Violinist kicked off plane wins principal audition (and a policy change)

Violinist kicked off plane wins principal audition (and a policy change)


norman lebrecht

January 23, 2016

Ari Vilhjalmsson, who was bumped off Norwegian after refusing to stow his instrument in cargo, has ended the week on a high note.

He has been confirmed as co-principal second violin of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Norwegian has not only apologised to him but promised to change its policy in respect of on-board instruments.

The apology reads: ‘We are very sorry about the problems that Ari encountered with his violin and fully understand that his experience was very frustrating. Due to this situation, Norwegian is currently in the process of modifying our guidelines for the transportation of musical instruments. We would like to apologise to Ari for the problems he encountered.’

This sounds like a win-win.

ari vilhjamsson



  • Rosana says:

    I hope they really change their rules and are followed by other airlines. Only then can we say “All’s Well That Ends Well”.

  • Jo Hammond says:

    The frequency of these types of stories demonstrates the way classical music is viewed worldwide. How can children appreciate it unless they are introduced to it in the crib and beyond? I thank my grandmother who used to have the Henry Wood Promenade concerts on her radio while she was babysitting me.