Just in: Second strike called in Paris as music directors look to the exits

Musicians at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France have called a second one-day strike this Friday to protest plans for a creeping staff merger with the Orchestre National and the departure of their artistic administrator, Eric Montalbetti.

eric montalbetti

 

Paris is heading for a winter of maestro discontent. Paavo Järvi has already handed in his cards at the Orchestre de Paris. Mikko Franck has said he won’t sign concert contracts this season until he has assurances for the future of the Philharmonique and Daniele Gatti is unlikely to last long at the National now he has been chosen as chief conductor at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

 

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  • What is really sad, in these events, is that under Montalbetti things really improved : the merger project was seemingly abandoned, and the Orchestre philharmonique has probably been the best orchestra in Paris for several years, with very stimulating programs and great guest conductors, Dudamel, Petrenko, Salonen (an exhilarating performance of Varèse’s Amériques 2 or 3 years ago).
    And for political reasons, all this work is endangered, when this institution seemed to be the only one working quite normally…

  • from somebody who lives there, it is good to see finally some reaction to this typically Parisian – I would say Versailles – system, where new bosses sack old teams and replace them with their friends. This regularly happens after elections, every time a new party is voted in. Nobody says anything. Huge amounts of money is given to the people getting the sack (sometimes up to half a million euros ! or more) and this is for the tax payer. Isn’t it a bit paradoxical in times where our government is supposedly trying to save money ? And we want to give lessons to Russia, that makes me laugh. The West is pretty much corrupt too.

    • I don’t really see the basis for a comparison between France and Russia here. First, in Russia, the orchestra wouldn’t be allowed to go on strike, so it would be easy to say things are working perfectly. Second, the situation at Radio France is problematic, but this has nothing to do with corruption, or you should tell us who is corrupt, and why. Third, France hasn’t invaded Ukraine yet.
      This is a political mess, but let’s keep rational and proportional arguments.

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