Last night the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France gave a concert to an empty hall in the Philharmonie de Paris, after management decided to cancel the concert because of an ongoing strike. The night before that, members of the Orchestre National de France protested their own canceled concert by playing in the entry hall to the Maison de la Radio. Fabien Morin reports on the developments (L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France a joué devant une salle vide, March 21) for Le Figaro (my translation):
The management of Radio France had made the decision to cancel these two concerts because of the strike that they claimed prevented putting in place enough staff for ticketing and security. From the musicians' side, these arguments do not hold, and anger has not been slow in response. For Jean-Pierre Odasso, the permanent representative of the Philharmonique, questioned by Agence France-Presse, the musicians had informed management "of their presence and their desire to play, being completely in solidarity with the strike at the heart of Radio France." For the orchestra, no reason justified the cancellation of a concert that had been sold out for more than a year.On social networks, many people gave their support online. Photos and videos made the rounds to give witness to this expression of solidarity and the "shock" of the musicians of the two orchestras of Radio France.
Friday evening, as a result, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France played in concert attire before an empty hall, "in the interest of respecting its audience and the place that welcomes them." In a press release, the orchestra justified its choice to give this "forbidden concert," no matter what: "More than a performance, this was an expression, a cry of anger sent up by music, on behalf of music."