The Belgrade Philharmonic had been looking forward to the first appearance of German conductor Jun Märkel, scheduled for January 16-17, 2020 at Belgrade’s Kolarac Music Hall. Quite unexpectedly, the conductor canceled his arrival just 60 hours before his first rehearsal with the orchestra, even though he had already signed the contract. The reason was his dissatisfaction with the item of the contract pertaining to air transportation. He expressed his displeasure through the social media, on Facebook and in Slipped Disc Music, a widely-read cultural portal dealing with events on and behind the music scene.

The Belgrade Philharmonic issued its official statement on Slipped Disc Music and subsequently its chief conductor, Gabriel Feltz, came forward, expressing his astonishment at the conductor’s reaction and his regret over Maerkl’s failure to conduct the Belgrade Philharmonic, to which all musicians gladly return, praising both the orchestra and its administration. Numerous artists that have collaborated with the Belgrade Philharmonic, including conductors Howard Griffiths, Nurhan Arman, Mariusz Smolij, and others, have supported the Belgrade Philharmonic and reproached Maerkl’s deportment.

Following a prompt reaction from the Belgrade Phil management, Former Chief Conductor Uroš Lajovic has agreed to conduct both concerts, which will be held according to the planned schedule without any further modifications. The Belgrade Philharmonic will take all measures that the law provides in such situations.

Offical BPO statement for Slippedisc.com

The Belgrade Philharmonic had been looking forward to the debut of Mr. Jun Märkl with our orchestra, scheduled for January 16 and 17, 2020 at the Kolarac Concert Hall in Belgrade. Unfortunately, we could not execute the agreement because the artist refused to respect certain terms of the contract, which he had already signed.

The Belgrade Philharmonic is a budget institution funded by the Republic of Serbia and therefore has several strict administrative rules that were presented to Mr. Märkl’s management and also stipulated in the contract.  Not just because of this fact, it goes without saying that the minimum of professional standards of each institution should be to respect the law.

The Belgrade Philharmonic’s management always considers professional as well as personal issues of each and every guest in the concert season. Beside the quality of the orchestra, this is also the reason why world famous artists gladly come back to perform with the Belgrade Philharmonic.

Unfortunately, although Mr. Märkl’s representatives had been properly informed of our professional practice, they continuously refused to respect it. Regardless of that, we went out of our way to try to find a solution to meet his needs. However, there is no compromise with anyone who attempts to operate within the grey area of business.

We were very surprised to learn that Mr. Märkl decided to cancel his concerts 60 hours prior to the first rehearsal. We find this act extremely unprofessional and feel that no artists should allow themselves to act on a whim. Also, this is highly disrespectful toward the orchestra and its management, not to mention the audience, and the community as a whole.

Although a small country, Serbia has its laws and regulations and no artist so far has had any problems with that. The Belgrade Philharmonic has its audience, both locally and internationally, so invoking a boycott, as Mr. Märkl has done, is nothing short of bad manners.