The Chaos in Rio de Janeiro

The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, having recently sacked half of its musicians, runs into chaos in a concert with the young musicians intended to replace the sacked old ones walks off the stage.

From the Youtube video just posted, the divided audience is evident when Roberto Minczuk walks on the podium receives applause and boos aloud from the auditorium of Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theatre. The conductor assumes his position to conduct and only sees musicians walk off the stage, leaving the conductor in confusion.

The musicians are from the youth orchestra of the Brazil Symphony. According to this newspaper, one young musician later read a manifesto of refusal to play. The microphones were cut off, interrupting the speech.

The orchestra has earlier “reauditioned” all the musicians and an international campaign was called by the musicians to stop the audition. Later the orchestra announced a lay off. Pianists Cristina Ortiz and Nelson Freire then announced their boycott to the orchestra, cancelling their concerts.

Norman Lebrecht has covered the turmoil in his blog. Read more and see what has happened over these weeks.

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