Chailly is leaving Leipzig on a sour note

Chailly is leaving Leipzig on a sour note


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2016

When Riccardo Chailly cancelled this week’s Leipzig farewell performances of Mahler’s third symphony at very short notice, the official reason was health.

Behind the scenes, though, there are other rumbles.

It appears that Chailly, who is music director at La Scala Milan and at the Lucerne Festival, has been restocking the Lucerne orchestra with musicians from Milan – at the expense of his former Leipzig colleagues.

There is particular disquiet at the absence of the Gewandhaus concertmaster Sebastian Breuninger from the Lucerne summer lineup. These concerns are now bursting out on social media. Neither side is officially saying much.

It seems a sad way to end 11 glorious years as kapellmeister in the home of Johann Sebastian Bach.

chailly hand


  • Jon says:

    Chailly is a great conductor, but I’m under the impression he is a difficult man to work with: the problems with stage directors in Milan, now a troubled Leipzig exit… and when I’ve heard him talking about music, he sounds very dogmatic and opinionated.

    Is my perception correct?