Ex-Concertgebouw chief is under fire in his new job

Ex-Concertgebouw chief is under fire in his new job


norman lebrecht

January 19, 2020

The imperturbable and generally invisible Jan Raes, who lost his job last month as managing director of the conductorless Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, has now been appointed interim CEO of Opera Ballet Flanders in Belgium.

He replaces Bart van der Roost, who was ousted last month after running up a 1.3 million Euro deficit.

Raes, 60, will hold the fort on an eight-month contract (he is also in the running to head the Bozar concert hall in Brussels).

Raes’s appointment in Flanders has come under attack from Peter de Caluwe, head of La Monnaie, who says there is no crisis and no need for an extra pen-pusher: ‘I see a trend here that worries me. Art institutions are increasingly seen as companies. However, the main task of such a house is to create opera and dance. In all the leading opera houses in the world, this is still done with intendants and artistic leaders. I just advocate empowering and trusting artistic leaders as much as possible. Not to put someone above them.’



  • It will be very tough for him to find a new job also good that the last one.

  • Alexy says:

    Didn’t lost his job. He resigned.

    • Melisande says:

      Rightly so. Mr. Raes resigned from the Concertgebouw Orchestra
      Please be correct and do not spread incorrect information.

      • Hans van der Zanden says:

        Jan Raes had lost all support and had no other choice than to resign

        • You are wright I think. There was a part of the orchestra who wanted Gatti to leave anyway and another part who thought that he was fired too much quickly. Anyway it was a bad decision to say nothing during 6 months. Raes has had a bad communication strategy and didn’t give enough informations. Anyway Gatti before there was this story was not so much popular inside the orchestra. For thoes great orchestras you need someone more popular it’s the key to stay a long time like Chailly and Jansons did before. Anf they chose Gatti too much quickly.

  • JR says:

    De Caluwe is right.

  • Frank says:

    Let’s not forget that the Concertgebouw Orchestra is in infinitely worse shape now than when Raes started.

    • I think that there’s an over dramatisation about what happened at Gebouw’ during the two last years. Without going to the end the Mengelberg years, in the past the instatitution overcame worst situations. The moment Haitink left at the end of the 80’s was a moment more difficult. The orchestra is used for years to play with guest dirtectors like Fischer or Chung with or wihthout artistic manager. It’s just what there are doing. And They can do that one more year without artistic director. They know how to play Mahler and Tod und verklärung of Richard Strauss and how to play it marvelously.

  • Edgar says:

    Bean counters are the bane of cultural institutions if they aren’t kept in their place.