One of Britain’s most successful orchestras is moving to Belgium amid fears that its musicians may be among the victims of a post-Brexit crackdown on immigration….reports Asian Lite News
The European Union Baroque Orchestra has been based in Oxfordshire since 1985, but will give its last UK concert in its current form at St John’s Smith Square in London on May 19, before moving to Antwerp, the Guardian reported on Saturday.
The critically acclaimed orchestra, auditions about 100 students a year, including young British musicians, and chooses between 20 and 25 for intensive training and performance.
Alumni have gone on to fill posts in major baroque orchestras around the world.
General manager Emma Wilkinson said that while no one knows what the future may look like, the orchestra decided that moving to Antwerp now would be wise.
She fears that the loss of free movement would make life for musicians very difficult: “I do worry that European orchestras will not be inviting talented British musicians to work with them. It will just be too bureaucratically difficult.”
Asked whether future concerts in Britain by the orchestra might be threatened when it was based outside the UK, she replied: “That’s the problem with the uncertainty around this whole issue. We just don’t know.”
Timothy Walker, chief executive and artistic director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, fears for the cultural life of the capital: “London has one of the most vibrant creative communities in the world, full of freelance artists, many of whom come from the EU,” he said.
“Expected changes to their right to reside here and work through a points system will unquestionably affect classical music and soundtrack recordings which are a vital part of the arts ecology in the capital.”