A fourth French orchestra backs the embattled musicians of Bordeaux

A fourth French orchestra backs the embattled musicians of Bordeaux


norman lebrecht

July 09, 2019

Musicians of the Montpellier national orchestra have sent a message of support to their colleagues at Bordeaux Opera, who are in rebellion against their general director, Marc Minkowski.

Their message follows similar shows of solidarity from musicians in Nice, Toulouse and Paris.

Nous, musiciens de l’Orchestre national de Montpellier Occitanie, souhaitons apporter notre plein soutien à nos collègues de l’Orchestre national Bordeaux Aquitaine dans le conflit qui les oppose à leur Directeur général, Marc Minkovski. L’expertise de l’orchestre, construite depuis plusieurs générations, ne devrait pas être ignorée ou remise en cause.
Un orchestre symphonique est une grande aventure humaine qui se bâtit sur le long terme. Les forces vives d’une maison telle que celle de Bordeaux, indispensables à la vie de la cité et dont chaque membre a été soumis à une très rigoureuse sélection, se structurent autour du respect, de la confiance, et d’un esprit collectif permettant de grandes réussites artistiques quand ces valeurs sont honorées.
A Montpellier nous travaillons ensemble chaque jour dans ce but, et nous espérons, dans un esprit de solidarité avec les musiciens de Bordeaux, la prompte prise de décisions artistiques et humaines permettant à l’ONBA de continuer à rayonner auprès de son public bordelais, français et international dans les meilleures conditions.


  • Dominique says:

    French people would do well to learn that just opposing a person, or a situation, even in solidarity, is not the way to resolve problems in the modern world. Dialogue and LISTENING to others is the only way.
    It is unlikely that they can or will ever learn do that. In France listening politely to another person and showing respect towards another person, even if you disagree, is not part of their education or culture. In France everything is about conflict, opposition and arguing, not about peace and resolution. France is actually, and sadly, a VERY primitive society concerning human interaction and resolving issues. Any person coming from more respectful and polite cultures who has watched a French television “discussion” or “debate” is shocked at the total lack of respect that people in France show towards other people who may not agree with them. This same rudeness and impoliteness is seen everyday in shops, banks and while driving. Conflict rules. This same primitive conflictual behaviour is seen in most working and home environments. The French simply are miserable and actually fear an environment of peace and stability, which is not in harmony with their inner misery.
    Hardly a week goes by in France without some national conflict, always with one group opposed and in conflict with the other. The more disruption caused to the general society is the sole objective, NOT dialogue or resolution of the problem. Strikes, demonstrations, “blockage”, threats of disruption, letters of solidarity, etc. This week, many teachers in disagreement with certain educational reforms, held their students “hostage” by refusing to submit their very important matriculation exams, causing much stress and disorder at a time in a young students’ life that is already full of anxiety. In France, just make it worse for them and everyone else who is opposed to what you think! France is unfortunately a rather silly place and it actually becomes quite boring to watch day after day a society expressing its deep rooted misery by taking revenge on others and actually resolving and accomplishing very little.

    • Ethel Merman says:

      Well said. Anyone who has lived or worked in France, even for a short time, will certainly have experienced the feeling of being in a constant battle, of being perceived as the enemy, for nothing more than thinking or saying something different, of being surrounded by a people who think that life is a daily fight to be fought every waking moment of their neurotic lives. It is exhausting and, I agree, very very boring, as they don’t achieve very much, just wasting energy, spewing venom and hate and being angry and miserable and looking that way as well. It’s no wonder that France is the world’s biggest consumer of anti-depressants and other psychotropic drugs.
      And I won’t even begin to talk about making music with typically French musicians, most of them trained to believe that they are all great soloists, so any sense of chamber music making, of listening to the other musician is rare to come by, plus they lack passion in my opinion, believing that music is a predominantly cerebral affair with little or no physical implication. Certainly not one of my favourite destinations, humanly nor musically!

    • CJ says:

      Funny to write that “Dialogue and listening to others is the only way” and then continue with the most hateful piece of French bashing possible, and mostly unrelated to classical music!
      I am not French, but I am trying to understand the reason for all the French bashing on this blog. A kind of complex (superiority? inferiority?) or jealousy? 😉

    • Tomjobim says:

      Well, Dominique is obviously familiar with the French way to deal with things, part of it comes from the “gaulois” side, but there is something bitter and desperate which was not always there. We can all agree on constatation, but now comes the time to offer solutions, the decline is maybe not irreversible….

    • Maxime says:

      OMG I am currently living in a country at civil war and I didn’t know it.

  • Nathalie says:

    ce n’est pas le troisième orchestre, mais le quatrième : avant, il y a eu l’Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, l’Orchestre de l’Opera National de Paris et l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice

  • LEWES BIRD says:

    Given that the “battle” was started by the orchestra itself rather than by Minkowski, who’s really “embattled” here – the orchestra or Minkowski?

  • John Sorel says:

    Liberté! Fratenité! Et inègalié!

    (the slogan of Musiciens du Louvre)

  • Anonyme says:

    Well I’ve lived in France my whole life, and have no idea what you are talking about.
    Maybe you got things mixed up and went to the wrong country?