13 years after building new hall, town scraps orchestra

13 years after building new hall, town scraps orchestra


norman lebrecht

October 14, 2015

The Västerås Sinfonietta has served its community, west of Stockholm, for 130 years. The town has a beautiful 900-seat concert hall, built at public expense in 2002.

Now the hall’s board of directors and its chief executive, Dag Celsing, have decided to abolish the Sinfonietta and replace it with visiting ensembles to save on payroll and social costs.

Thirty-three musicians will lose their jobs before the year is out. The proposal has gone to the town council.

Västerås Sinfonietta

You can help the musicians (and the town) by signing this petition (for non-Swedish speakers – Namn: Name and Stad/Ort: Town – and don’t forget to fill in the captcha).



  • Emil Jonason says:

    Thank you for writing about our imminent destruction! We also have a blog were we are collecting everything that is being written about the situation. It is still in Swedish, but we are working on an English version. Google translate will help you a bit though.


    Thank you again!

    Best regards,

    Emil Jonason,
    Solo clarinetist of Västerås Sinfonietta
    International clarinet soloist
    Teacher at Royal College of Music in Stockholm and Mälardalen University in Västerås

  • John Borstlap says:

    Shocking, and says something about the Swedish. The Netherlands were ahead of their time though, and did such things earlier than anybody elsewhere. After many years of playing in provisional spaces, the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra – an ensemble set-up in the 19th century and which was led, among other people, by Brahms as a guest conductor – got a big hall in the town’s centre, only to be abolished (the orchestra) a couple of years later, for the same reason as the Swedish bring-up.

    Over the last years, Dutch authorities have made a sport of abolishing orchestras or forcing them into merges – every couple of years, the merged orchestras have to merge again. In the end there will be only 2 orchestras in Holland, the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Merge Orchestra.

    • Emil Jonason says:

      This is not a typical Swedish problem.

      It is a typical problem of one man (Dag Celsing) who wants to shut us down for whatever personal reasons. The entire Swedish Music Industry is in an uproar.

      Read the blog to see (English version on the way, google translate it in the meantime.)



  • Eddie Mars says:

    Swedes are too busy spotting 100-year-old Russian submarines to care about culture.

  • Doug says:

    Sweden has worse problems to deal with. Haven’t heard?

    • John Borstlap says:

      Another signal that integration of immigrants from muslim countries is very difficult and hindered by a politically-correct multiculti view of society. It is unlikely though, that rape crimes happen regularly during classical concerts.

    • Mr Oakmountain says:

      Before taking articles like that at face value please check:

      A different – and more likely – reason for the rise in numbers would be that sex crimes are more consistently reported nowadays than some years ago.

      The rooster crows immediately before sunrise, but that does not mean that the rooster causes the sun to rise.

      • Mr Oakmountain says:

        Just to clarify: My comment was to a link in “Doug’s” entry. It seems to have gone or at least is no longer visible on my browser.

  • Eddie Mars says:

    Meanwhile in Estonia today, Swedish Defence Minister Peter Huktqvist announced a 1-billion euro annual increase on military spending in Sweden, in a joint meeting with his Estonian counterpart.

    But I suppose Sweden has never had any tradition of classical music anyhow. What funded the Nobel Prizes? Arms manufacturing, of course.