Serge Dorny in line for a 1.5 million Euro payoff?

Serge Dorny in line for a 1.5 million Euro payoff?


norman lebrecht

February 26, 2014

That’s the gossip in the German tabloids. Wild exaggeration.

Dorny was on 300,000 a year for a five-year contract he had yet to begin. If he claims unfair dismissal, which may be expected, he’d be lucky to get a two-year payoff after the threat to resign and other abuses claimed yesterday by the Saxon government.

What is remarkable in this case is the silence of Dorny’s lambs. Normally, when an arts chief get sacked, ‘friends of’ are out front briefing the media. In this case, there has been no defence, no friends. Dorny, from his earliest job at the London Philharmonic, was ever a bit of a loner.



  • Alexander Hall says:

    What I really don’t understand is why Dorny, with the supposed reputation of being a Rasputin-like dictator intent on the accretion of personal power, is ever approached by other arts organisations and offered a succession of top jobs. It doesn’t really add up and I suspect we are only being offered one side of the picture. The same goes for Christoph Eschenbach, vilified and hounded in these columns for alleged incompetence and self-aggrandisement. Strange then that the VPO once again turned to him as a replacement for the ailing Jansons on a New York tour. Strange also that the LPO have once again booked him for the 2014-2015 season.

    • Simon says:

      Maybe you’re right. For my part, I don’t understand why Mr. Thielemann, having an impressive track record of negligence, trouble and parting in anger, is ever approached by other arts organisations and offered a succession of top jobs.

      N.B.: Being a great conductor alone doesn’t make one a good manager.

    • Shanghai says:

      Fair question Alexander, if you had ever worked with Mr. Dorny, you would understand why his ‘Rasputin-like dictator’ reputation exists. He is quite simply an arrogant and manipulative man. It’s a wonder that he has gotten as far has he has with his anti social behavior. It is time that someone called him out.

      Why, you ask is he ‘approached by other arts organisations and offered a succession of top jobs.’ It is possible, and sometimes easier to climb to the top by sabotaging others and playing the dictator than taking the longer, honest route.

  • The difficulty with such people is that they identify too much with their talents, thinking that they can take credit for them, while they are merely responsible for the work necessary to bring them to fruition. Suffering from such superiority complex eventually creates destructive results, bitterness, isolation etc. etc. and in the end destroys the very thing all the efforts were dedicated to.

  • MWnyc says:

    Well, if memory serves, Franz Xaver Ohnesorg was paid the full value of his contract with the Berlin Philharmonic after the Philharmoniker fired him for being a basty nastard. (And the Philharmoniker had hired him after he’d been fired from Carnegie Hall for the same reason.)

    So it’s only natural for Germans to speculate that the same thing might happen now with Dorny.

    Why do such people keep getting hired? In part, it’s because the boards who do the hiring aren’t in the habit of checking with the staff at the organizations where said people have already worked.

  • EricB says:

    No friends ? Ha ha ha, you’d better talk about ALL the enemies he made throughout his “career”, you’ll have a MUCH longer article to publish !