Munich Phil ‘nearly missed Carnegie Hall’ over ivory issues

Munich Phil ‘nearly missed Carnegie Hall’ over ivory issues


norman lebrecht

May 27, 2014

A spokesman for the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra has disclosed that the it almost cancelled a trip to Carnegie Hall over a lack of sufficient documents testifying to the age of ivory in its bows and other instruments. ‘We were terrified they would be seized at Customs,’ said Christian Beuke. The tour was saved by the intensive intervention of German Embassy in Washington and officials from the hall.

The visit was then blighted by a health cancellation by music director Lorin Maazel and the withdrawal of soprano Karita Mattila on political grounds.

Tricky times.


karita mattila


  • Paul Pelkonen says:

    I for one am glad that the ivory issues were resolved with diplomatic intervention and that Ms. Mattila sang (wonderfully) at the Munich Philharmonic’s New York shows. The two Strauss concerts were a highlight of the spring season. Valery Gergiev and Fabio Luisi were more than acceptable substitutes for the ailing Mr. Maazel.

    • Don Ciccio says:

      I agree, they were wonderful concerts. They confirmed what I already suspected: that going from the LSO to Munich, Gergiev is actually getting a better orchestra (yes, I listened to the bland LSO much too often than what is good for my health.)