News just in: Liverpool musicians submit protest to embattled Minczuk

News just in: Liverpool musicians submit protest to embattled Minczuk


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2011

Members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will present a protest to the embattled Brazilian conductor, Roberto Minczuk, who has sacked half his orchestra. They will not, however, jeopardise his concert.

Here’s a cautious statement, just in, from the Musicians’ Union:
LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONICSUPPORTS RIO COLLEAGUESRoyal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) musicians have expressed their solidarity with colleagues from the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB) by expressing concern at the dismissal of several OSB musicians to Roberto Minczuk, who is guest conducting with the RLPO for concerts in Preston on Wednesday 11 May 2011, and in the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on Thursday 12 May and Sunday 15 May.

Mr Minczuk is, in part, responsible for the summary dismissal of a large number of full time musicians from the OSB.  The OSB, under Roberto Minczuk’s guidance is holdingauditions in New York and London to replace the musicians sacked from the orchestra.The Musicians’ Union (MU) has joined with other unions around the world in condemning the actions of the OSB and calling for members to boycott the auditions. The International Federation of Musicians (FIM) has also put out a statement.

RLPO musicians will hand Minczuk a letter urging him and the OSB to enter into proper dialogue with the Rio Union to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion. They also intend towrite to their colleagues in Rio, expressing solidarity.

Morris Stemp, MU North of England Organiser says:“Classical musicians from around the world have roundly condemned the action taken by OSB management, and the support our members have shown for their counterparts in Rio de Janeiro is to be applauded. Our members, through us, call upon the OSB to rethink their position and come back to the table for face to face talks with the Rio Musicians’ Union (SINDMUSI). The attitudes taken by the OSB Board and Mr Minczuk demonstrate that they do not understand how a modern orchestra functions.

The failure to pursue a mutually acceptable outcome could have a profoundly detrimental effect on classical music provision in Brazil, and could also affectRoberto Minczuk’s ability to work with our colleagues across the world. It is imperative that conductors have the support and co-operation of the musicians around them at any given time. Without this, conductors wave their arms in silence.


  • […] News just in: Liverpool musicians submit protest to embattled Minczuk Members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will present a protest to the embattled Brazilian conductor, Roberto Minczuk, who has sacked half his orchestra. They will not, however, jeopardise his concert. Read more on Arts Journal […]

  • Good, maybe everyone can take a deep breath and gain some perspective and equanimity. Routine re-evaluations are standard practice in most other fields, and many other countries with orchestras, but it touches a nerve and wreaks havoc with vulnerable players least capable of measuring up to raised level. Which is why it might be good to have a sort of Plan B: a retraining approach for those unable to meet new demands. I do wish everyone the best possible outcome.

    • Miriam says:

      I have worked in the financial system for many years. I am evaluated every semester by my PERFORMANCE DURING THIS PERIOD. I never had to do any kind of exam after I was hired. Musicians should be evaluated by their performances in rehearsals and concerts, not through new auditions.

      • gildemaro says:

        ‘@Miriam, very elegant, spot on and (the most important, because it concerns this disgusting affair…) SO TRUE… Kudos to you!

  • gildemaro says:

    Dear Mrs. Kransberg-Talvi, nowadays some people like to speak about running a symphony orchestra like a grocery shop or (if it’s a better orchestra…) a bank. And also the figure of the “CEO-conductor” seems popular, in some circles. From this point of view, even after taking a deep breath, I wouldn’t be able to give a good note to the work the actual administration of the OSB and their baton – waving accomplice are doing. You name any blatant administrative irregularity, you will find it there! I would call it “an arrogant approach from those not capable or willing to meet any demand, not even the legal ones” Very tipical for former runners of Brazilian state-owned business, from where (wonder of wonders!) most of the orchestra board members are coming. And from there comes also (another wonder!) also most of the sponsorship money for the OSB…
    On another subject, would you care to elaborate on the “many other countries with orchestras” where arbitrary re-audition processes are “standard”…? Would be good to know!

  • Gena Kupperheimer says:

    Interesting, if you follow the local news in Brazil and look all around with details you will notice that the Foundation BSO proposed many alternatives to these musicians to come back, to re-admit them but they simple refuse all of them.

    They demanded that Mr. Minczuk should leave and that’s something that will never happen. Not sure who is really passing the news of what really happened in Rio but these musicians were not fired because they are bad musicians or not. You should know that the so called evaluation was not established to dismiss no one.

    You can see that more than half of the orchestra took the evaluation and they were not dismissed. These ones that took the test decided to stay and work and keep their jobs.

    There is nothing to be done for these rebellious musicians. too late, they simple lost their jobs. They are acting as they were sacked but this is not true at all. No one is running the orchestra as a grocery shop as Mr. Gildermaro (which is posting a lot here some non sense stuff), may be they thought they were in a grocery shop. One thing that they forgot is that they were supposed to follow their obligations as employees and they did not.

    Just recently a WHOLE orchestra was dismissed in Brazil, city of São José dos Campos in the State of São Paulo and no one came out to support them, this was a professional orchestra as well. Many of these musicians will be probably take part of the new audition process released by the BSO in Rio.

    Would like to see more transparency and impartiality here, something that I do not see from all these postings, the picture presented here is that the fired ones are the only musicians available and the best ones in Brazil. Too sad to see such postings here.

    • gildemaro says:

      Dear Frl. Kupperheimer, where in the whole “nonsense” I post, as the day is long, do I say that the fired musicians are the only available and the best musicians in Brazil? The best Brazilian classical musicians I know would be Cristina Ortiz, Antonio Meneses and Nelson Freire, quoting the first to spring to my mind who are all…boycotting this megalomanic and stupid project and the unavoidable “batch dismissals” it brought. Also the end of the orchestra in SJC was a sad thing, as the end of any cultural institution everywhere is, but had to do with economic shortcomings and at the end you can’t compare both orchestras nor both cities, when tradition and relevance in the context of Brazilian cultural life is concerned.
      Thus being cleared, please explain now what makes OSB’s actual management so worth defending… Maybe you can start with Mr. Minczuk’s salary, including his 5% “share” ( I also would like to be “shareholder” everywhere without buying stocks, “fun without risk” … ) and how it is paid to a phony company. Or, since we are talking money, how would you explain the composition of the “world standard” salaries being offered to the musicians, including the new ones who will audition now, with the ominous (and not so legal BTW) share of fake “media rights”. Only a couple of examples, the whole list is much longer and doesn’t belong here, but in front of a court, where it fortunately will also end, as it seems right now… So I’m waiting for your explanation, maybe you could “join forces” with your friends Mrs Borscht and Mr. Clutoj to be more convincing…

  • David Brown says:

    I am really pleased to see the musicians of the RLPO and the MU make this statement in support of their colleagues in Brazil. Much credit is due to Norman Lebrecht also for bringing the plight of the OSB musicians to the general public’s attention. The statement that was issued by the British Musician’s Union takes a very professional approach. No disruptive tactics which would compromise the quality of the concerts conducted by Mr. Minczuk will be employed. This professional decorum doesn’t mean however that the RLPO musicians condone in the least the actions instituted by Mr.Minczuk and his administration and board of directors. Guest conductors are usually hired several years in advance and Mr. Minczuk has appeared with several orchestras recently since the situation in Brazil has occurred and rapidly gained international attention. There is no doubt that orchestral musicians world wide have been discussing this with their respective administrations and are making their feelings very clear about not wishing to work with someone who is prepared to treat fellow artists in such a callous, inhumane manner. All in all this is a very unfortunate and unnecessary situation reminiscent of days gone by when music directors ruled with unfettered power.Times have changed and these actions, because they are so extreme and so outrageous, have served to incite musicians across continents. My prediction is that, if he continues to remain so intransigent, Mr. Minczuk’s conducting career will diminish swiftly and dramatically and he will have only himself to blame.


  • Bratislava Symphony, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Lithuanian National and Latvian (nost orchestras in the Baltics), as well as in Byelorussia. This re-evaluation procedure is not without precedent.

    • gildemaro says:

      Not so long, your list… I could add also the National Orchestras of Poldavia and Kikikistan, even if inexistent, they would make the list longer. To make it more relevant would be a much harder task, so I give up…

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  • Rosana Martins says:

    I believe it’s been made blatantly clear that the re-evaluation of an entire orchestra would only make sense if the intention was to dismiss some musicians. What else? Distribute a few medals?

    I don’t understand an orchestra that permits a musician to work until the age of 78. If the OSB were to offer a dignified retirement to the musicians over 65 years, they would open space for new musicians. Of course, the current musicians should be given the chance to upgrade their positions. That is how it usually works in the good orchestras.

  • george brown says:

    I can understand the Foundation wanting to build a world-class orchestra, particularly in time for the Olympics when Rio hosts the world. And living in a city that recently hosted the Olympics, I can understand the whole town beginning to, frankly: obsess about how they will be perceived once the world peers in upon them. Lord knows Salt Lake City collectively (and appropriately) obsessed over this for a full six years after the USOC selected it.

    But if it’s a world class orchestra they wish to build, they must do MUCH more than simply fund the OSB like one, they must also RUN it like one, and these orchestras utilize tried and true protocols for hiring and firing, none of which include mass re-evaluations followed by international auditions. Furthermore, it doesn’t take a genius to look around the world and see where the top orchestras are, and to see how they function. (Here’s a hint, though: not one of them resides in the places cited above where mass re-evaluations occurred.)

    Now, I can’t tell from their words to the press whether or not the Foundation members are playing ignorant as to how world class orchestras in developed nations do business, or if they truly ARE ignorant. But one thing is for sure: Robert Minczuk has certainly been around the block a few times and he absolutely knows how the Big Boys operate. So, if the Foundation members truly ARE ignorant of such details, then Minczuk is conveniently NOT bringing his Board ‘up to snuff’ on this. (I can’t help but wonder, as a result, if the Maestrito has his own agenda going on here, and whether it includes retribution to the musicians who tried, unsuccessfully, to have him sacked in 2008. But I digress….)

  • From Brazil says:

    Ms. Kupperheimer is right. I’m equally amazed how this blog sided with these musicians without giving chance to FOSB clarify the situation. In fact, it was this blog what most helped with the failure of the negotiation. I’m also musician here in Brazil and I’ve seen most of these musicians refusing to negotiate with FOSB as she says. We all agreed the process was wrongly presented, but FOSB proposed that the musicians themselves chose a repertoire and took active participation in them. These individual evaluations seemed logical since we all here know that in the past the musicians auditioned with a huge variety of repertoires from an audition to another. They remained not wanting to negotiate, believing this “international” support would help them to overthrow the conductor. It has always been the same way in Brazil, when the musicians are required to change their behavior they try to sack the conductor.
    A report from ESTADÃO (a brazilian newspaper) states that of the 36 dismissed musicians, 25 are members of the Petrobras Symphony or UFRJ Orchestra and do also freelance. There are yet thirteen teachers, two in the School of Music of UFRJ. That is the reason they refused to negotiate. As a report from VALOR ECONÔMICO (another newsparper) states most of them wanted to sack the conductor so that they remained in OSB, having the pay raise (seeing the expected raise in the sponsorships) still working in many diferent personal projects. The proposal of FOSB was to increase the quality of the group. The main requirement of the new project was exclusivity. This was the first long term project for an orchestra after OSESP (São Paulo Symphony) in Brazil but the partiality of the international “supporters” which don’t know our reality has prevented a solution would be found. Our orchestras were never comparable to professional european or american groups. Excluding OSESP, most of our orchestras have been semi-professional not having a constant standard of quality. This story of OSB is just another example on its history of inconstancy. It will be a shame if this project is not implemented because of controversy…We cannot forget that the case was led to the court and FOSB has only been legitimate by Justice.
    I hope Mr. Lebrecht may re-evaluate his way of publihishing the information, otherwise we will start thinking the only his objective is to get profit of the controversy of others (in our case the suffering of others)
    Greetings from Brazil!

    • Alice L. Fontana says:

      Except for investment in promotion and marketing – for his own benefit – the fact is that Mr. Minczuk nothing changed in the orchestra quality improvement rithm. The improvement was in fundraising. He should be a fundraiser, not a conductor.

      There has been a steady quality improvement in the last 30 years. Nothing that the current leadership has changed.

      It’s well known that at each orchestra conductor change there is a new enthusiasm. Canceled after the honeymoon, the overtime and overpower of the conductors begin to rebel musicians and the problems are back. The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra administration is amateurish and does not know how to manage an orchestra. They do not impose necessary limits to the conductors and they still believe in fatherland saviors!

      Great Brazilian musicians who wanted to submit to the prior tests to admission withdrew after learning the details that demonstrated total incompetence in the preparation of these tests. Some of them gave up when they became aware of the heavy work environment with Mr. Minczuk.

      Many of the good musicians who recently came to the orchestra are already gone. They come and go. And the bests, some of them with world wide reputation, were sacked and are regrettably gone.

      What a shame!

  • gildemaro says:

    @ From Brazil,

    You’ve got it perfectly two times: Yes, Frl. Kuppenheimer is right, having left the discussion after her “arguments” have proven to be very thin and her insults rather dull, humorless and boring. But don’t worry, she will be back soon, probably with another name, let’s only wait and see… And, for instance, in another matter you’re completely right and spot on, the process was completely “wrongly presented”. Now I would like to ask you a question: How come the orchestra management and the conductor, who keep always talking about ‘excellence’, “int’l standards”, “modern management” and so on, can make such a blatant, amateurish mistake and nobody is held accountable for it? If they would be serious about all what they so proudly say, the procedure would be a completely different one and the ones in charge of such a messy “presentation” would be fired or, at least, receiving the deserved reprimands and blame publicly. The fact that absolutely nothing similar happened makes the whole bunch of directors and their “project”, in my eyes, not at all trustworthy. And their collective behaviour as another group of people who spend their time shouting beautiful, albeit empty, slogans and, when things cook up, trying to “get their butts out of the fire line” makes things not any better. Brazilian state-owned companies “management” style rings a bell? No coincidence here…
    On another subject, that you claim to be a musician but are defending conductors God-given rights to stay for the eternity were they are not wanted (and never were in this special case, BTW, you forgot to mention it…) nor working well is a sad thing… I mean, your Mr. Minczuk is maybe not so bad a conductor as some people describe him: I can even imagine him perfectly as a good leader of some “B-orchestra” in a small European or North American city, as he already does decently, the (not so numerous, maybe…) Calgaryans seem to agree with me on this one. On the other hand, as a pivot of major cultural projects he is proving himself (for the second time, let’s not forget it) completely worthless and should take the consequences.
    But what really fills me with anger is that you are coming here and trying to question Mr. Lebrecht’s integrity and blaming him for being biased. Maybe you should read one or two of his books and then you would perhaps understand that he’s simply following his line of thoughts, isn’t it the core of all integrity? And if we know the ‘big media” manipulation possibilities (and the full use of it, BTW) by the orchestra management in Brazil, your somewhat lamenting complaints seem really absurd! To finish it in a biblical (it’s Sunday today…) way, it’s like Goliath going to David’s parents and whining about their son throwing stones at him…

  • Gena Kupperheimer says:


    I did no leave the discussion, I still following the postings here (including all your baloney) The last posting “From Brazil” is 100% correct and tells exactly what the majority of musicians in Brazil think, basically not supporting these actions promoted by the rebellious musicians.

    All the rest now is fallacy, as your speeches. The dismissed musicians had so many opportunities and alternatives presented by FBSO but they simply refused, as result they lost their jobs due to indiscipline and there is nothing to be done anymore, this is all history.

    Brazil has many good musicians, many not known by the cariocas and you will see how many of them will fulfill all available positions at the BSO, you will be surprised.



    • Doug Kier says:


      Be careful when you speak on behalf of Brazil’s musicians. I know of PLENTY that do not agree with the way things are being handled in Rio de Janeiro. I would prefer that you say your own opinions and not pretend to speak for the rest of us.

      I thank you,

      Douglas Kier
      Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo

    • gildemaro says:

      Dearest Frl. Gena,

      After enlightening all the people here about what’s “baloney”, in your worthy opinion, but now with some facts and not only your thougths, I would like to ask who gives you the exclusive rights to speak for all “good” Brazilian musicians… Not the majority of the votes of them, I’m sure… So I’m waiting…

      • Gena Kupperheimer says:

        Dear Gildemaro and Douglas,

        I think I have the right to express my opinions and views at
        the same way you do, or why only you have the right to express your views?

        I am not speaking on the behalf of no one here, I wrote that
        the majority does not agree with the musicians that were fired, the same for you
        Douglas, many of your colleagues at the OSESP do not think The same way you think, so using
        Your own words, I know PLENTY that will not endorse what you just wrote.

        As I already mentioned, there is nothing you can do, with Minczuk or without
        Minczuk these musicians are no longer employed by the FBSO.

        Thanks and do not expect me to reply any more, is useless to continue this discussion,


  • From Brazil says:

    Dearest colleagues,

    Yes. I am here again… Let me ponder some points:

    – I have expressed a personal opinion and never wanted to speak for other musicians. Likewise, I do not claim that I am right, though my views may disagree with most of the opinions expressed here. I hope you are not shallow, taking me for ignorant. I’m not. And that would be just a puerile appeal of rhetoric…

    – I have never been a fan of Maestro Minczuk, even though he has been working thoroughly at rehearsing this orchestra for his years. As the musicians in OSB, I consider him just an average conductor. I’m equally not sure if he is the best conductor to carry out this project proposed by FOSB, although OSB has shown an undeniable development with him. Fact.
    What I have been trying to say is that the attempt to remove the conductor seems very simplistic when a change is proposed by the foundation since historically we have seen successive changes of conductor with no change in the stature of Brazilian orchestras.

    – I do not want to take the legitimacy of the musicians’ protests. As I have already said, the project was presented in a way that any musician would mistrust it. I would also like to add something that many are forgetting now. If the evaluation would be used to show that some musician was not technically able to be part of the group, FOSB should provide a decent retirement plan for those of advanced age and also an alternative to the others, probably as teachers or coachs working with the young musicians of OSB JOVEM, or even a ‘buyout plan’, with fair reparations. That would be nothing more than a proper recognition to those who made ​​the orchestra their life project. The process, I believe, should have been presented in a way similar to this.
    However, the musicians refused to negotiate, that is a fact. They probably believed that garnering international support for their cause they could invalidate the project of the Foundation, simply put it down. They started, thus, a process of discrediting the institution of the orchestra which employed them, by making, among other actions, accusations that managers were stealing money from sponsorships that these managers themselves raised – accusations which they remain making, now involving politicians, in a desperate attempt to demoralize their now former bosses. As FOSB alleged, it would put their own sponsorships at risk. That was the reason why FOSB won the lawsuit in the court. According to our legislation, every employer who is demoralized or defied by its employees, who disconsidered stated rules, can dismiss these workers. They seem to have been poorly oriented in regard to the Law. I am sure neither Minczuk nor FOSB wanted to sack some excellent musicians of OSB that were sacked. They would not be so stupid as not know it would disfigure the characteristics of the orchestra. They had to sack them.

    – Gildemaro et al., I have read two of Mr. Lebrecht’s books (‘The Maestro Myth’ and ‘Who Killed Classical Music?’, if you are interested to know) and I do believe he is a righteous person, for this reason I simply suggested him not to side with either of the parties, so that it seemed that he is interested in fostering this controversy. I also reiterate that our musical reality is quite different from that found in the US or Europe. Therefore, Mr. Lebrecht would not know it in depth, given the distance that separates him from here. I will try to make it clear.
    He has published and commented an open letter of a “prestigious” Brazilian composer-conductor who would have been “mentor” of the Maestro Minczuk. May not he know, for instance, that this “so righteous, fair” composer was “official composer” of a Brazilian authoritarian regime and, as such, he used the political power that he wielded to prevent public execution of works of his “fellow” “opposers composers” and was responsible for the dismantling of not half an orchestra, but an entire orchestra (OSN – Rádio MEC). People in Brazil seem to have forgotten it.
    May not he know, equally, that our most popular conductor (if you are brazilian, or you search for it, you can guess whose I am talking about) took the position of chief conductor of the same OSB while its former chief conductor (Eleazar de Carvalho – our most prestigious conductor of all time) was on vacation. Maestro Minczuk tried a similar manoeuvre when he was the assistant conductor in OSESP and his “fellow” chief conductor was out. His smarter “boss”, the chief conductor, dismissed him. These recurring examples just illustrate how our musical medium is awkward.
    May not he know, yet again, that some musicians trully treat the conductors with disrespect (thank God they are the minority!) either behaving inappropriately in the rehearsals and arguing with the conductor (in Rio de Janeiro, specially the musicians of Theatro Municipal, the Opera House), or not having the music studied for a reasonable minimum. Even worse, some musicians have the habit of using a substitute (informally known as “sub”) usually along with a medical certificate or something similar, in some rehearsal or even a concert, so that they can play in concerts or recordings, usually of popular music, in order to earn some extra money – everybody knows it. This has always been a controversial issue. Many musicians ask themselves the conductor to take action regarding it. Now, nobody seems to remember it, equally.

    Finally, I would just like to remind you that there is no evaluation done by the musicians in the Brazilian orchestras. We musicians have always been ‘corporatists’ when it is interesting to be – gathering ourselves impressively – and ‘self-destructive’ when defending personal interests. In Brazil, people traditionally are known for forgeting their own past. That is just another case. People are also known for trying to take advantage of situations in their own benefit, in spite of the collective interest. We musicians do not behave differently, maybe has even been this the case of Maestro Minczuk. Maybe this project was taken by him as a carreer leap – who knows? But that’s real life. Herein there are no heros or villains, there are neither good nor bad guys. Demonizing the conductor has been useful for anything, it does not solve any of the problems, as ‘manichaeisms’ were never helpful… What I really regret is that, once again, we neglect to discuss OUR future (yes, our!). Workers have just lost their jobs, and we no longer discuss whether Rio de Janeiro should have an orchestra of international level or not; what value this orchestra would add to the city and our country; how its development should happen, and if this conductor can carry it out, obviously; how important would the orchestra be as a pride for our musical medium, encouraging young people to be musicians or better musicians; what role these foreign musicians would play, exchanging experiences, if brought to Rio.
    A pity… We are just generalizing and simplifying all these issues, refusing to really discuss. That’s all what I had to say.

    All the best,
    From Brazil!

    PS: I wonder whether Mr. Lebrecht does read the comments here… If so, reading these our discussions as an astute observer, he may have been thinking about this issue in a fresh way…

    • gildemaro says:

      Dear From Brazil, first of all, I never supposed you would leave the discussion, my reference was about “Frl.” (who now pans out to be more a sort of “Comrade”, “Genosse” or “Towaritsch”…) Kuppenheimer. And I really want to thank you very much for reading the “loads of nonsense” and also the “baloney” I posted here and even commenting it. I’m also sorry for including you “per se” among the die-hard Minczuk acolytes, be only sure they “exist”, here and in some other virtual places…
      Albeit being Brazilian, I think I can’t call myself “from Brazil”, since I spent more than half of my life in Europe, but since a couple of years I work as an orchestra musician in Brazil, so I should have at least some knowledge of the situation and a kind of right right to agree with you in some points and disagree in others:

      – For instance, I agree that they are a couple of people who sprang in the fired musicians bandwagon expecting (or already doing…) to “get the most out of it”. The famous composer you mentioned is also, in my opinion, the most glaring example. I actually don’t know if he was really Mr. Minczuk’s “mentor”, but his claim of it being so is old and has never been contradicted, as far as I know. As a curiosity, I have an old hand-signed letter of this person, excluding me from a competition organized by “his” national institute without playing a note, on the very simple ground that “rich people’s kids are all dilettantish”. So you maybe understand that I prefer not to comment more on it here. On the other hand, musicians like Cristina Ortiz, Nelson Freire, Antonio Meneses “et al”, who are supporting the cause of the fired musicians, must have good grounds to do so, don’t you think?

      -I’m very happy we also agree in considering Mr. Minczuk an average conductor. But in one aspect I consider him really “top-notch”, and that would be the amount of musicians (and some very good ones among them…) he fired personally or that had to be fired because of his “excellent” leadership skills. Makes him a little suspicious concerning orchestral re-organization processes, or I’m alone with this opinion?

      -Where I start disagreeing with you is about firing a conductor not being a possibility of solving problems of an orchestra. If the main problem is a bad relationship between orchestra and conductor, it seems logical to me that one person goes, rather than a lot of them… In our special OSB case it’s even clearer: Mr. Minczuk came, as far as I know, against the will of the majority of the musicians and has been already “out-voted” one time by the same majority. So I can’t understand the (in my eyes) irrational will of the direction to stick with this not so beloved conductor. What brings us to the next point: Officially, the OSB Foundation has announced the end of the negotiations, and not the musicians or any of the groups acting in their behalf. And since the management’s posture was to stick to Mr. Minczuk at any prize, thus being the biggest friction point in the negotiations, I would put most of the blame of the failure on the direction of the OSB Foundation.

      -I can’t comment about most of the disciplinary matters you mention, because I haven’t been a long time to Rio and didn’t listen or see the OSB rehearsing since then. But respect should be a mutual thing, and knowing Mr. Minczuk’s manners and antics, I absolutely don’t think he deserves any…
      -To bring it to an end, I have limited admiration for your idea of orchestras as multi-national and multi-cultural environment. I have tried (and got some, BTW) to get jobs in diverse European countries, and everywhere it was very clear that the line was to “protect the own breed” first, in some places in a very discrete way, in others ( Switzerland, France, Italy and…Vienna spring to my mind) in a nearby coarse way. So how must Brazil be an “open place”, then?


  • Miriam says:

    What FOSB forgets to say is that they are ahead of the Orchestra for more than five years now and they had many opportunities to evaluate musicians performances during rehearsals and concerts over this time; that the conductor and the musicians had relationship problems in the past (and the conductor apologized for his behavior at that time – – in Portuguese) ; that the internal auditions as described by the administration open the possibility of pre-existing dislikes by management or the conductor being used to judge musicians; and that the auditions were shaped in an humiliating manner for the musicians.

    All of the Orchestra’s musicians were called to the internal auditions, including concertmasters. Many of them are eminent well known musicians, such as Michel Bessler, Alceu Reis, Nigel Shore, and David Chew. Bessler and Reis were members of the Quatuor Bessler-Reis , which had very successfully recorded Villa-Lobos String Quartets (Le Chant du Monde in France and Take Off in Japan) –

    No one with self-esteem would do FOSB exams.

  • Gena Kupperheimer says:

    Hello Gildemaro,

    despite my name, I am Brazilian, born in Brazil, yes, Genady Kupperheimer is my real name and I really disapprove your racist and disrespectful comments. I am not your tovarischt and not either a genosse as you indicated, you better watch your language as this was very inappropriate.

  • Roduma says:

    From O GLOBO newspaper, Friday, 20: “OSB STARTS TO SELECT NEW MUSICIANS. Auditions started in London continue today in NY”. The report tells Mr. Minczuk is very happy with the high quality of the musicians he already auditioned in London. Quotes a ‘eastern english accen’ musician saying “I do not want to discuss what I am not aware. I am here for the chance of getting a place in a ascendig orchestra in a city that I always wanted to know. I am a professional”. Also quotes how happy is Mr. Minczunk, who says: “Our goal is to find the right musicians. There is no closed numbers for how many we will bring from London or NY. It is not as in the old times, when we could not attract musicians. People will see, in the half of 2012, the results of a project that looks for a ‘de facto’ excelence for OSB”. The commercial director of OSB, Mr. Ricardo Levistky, brougth with him a paper, in english, to distribute to the press and possible patrionizers of OSB, explaining “what is really happening inside OSB”. O GLOBO tells Mr. Minczuk is auditioning to fill 33 open positions in OSB. Report is from Mr. Ferrnando Duarte, O GLOBO correspondent in London.

    • Ademir dos Anjos says:

      O Globo is a newspaper know for its creative journalism, to put it in an ratter ellegant way. Besides that, at the board of trustees of OSB stands the name of the president of that newspaper.