Brazil – an American union flexes its musclemain
The American Federation of Musicians has made a formal representation in the ongoing orchestral standoff in Rio during the hours of Barack Obama’s visit.
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