Chris Goldscheider, a viola player in the Covent Garden orchestra, claims his hearing was ‘irreversibly damaged’ by brass instruments that played behind him during performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre.
Chris, who played in the Liverpool Phil and the BBC Symphony before joining the ROH in 2002, argues in court documents that the sound peaked at 137 decibels, causing ‘an immediate and permanent traumatic threshold shift’.
The ROH denies responsibility.
Chris’s lawyer is seeking a precedential court ruling. He says: ‘Essentially what is being said is that the beautiful artistic output justifies damaging the hearing of the musicians performing it. That’s never been tested by the courts.’
BBC story here.
screen-grab photo: BBC