Spanish bank founds Polish orchestra

Spanish bank founds Polish orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 22, 2015

Is this the new Europe at work?

The Santander Orchestra was launched this morning at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, southern Poland.

The conductors are Penderecki and the American, John Axelrod. Young talent is being recruited from academies across Poland.

Details here.

santander orchestra


  • Jorge Grundman says:

    The link for details seems not work….

  • carmen says:

    Why is Spanish money being used to fund a Polish training orchestra? Shame on Bank of Santander.

    It would be great if Spain could look at funding its OWN orchestras before doing stuff like this. This is a deja vu of Barenboim using Spanish govt. funding in Sevilla to subsidize his East West Orch. The Junta of Andalucia was already trying to support 3 regional orchestras, who were struggling to survive.

    Barenboim is a big name and a good talker, as is Penderecki. Spaniards get swept away by the fame train, and they also enjoy the humanitarian effort of contributing to people who they feel are less fortunate than themselves. They’ve forgotten here that they have their own orchestras to support, and they are barely getting thru an economic crisis. There are also many, many young Spanish players needing an opportunity like this.

    Guys like Penderecki and Barenboim, despite being great musicians, are opportunists. Maazel also did it in Spain in Valencia. They are preying on the dreams of a country that’s barely come thru an economic crisis and using their fame to do it. Both are known to be savvy businessmen. Maazel probably was too.

    What’s the answer? This new orchestra should be made to have a quota of young Spanish players in it. Bank of Santander should be funding its OWN citizens, its own orchestras right now, not Poland’s.

    • Jon says:

      Santander Group acquired the 3rd largest bank in Poland (Bank Zachodni WBK) and therefore it has customers in Poland too.

      • carmen says:

        It has SOME customers in Poland. I would bet that it still has far more in Spain.

        Ironically, Spain’s orchestras are heavily populated by Polish musicians, Poland already has a stronger tradition and training in place for young classical musicians (esp. strings) than Spain, who until recently had practically none.

        I repeat, this program should be opened as an opportunity for young Spanish players, too. Banco Santander owes that much, at least, to their own citizens. And Spain needs it much more than Poland does, quite frankly.

        • Jon says:

          The issue is that you said that Spanish money is being used to sponsor the orchestra in Poland and I don’t know where you got that information from.

          Santander Group is doing business around the globe, including Poland, and sponsoring cultural entities, sports teams, etc. is one of their many marketing / tax deduction mechanisms.

          There are two fundamental problems in your position:

          1) You think that the money that Santander Group is using is Spanish – when it’s either their own or it’s money that would have been probably paid in taxes in Poland.

          2) You think that Santander Group should be more focused (exclusively focused?) on supporting their Spanish customers than their Polish customers.

          The two problems can be summarised in one: you think that multinational corporations have nationalities.

          • Carmen says:

            Look, I’m not an economist, I’m a musician. Sounds like you know what you’re talking about.

            All I know is that Banco Santander has a very big presence here in Spain and it seems to me that if they are putting their name (which is very well known in Spain) on any
            projects involving funding of orchestras outside of Spain, it may rightfully ruffle feathers unless they include young Spanish musicians.

            It’s private money, they are entitled to do as they like. It’s just not very politically correct, that’s all.

          • V.Lind says:

            In another arena, sport, specifically golf, which is entirely sponsor-driven, you see events in the US sponsored by the Barclays bank and Deutschebank, among others. Both sponsor, or have sponsored, golf events in Europe, where the our is considerably less well off than the American circuit. But like Banco Santander, Barclays and Deutschebank have global interests, including of course heavily in America. So similar rationales obtain.

            However points made about the need for building training in Spain, and supporting locally, are well taken. Perhaps the incentives (e.g. tax breaks) are not as attractive in Spain for supporting the arts. That would be the place for artists’ lobbies to begin.