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.