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Appalling News - A Great German Orchestra Is In Danger Of Folding

   The prestigious Southwest German radio orchestra of Baden Baden is in danger of being liquidated by the German government because of financial difficulties .  It's hard to believe that this could be the fate of a major German orchestra, but this oculd very well happen . Even  Europe, where generous government support for orchestras and dopera companies has long been taken for granted  , is no longer immune the the financial difficulties  endemic to those of America .

  The government run radio stations of major German and other European countries  have long supported world-class orchestras with  eminent maestros as their chief conductors , and they have made numerous recordings  as well as touring internationally .  Something  like this would unfortunately be impossible in America .  The closest we have ever had to it was the legendary NBC symphony ,founded for the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini , which  played concerts and radio broadcasts in at a studio in Rockefeller center now used for NBC's Saturday Night Live broadcasts from 1937 to 1954 , and was  supported by the RCA corporation . 

   But world class radio orchestras  function in Berlin,Munich, Hamburg,  Stuttgart, Frankfurt and elsewhere in Germany .  The Southwest German radio orchestra is resident at the famous resort and Spa town of Baden Baden,  Swabia , and has had  renowned conductors such as Hans Rosbaud and Michael Gielen as its principal conductors , as well as numerous distinguished guest ocnductors .  The orchestra is renowned for its performances of difficult  contemporary music by a wide variety of German and European composers, and even America's most venerable composer , the centenarian Eliott Carter .

   Government support allows  these radio orchestras to devote ample rehearsal time to difficult  works by contemporary composers , a luxiury whcih  American orchestras do not have .  Unlike those of America, they are not bound by rigid  union rules  requiring overtime for extra rehearsal  and for those rehearsals to last  a  specific amount of time .  Composers appreciate this  greatly .

   A number of distinguished ocnductors and instrumentalists have signed a petition  asking for this  orchestra to be saved , and you can add your  signature by going to  and  checking  Norman Lebrecht's blog  Slipped Disc  .  An English translation is available . 

   Don't sit by idly while a great orchestra is  destroyed !


Posted: Apr 16 2012, 08:37 PM by the horn | with no comments
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