Even the bandos abandon Brazil

The latest artist to join the informal international boycott of the Brazil Symphony Orchestra is a star bandoneon player from Argentina, the justly celebrated Rodolfo Mederos. His withdrawal is announced in O Globo.

 

The announcement that Roberto Minczuk has been removed from his post as artistic director, while continuing to plan and conduct most concerts, has done little to attenuate international discomfort with an orchestra that has sacked 33 players after they refused to reaudition.

The players appear to be receiving tacit support from immigration officials, who are refusing visas to foreign musicians that Minczuk tried to hire earlier this year to replace them. I hear  from local musicians that the authorities have also blocked an application for a concertmaster from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to lead the OSB during a Beethoven cycle conducted next month by Kurt Masur. The status of that cycle must now be in jeopardy.

It is unlikely the boycott will abate until there are changes in the orchestra’s management, together with an acknowledgement that head-on confrontation is no way to improve a performing ensemble.

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  • I happen to know two of this foreign musicians – they were told a couple of days ago that their visas are ready at the Brazilian embassy, so I guess the information of the immigration officials participating in the protest (spread also by the blog of the sacked musicians) is a fake.

    • It is possible that tourist visas has been issued in the embassies. But work visas can only be issued with the approval of the National Immigration Council, which certainly is not happening. Yesterday, Fosb’ directors met the Minister of Labour in attempt to reverse this situation, as you can see at http://portal.mte.gov.br/imprensa/agenda/, but they were not successful!

      (Agenda do Ministro. 19/7/2011. 18:00 – Audiência. Presidente da Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira Eleazar de Carvalho Filho)

  • Your guess, “Violinista” is missing and mixing things! Your friends or anyone else can have visas
    to come to Brazil and go to the beach but they do not have the working permit granted by the Immigration Council of the Labor Department . Without this working permit, they can not play with any Brazilian orchestra!
    I hope Mr. ” Violinista” happens to know the Brazilian labor laws and can set apart a simple tourist temporary visa from a working permit!

    • Quite true, without the proper visa – which must be a work visa – the musician is subject to arrest and deportation, if he plays professionally.

  • Nevertheless, OSB is managing to hire some foreign musicians who already had visas for work with other orchestras in the country. They are being picked up around the whole territory, coming from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Paraiba, etc, etc, along with young musicians from those states and even students, under the promise of a carrer in Rio, but with an agreement for just 6 months. Is a question yet unanswered if the audience will swallow such a bricolage.

    On Saturday, 23, OSB is planning a concert, announced as chamber music, but that will count with the participation of that orchestra, followed by a “informal conversation” with the audience and “confirming all the confidence placed in the Project of FosB”. They will play Beethoven’s 7ª. Needless to say, they will not mention any ongoing boycott or the absence of important artists in the season…

  • Actually, I must say people here are quite rude – the only thing I commented is that a couple of friends of mine were told to collect their visas from the Brazilian embassy. Since they’re Europeans, they don’t need a visa to go there as tourist, meaning they in fact DID get their work permit. So no need to insult me, don’t you think?

    • respect for yourself and for your fellow musicians. Many of them served the orchestra for decades and are now thrown out the back door …

  • Boycott? Everybody should boycott Rio, that city
    is useless. OSB crisis is over, ex OSBs, get a live, get on, with Minczuk or without
    Minczuk everybody is already sick entire of you.

  • Mario Torres: speak for yourself. People love Rio and are supporting OSB sacked musicians.

    Violinista, do you know in wich country is the brazilian embassy that allegedly are issuing working visas?

    Musicista, I do suggest they start to search another job, ’cause FOSB will do the to them the same it does to the sacked musicians. Preferably in another country, because they are pretty condemned in Brazil, for applying to a job that was of someone else.

    • It’s the Brazilian embassy in Italy.
      I have been thinking about the antagonism between Mr. Boechat’s information and the personal experience of my friends – maybe the reason could be the following: as far as I know, the auditions in London, New York an Rio were not only to fill the places of the sacked musicians, but also for a couple of jobs that had been vacant for several years (i.e. about 4 tutti violins, but also some woodwinds etc). Maybe there’s an difference in the treating of the persons that got one of these positions?

      • This is a political game that will not have a happy ending for those doing that, besides been illegal is immoral. No doubt that the SINDMUS is behind that. I have heard that musicians from outside of Rio are also facing issues with the union which is forcing them to show their contracts to them or they will not be allowed to work in Rio. The SINDMUS and their leadership sucks…

  • For years now, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has made just about every short list for the world’s most violent and dangerous cities. Plagued by violent gun crime, assassinations and drug-trafficking, nearly 50,000 people have died of crime-related violence in Rio between 1978 and 2000.

    The city’s crime problem was put on display once again this year for the entire world to see during the annual Carnaval celebration in Rio. Despite the deployment of nearly 10,000 police officers, the festivities were still marred by unusally high instances of robbery, assault and violence. Crime has been an embarrassment for Rio, placing the city’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in jeopardy.

    http://www.realclearworld.com/lists/most_dangerous_cities/rio_de_janeiro.html

  • For years now, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has made just about every short list for the world’s most violent and dangerous cities. Plagued by violent gun crime, assassinations and drug-trafficking, nearly 50,000 people have died of crime-related violence in Rio between 1978 and 2000.

    The city’s crime problem was put on display once again this year for the entire world to see during the annual Carnaval celebration in Rio. Despite the deployment of nearly 10,000 police officers, the festivities were still marred by unusally high instances of robbery, assault and violence. Crime has been an embarrassment for Rio, placing the city’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in jeopardy.

    • The drug gangs have even infiltrated Rio’s cultural institutions. The Museu Villa-Lobos in Rua Sorocaba is a well-known haunt of traffickers peddling crack.

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