The Brazil Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra plagued by controversy, has scrapped the rest of its season after admitting an eight-digit shortfall.
Twelve concerts have been cancelled. Next season is in doubt.
First report here.
I think most people think of the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra (dir. Marin Alsop) as the flagship orchestra of Brazil.
Which does not make the news less sad.
I am deeply saddened to learn the financial difficulties that my beloved Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB) is facing. I understand that a symphony orchestra reflects its country, socially and economically, but the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro, which is a well-known and important city, recently hosted one of the most important sports events in the world (the Olympics) and did it wonderfully. Therefore, Rio cannot afford to have its most prestigious and traditional cultural institution financially folding right now. I hope, from the bottom of my heart, speaking not as a conductor, but as someone who grew up in Rio- and attended OSB concerts since I was three years old, where my parents played so many times, where I heard some of my favorite pieces for the first time- that the government (municipal, state and federal), private industry and banks, friends of the symphony and the local community will save this cultural patrimony. I implore you, residents of Rio and Brazilian citizens to support, donate, be philanthropic. Save the symphony! The city of Rio de Janeiro has: 16 soccer teams participating in the 2016 season (including Flamengo, a club that fundraised R$395 million in 2016). 12 samba schools participating in the 2016 carnival parade (the parade costs were over R$100 million in 2014). A famous soccer player of the Fluminense club earning R$9 million per year, while a musician of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra salary is roughly R$10 thousand per month. The Orchestra’s deficit in 2016 was R$15 million. It doesn’t make any sense! The city of Rio de Janeiro needs to have our Brazilian Symphony Orchestra functioning with dignity; as any important orchestra of a civilized country. Brazil will never be developed without a cultural institution like this working well. I declare here my hope and solidarity.
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