French conductor loses his job

French conductor loses his job


norman lebrecht

January 11, 2021

The controversial Marc Minkowski has been told he will not be considered for a third four-year term as chief conductor and director general of the Opéra de Bordeaux.

There have been tensions along the way.



  • Rogerio says:

    This wouldn´t have happened if the conductor was Simon Rattle.
    Rattle is never fired!

  • Hans Zurri says:

    This does not come as any surprise. Minkowski embodies so many of the traits that all too often, and sadly, give French people such a terrible reputation in the world; arrogance, egocentrism, rudeness and generally very very bad manners. I attended three rehearsals with him on two occasions and was horrified at the manner in which he spoke to the two soloists and a visiting foreign, I believe Canadian, journalist. While such disgusting manners and behaviour may be tolerated in France, it is seriously frowned upon and condemned by most other cultures.

    • RW2013 says:

      and a lazy time-beater on the night.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      I’ve often wondered why the French are this way. Having visited very many European countries over some years I found France the least likable place of all of them and would never return.

      • Nigel Higgins says:

        I have often thought about the same thing. What can make the majority of French people so miserable, unfriendly, cold, uninterested in others, extremely rude, inconsiderate and unwelcoming. I have even asked three psychologist friends, one of them French and they all had more or less the same reply: the root of their misery and unhappiness comes from many factors, some historic (mistrusting, suspicious, envious) and others from the archaic and outdated education system, where French children are never made to feel successful and are basically ridiculed and humiliated by their teachers throughout their early school years. This leads to enormous insecurities and complexes of inferiority. To compensate they tend to combine mistrust and suspicion with always being on the defensive, as their egos are very damaged. Add to that, a very insular education system, where, even now, their foreign language skills are very poor. In a recent European ranking, France came in the three worst countries in Europe for speaking English. They also have recently come in at the bottom in math and science of all OECD countries. So, they have a very poor and abusive education system. This all leads to very closed and suspicious minds and I fear and aversion to any outsider.

        All of this is confirmed by the fact that France is the world’s largest consumer of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs and in the ten worst countries for suicide. So, not a very happy people or place and that becomes obvious when you move beyond the usual tourist experiences and actually work and live there. I found my three years there among the most humanly awful in my entire life and I would never return there. Still, I met some lovely French people there, but they all complained about the same things as I am here.

  • Peter Phillips says:

    I was in Bordeaux the evening that members of the Bordeaux Aquitaine orchestra took to the street and played outside the Opera in protest. Given the reason for their protest, it was remarkably good humoured, cheerful even. That apart, it seemed odd to appoint Minkowski in the first place when Paul Daniel was already there.