Principal cellist expelled by China has died, aged 48

Principal cellist expelled by China has died, aged 48


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2015

Oleg Vedernikov was principal cellist of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra when a drunken incident on a train three years ago resulted in him being kicked out of the orchestra and the country. He was accused of insulting a Chinese woman.

Oleg returned to Russia, played in a string ensemble and rebuilt his life. A few weeks ago he messaged that he was about to undergo a serious operation and asked for prayers. Death notices have now appeared on his social media.

May he rest in peace.



  • Gerhard says:

    Is it really called for to repost this video on the occation of this man’s death? May he rest in peace, indeed.

  • Karen says:

    May he rest in peace. But let’s be clear and call a spade a spade : he behaved atrociously, and was being extremely disrespectful and offensive to the Chinese woman. His behaviour was and remained inexcusable.

  • André M. Smith says:

    Mr Vedernikov deserves the same consideration in his death that he was capable of showing to others when he lived, i.e., none. Good riddance to this drunken blight on the both the noble art and our profession.

    André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.