There are many Philharmonic Orchestras in the world, full of pomp and circumstance, but there’s only one Phil – and that, as any well-educated child will confirm, is Liverpool. The Royal Liverpool, if we’re being formal.
There’s a musical spirit on the Mersey unlike any other and I’m always chuffed to go and hear the Phil even when, as for much of the past two decades, they’ve been down in the dumps. But they’re right back on top form now with young maestro Vassily Petrenko and there’s no telling how high they might fly.
Which is why I’d like to drop a little word of caution in your ears, guys and gals.
There’s a new conductor coming your way next month, apparently for his UK debut. His name is Roberto Minczuk and he’s music director of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, which – if you’ve been reading this space as attentively as I know you do – you will be aware has just summarily sacked half its players
for ‘insubordination’. The other half are being made to reaudition for their jobs. Meantime, the youth orchestra is being substituted for adult players.
This process appears to be the bright idea of Mr Minczuk and it is totally at odds with modern practice in civilised orchestras. As soon as Mr Minczuk is finished with you lot next month, he’s heading down to London to try and recruit some hungry freelancers to fill the gaps he has caused in the OSB. They, like you, should be aware of what this chap is up to.
Now far be it for a deskbound southerner like me to advise the working classes of Liverpool on matters of industrial relations. But, purely as a matter of pride and solidarity, I thought some of you might like to send a message to Mr Minczuk – either through your management, or via this space – on what you think of his show so far… and whether you want to play with a bloke from the other side of the world who has so much musician misery on his conscience.
And if you’re short of a tango conductor on May 12
, I’m sure I can find a local substitute.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking you to boycott Minczuk
, as many others are already doing. Just let him know your feelings and maybe he’ll think twice.
That’s it, guys and gals. I’m so looking forward to be with you later this year.
Love to Jayne, Vasily, Ed and all the ex-Brummies.
Ta-ra for now.