Merger planned for Germany’s SWR and Stuttgart radio orchestras

Posted on: November 27, 2013

In The Guardian (London) on Tuesday (11/26), Tom Service reports on the pending merger of two German orchestras. “The state money has been slowly but surely drying up in recent decades, and 36 orchestras have been dissolved over the last 20 years … but there’s been no more significant loss than the one that’s on the horizon in 2016, when the SWR Symphony Orchestra, based in Freiburg and Baden-Baden, is merging with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, thanks to a combination of budgetary cuts at the radio organization that pays for both of them and what musicians in Germany call the ‘cultural barbarity’ of the radio bosses. … They’re both among the most adventurous in Germany … But the head of the Südwestrundfunk decided that the orchestras should merge. It’s a cost-saving measure that seems to fly in the face of the cultural and educational remit of the radio company in its charter with the federal company—at least, that’s what [conductor] Michael Gielen and 160 conductorial signaturies contended in an open letter to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 13 November. The head of the SWF’s response isn’t hopeful for those who want to keep both orchestras alive.”    

Posted November 27, 2013