Up to the beginning of the 20th Century, the international lyrical companies that would perform at Theatro Municipal would bring their own musicians and choirs all the way from Europe.
On the 1920’s, a professional orchestra was formed to perform sporadically, integrating the regular showcases scheduling only on 1939 under the official name of Orquestra Sinfônica do Theatro Municipal (Theatro Municipal’s Symphony Orchestra). A decade later, the group referred to this day as Orquestra Sinfônica – the OSM, was officially regulated.
Its story parallels with the city’s orchestral music scene, having iconically taken part in events like the first Temporada Lírica de São Paulo (São Paulo’s Independent Lyrical Season) – featuring soprano Bidú Sayão -, the inauguration of Pacaembu’s stadium in 1940, the reopening of the Theatro Municipal in 1955, the debut of the Pedro Malazarte opera conducted by the composer himself – Camargo Guarnieri -, and the performance at the Pan American Games of 1963, held in São Paulo.
Throughout the years, many maestros have lead the orchestra, including Arturo de Angelis, Zacharias Autuori, Edoardo Guarnieri, Lion Kaniefsky, Souza Lima, Eleazar de Carvalho, Isaac Karabtchevsky, José Maria Florêncio, Ira Levin, Armando Belardi and John Neschling. Presently, the OSM is conducted by Roberto Minczuk.
Roberto Minczuk was born in São Paulo and started studying music with his father when he was only 6 years of age. At 9, he entered São Paulo’s Municipal School of Music as a horn player, and at 10, made his debut as a soloist at the Theatro Municipal. When he was 13, Isaac Karabtchevsky hired Minczuk through public tender to assume the first position for French horn at the Theatro Municipal, in 1981.
After moving to New York at 14 with a scholarship, he graduated Juilliard School of Music. As a soloist, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall at the age of 17. When he was 20, Minczuk became a member of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, in Germany. åHis international debut as a conductor was for the New York Philharmonic in å1998, where he came to be an associate maestro, the first musician to åconquer said title after Leonard Bernstein. Minczuk has conducted over 100 international orchestras. He worked as the artistic director for the International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão, for São Paulo’s State Symphony Orchestra (Osesp) and for Rio de Janeiro’s Theatro Municipal. He served as titular maestro for Ribeirão Preto’s Symphony Orchestra, which earned him the first ConcertArte award on the city of Ribeirão Preto. Munczuk also hoards a Latin Grammy win and an american Grammy nomination for his album Jobim Sinfônico.
In the present day, in addition to being the titular maestro for the Municipal Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo, he also plies the same job at the New Mexico Philharmonic, in the United States. Minczuk’s now a Maestro Emeritus at the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (after serving as their titular conductor from 2005 to 2015) and at the Calgary Philharmonic, in Canada.
* Chefe de naipe
** Músico convidado
Auxiliares de Escritório
Gabriel Cardoso Vieira
Theatro Municipal promotes regular auditions to accommodate musicians who would like a shot at being a part of the Municipal Symphony Orchestra.