Two more defect from Rotterdam Phil

Two more defect from Rotterdam Phil


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2014

We have been informed that Pieter Nuytten, the Rotterdam Phil principal bassoon (pictured), has won an audition for the same post in the Berlin Radio symphony orchestra, and that Herman van Kogelenberg has become principal flute at the Munich Philharmonic, shortly ahead of the principal cellist.

To lose one principal is unfortunate. To lose three at once looks like a worrying trend.


bassoon rotterdam

UPDATE: More troubling, an excellent first clarinet player left the Rotterdam Phil to join the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra after one season. Over the past two years a principal 2nd violin, principal viola and a principal cellist retired from the orch, but these vacancies have not (we are told) been advertised for audition.


  • CDH says:

    I wonder if there is something worrying the musicians about the Dutch government’s attitude to the arts. Didn’t they close down something (or cancel subsidy — I don’t quite recall the details), despite protests, a few months back? If they are about to enter contract negotiations, and a good deal of the Orchestra’s operating budget comes from a government grant or endowment or whatever, there may be concern about salary/benefit rollbacks.

    Hard to think it’s because of Yannick, who is generally applauded wherever he goes — there are some who feel that he is all that Dudamel is said to be, only really. However, he may be spreading himself too thin with four Orchestras and guesting, which may sit poorly with Rotterdam players.

  • Anon says:

    Oh, hardly.

    It’s no secret that Floris has been looking to move for some years and has had a few trials for positions elsewhere, and Herman was fairly new in Rotterdam, a shared principal role so only half there and half elsewhere anyway, and ambitious.

    About now is an appropriate time to announce departures to allow an orchestra time to get the audition process underway before the next season.

  • Gareth says:

    Principals positions in major orchestras in the Netherlands, Germany, France etc are always shared, so that couldn’t be the reason. I reckon the moves got to do with poor management and more lucrative conditions elsewhere.

  • Thomas says:

    Sounds like something is going wrong with the management of this orchestra if so many top players are wanting to leave. The orchestra has always had a great reputation musically. Let’s hope the problem is solved so this world class orchestra is not destroyed.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Does anyone know whether orchestral players in general are more likely to change orchestras today than in previous years?

  • Jan says:

    Indeed Thomas. It is no secret that there are currently at least 17 vacancies in the Rotterdam Philharmonic and they are not being advertised for audition for the last 2 years. This is because the director Hans Waege wants to minimize the orchestra and change all the contracts. It is a scandal for the nr 2 orchestra in the Netherlands.

  • sixtus says:

    NL may be alluding to this not-inappropriate line from Earnest:

    “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

    Clearly somebody doesn’t care enough to make staying with the Rotterdam Phil attractive.