Taiwanese Musicians Say They Were Unfairly Dismissed

Classic Arts News   Taiwanese Musicians Say They Were Unfairly Dismissed
Ten musicians from Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra claim they were fired without cause, the Taipei Times reports.

In addition, the musicians say that evaluations of their work carried out by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra were not reflected in these dismissals.

The foreign judges were brought in to evaluate the musicians at a reported cost of NT$5 million.

John Ferrillo, the BSO's principal oboe player, was contacted by flutist Helene Hsu after she was fired. In a letter to Hsu, Ferrillo wrote, "I feel that my comments were constructive and certainly not a suggestion that anyone should be fired."

Elizabeth Rowe, the BSO's principal flute player, wrote that she thought no changes needed to be made to the flute section, and that she had been very clear about this in her evaluation.

The results of the evaluations were not made available to the musicians.

Hsu has gone public with what she and the other musicians feel are unfair dismissals, "since it's an insult to our professionalism." They have asked the Ministry of Education (which supervises the orchestra) and the National Theater and National Concert Hall to create new and impartial evaluation rules.

An official from the MOE said that the foreign judges were brought in precisely because they were impartial, and that the firings were not based only on the evaluations, but on other factors as well. He did, however, say that explanations would be provided to the dismissed musicians.

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