Breaking: Brazil crisis conductor cancels foreign concerts

Breaking: Brazil crisis conductor cancels foreign concerts


norman lebrecht

April 12, 2011

Roberto Minczuk, embattled music director of the Brazil Symphony Orchestra half of whose players he has sacked, has cancelled next week’s concerts in Salt Lake City. 

The official word from Rio (below) is that he is detained there by the crisis. Privately, there are suspicions that he fears protests from musicians in other orchestras. Whether he turns up for a concert at Liverpool, where players have notably strong opinions, remains to be seen. Likewise, for the auditions he is planning in London.
Here’s the word from Utah:

Roberto Minczuk, Conductor and Artistic Director of the Brazilian

Symphony Orchestra, formally canceled his engagement as guest conductor for the Utah Symphony Monday. American Maestro Gerard Schwartz, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, will take his place as conductor of the Utah Symphony this weekend, April 15 and 16.


Minczuk has canceled his engagement this week in order to take care of pressing matters with his own orchestra in Brazil.


“The Board and the President of the Orquestra Simfonica Brasileira have requested that Roberto Minczuk remain in Brazil this week to attend to urgent matters related to the crisis with the musicians of the orchestra,” said Minczuk’s manager in a statement to the Utah Symphony and its supporters. “I hope that you graciously understand the urgency of this matter for Roberto and can accept his very last-minute cancelation for his concerts with you this week.”


  • Doug says:

    Weeks ago when this was developing, and knowing a bit more about Minczuk having worked with him a few years, I saw that he might just go ‘all the way’ and commit career suicide over this issue.
    Looks like he’s placing the noose around his own neck now.

  • Stefan says:

    Just like I said a few weeks ago, what conductor would want to be associated with this mess? No matter what he was trying to accomplish with the Brazilian orchestra, and no matter what his motives were – there comes a point where most people just wouldn’t want to be involved anymore.

  • Tim says:

    Well I’ve worked with Minczuk a couple of times. He’s quite a good conductor actually, and it’s sad to see him ruin his career in such a misguided way. I would certainly not want to play for him again after these shenanigans.