Maestro woes: Loser sues over music director ‘anomalies’main
A month ago, power brokers in Seville, Spain, split the music directorship between the incumbent political pet Pedro Halffter, who had been rejected by the musicians, and the American John Axelrod.
Halffter will remain opera chief at the Teatro de la Maestranza, while Axelrod gets to lead symphony concerts.
The decision followed an international search for a successor to Halffter in which six maestros were shortlisted. One of them, Karel Mark Chichon, claims he scored top marks in the selection and should have got the job.
Chichon has started legal action against the Ministry of Culture, the Government of Andalusia and Seville City Council over alleged anomalies in the selection process.
Chichon, 43, British born, is married to superstar mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca. Neither is shy of making a noise.
This sordid Seville fix will not die down any time soon.
UPDATE: Significant clarification:
Dear Mr Lebrecht
My name is Jose Maria Fernandez. I am the lawyer who was quoted in the article of El Mundo as confirming that Mr Chichon is considering legal action against the Sevilla authorities which you have included in one of your new items today.
I feel I should clarify to you that I spoke to El Mundo on behalf of the platform of musicians “Maestranza” which was formed by conductors, soloists and other musicians precisely so that the process of choosing a new conductor for Seville would be transparent. I did not speak on behalf Mr Chichon.
It is this platform “Maestranza” that has alerted Mr Chichon about the anomalies of the process but of course it is up to Mr Chichon to decide on legal action or not. We as a platform were not a candidate so we cannot consider any legal action against the authorities in question – only Mr Chichon can do that. All we can do is try to ask Mr Chichon to helps us expose the truth in this cloudy process, because we are all upset at the result of Halffter/Axelrod when the opportunity of having Chichon was in our opinion a one-in-a-lifetime chance for Seville to rise up to the top league of classical music.
I therefore ask you kindly to consider clarifying your statement or if you wish publishing me letter in full because we feel it’s not really fair on Mr Chichon when he is only trying to help us out of his own freewill when he has nothing more to gain in this situation.