Daniel Barenboim “has been accused of bullying and humiliating members of the Staatskapelle,” the orchestra of Berlin’s Staatsoper opera house, write Alex Marshall and Christopher F. Schuetze in Tuesday’s (2/26) New York Times. “The accusations have been reported widely in German media…. Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s highest-ranking official for culture … has asked the opera company to appoint a third party to look into the matter…. Seven former or current members of the Staatskapelle … highlighted examples of Mr. Barenboim’s behavior that they said was bullying and went beyond what was normal for a conductor. Mr. Barenboim dismissed the accusations…. ‘The issue is not personal, but a question of how orchestras are run in the 21st century,’ Martin Reinhardt, a trombonist in the Copenhagen Philharmonic who played in the Staatskapelle and has openly criticized Mr. Barenboim’s behavior, said … The accusations against Mr. Barenboim first appeared on Feb. 6 in VAN, an online classical music magazine [based in Berlin]…. Mr. Barenboim acknowledged that the world is changing. ‘That is generally a good thing,’ he said. But, he added, ‘an orchestra cannot function if every tempo, every dynamic is put up for a democratic vote. Somebody has to lead, take decisions and be ultimately responsible.’ ”

Posted February 27, 2019