After months of confrontation, boycott and international condemnation, it looks as though the men behind the Brazil Symphony Orchestra have taken the first step towards peace.
According to a well-informed report in the Estadao of Sao Paolo, the board of the OSB have stripped conductor Roberto Minczuk of his absolute power to hire and fire.
There is some question as to whether he still holds the title of artistic director. A three-man advisory committee has been appointed to deal with matters arising from the firing of 33 musicians, and Minczuk’s failure to replace them during an expensive international search. Candidates were being offered up to $9,000 a month to join the troubled orchestra and most declined. According to one industry source, the Brazilian Ministry of Labour took measures to deny work permits to foreign replacements.
This is a step forward by the board, small but potentially helpful. Minczuk has not confirmed any reduction in his position, but the board move is a public humiliation for a headstrong maestro who made head-on confrontation his principal policy. His position must now appear to be in jeopardy.