4BR has found that the level of opposition from official sources in Palanga has significantly increased in the last 24 hours, following the decision by the European Brass Band Association to hold the European Championships in Montreux in 2019.
In an open letter, the Mayor of the Municipality of Palanga Town states that enquiries have now been made to international lawyers to examine what he believes are unwarranted claims by EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg.
The correspondence written by Sarunas Vaitkus (above), openly states that he feels that EBBA's decision was taken "long ago" and infers his belief that it had nothing to do with the concerns of the acoustic of the hall that have been stated. He adds that he believes, "…it was necessary just to find the reason."
As reported by 4BR, the decision by EBBA followed three separate visits to test the acoustic of the hall, where concerns were raised over the electronic acoustic enhancement system, which they felt had not, or could not, be adequately addressed.
The final sound report following the visit by an EBBA delegation on 24th September, led by Paul Hindmarsh, Chairman of the EBBA Music Commission stated that they felt, "…that performances on the stage without any digital enhancement were too dry, recessed and did not project into the auditorium with power, dynamic range and the character and bloom that would be expected from an elite brass band."
4BR understands that as EBBA felt that it is essential that the sound of the competing bands is not enhanced by any electronic or digital means, and as any further work would not enable this to be achieved satisfactorily, the report findings formed the basis of their decision.
However, following his initial letter to all board members of EBBA, the new correspondence by Mr Vaitkus echoes his belief that "…the emotions of Palanga citizens are very high", and openly escalates the possibility of future legal action by stating that, "…we are already talking to international lawyers for unwarranted claims by Mr. Ulf Rosenberg on hall acoustics."
Just a dream
He adds, that even after "living on this project for nearly 5 years", and stating that, "…EBBA representatives have assured us that in 2019 the EBBA will definitely be held in Palanga", he would like to believe, "…that the EBB president's negative response is just a dream".
He adds the pointed coda, "…perhaps Lithuanians are not as rich as the Switzerland (sic), but we are very sincere people, always complying the agreements."
The latest correspondence, with further accusations pointed at the EBBA President that despite following his advice on financial and organisational concerns, which saw the Palanga organisers pay for a brass band to perform at the Concert Hall, as well as spending a further 180,000 Euros on improving its acoustics, the Mayor felt that following the latest concert, Ulf Rosenberg's behaviour was "hammish", and that, "…he was reluctant to communicate and only said that he would send the decision later."
The Mayor describes his behavior as, "….oddly strangely" and that it was felt, "…he did not want to communicate at all."
...we are already talking to international lawyers for unwarranted claims by Mr. Ulf Rosenberg on hall acousticsSarunas Vaitkus, Mayor of the Municipality of Palanga Town
Mock the people
He adds: "If it was previously decided not to held (sic) the EBBA in Palanga, then why someone got to mock the people who worked hard and trusted. You had to say right away and give no hope."
To back his opinion that he feels the EBBA decision was not based on the acoustic properties of the hall alone, he states: "We invited the acoustic experts who within 3 months have prepared the acoustic project and after the construction work had been finished…"
"… they took various measurements for one week and found that the level of acoustics in the hall was good, especially after the additional work for acoustic treatment was done (special sound boards on the walls, double entry doors, curtains, etc.)."
He also adds that following the latest gala concert event at the hall that many famous Lithuanian musicians, composers, conductors thanked the organisers for the improvements that had been made.
4BR is awaiting a response from EBBA.