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Challenges facing Mongolian orchestras

Trans. by Z.TSELMEG

Mongolia has had a rich tradition of a national orchestra since the thirteenth century. By a 2005 presidential decree, the Great State Orchestra with 120 members was created. But some of Mongolia’s classical musicians are complaining about the national constitution of the orchestra and ensemble, and say that they lack instruments and professional musicians.
Last year, major Mongolian organizations for classical music celebrated the 90th anniversary of the establishment of a professional orchestra in Mongolia. Famous national and international classical music creations and compositions for ballet were played by musicians of the Mongolian National Song and Dance Academic Ensemble.
General Conductor N.Buyanbaatar of the Mongolian National Song and Dance Academic Ensemble pointed out, “Now the Great State Orchestra has only 65 members. We complete the orchestra with students from the Music and Dance College of Mongolia when we need instrumentalists for concerts. Originally, we planned to take on 14 members for the orchestra every year. It would make up 120 members in five years. Sometimes, we have a tense moment performing with the orchestra because of the insufficient numbers of members.”
He also said, “Some types of flute instruments which are a major part of the orchestra are not played. No one who plays the Ikh flute is prepared in the colleges and universities. Some students who play the Bayalag flute for orchestra joined the Music and Dance College of Mongolia. We bought ten kinds of orchestra instruments for implementation of the presidential decree ten years ago. But, today these are keep in a storeroom.”
Ballets and operas are performed on the stage twice a week, and some musical performances are given in the State Opera and Ballet Academic Theater. State Cultural Merit Worker N.Tuulaikhuu, the conductor of the theater noted, “Our regular number for members is 70 staff. In fact, our 55 staff are over worked. We require 65 more ballet dancers, opera singers and musicians.”
The conductor added, “Last year, two of our staff left for Austria to study the harp through public donations, because the harp has not been played on the stage of State Opera and Ballet Academic Theater in the last 10 years.”
The Philharmonic of Mongolia has similar problems. There are 68 staff and ten instrumentalists missing from the regular symphony orchestra. State Arts Merit Worker Ch.Davaasuren, head of the Philharmonic of Mongolia said, “The philharmonic symphony orchestra performs on stage without wind instruments, and cellists and violinists who play the viola. Also, our collaboration with the Japanese give us some brass instruments, which play a major role in a symphony orchestra.”
Musicians who work for state organizations are paid the same average monthly salary as other civil servants. Now they are afraid of job cuts in relation to the current economic situation. If they are sacked due to job cuts, the Mongolian classical music sector will continue to suffer.

Source: Unuudur

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=13190

Posted by on Jan 22 2015. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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