Just in: Chamber orchestra gets the chop

Just in: Chamber orchestra gets the chop


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2014

The national broadcaster of Denmark, DR, announced 161 million kronor in budget cuts this morning.

The main casualty is the DR chamber orchestra, an ensemble of high calibre which will cease to exist in January.

DR president Michael Christiansen promised to use the savings to strengthen the DR national symphony orchestra, which has just appointed Fabio Luisi as chief conductor.

dr sinfonietta



  • Manu says:

    Is this the orchestra led briliantly by Adam Fischer in the last years? Shame!

  • Anonymus says:

    Cultural relativism and barbarism continuing.

    What will be left in the end, that our civilized societies are worth living in and defending them?

    metaphorically Pastor Niemöller’s famous quote fits the situation. All people of the civilized world, save our culture!

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

  • Malena Rønnow says:

    Everyone in Denmark’s musical life is pretty much in a state of schock. If you want to help us save the orchestra, please consider signing here:

  • Jens Stenz (violinmaker,Denmark) says:

    All of the sudden Denmark, which I think was known to be a rather cultivated country, has been disgraced by the incompetent decisionmakers at the Danish Broadcasting station who have fired the chamber music orchestra.
    For many years this fine orchestra has been that rare link for young people and people who might not otherwise have been introduced to a classical orchestra. Many of whom have become audiences to the larger Radio Synphony Orchestra. We have an old farmers saying here in Denmark: “you should not eat up the seed-corn for next years harvest”.
    The Radio Chamber orchestra has been fighting bravely through financial difficulties and ignorance from leaders and politicians. This orchestra is able to play the music of The Beatles and Procul Harum one day and next day play Mozart at a very high international level.
    I feel pity for those powerful leaders who in the sacred name of innovation, branding, benchmarking and a good deal of self-satisfaction have fallen into the darkest pit of stupidity and ignorance. I question what these mighty “leaders”want to be remembered for…??
    I sincerely hope that our politicians will interfere in this situation and thus gain a bit of respect in our nation.
    I quote Wiliam Shakespeare again in saying
    “Nobody gets bigger by chopping other peoples heads off”.

    Jens Stenz
    Violinmaker, Aarhus,Denmark

  • Tom says:

    Call the Danish Musicians Federation and ask what its Chairman, Anders Laursen, is doing about the situation except crying crocodile tears in the media. The politicians don’t care if the orchestra is shut down, and then mind of DR’s Chairman Michael Christiansen is made up. This constellation clearly indicates that no amount of media coverage or signatures is going to save the Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra.

    The only way to save the Radio Chamber Orchestra is a massive strike by all Danish orchestra musicians, preferably joined by classical chorus members and technicians too. Since the media and 30,000 signatures on a petition website won’t save the orchestra, Mr. Laursen should be busy organizing such a strike – where is he? Listening to rock and jazz music, perhaps?

    I suggest you read the Wikipedia entry “2003 Broadway Musicians Strike” and the associated newspaper links. The Broadway musicians collected 30,000 signatures too, but that made no difference. Once they went on strike with the support of all Broadway actors and technicians, the crisis was resolved overnight because NYC was losing $7 million because of each cancelled musical performance.

    Isn’t “sticking together” one of the pillars of Danish society?