Barcelona leads new wave of Dutch solidarity

Barcelona leads new wave of Dutch solidarity


norman lebrecht

July 28, 2011

Players in the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra have defied senior management to sound out their support for jeopardised Dutch arts. We’re all in this together, they day. The Catalan orchestra has taken a 30% cut and cannot afford to replace sick or absent musicians.

Here’s a moving letter from the principal bassoon, Silvia Coricelli:

I am happy to send you our contribution to the “Soldier of Orange”

I learnt about this campaign through your blog (and Facebook) about a
month ago and proposed it to my orchestra. Pablo González, our Music
Director, and the Orchestra Manager were very enthusiastic, but the
higher ranks said no. The orchestra committee kept insisting and last
Friday the General Director agreed to let us do it.

Monday we were doing a recording and was our last day of work of this
season, so we had to get it all organized over the weekend. Maestro
González wasn’t in town, we asked the conductor doing the recording,
Antoni Ros Marbà, he agreed and so did the recording engineer.

Several of our Spanish musicians have studied in Holland hence this
project was very close to their hearts. The harp player wanted to
participate, she studied in Den Haag and is married to a Dutch, so she
made her own part.

Monday was very hectic, I was running around making the short videos,
we had to ask a retired musician to bring his video cameras (the one
that the Auditori offered didn’t work), and finally on the last
minutes of the session we recorded “Soldier”. I spent a couple of days
editing it and here it is.

We are suffering the consequences of the crisis as well, our budget
has been cut 30%. If a tutti string player gets sick they are not
replaced; auditions for several positions are on hold; no tours; for
next season they have programmed repertoire that doesn’t pay rights or
require extra players. But nothing compares to what’s happening in

This project reminds me of what is happening here in Spain with the
movement called “15M” or “Spanish revolution”. I see this as a
reaction of the orchestras of the world against greedy and ignorant
politicians. We need each other and this is a good start!

Best wishes,

Silvia Coricelli
Principal bassoon
Barcelona Symphony Ochestra