Abolish an orchestra? None of my business, says minister

Abolish an orchestra? None of my business, says minister


norman lebrecht

September 17, 2014

The Danish Minister for Culture, Marianne Jelved, was asked for her view on the national broadcaster (DR)’s plan to scrap its chamber orchestra.

Here’s her serene and non-committal letter, straight out of the TV series Borgen:

16. september 2014
Folketingsmedlem Michael Aastrup Jensen (V) har den 9. september 2014 stillet mig  følgende spørgsmål, nr. S 1827, som jeg hermed skal besvare.
Finder ministeren, at et DR uden Underholdningsorkesteret er mere eller mindre unikt?
Jeg finder, at DR UnderholdningsOrkestret har spillet en vigtig og værdifuld rolle i det danske musikliv. Samtidig er det en kendsgerning, at DR som følge af medieaftalen for 2015-2018, som blev indgået den 26. juni 2014 af samtlige Folketingets partier, skal gennemføre besparelser. Det er DR’s ledelse, som inden for de udmeldte rammer i medieaftalen har ansvaret for at finde de konkrete besparelser. Jeg har stor respekt for denne ansvarsfordeling.
Der skal som opfølgning på medieaftalen indgås en ny public service-kontrakt for DR for perioden 2015-2018, hvori DR’s public service-forpligtelser vil blive nærmere fastlagt.
Marianne Jelved






16 September 16, 2014
Michael Aastrup Jensen MP asked me the following question, no. S 1827, which I have to answer.
Does the Minister believe that a DR without its chamber orchestra is more or less unique?
I find that the Chamber Orchestra has played an important and valuable role in the Danish music scene.

It is also a fact that the DR as a result of the media agreement for 2015-2018, signed June 26, 2014 by all political parties, must make savings. The DR’s management that within the framework announced in the media agreement has responsibility to locate individual savings. I have great respect for their responsibilities.
They must follow up on the media agreement by signing a new public service contract for DR for the period 2015-2018, in which DR’s public service obligations will be further determined.
Marianne Jelved


  • sdReader says:

    But they could afford Fabio Luisi?

    Why not hire a younger (cheaper) maestro and keep both orchestras?

  • Novagerio says:

    Yeah, they got Fabio L all right; from the Met to Orestad in Amager in central Copenhagen. Quiet a Quantum leap….

  • Tom says:

    Very disingenuous and typical political doublespeak coming from Marianne Jelved. Danish parliamentary politicians can start or stop anything they want, especially if it is publically funded.

    Yes, the politicians told The Director of Danish Radio to save about 100 million Dkr. But nobody told him to save an extra 50 million for no reason at all except some vague explanations about “needing to keep up with modern broadcasting trends used by teenagers and twentysomethings” and transferring more money to the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Big Band and Girls’ Choir.

    It is most trange that Danish parliamentary politicians support dictatorial decision-making and lack of transparency in a publicly financed government organization.

  • John Borstlap says:

    While Western classical music is taken-up by the Asians as demonstrations of cultural development and modernity, in the West it is no longer felt as a determining factor of cultural identity, moving to the next stage of barbarization. Classical music in Europe will shrink to an elite, and hopefully survive in one way or another, while it will florish in China. This is the result of failed education, caused by the political system which thrives on the tastes of the masses… Eventually you get politicians taking the decisions about cuts who lack cultural sophistication and understanding.

  • Novagerio says:

    Politicians in the cultural sector are basically like music critics; if they actually knew what the h*ll they are talking about, they would be actively involved with the arts, not with politics or newspapers….