Conducting competition is cancelled

The Orquesta de Gran Canarias (pictured) has called off next month’s international conducting competition, ostensibly in order to redirect its funds and energies to relief work for communities hit by forest fires.

Our insider says they did not receive enough applications. It’s a new competition, in mid-season, with snall prizes and not much media.

Here’s what they have told the few applicants:

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 19 de septiembre de 2019 Estimado Sr.: Sentimos informarle de que el Concurso Internacional de Dirección de Orquesta Martín Chirino ha sido cancelado. Esta decisión constituye una muestra de apoyo y solidaridad con el pueblo de Gran Canaria, dado que la isla busca recuperarse de los devastadores incendios que afectaron a más de 10.000 hectáreas en un perímetro de 112 km y con 9.000 personas evacuadas. Se trata de una decisión política motivada por una causa de fuerza mayor, a la que la Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria muestra su total apoyo. Por supuesto, tenemos la intención de llevar a cabo el concurso en el futuro, pero dado que somos una orquesta dependiente de fondos del Estado, apoyamos completamente esta decisión política y consideramos que todos los recursos de la OFGC deben estar destinados en estos momentos a realizar proyectos que sirvan para conseguir fondos para los numerosos damnificados en estas trágicas circunstancias. Lamentamos profundamente esta cancelación y sentimos las molestias que pueda ocasionarles. Por supuesto, la Fundación OFGC les devolverá el dinero de la tasa de inscripción a la mayor brevedad. Atentamente,

The website has not been taken down.

 

UPDATE: The orchestra has sent us this statement:

May I inform you that we received confirmation of 60 participants who paid their inscription fees, which is verifiable through the corresponding bank transfer receipts. 
This should clearly demonstrate that there was enough interest to have staged this competition and that the decision to cancel was not only an honorable one but a political one which was requested and agreed by the Regional Government (Cabildo) for the reasons we have already highlighted in the note you published. 

 

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  • I thought about applying but the time between the application deadline and the publishing of the participants was just three weeks. I am still in school and could never find a flight ticket cheap enough to attend the competition, and then they asked for 180 euros for the inscription. It seemed all very chaotic. I am not surprised not enough people applied.

  • 10.000 euro in cash prizes means that, at 180 euro per competitor, they need at least 55 to break even. Add the cost of flying the jury to the Canary Islands and their salary, advertising… and they only offer one concert with the Orquesta Philharmonica de Gran Canarias to the winner. Why would anyone apply?

  • 60 applicants and 50 contestants they take. I don’t believe the orchestra for a second: with 10.800 euro they cannot go through the competition. I think they expected many more applicants…

    • In my most recent experience with conducting competitions they selected 50 people for the first round, with 20 persons on the waiting list; once there they mentioned receiving 136 applications.
      60 candidates means that almost everyone who applied got to the first round.

  • Eso no es lo que me ha llegado a mi. Me ha dicho alguien de la orquesta que se ha cancelado porque esperaban que llegaran mas solicitudes y al final han llegado practicamente tantas como participantes y con eso no cubren los gastos de un concurso. Ademas llamabas a la orquesta y estaba perdidímos. Era una locura de organizacion.

    • ¡Y el repertorio! Una locura. No conozco otro concurso en el que quieran ver si los candidatos pueden batutear bien (por eso ponen tanto Stravinsky y Bartok). ¿Cómo puedes saber si un director es auténticamente musical con unas piezas en las que todo lo que no sea claridad técnica es un estorbo? O sea, ponen piezas en las que el primero en “caer” será la orquesta y no el director. Si quieres saber quién es un buen director pon Mozart o Haydn, una Sinfonía de Beethoven y si quieres UN Stravinsky… que se miren el repertorio de los mejores concursos de dirección del mundo.
      Me parece que el concurso se ha hecho un amateurismo tremendo, y que se han pillado los dedos con todo.

  • If the orchestra would have held the competition they would have been criticised for not being sensitive to the victims of the fires. If they cancel the competition then then the reasons are not honourable either, even when they have publicly stated that they are going to organise charity events to help the victims of the wildfires, which is obviously not going to bring any extra cash to the orchestra.

    Seems to me that some people are frustrated that things are not going their way in Gran Canaria…..

    • Nonsense. If there has been a natural disaster, the visit of at least 50 extra people almost two months later would mean income, which is needed in our island. I don’t see any problem with it. I just don’t believe the orchestra’s reasons to cancel the competition.

      • What is true nonsense is to think that 50 students with very modest resources are going to make a difference to the local economy in the island.

        Stick to playing the clarinet if that is what you really do, because leadership or finances is clearly not your thing.

        • 50 students staying at hotels and eating in local restaurants is an impact in the Canary Islands in October.

          Stick to writing old-fashioned violin concerti and powdering your wig.

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