Second worst music press office in Europe?

Second worst music press office in Europe?


norman lebrecht

April 17, 2015

The publication of our best and worst PRs of 2014 drew a flurry of emails, some pointing out notable omissions.

One that escaped attention, perhaps because it works so hard to remain inconspicuous, has managed to distinguish itself this morning and can expect a high ranking in the 2015 list.

Disgruntled German colleagues tell us that the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is about to ‘announce’ its 2015-16 season. Announce is not quite the mot juste. It will be kept very quiet. A few Munich journalists have been invited to a [redacted] suite in the Altstadt, 3rd floor “Saal und Foyer” at Literaturhaus on Salvatorplatz, to be given the word over drinks and canapés.

The gathering could have been held on BR premises, but that would be too … inhospitable.

The BRSO lays claim to being an international orchestra, possibly one of Germany’s top three, but you wouldn’t know it from the cosy activities of its uncommunicative press office. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, will you?


jansons brso chris_christodoulou_4

photo (c)  Chris Christodoulou/Lebrecht Music&Arts

UPDATE: The little BRSO gathering has been timed to coincide with the national memorial service for the victims of the Germanwings plane disaster.


Btw, to avoid possible confusion and hurt feelings, the press offices of Bavarian State Opera and the Munich Philharmonic are outstandingly professional.


  • Aimere46 says:

    I’m not sure what’s the point that Mr. Lebrecht wants to make here. is that the press conference is not a massive event? Or that the venue is expensive (who cares)? Either way, what counts the most is the quality of the music produced and BRSO is one of the best orchestras in the world led by one of the top 3 conductors alive. Who cares if their press conference is small and elegant or big and casual?!

    • Anon says:

      Who cares that the venue for the exlusive “Pressegespräch” is expensive? I hope you are joking. The Rundfunkgebührenzahler cares. And last but not least the Bayerische Rechnungshof, who already issued a stern warning few years ago, that BRSO has lost its designated purpose as in serving the radio…
      Keep digging your grave.

  • Nikolaus Pont says:

    Dear Mr Lebrecht,
    Regarding this shattering news, I am sure you will not reveal your source (we are pretty sure we know it, though) but let me inform you that you are a victim of unprofessional research – or guilty of it yourself! There is no rent due for the room in which our press talk with Mariss Jansons took place. The Munich Literaturhaus offered it to us free of charge as part of a non-financial collaboration between them and our orchestra. It seems that being ‘disgruntled’ is not the ideal basis for good journalism. But of course it is anybody’s right to discuss the performance of a press office and identify their own bests and worsts. We do that, too. In fact, in our journalism category the honours are still up for grabs. We fear that nobody cares, though.
    With best wishes,
    Nikolaus Pont
    (General Manager at the BRSO)
    PS: if anybody happens to be interested in obvisouly less interesting news – the orchestra’s 15/16 programme can be found on

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Dear Mr Pont
      Thank you for the clarification. I have removed the fee element. Can you, however, explain why an international orchestra launches only to local media? Even international media based in Munich were not apparently invited. The message you send out it that… as you say… nobody cares.
      best wishes, NL

  • Max Grimm says:

    Considering the BRSO is part of the BR, a member organization of the ARD (the second largest public broadcaster in the world) I guess they could spread the word without inviting any “out of house” media at all.

  • Anon says:

    I speculate the secrecy… err “exclusivity” of the event was an attempt, to keep inconvenient questions about Jansons’ Berlin ambitions to a minimum. The disgruntled colleagues were not invited, so they couldn’t ask pesky questions.