Just in: Jonas Kaufmann cancels the Nobel

Just in: Jonas Kaufmann cancels the Nobel


norman lebrecht

November 29, 2016

Like Bob Dylan, the German tenor will not be appearing at the Nobel Ceremony on December 8, according to Swedish Radio.

He has informed the committee that the vocal injury which sidelined him for the past two months has not yet fully healed.

Kaufmann will be replaced as soloist at the Nobel Prize concert by the violinist Janine Jansen.


Kaufmann pulled out of a Japan tour three days ago. His next planned date is the opening of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on January 11-12.

He is also due to start rehearsals for a Paris Lohengrin at the onset of the New Year.


  • Olga says:

    Hope that Jonas Kaufmann will finally recover. I am his big fan, but being microbiologist by profession I know very well what unpleasant problems can be caused by viral and bacterial respiratory infections. We all experience such nasty things, but the harmful effects are doubled and even tripled for a singer. Get well soon, Mr. Kaufmann!

  • Olassus says:

    Unlike Bob Dylan, JK is a polite and straightforward man, someone who appreciates the chances he gets and the honors he receives. If we must compare, I’d say he is also a thousand times more valuable.

    • Vienna calling says:

      Every person on the planet is valuable in their own right. I love opera but if we must compare: Bob Dylan is a creative artist, a composer, writer and poet, and a thousand times more interesting than any singer can ever be.

      • Jaybuyer says:

        À chacun son goût!

      • John Borstlap says:

        Not a very serious comment. Opera is classical music, Dylan is pop. That is not a matter of taste, but simply the difference between genres.

        There is cooking, and there is needlework. Eating embroidery is bad for your health. There is rugby, and there is acupuncture, but what you learn in the first is not of much help in the latter. There is mathematics, and there is farming, but growing dodecahedrons appears to be quite hard. And so on…..

        • Leon Waksberg says:

          Bob Dylan is NOT pop!

          • Jaybuyer says:

            Which brings up the old chestnut of trying to classify different types and periods of music. What is “classical”? Is it music from the classical period (Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven) or is it all music which you would hear on Radio 3 or at a symphony concert and has never been on ‘Top of the Pops’? The 3 Tenors and everything similar which followed have been in the pop charts. The term ‘pop’, which so offends aficionados of Dylan, Leonard Cohen, etc, is just an umbrella term for….(and here put in a definition without offending the vast majority of the population

  • Lois Silverstein says:

    Here, here.
    I am glad to know that people also care about the injured singer and his massive disappointment, or so I see it. To live up to your own standards and to care for your instrument is a challenge. I wish JKaufmann all the healing he needs and the time it takes to ensure it.
    Let us hope for the best, all of us.

  • liloloperaluv says:

    And I was hoping for an impromptu duet of Kaufmann & Dylan…
    The hematoma has reportedly been reabsorbed and this is an infection. Some ENT Dr recommend using stroboscopy to look at potentially dangerous vessels on the vocal folds. This would warn a singer to take precautions and avoid vocal stress. Wonder if Kaufmann or other singers use stroboscopy this way. Is the test itself invasive enough for them to avoid it? My understanding is that it is not. Any readers have experience with this procedure?

    • Jackyt says:

      I looked up stroboscopy and it appears to be completely non-invasive, as it involves photographing the vocal cords, so it would appear to be a safe way to investigate and monitor damage to vocal cords. Let us hope that Kaufmann is getting the best treatment and advice, so we can all enjoy his inimitable singing again.