A dramatic protest against cutbacks in Southwest German Radio funding greeted the opening last night of the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the venerable new-music festival. The Southwest Radio Symphony Orchestra had gathered in the Baar-Sporthalle and was about to play a program of works by Martin Smolka, Arnulf Herrmann, and Helmut Oehring. After an announcer introduced the Smolka live on the air, the composer Johannes Kreidler got up from the orchestra, holding a cello and a violin in his hands, and grabbed the microphone. After noisily strapping the violin and the cello together — this was symbolic of the proposed "fusion" of the radio orchestras of Stuttgart and Baden-Baden / Freiburg — Kreidler denounced the merger and smashed the instruments onstage. (They were fake, one assumes.) Armin Köhler, the director of the festival, spoke briefly in response, asking that the performance not be disrupted further. There were many boos and a few cries of "Abtreten!" ("Resign!") from the audience. I'm not quite sure what the radio audience heard, but there were no more announcements in the hall. A lively start!