent. There will be not an unilateral imposition guided by the authoritative will of the conductor or artistic director. Instead, there will be an international banking, unbiased and impartial. And the process will have a counterpart, which is a new wage level. So finally the OSB Foundation will establish conditions never had before, that will also guarantee the necessary security for future retirements.
I really expect OSB will keep the group of skilled instrumentalists they have today, and which contributed decisively to the current level of their achievements. And hope that this process also assists in the maturation of modern management processes, appropriate to a symphony orchestra of the 21.st Century.
[Nelson Rubens Kunze is editor of the Brazilian Music Magazine CONCERTO, licensing partner of Gramophone in Brazil. This text was first published on the website of the CONCERTO Magazine (www.concerto.com.br)]
Dear Mr. Masur.
I hope you enjoyed your week with us here in San Francisco. I think the concerts were a great success. While I was left with fond memories of our Mendelssohn collaborations I'm afraid my memory of our lengthy discussion about the OSB situation will not be so fondly remembered by me.
I had been led to believe from your tremendous personal history of achievements in building social and artistic change in Europe and elsewhere, that we could expect the same wisdom and careful thought to be applied by you with regards to the horrible developments in Brazil. I relayed to my friends throughout the international music community that I truly believed you would help your friend, Roberto Minzcuk, come to the realization that change, however it may be wanted or maybe even needed, must only occur primarily with the best interests of the individuals and stakeholders taken into account and secondarily to serve a broader agenda and community.
I would never have believed that an almost cavalier and ultimately damaging approach to achieving "artistic" excellence would have been so erroneously endorsed by you. I must believe that you are, I am afraid to say, being bamboozled. You spoke to me of the history of the orchestra and wit it your associations with many players who are a part of that history. I simply cannot believe that, armed with factual and measured information you would be willing to throw these people to the dogs!
That cannot be your intention but it is what you are saying in your unbridled support of Mr. Minzcuk and his band of henchmen. At the very least you must be made aware of the pure fact that you are not doing him, Minzcuk, any favors what so ever by encouraging this behavior. The eyes of the international music community are focusing in greater numbers on this man and they do NOT like what they are seeing. We are not a vindictive bunch but we are loyal to our colleagues and they are being unfairly attacked. Mr. Minzcuk is running the risk of alienating himself from the very community of musicians that he depends upon for good musical collaboration and, in turn his very livelihood. Perhaps, like other dictatorial and delusional "leaders" he cannot see this. A pity as it is indeed there and, in the end, he will be eaten by his own imagined sense of power.
So, as my friend Ole Bohn has said, it is not too late to go back and begin the process of healing these self inflicted wounds. One of the greatest gifts a human being can give to another is the ability to admit a mistake. People have an amazing capacity to forgive when the forgiveness is requested with humility and dignity. It is NOT too late, I am choosing to believe, even for you Mr. Masur. Look at ALL the facts and then you will, no doubt, want to reassess your position and that of Mr. Minzcuk.
All the best of wishes to you and your lovely wife.
Looking ahead to further shared musical experiences.
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
1970 I started my first concert series with OSB.
For 40 yeas I followed the changing fate and ups and downs of this
Orchestra. Yet, there were always enough music lovers in the audience
to fill the concert houses. Most of the musicians, even until now, used
to take several other jobs in order to be able to feed their family.
Everybody has been dreaming of having better situations as an orchestra
And now we have been given sensational better situations!
Soon will be the cidade da musica reopened, and orchestra
musicians will be paid much better fee, as good as some professional
Orchestras in London or in good orchestras in USA!
And I am surprised that some members of orchestra are refusing new
auditions for bringing the artistically level to the necessary highest
standard as those well paid orchestras in the world!
I know the current music director, Maestro Roberto Minczuk as a great
and honest human being and he handsels everything honest and careful. I
trust him that he will be able to bring the orchestra then up to the
highest level of music making which gives great benefit to all music
lovers in Rio de janeiro.
His talent and his vision of the future is for me absolutely
As a proof what I mean, you should read his letter and statement he
gave to the blog of Norman Lebrecht on March 8th. This letter of
Roberto Minczuk makes you think about the great chance of future music
life for all of you in Rio.
Every body of you has the responsibility about the future music life in
Rio. I recommend strongly to the members of OSB, if you are also in
concern of the future of music life in Rio, you should sit together and
talk your concerns.
Don?t miss this great opportunity and chance in the history of this
orchestra and I beg you all not to be uncontrolled emotions but act
wise and careful.
It is indeed wonderful that you have allowed so much space in your blog
for the problems with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. What is currently happening here in Rio de Janeiro --where I have resided since 1973 and was the first oboe of the orchestra until 1997 or 24 years--resembles unsavoury procedures in the musical world in the 1930s.
"crime"of getting old or older, calling for re-auditions of veterans
despite their long-time experience and survival in the orchestra and
encouraging scabs to take the place of discarded musicians.
What is the worst "crime"in my view,is Maestro Minczuk and the
Brazilian Orchestra's use of the Youth Orchestra to replace the
"ÖSB"(Brazilian Symphony) for the first three months of season with
some members of the orchestra--who are not rebelling vs.
Minzcuk--playing in he first stands of the youth orchestra.
In the UK and USA ,a court order would probably bar the younth
orchestra from taking over the initial part of the season from the
professionals. In Rio de Janeiro however(and not necessarily Brazil)
Today,Friday,as I write you Rio's major newspaper O Globo hasa picture
of the musicians who refuse to take the audition awaiting in the front
of the Labour Ministry for a reconciliation hearing--which never
occurred because neither the Maestro or administration appeared.
We are living in the epoch of internet which has overthrown
dictatorships in the Arab world and hopefully via this same magical
communication ,Maestro Minzcuk and his cohorts will receive their
proper due if these 58 musicians are sacked.
Can the unions in the UK, USA, Canada,etc bar Minzcuk from conducting and
holding auditions? Can other measures be taken? Our fears here in Brazil
are that the draconian measures which have begun in the Brazilian
Symphony will spread to all the 56 orchestras in this growing
nation,threatening thelivelihood of local musicians.
Brazilian National Orchestra
Terremoto a Tokyo: stanno bene i componenti della tournée
Per i familiari che volessero avere notizie dei loro parenti a Tokyo, numero dedicato 055 2779254
L' année dernière, l'Orchestre Symphonique Brésilien a celebré 70 ans d'activités. Selon l'administration de l'Orchestre, en 2010 ont été realisés plus de 100 concerts, pour un public estimé de 190 000 personnes. En cette même année le budget de l'orchestre a considerablement augmenté, avec des apports publics issus de la politique federale d'incentiver la culture à travers des reductions d'impôts.
Ce qui pourrait mener à un moment de récompense aux musiciens de cette orchestre - qui pendant des années ont perçu leur salaire avec des retards, ont fait face aux pires conditions de travail et ont sacrifié une grande partie de leur vie personelle en faveur de cette institution - se transforme en un drame sans précedents dans le monde de la musique. Seulement deux jours après le debut de leurs vacances - traditionellement au mois de janvier au Brésil - les musiciens ont été surpris par une lettre de l'administration de l'orchestre leur informant que tous les musiciens seraient soumis à des "avaliations de la performance", avaliations établies sans aucun critère et sans aucune discussion préalable avec les musiciens, ou leur représentants. Ensuite, il a été annoncé aux musiciens que l'orchestre aurait ses activités suspendues jusqu'au mois de juillet, les concerts de mars, avril, mai et juin seraient efectués par le Jeune Orchestre Symphonique Brésilien, groupe d'étudiants, qui a pour objectif la formation de jeunes musiciens, et l'apprentissage de la musique en groupe. En même temps étaient annoncés des concours pour être admis dans l'Orquestre Symphonique Brésilien (OSB) à Londres, New York, et en dernier, Rio de Janeiro.
Cela montrait de façon claire un projet qui menerait à une demission colective d'une grande partie de l'orchestre, une situation absurde de changer tout un orchestre pour satisfaire les désirs d'une seule personne, le chef d'orchestre et directeur artistique Roberto Minczuk.
Depuis quelques annés l'orchestre et son directeur artistique n'ont pas une bonne relation, surtout après la demission en 2006, le 23 décembre, de 14 musiciens, et de ses nombreux essais de renvoyer les musiciens plus agés et tous ceux qui essayent de s'opposer à ses décisions.
En ce moment dificile, de nombreuses lettres sont envoyées aux musiciens par la direction de l'OSB, leur informant que l'absence aux auditions d'avaliation meneront à de graves punitions, voire même la démission. Malgré cette préssion, 56 des 82 musiciens qui forment l'OSB, ont décidé en assemblée ne pas participer à cette avaliation, en protestant contre le manque de respect, l'arrogance e le manque de dialogue auquel ils sont soumis.
De cette façon, nous demandons votre soutient contre cette violence à laquelle sont soumis les musiciens du plus traditionel orchestre brésilien, en empêchant que le premier des droits de l'homme - le droit au travail - soit bafoué et que les responsables de cette abérration assument leur responsabilités.
Deborah Cheyne Prates
Presidente du Sindicatat des Musiciens de Rio de Janeiro
I have played as a fulltime member of the Brazilian Symphony orchestra for thirty years, twenty of these as solo cellist. Before I came to Brazil I played for fifteen years as a professional orchestral cellist and chamber musician including the London Mozart Players and the BBC London, in England. I was recently honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for my services to Brazilian Music, and am an honorary citizen of the State of Rio de Janeiro .
I am absolutely horrified by the attitudes of both the Artistic Director, and the Administration of FOSB. Firstly by the fact that our orchestral season has been cancelled and the OSB has been substituted by a Youth Orchestra, and secondly that a group of loyal, highly professional musicians have been asked to take a test to see if they are good enough for their own orchestra.
As the OSB's orchestral season was cancelled prior to holding these humiliating tests, this clearly indicates that the intention of the Artistic Director is to dismiss most members of the OSB. What musician in his right mind would face a test, knowing this fact?
How can some one who purports to believe in education, possibly conceive of a plan to substitute a highly experienced, successful and professional orchestral body with a youth orchestra? The orchestra is comprised of students who need to practice their instruments, study music and school subjects. They run the serious risk that in a few years, because of this forced professional work, which only highly qualified professional are capable of, and are trained for, will be burnt out and suffer problems such as muscle tension and mental stress, at a very early age.
One must remember that the OSB is a national orchestra that represents Brazilian music, and if replaced by excellent musicians from other countries, will certainly lose this identity. I stand together with my colleagues, who, over the past thirty years have helped me understand and interpret Brazilian music. Only after so many years of playing together with these most excellent Brazilian Musicians am I able to play as a Brazilian.
I take offense to the fact that our Artistic Director ,in his recent article says that any musician admitted into the OSB after he assumed the position as Artistic director, could play in any orchestra in the world. Does that imply that I and my colleagues would not?
I and many of my colleagues strongly believe in education. We teach in several important institutions and academic centers, as well as teaching in communities around Brazil. What hope can we give our students, if they see the jobs they aspire to in Brazilian orchestras being taken by musicians from abroad, who owe no allegiance to our culture and traditions?
How anti -ethical to see our own students, who play in this youth orchestra replace their teachers, knowing that they are to lose their jobs.
With funding anyone can create a fine orchestra of international musicians; but at what price? What will be lost is a national tradition, and opportunities for young Brazilians to develop careers in the orchestras of their own country. Artistic excellence is a worthy goal but the nurturing of youth and a recognition of national style seem to be superior values to me.
I call on a halt to this madness. May the excellent labor laws of this country be enforced to stop the random acts of this despot, who seems to be intent upon wrecking the lives and careers of so many Brazilian musicians. It is relatively easy to replace a conductor, impossible to recreate a National style of music making that the OSB represents. This orchestra is ready to work at the highest level in tandem with any conductor who can show respect and vision for our ensemble.
David Chew OBE
President -Founder -Musical Director O MUSIC
Rio International Cello Encounter(RICE)
Rio de Janeiro
Aos músicos, amigos, assinantes e ao público da OSB, colegas de todas as orquestras do Rio de Janeiro,
Assunto: mesa redonda no MTE
Convidamos os FaceBLACKs e todos aqueles que apóiam os músicos da OSB neste difícil momento.
Dia 10 de março, a partir das 11h estaremos juntos no endereço abaixo concentrando forças!!!
Sua presença é importante!!
No dia 10 de março de 2011, às 12h, será realizada mesa redonda perante o Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego, na Avenida Presidente Antônio Carlos, 251, Centro.
Dear Norman Lebrecht,
After hearing and reading many untruthful letters and messages mostly on the internet, it is very important to clarify some key facts concerning the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and the present evaluation process.
First of all, the purpose of the evaluation is not to fire or dismiss anyone - nobody that participates in the auditions will be dismissed. As part of the deal to improve musicians' working conditions, including raising the wages, the Board of OSB Foundation decided to go through an evaluation process. It is important to emphasize that Brazilian Symphony Orchestra Foundation is private and to support itself counts on the sponsorship of more than thirty private and public companies and institutions.
These evaluations will help fix a few old problems. There are, for instance, no written records for admissions for the orchestra prior to 2006. It is a known fact that often auditions were held in a very informal way and did not follow standards that guarantee fairness and exemption. They were not held behind the screens and the repertoire was over simplified in all positions. There are in the orchestra musicians who were admitted without any formal auditions even in key positions which generate much complain among the musicians themselves.
After being heard individually in the evaluations, musicians will be given feedback and will have the opportunity to show improvement. In addition, we are fully aware that musicians that have been playing in the group for more than twenty years might not be in the same shape of younger players. Even so, we know how much experienced musicians can contribute to the orchestra's routine. The evaluation will be considered, as I personally wrote to all musicians, only one component part of the process of development of the orchestra.
We took special care that everybody had the opportunity to prepare themselves. Besides the regular vacation of the 41 days, the musicians where given another month of paid vacation to dedicate themselves only to preparing for the evaluation.
When I was first invited to become Brazilian Symphony Orchestra's Artistic Director, five and a half years ago, the orchestra wasn't fully organized in its internal structure and the Foundation's total budget was around three million dollars. Musicians had a very low monthly salary of 1.200,00 to 1.800,00 US dollars that often was delayed up to six months. That situation appeared to me as the biggest challenge of my life, even greater than the one I had faced side by side with John Neschling in São Paulo (1997 - 2005), when we worked hard to restructure Osesp (São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra).
After last year's season, when we celebrated Brazilian Symphony Orchestra's seventieth anniversary, the general conditions had significantly changed for the better. In 2011, the annual budget is approximately of twenty million dollars, the deficit is settled and the salaries can reach up to 6.500,00 US dollars (x 13) plus benefits, accumulating a total of eight five thousand dollars yearly plus health insurance.
I hope I have clarified some of the misunderstanding and I would like you to feel free to contact me for any further information you might need.
RUSSIA - 30 pianists, 27 violinists, 25 cellists, 20 female singers and 20
male singers will compete in this year's International
Tchaikovsky Competition, to take place between June 14th and July 2nd in
Moscow and St Petersburg under the chairmanship of Valery Gergiev. The
musicians, aged between 16 and 32, come from 29 countries, and were selected by
the distinguished judging panels from the 583 entrants who made an initial
submission of a recital on DVD (50 minutes for instrumentalists, 20 minutes for
singers). For this year's landmark competition, revised procedures have been
introduced for voting and online applications, as has a new set of rules and
Tchaikovsky, Busoni, Chopin, Cliburn, Dublin, Queen Elisabeth, Hamamatsu,
Horowitz, Iturbi, Leeds, Long-Thibaud, Paderewski, Rachmaninoff,
further information please contact:
Still working on the other one I contacted.
Last year, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra celebrated 70 years of activities. There were over 100 concerts to an estimated public of 190 000 people, according to the institution itself. Also a significant increase in the budget of the orchestra was reported, with funds coming from public policy sponsored by the federal government.
What could indicate a time of reward to the musicians of the orchestra, which for years received low wages, facing the worst working conditions and sacrificed much of his personal life in favor of this institution had become a worldly unprecedented drama. Only two days after the start of their collective holidays - traditionally in January in Brazil - were surprised by a statement informing that all OSB musicians would be subject to a "performance evaluation" provided with no discretion and without any discussion with the orchestral body or its leaders. Following this statement, the orchestra management announced that the orchestra would have their activities suspended until the month of July, and the concerts of the season in March, April, May and June would be conducted by the Brazilian Youth Symphony. At the same time they announced competitions for posts to be held in London, New York and finally in Rio de Janeiro.
It was thus clarified that the project will lead to mass dismissals, leading to the absurd situation of changing an entire orchestra to meet the demand of a single person, maestro Roberto Minczuk. For some time the orchestra and its conductor have not been speaking the same language, especially after the dismissal of 14 musicians on the eve of Christmas, in 2006, as well as his attempts to dismiss older musicians and those who opposed his leadership .
At the same time, admonitions are sent by the orchestra management warning that the absence to procedure will lead to a severe punishment and even the interruption of the work contract. Despite all this embarrassment, 56 of the 82 musicians who make up the orchestral body, meeting in Assembly decided not to undertake this "performance evaluation", in protest against disrespect, arrogance and lack of dialogue that are being submitted.
Thus, we ask your support against this violence which the musicians from the most traditional orchestra in Brazil are undergoing, preventing that the most basic human rights - the right to work - is not usurped and that those responsible for this abnormality are properly accountable.
Ms. Rebecca Young, viola, New York Philharmonic
Ms. Isabelle Faust, violin, soloist
Mr. Blair Bollinger, trombone, Philadelphia Orchestra
Mr. Michael Faust, flute, Cologne Radio Orchestra
Mr. Ignacio Garcia, horn, Staatskapelle Berlin
The letter follows:
The (above-listed) musicians pay maximal attention.
You are being cheated by the management of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. The audition you will participate as jury members in Brazil is not a fair one. It is part of a repulsive plan of a sick management in order to promote a blood bath among orchestral musicians here in Brazil.
The audition is not for new members. You are coming to Brazil to listen exclusively to musicians that will have to re-audition to their own orchestra in order to, may be, keep their jobs. Many of these colleagues belong to this orchestra since more than 30 years and are being humiliated by this audition.
Please don't participate on such a violence. This management, we know, are fooling you into believing that they want to make a better orchestra and to "modernize