Sense of relief as worst-run orchestra loses its president

The calamitous Orchestra de la Suisse Romande of Geneva may be about to turn a new leaf.

Florence Notter, who has chaired the board through four years of comic comings and goings, has said she will step down in June.

Maybe she’ll apply to run Fifa up the road.

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  • For nearly a decade, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande has too often been a professional and international embarrassment and has far too often been marked by gross incompetence, arrogance and having the wrong people on the job. This farce has not been limited to the very pretentious and incompetent Florence Notter, but also to many others before her, including the former President of the OSR Foundation, Metin Arditi. Perhaps Mr. Arditi’s reign was the most embarrassing, with several failed appointments, among them the most disastrous of all, when Miguel Esteban was hired and then dismissed on Mr. Arditi’s watch, only a short time into the job and then Mr. Esteban sued the OSR and won 570,000 Swiss Francs in damages for unfair dismissal. Mr. Arditi had already been thrown out himself, just five months after Mr. Esteban’s dismissal. Prior to his own resignation, Mr. Ardidti was supposed to head the search for a successor to Mr. Estenban. That too was a disaster, with yet another failed appointment, who left shortly after as well. Many highly competent and highly experienced candidates’ applications for the job were ignored, and not even contacted by Mr. Ardidti, as the soon to be failed successor was already decided from the outset. Now Florence Notter’s reign marks yet another embarrassing disaster for this poorly run ensemble, leaving resignations and general discontent in her wake.
    The Swiss need to wake up and start to run this ensemble as is necessary in the 21st Century and get away from their tendency to see the cultural sector as a playground for the rich and bored. Until then, this orchestra should be ignored and better remembered for what it once was fifty years ago.

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