The world’s least flexible ensemble

The world’s least flexible ensemble


norman lebrecht

October 07, 2016

Here’s what we find attached to the incredibly detailed contract of The MozArt Group:


Dear partners, promoters, colleagues,

This technical rider is the most important tool for all MozART group shows and productions. The MozART group is a string quartet with a respectful but very different approach to the so called “classical” music. Therefore some things might be very different from “usual” setups.

All MozART group shows run without intermission and have a duration of approximately 75 to 90 minutes.

No printed program will be provided. Any printed information about the MozART group needs to be approved by the management. Please read carefully and ask us if you have questions or if any parts of this rider are not understandable.

It is absolutely needed and expected to cooperate towards an ideal result and make every show a great experience for audience and artists. The requirements below are MozART group standard. Absolutely all changes need to be approved by the management. Please avoid “we have never done this before” or “this is not possible”. It is always better to talk and work together on the best possible solutions.

The MozART GROUP performs only with its own sound and light technician. He must have the possibility to change light & sound during the concert from his FOH position. The control/mixing tables must be placed inside the concert hall, behind the audience and next to each other. One person will work on both tables. Stage must be absolutely ready upon arrival of the artists following the requirements below.

The MozART group technician, Mr.Jurek Drozda will setup our own wireless microphone system (MIPRO ACT- Series) upon arrival. Also further sound and light setup will be done upon arrival. In case of an unprepared stage, the MozART group will not start setup and sound check. Local technicians must be available upon arrival at the venue and remain available until the end of the show. Only publicity materials sent by MozART group management can be used. No other materials are approved at all.

PR materials can be downloaded via No recording, video taping, recording “just for archives”, taking pictures is allowed during rehearsal, setup and show without written approval. The management will not tolerate any of this. The purchaser will make sure, the audience is well informed about it. Open Air shows are possible and need a special agreement. The MozART group signs DVD’s after the show. Please provide one person for the merchandising stand.

Got that? 





  • Nigel says:

    They are 100% correct to insist on those provisions. One of the things that makes classical music events so boring is a cookie-cutter approach to concert presentation and production value. White lights, standardized everything. This ensemble is trying to ENTERTAIN and there is nothing at all wrong with that. The reason that they have had to state their requirements so strenuously is because most presenters are lazy and have no imagination. Better that this group plays fewer concerts, on their own terms and not as just another concert presented by organizations that care about everything but making a concert actually interesting and different.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Since classical music is not about entertainment, in the sense that cabaret or pop music is entertainment, it is quite normal that the ‘standard’ requirements for classical concerts don’t concentrate on the wrapping but on content.

  • Doug says:

    You think that’ complicated and asking too much? That’s nothing.

    You should see the technical riders for so-called “children’s shows”

    The classical music “industry” needs an education if this comes as a surprise.

  • boringfileclerk says:

    How is this any different than what Mnozil Brass demands? It seems like they’re trying to copy them, and there can only be one Mnozil Brass!

  • Larry says:

    If you’d like to be entertained by reading some technical riders for major rock/pop stars, etc., go to: – then click on “backstage.”

    • Robert Holmén says:


      Compared to the stage requirements of pop acts and theatrical troupes this MozART stuff is probably light reading.

      When my college band was on tour, even basic agreed-in-advance-in-writing parameters like the number of chairs and stands needed often failed to be provided correctly by the venues we played at.

      I can’t fault a professional group for being clear and exacting.

  • Mikey says:

    Some rock bands go as far as to include thing like “a bowl of skittles but with the green ones removed”, as a way of checking whether or not the concert venue even bothered reading the riders.

    Ridiculous demands are more often than not simply a means to assure conformity with the general demands.

  • Peter says:

    I think we have to defer to the criticism of the blog’s author. He has many years experience as both a concert promoter and manager of ensembles. He has also presumably seen lots of ensemble contracts over the years, including the famously brief riders of north american orchestras on tour.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      My Peter Savory, Your hostility is becoming tiresome. Perhaps it is time for you to cease commenting on

  • Halldor says:

    As venue manages, we used to occasionally get riders like these from classical artists (or more usually, their management companies) suffering from the delusion that they were Led Zeppelin. After a good laugh, standard policy with them was “file in cylindrical cabinet under the desk”.

  • John Borstlap says:

    But all those isntructions are puffectly reasonable, since they are bloody serious string quartet players, reinventing the genre: