Atlanta flute steps in for Chicago defector

Atlanta flute steps in for Chicago defector


norman lebrecht

October 21, 2014

Atlanta’s principal flute Christina Smith, locked out by her symphony bosses, has flown off on tour with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after semi-detached Mathieu Dufour decided he did not want to blow out his last weeks with the CSO before joining the Berlin Philharmonic.

Here’s a first pic of Christina, rehearsing with Chicago principal oboe Eugene Izotov in Warsaw on Monday.

chicago flute



photo: (c)  Todd Rosenberg

h/t: Dianne Winsor


  • harold braun says:

    Great!!!I hope Mrs.Hepner and Mr.Hertz do realise what top calibre musicians they may be gonnna loose!!!

  • Pamela Brown says:

    Best wishes to Christina. Good for her!

  • Sally Kann says:

    This is very scary. Since last season there are 12 vacant positions in the ASO which have gone unfilled … If the lockout doesn’t end soon, the Woodruff Arts Center will get through attrition the freelance orchestra it has been vying for all along. One player left a principal position at the ASO for an associate principal position elsewhere.

  • Shawn Buck says:

    That is so tacky to belittle Dufour this way…and I did not get the impression it was tongue-in-cheek. You have NO idea what his contractual obligations are, and to imply that playing his final concerts witht he CSO was somehow beneath him proves you have no idea of his consumate muscianship. Nothing against Christina Smith, but this was just a low blow.

  • Herrera says:

    Something dramatic happened between the CSO, Muti and Dufour. Previous reports say that Dufour was asked to please leave early. As the CSO is without a president, Muti is basically the generalissimo in charge, and nothing would’ve happened with their star flutist without Muti’s consent and input. As for Dufour’s “contractual obligations”, one does not leave one’s colleagues in a lurch during a major tour that includes a Vienna residency. But then again, Dufour always had commitment issues, flying off to LAPhil for a 9 month try-out. My bet is he won’t stay at Berlin long either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, he didn’t do the last CSO European tour either. As I recall Thomas Robertello subbed for him. Maybe he just doesn’t like touring.