After a year of upheaval and prolonged labor issues, the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) is nearing the end of its “renovation” period, general manager Arturo Poulat said this week.
Musicians have been auditioning this month to fill 30 full-time positions in the orchestra. The names of those selected will be announced in the first week of October, Poulet said.
Following a series of voluntary and forced retirements this year, the orchestra has been left with just 45 full-time musicians. In addition, the firestorm created by JPO musical director Marco Parisitto’s decision earlier this year to “rest” some longtime musicians is showing signs of abating. When he brought in interim musicians to make up the numbers, the conflict threatened to get out of hand and overshadow celebrations for the orchestra’s 100th year.
Poulet said this week that seven of the compensation and pension complaints filed by 11 exiting musicians have been resolved. The remaining four have gone to a conciliation board and should be settled soon, he said.
The auditions are being held behind closed doors, although Poulet said he believed the standard of applicants is higher than in previous years.
The selection committee is made up of Parisotto, plus section heads of the orchestra. The jury is separated from the auditioning musician by a curtain and cannot see the performance, Poulet said, thus allowing the focus to be on the quality of the playing.