Brazil crisis: Four orchestras face closure

December 18, 2016 by norman lebrecht


A correspondent reports:

The collapse of the Brazilian economy and government has led to savage cuts in culture. Four big orchestras are facing shutdown. The Orchestra Sinfonica Brasileira (OSB, pictured) has not paid musician salaries or soloist fees since August.

Three more orchestras – the Banda Sinfonica, the jazz sinfonica and the orchestra do teatro san pedro have been told they will close next year. Hundreds of musicians will be out of work.

You can sign a petition to save three of the orchestras here.

The OSB is conducting a separate campaign.

Comments (14)

  1. Chandos says:

    Rio de Janeiro’s state government declared a “state of financial disaster”(i.e. bankruptcy) in June and that was before the Olympics. Oil revenues are projected to drop precipitously from $3.5bn in 2014 to $1bn in 2016. The additional cost drain from the Games certainly did not improve the budget situation in Rio or for the Brazilian government. Regrettably, there seems to be little grounds for optimism, at least for funding from the public sector.

    1. Lucia says:

      Brazil is very rich!! The problem is corruption, most of Brazilian politicians became millionaires in a few years after being elected. Lula’s son is one of the richest people and used to work in a zoo cleaning animal’s shit. It is possible to change this!!!

      1. Bob says:

        Excuse me but with Lula the culture in Brazil experiences a big impulse like never before.
        This is a consequence of Temer politics.
        Millionaire Lula? That is Wrong!!!!
        tell me what you think about Temer, Eduardo Cunha, Aécio Neves, Silas Malafaia, José Serra … PSDB and PMDB

        1. Guilherme Mittmann says:

          É exatamente como Bob disse! Com Lula saúde, cultura e educação se tornaram prioridades, seu esmagador apoio popular o manteve livre de golpes de estado mas a mídia conservadora não popou esforços para inventar mentiras sobre ele. Dilma era ainda mais competente tecnicamente mas como tinha menos carisma foi cercada de traidores. O que temos ai é consequencia disso!

        2. Barbara Galante says:

          Is this the man that was impulsing the brazilian culture? this political crises didn’t start now! in the video he explais why he doesn’t read books – the answer is “Because I’m lazy!

  2. Bob says:

    Excuse me but with Lula the culture in Brazil experiences a big impulse like never before.
    This is a consequence of Temer politics.
    Millionaire Lula? That is Wrong!!!!
    tell me what you think about Temer, Eduardo Cunha, Aécio Neves, Silas Malafaia, José Serra … PSDB and PMDB

    1. Rogério Wolf says:

      What????? What do you know about Brazil! It’s impossible someone does a crisis like in 3 months!!
      By the way, I don’t care about Temer or Lula ou Dilma….I don’t like any politician!!

  3. Peter Bronde says:

    Very sad……. as usual everywhere, the politicians really seem unaware of the quality and value of what they are discarding….. thank goodness the wonderful top class OSESP orchestra are able to draw on private sponsorship as well as the funds they receive from the SP state. They were wonderful ambassadors for Brazil with their top class performance at the last Proms along with a fabulous combined concert of Brazilian popular music with the Jazz Sinfonica, one of the ensembles mentioned above. As already mentioned, Brazil is potentially such a rich country in so many ways if it were not for inefficiency and financial corruption……. As for the Theatro São Pedro; Luiz Fernando Malheiro has worked artistic miracles with a tiny budget with an excellent orchestra and great ensemble of young singers the like of which dors not to my knowledge exist anywhere else in Brazil!

    1. Well said, Peter Bronde. This mess usually happens in countries like Brazil, where most of the orchestras depend only on government money, and a mix of bureaucracy, outdated laws and selfish politicians turns almost impossible for private companies to take financial advantages sponsoring culture/music…In USA, orchestras are alive and well because american laws priorize Private sponsorship for orchestras. Time for brazilian musicians to stop being so passive and joining forces to force government to change that status quo.

    2. Eric says:

      The thing is, OSB is not a state-sponsored orchestra and is actually reliant almost entirely on a few large corporate donors, unlike OSESP. But this is a vital orchestra, and the government must intervene to save it. It’s pennies compared with the opening night of the Olympics alone.

  4. Купить базу трастовых сайтов says:

    Arabia, which has long provided free health care, gasoline subsidies, and routine pay raises to its citizens with its petroleum wealth, already faces a brutal fiscal crisis.

  5. Wolfgang Fleischfresser says:

    I know this is a bit controversial but there is no need to keep these orchestras and Band founded by the public money. Anywhere else in the planet, orchestras survived promoting themselves, looking for their own funds. I guess the government ran out of funds for that purpose, after many years of free subsidy. The Banda Sinfonica do Estado, can be easily replaced by the army band. Just went to see their concert the other day at the Theatro São Pedro, wonderful performance. The band is there, fully paid with professional musician that can perform to the public all over the State of São Paulo, for free. Difficult times, I know……

  6. Jaime Weisenblum says:

    Having performed my first solo concerto when I was 11 years old with the OSB under Eleazar de Carvalho,I can only feel the gut wrenching pain that musicians and orchestras in general in Brazil suffer in the hands of bad governments,irresponsible “politicians”,corruption like few other countries have endured in the modern world,and the list goes on and on.
    Have times ever been better?
    Certainly,even if budgets were smaller. Many great artistic administrators performed miracles through several decades to present fine music,both home brewed or bringing foreign orchestras and musicians,including an array of first class educators to teach and coach music of all forms to a country full of natural musical talent and at the same time anxious to play,sing or dance…the true colours of Brazilian soul.
    But in the end, history repeats itself,not only music and art in Brazil gets neglected and kicked down over and over again,the entire extraordinary weave of such culturally magnificent country loses,and the people who most appreciate this colourful DNA of their own country,extremely hard working citizens,are left with the same feeling of abandonment and betrayal by the people supposed to provide substance to their lives.
    Why are so many States in Brazil running deficits?
    Who’s at fault?To whom can we attribute all this scandalous situation to?
    Yes,corruption in ALL levels,but who runs the corruption?
    Being a Brazilian born musician and still feeling very strong about my roots in spite of having had the good fortune to travel and perform the last 63 years in most of the great and not so great concert venues around our planet,I must reaffirm what Churchill said to the parliament in England during the second world war:” If not for our children,and to preserve our national culture for them in the future,what are we fighting this war for?”
    I really believe it is time for the perpetrators of ALL this corruption, daily robbing the young people of the country and arts organizations,orchestras and the future of Brazilian soul, to take a hard look at their own individual souls and remember that in the end you are cheating yourselves and your own families of such future,because no matter how much money you put away legally or illegally, in the end your own soul and country become very,very poor in every respect.
    Patriotism starts with cultural pride,not with corruption!!

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