Brazil – half the orchestra to be fired

Brazil – half the orchestra to be fired


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2011

Press reports from Rio say that 41 to 44 players in the Brazil Symphony Orchestra are to be dismissed for ‘insubordination’ – their refusal to attend re-auditions for their own jobs.

The news, carried also in the authoritative O Globo, contradicts the official version that this process is not about sacking musicians.
A youth orchestra is appearing at present in place of the OSB and foreign soloists are being approached not to appear with it, or with its chief conductor, Roberto Minczuk.  


  • AVI says:

    I’m not sure how these reports would suggest a contradiction with the ‘official version’… assuming that no players who undertook the evaluation have been sacked, then removing those who refused to attend is entirely in-line with the official version, I would have thought?

  • Alexandre Brasil says:

    Yes, it is in line. But the real purpose of the audition was, from the beginning, to sack some musicians, even they will never assume that. The history of Minczuk comming to OSB is one of fight with the musicians. They refused his name when it was suggested for the position; one year later he fired 14 of them and two years after that the unanimous corps of the orchestra asks for his leave on the basis of moral assedium. He keeped his position thanks to the intervention of the council and now presents this pseudo evaluation. It is plausible to think that he wants to sack some musicians in order to keep authority

  • Alexandre Brasil says:

    In time… I am bassist at OSB for 12 years now and received an email from the administration to attend the headquarters and sign my dismission.As more than a half of the musicians, I refused to reaudition.

  • Rob Weir says:


  • Marcos Nogueira says:

    This is not a shame, this is the result of a union misleading. The union decided to go this way and now? What the union is going to do? No one was sacked, they were advised to follow the internal bylaws but the union and the commission decided to take a different route. Now this has nothing to do with the conductor it self, it is labor laws since half of the orchestra disagreed with the commission and the union, something that many tried to distort here and there. Yes, know they got what they diserved. This is a shame because this musicians had many option in the table but they did not want to go the right way. Players that who undertook the evaluation still have their jobs, it seems that again, who decided to follow the irresponsible actions of the union will have to blame someone, they will never accept that what they did was imoral and ilegal, yes imoral and ilegal.

  • Pedro Mangueira says:

    Interesting, who undertook the evaluation kept their jobs and is not going to be dismissed, just like that, easy.
    You are missing one very important point here, this group of about 40 went beyond the borders, they forgot that they were hired to work for someone, these actions promoted by the musicians union of Rio de Janeiro had practically no support of brazilian musicians due to the illegality.
    This is the main reason they decided to go oversees and try to get suport from people that have no clue of what is going on. They tried twice through the legal system to go around it but was denied. They tried to force other colleagues to not take part of the audition process but they also failed.
    None, none of the 35 musicians that undertook the evaluation was abused as some continue to say. I talked to many of them and they said veemently that they never supported these actions promoted by the commission and union.
    This is not new at the BSO, this is an old story where many other conductors also suffered in the hands of these musicians, this is probably an end of an era and a begining of a new era for the BSO and an opportunity for many musicians which are looking for a job.

  • Roberto MinChucky says:

    no contradictions,from beginning “official version” has been like a “Child`s Play” script with MinChucky the winner just it was told here

  • George Brown says:

    It seems to me that if a city wants to develop a world-class orchestra, it should start by running it like one. Doing so there, however, will mean that a lot of deeply rooted attitudes will have to change; and so far, it looks like many will be tossed out into the street with no job or benefits, before those changes manifest.
    It’s very sad.
    george brown
    principal timpanist/utah symphony