Orchestra: Why we can’t bear our managermain
Players in the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria have sent us a list of reasons why they are going on strike unless their manager, Juan Mendoza, is fired within weeks.
Here are the grievances, some of them quite grievous:
In general there has been a long list of problems with Mr. Mendoza, which include:
Totally ignoring our “convenio”, or pay and conditions document:
Planning our work schedule late and incorrectly, not respecting our established rest periods, and generally ignoring the established rules, particularly with regard to hiring new staff.
Abuse of various members of staff and musicians including:
Insulting the librarian accusing him of carrying out work for our principal conductor on repertoire we are working on with him at the time.
Lack of air conditioning in our place of work(important when working in a hot climate)
Obstructing students and members of the orchestras when they try to practise in our orchestra centre (a building with some 20 practise rooms).
Cancelling positions in the orchestra and office unilaterally without consultation (the job of principal concertmaster disappeared)
General insults, threats, screaming at the committee when trying to uphold our rules and protocol.
Practically destroying our academy, sacking the conductor of the Gran Canaria Youth Orchestra (there has recently been a court ruling that he has to rehire this musician and compensate him).
Our ex principal conductor, Pedro Halffter, is suing the manager personally for abuse after terminating his contract unlawfully.
In a more specific sense there have been severe problems with recruitment. This is largely due to the fact that our manager is closely allied with our existing concertmaster and has resulted in a two year long saga of manipulation and machination in order to squeeze her daughter into the orchestra as a tutti violinist at the cost of two candidates who rightly won their positions and have received the backing and approval of our musicians.