Copenhagen’s ‘last’ Mozart concert

Copenhagen’s ‘last’ Mozart concert


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2014

The DR Chamber Orchestra and Adam Fischer played a weekend concert titled ‘Farewell to Mozart’. Despite a parliamentary vote ordering the minister of culture to revoke the orchestra’s abolition, they are still waiting to hear that they do have a future beyond next month.

The concert can be heard online here. It includes a passionate speech by Nikolaj Znaider just before the interval.

danish chamber


  • Henrik says:

    Fresh in from the press. Maybe no future…

    Heard from a musician there, that the DR Chamber orchestra was more expensive than the Berlin Philharmonic, per musician, since their services were not much utilized, many of the players had workloads of a part time job, but the benefits and pay of a full time job. Some had additional full time positions elsewhere. Don’t know if it’s true, but maybe part of the reason why DR wants to get rid of it?

    • Christian says:

      I can assure you that none of those assumptions are even partly true.

      The DR has yet to present a valid reason for closing down the orchestra. Contrary to how it’s being presented, it’s not a question of money – the cost of running the orchestra comes down to a minor fraction of the organization’s total budget. In fact it’s highly questionable if the DR will save anything at all with this move in the long run. The orchestra is about to break through internationally, so artistically it doesn’t make sense either – and, most importantly, the chamber orchestra is the orchestra that by far takes on the most “public service”-tasks among the present ensembles, so axing this orchestra basically leaves the entire organization weaker and less legitimate as a state-owned media house.

      I believe there might be two primary interests in play here: First and foremost, it’s a way for the DR to put pressure on the politicians as a reaction to general budget cuts. Another reason might be the fact that the concert building has an entire division that works on renting out the halls and studios for commercial purposes, and the chamber orchestra is simply occupying the studios most of the time.

      None of these reasons have anything to do with the orchestra, its repertoire, its artistic standards or anything else. It’s a purely political game – and it’s ugly as hell.