Jonas Kaufmann fight goes on trial at the Old Bailey

Jonas Kaufmann fight goes on trial at the Old Bailey


norman lebrecht

July 14, 2015

A man is on trial at the Central Criminal Court in London after allegedly ramming  disabled woman with her wheelchair in a dispute over seat space at the Wigmore Hall. The incident took place during a Jonas Kaufmann recital in January this year.

Graham Kern, 57, is supposed to have told Alison Harvey ‘I’m not moving’ when she asked him to allow her into the disabled space. Ms Harvey said she had attended ‘hundreds of concerts’ at the Wigmore Hall and never had a seating problem before. ‘I regarded it like a home,’ she told the jury.

Mr Kern denied the assault. The trial continues.

The sold-out Kaufmann recital earned rave reviews.

photo (c) Ken Howard

UPDATE: The verdict.


  • Gerhard says:

    “Jonas Kaufmann Fight”?! Perhaps Slippedisc should finally change its slogan to “The internet tabloid on classical music and related cultures”. It is sad to see how much the disc has slipped lately.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      The Disc is doing quite well, you’ll be glad to hear. Circulation up 15% so far this year.

  • Joanna Debenham says:

    I cease to be surprised about the selfish nature of people.

    I don’t know what the court will decide, but maybe [the defendant] should spend a day in a wheelchair. He may lack a physical disability, but he’ll soon find out about the other day-to-day issues wheelchair users like Ms Harvey deal with.


    • Anon says:

      Well, except if it turns out to be a fabrication. Perhaps we should wait for more information and maybe a conclusion before assuming that someone was selfish?

  • Peter Freeman says:

    Two things are wrong in this report, lifted from Paul Cheston’s court report in last night’s Standard. The carer’s seat could not have been behind the wheelchair as the wheelchair spaces are in front of the back wall. A classical recital is never referred to as a “show”, being about hearing rather than seeing, music by definition being invisible.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      The report was not ‘lifted’ from the Standard, Peter. It was newsagency copy, from which the Standard also took its material.

    • Halldor says:

      …and yet plenty of orchestral musicians I know refer regularly to concerts as “the show”. “He was useless in rehearsal but let’s see if he pulls anything out the bag for the show”. “Well, the show went OK, no thanks to him” etc,

  • Mark Hildrew says:

    Hopefully there are some good consistent witnesses who can wrap this case up.
    Please do post the verdict.

  • Jeremy Pound says:

    Hmmm. I do hope that the Slipped Disc publishers are aware that a couple of the comments on this thread could be cited for contempt of court…?

  • Jeremy Pound says:

    Joanna Debenham’s, definitely. And arguably Peter Freeman’s too. Would advise removing both.

  • InTheKnow says:

    Sensationalism tabloid. Don’t drag a consummate artist through your muddy selfishness. Your blog has denigrated and spiraled down to a pit of tiresome dribble. Thanks for the final reason to delete, unsubscribe, and pass on to others NOT to bother with you.