HUDDERSFIELD Philharmonic Orchestra’s high-profile principal conductor walked out of a rehearsal and then failed to show up for the concert that evening.
And now Natalia Luis-Bassa has spoken exclusively to the Examiner about internal problems within the orchestra – and revealed she will not return unless certain conditions are met.
And one of these includes removing at least one member of the orchestra.
“There are a lot of conditions that need to be met if I go back,’’ she said.
She revealed that she has had continual problems with at least one member of the orchestra and claimed that another player who was invited to join the orchestra on Saturday was rude to her.
She said she has had problems with orchestral members questioning her conducting.
“This has happened many times before,’’ she said. “There are members who disrespect me as a person, a conductor and music-maker.There is one person in particular and if this person is not removed I am not willing to go back. My health comes first.’’
She said not enough members of the orchestra openly expressed their support for her and stressed: “This is the first time I have ever done anything like this in 25 years of conducting. I am not letting the orchestra down. It needs a shake-up.’’
Natalia also revealed that rehearsals had not gone well in the week running up to the concert.
She walked out of the rehearsal on Saturday afternoon and did not return.
The orchestra made the decision to go on with that evening’s concert in Huddersfield Town Hall as planned, but with three members of the orchestra volunteering to take over the baton.
Orchestra president Peter Lewis went on stage before the performance to explain that Natalia was ‘indisposed’.
He said yesterday: “These things happen and I’m yet to get to the bottom of why it happened.
“Hopefully we will get it sorted.
“Natalia has been with us for seven years now and is a star.’’
Venezuelan Natalia, who lives in the Holme Valley, began her musical studies at the age of 15 when she studied oboe at the world famous El Sistema.
In addition to the Philharmonic, she works as musical director of the Haffner Orchestra in Lancaster and the Hallam Sinfonia in Sheffield.
She holds a masters degree from the University of Huddersfield where she lectures for part of the year.
She was awarded the Elgar Society Prize for the performance of Elgar’s Second Symphony which she conducted with Huddersfield Philharmonic.
Natalia has also been appointed a professor of conducting at the Royal College of Music.