Brazil concert chaos – here's the video, and the official version

Brazil concert chaos – here's the video, and the official version


norman lebrecht

April 10, 2011

Some kind souls have posted on youtube what happened when the Brazil Symphony Orchestra management attempted to put a concert with youth players in place of the musicians they had sacked. The conductor, Roberto Minczuk, entered to a mixed chorus of applause – people who had paid for their tickets and wanted to hear music, presumably – and an equal volume of boos.

Half the orchestra then walked off. Watch here.
Here’s another view from an upper balcony, which shows a warm reception for the orchestra, followed by violent abuse for Minczuk. 
And here’s some footage outside the hall.
I await video of the truncated speech by a member of the youth orchestra.
The OSB management soon after ‘profoundly lamented’ the incident and announced the cancellation of Sunday’s concert. If the chaos continues, it may soon have to announce self-annulation. It is fast becoming a laughing stock.
A Fundação OSB lamenta profundamente o episódio deflagrado por parte dos músicos da OSB Jovem no início da tarde deste sábado (09/04). A FOSB considerou um desrespeito com o público que esteve presente para assistir ao espetáculo e com o próprio Theatro Municipal, templo da boa música. A Fundação comunica também que o Concerto da Juventude, que aconteceria neste domingo (10/04), às 11h, está cancelado. O público que comprou ingresso deve se dirigir à bilheteria do teatro para efetuar a troca. O telefone de contato para assinantes é (21) 2505-8383.


  • Alex Klein says:

    Dear Norman,
    Here is a translation of the beautiful – and mature – letter which the members of the OSB Youth Orchestra attempted to read to the public yesterday. With youth like this, any country would be proud of its future. We are.
    Alex Klein
    Music comes first! We in the OSB Youth orchestra firmly believe in this. We believe that in order to have music, and in order to have musicians, there must exist above all respect.
    Faced with this whole inseparable situation – where an immoral action finds support in the law – the dignity of the entire musical class should prevail and, consequently, the OSB-YO manifests itself peacefully by refusing to play, not only because we being used to replace the professional OSB, which is a fact, but because today we are in the role of being the future of music in our country, and do not want our musical and social reality to remain without respect, morals or dialogue.
    Although on more than one occasion it has been stated that the conductor and FOSB are open to dialogue, we don’t believe this will solve our situation as young musicians, for this same channel of dialogue was open to the professionals and FOSB did not compromise, triggering this sad scenario where the music scene is today.
    We want, as of today, now and forever, to exercise our profession, making music in a healthy environment and having respect for others as a principle.
    We are here today in this situation and choose to act, we choose to express ourselves on behalf of music and truth, and, with all due respect to the audiences of today and of always, we will not be playing today.
    We place out hope on doing the right things, and it is with this hope that we appreciate and rely on your support.
    The OSB Youth Orchestra

  • Marie Lamb says:

    Thanks to Norman for his continued coverage of this whole situation, and thanks to Alex Klein for sharing the youth orchestra’s marvelous message! This is a moving follow-up to the letter Norman shared the other day from the young man who gave his reasons for leaving the youth orchestra. I have so much admiration for these incredible young people, who have shown such dignity, courage, and dedication to music in the face of this intolerable situation. I hope they never lose those qualities or their idealism, since those will be so necessary as this new generation of Brazilian musicians works to put things on a sounder footing: we hope they keep “doing the right things”!