Conductor Neeme Järvi and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO) director Kadri Tali denied reports from a source in the music world that the famed conductor would call off three end-of-the-year concerts in Estonia in protest to the Minister of Culture's plan to change the National Symphony Orchestra from a public institution to a foundation.
"We apologize sincerely for the confusion and misinformation. We are fervently committed to the development of Estonian culture and we worry about the future of the orchestra, but that does not mean that we have even a crumb of destructuve thinking or obstructionism," read the press release from Järvi and Tali.
Speaking on ERR radio, pianist Vardo Rumessen said earlier in the day that Järvi, who is the orchestra's artistic director, took offense because the minister did not consult with him over the decision.
The government yesterday gave a green light to Culture Minister Rein Lang, who is stepping down over a management scandal at a cultural newspaper.
The proposed bill concerning the orchestra writes: "The foundation will be established with the goals of increasing efficiency in the work of ERSO in developing music culture; improving the collective's employee conditions; offering the public an even broader selection of the best of music culture; and representing Estonia on the international arena. Creating the foundation will also increase independent decision-making."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was corrected to reflect the fact that both Järvi and Tali immediately denied the report on the same day. Several days later, on December 3, Neeme Järvi announced that he would be taking a hiatus from several concerts on doctor's orders due to exhaustion. Järvi will be substituted for by another conductor at the concerts in question.