Just in: Orchestra goes on strike against conductor

Just in: Orchestra goes on strike against conductor


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2016

Agency report: Ljubljana, 5 December – Members of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra will go on strike today to protest against the disrespectful and offensive attitude of director Damjan Damjanovič and conductor Uroš Lajovic (pictured).


We understand that the players want the conductor’s contract to be terminated with immediate effect.

We’d appreciate it if they told us why. UPDATE: Here’s why.

The Slovenian Philharmonic is a good orchestra in a town with a long tradition. Gustav Mahler had his first conducting post in Ljubljana, then known as Laibach.

UPDATE: Lajovic, 72, is a Slovenian who, according to his Wikipedia entry, ‘is considered to be one of the most successful European conductors of his generation’.

UPDATE2: Carlos Kleiber, whose wife was Slovene, conducted this orchestra on June 6, 1997.


  • Doug says:

    “…one of the most successful European conductors of his generation.”

    Now where have I heard that before?

    • Steven Holloway says:

      Well, you’ve quite likely read it 57 times in Wikipedia entries on conductors. I’m sure I have — actually 58 including this one.

    • Gerhard says:

      In German we have the saying: “Er ist ein großer Künstler, er hat es mir selbst gesagt.” (He is a great artist, he told me so himself.)

  • MacroV says:

    I would agree the Slovenian Philharmonic is an excellent orchestra. Of course, these days any orchestra that pays a living wage – and even less – is good.

  • Zach says:

    I thought Keri-Lynn Wilson was their Music Director? What happened to her? I think she only got the job in 2013 so that was some quick exit.

    Perhaps something for Mr Lebrecht to investigate?

  • Fabio Luisi says:

    Slovenian Philharmonic is an excellent orchestra. I did my “Kapellmeister-Diplom” with them in 1983 and conducted them several times afterwards. They play in a very beautiful, old hall and they have a special sound culture and a deep knowledge of the symphonic repertoire.

    • Romeo D. Drucker says:

      Carissimo Fabio, in quel periodo facevo la spalla dei violini secondi nella Filarmonica Slovena e mi ricordo benissimo quel concerto quando Lei si diplomo’ nella classe del grande maestro Milan Horvat. Complimenti per la Sua carriera che e’ una logica consequenza delle doti che Lei, gia’ nel periodo dei studi, ha chiaramente dimosrato. Mi dispiace l’attuale situazione nella mia ex orchestra siccome colgo grande stima sia nel confronto del Mo.Lajovic che per l’orchestra che da anni tiene un altissimo livello. Speriamo che le cose si risolvino bene. Cordiali saluti e tante belle cose caro Mo. Luisi.

      Romeo D. Drucker, concertmaster of the Croatian National Theatre “I. pl. Zajc” Rijeka

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Does a conductor of this orchestra have the power to fire a player?

  • Ron Jontof-Hutter says:

    Unfortunately there are still some conductors who still do not realise that the musicians also went to Conservatorium and are accomplished instrumentalists and highly knowledgeable. There are also conductors who promote their political beliefs, no matter how inappropriate. See the recent satirical novel “The trombone man:tales of a misogynist,”

  • Lea says:

    I played several times (too many) with the conductor. I really wish I hadn’t. Patronizing know-it-all.