Musicians pile on support for Brazil Facebook protest

Musicians pile on support for Brazil Facebook protest


norman lebrecht

March 07, 2011

Musicians in many countries are now blacking out their Facebook pictures in support of players in the Brazil Symphony Orchestra, who are being made to reaudition for their own jobs. Pressure is also being put on five foreign judges not to participate in the audition process.

Among those leading the resistance is Ole Bohn, concertmaster of Norway’s national orchestra, and Alex Klein, former principal oboe of  the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There are also indications that the Brazil SO music director Roberto Minczuk may face a musicians’ boycott if he attempts to conduct abroad.
Protests continue to mount and discussions are simmering across instrumental chat sites and message boards. Further progress will be reported first here.
Elsewhere in Rio, the Guardian reports (below), it’s carnival as usual.


  • Eduardo Monteiro says:

    Norman, for those who know Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, there’s no doubt that the OSB’s management thought people in Rio would never react properly because the auditions were scheduled for right after Carnival. This was one more fail shot. It’s Carnival here and all the people are mobilized.

  • wendy says:

    Reading about this for the first time, it seems to me the message is that musicians are entitled to keep their jobs even if they are not performing up to standard?
    What about all the newly trained musicians of considerable talent who don’t get a chance to be in a State orchestra?

  • Luciano de Castro says:

    wendy, the OSB is not a State Orchestra. There are 13 vacancies to be filled up by new musicians but the real purpose of this audition is to fire experienced and seasoned professionals that went through various phases of this orchestra including playing without receiving their salaries to sustain this important 70-year-old orchestra. Excellent and dedicated musicians against greedy and bad management.

  • Tom Moore says:

    that link is for last year’s Carnival. This year’s, for the first time, has a classical music group (bloco), called Feitico do Villa, named for Villa-Lobos.