Aalborg Symphony Orchestra Formally Charged for Bullying Culture

By Chris Ruel
Credit: Ulla Jensen

The Norwegian Working Environment Authority has formally called for Denmark’s Aalborg Symphony Orchestra to address and rectify the pervasive atmosphere of violence and intimidation in the workplace. The orchestra has been charged with “offensive acts which take place almost daily and which have been going on for many years,” according to the charge sheet.

In May 2022, the Danish news outlet BT reported on the orchestra’s toxic culture, which included daily exposure to “demeaning comments, degrading body language, and slander,” and described a work environment “where people ignore each other or slander each other.”

The accusations are nothing new; they have been rampant for nearly 20 years, according to BT.

Notably, the Working Environment Authority has expressed concerns about the mental health of the orchestra’s employees, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression, though there have been no recent reports of stress-related illnesses.

The orchestra which plays for the Jyske Opera recently hired American Joshua Weilerstein as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor. Meanwhile, Jyske Opera has not had a music director in nearly a decade.