Conductor Minczuk under worldwide boycott?

Robert Minczuk, Music Director of the OSB (Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira), may be under boycott from professional orchestras worldwide.

The scandal about sacking some 40 musicians of the OSB by Minczuk because they refused to take part in a re-audition is a unique one in orchestra history. Professional musicians, conductors, composers and soloists around the world have protested against  this malpractice. Due to local protests the concert in Rio on 9th of April 2011 had to be cancelled after some 20 minutes of boos against Minczuk whilst orchestra members left the stage. This youtube video has been posted within the orchestral community around the world.

There won‘t be many professional orchestras left on the world who will play under the baton of Minczuk in future. Even other blog comments show that Minczuks career is under threat.  Some engagements with foreign orchestras have already been cancelled.

This scandal is another example that change management and artistic development in an orchestra needs a intensive dialogue between conductor, management and musicians, but no pink slips.

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6 thoughts on “Conductor Minczuk under worldwide boycott?

  1. I do not think so, there is no boycott, this is something has been created by the ones that oppose Mr. Minczuk.

    Last performance of Minczuk was in Vancouver it was excellent according to the local critics.

    Here is an excerpt from the Vancouver Sun:

    “Baiba Skride in the First Violin Concerto was a real treat. First of all, the piece is one of my all-time concerto faves: not a piece that just any violinist bonds with, but an inimitable wonder.

    Skride and conductor Roberto Minczuk seemed to have made a tacit agreement that they would slightly veil some of the work’s more obvious grotesquerie, but even so, Skride found most of the work’s edgy poetry, and she kept all of the extreme high passage work completely in tune and in character. Obviously you don’t bother with Prokofiev unless it matters to you: Skride, Micznuk, and the VSO deserve kudos for making it happen.”

    “The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.”
    –Shana Alexander,
    American journalist

  2. Ademir dos Anjos

    Oh you can be sure that there is a boycott ongoing against Minczuk and OSB administration rigth now! The parlament here in Brazil is been investigating some ilicit aspects of his contract and some suspect uses of public money by de orchestra’s foundation… Minczuk is now a “persona non grata” in Rio de Janeiro. Anyone who attends to de NY audition will certainly have a hard time when arrive in Rio…

    • Concerned musician

      Why should other musicians coming in after having won an audition have to deal with having “a hard time” from old orchestra members? If you’re angry at Minczuk, why take it out on other musicians? It is their right to take an audition that is offered to them. In directing your anger towards other musicians, you are damaging the same cause that you claim to be fighting for! From the outside of all of this looking in, it certainly seems more like the angry OSB musicians are being run by mob rule rather than rational thought. It’s a child’s reaction to thrash and scream when it doesn’t get what it wants… it should not be the reaction of an adult… and especially not a group of adults who are asking the rest of the world to take them seriously and listen. While I was once partly sympathetic to this situation, that sentiment decreases more and more as I observe how things are being handled.

  3. Too many provincial orchestras think they are better than they are and members want security of tenure despite not being up to standard. Regular auditions are just part of maintaining standards and if orchestras are going to rebel against conductors demands for quality players and the removal of “dead wood” then God help us.
    While orchestral playing has improved over the last 30 years generally there are fewer “great” orchestras and even fewer great conductors. Music is being “dumbed down” and concert audiences less informed than in past years despite more music being available.
    Discipline in our societies is considered “politically incorrect” and this has flowed over to music making today.

  4. Caladonia Wilkinson, Calgary Alberta

    Roberto Minczuk is the most viscious, abusive person in power that I have ever come into contact with. He does not value people, and he goes on verbal tirades wherein he delivers wuthering emotional and verbal abuse to musicians in his orchestra.

    • wuthering? The only problem here is that he is a tremendous conductor and builds rapport
      with musicians early in a performance.

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