Sweet news: The conductor who proposed to his principal clarinet

Sweet news: The conductor who proposed to his principal clarinet


norman lebrecht

November 09, 2016

In the set change between the first two acts of Offenbach’s “La Perichole”, the Greek conductor Konstantinos Diminakis turned to the audience and brought out a small box from his inner pocket containing a diamond ring.

He then walked through the orchestra and knelt in front of clarinettist Christiana Thalassinou, asking her to marry him. The audience cheered. Christiana said, yes.

Diminakis then returned to the podium and launched into the prelude of the second act. The opening phrase is written for solo clarinet.

(That’s one way to get them to come in on the beat. )


The proposal took place at Opera de Baugé, in France, on August 3 this year.

The engaged couple live in Vienna, where Diminakis is artistic director of Orpheus Kammerorchester Wien.


  • Stanley Cohen says:


  • John Borstlap says:

    A very dangerous move. She could have said no, and what then? Public humiliation. Also possible that she felt forced to say yes because of the public situation, which is a bomshell under a relationship and under a solo to be played directly after. Also possible that she knew it beforehand, which would make the whole exercise an insincere PR stunt. In short: propose to your lady in as private circumstances as possible where she has the freedom to say: ‘Well…. actually, maybe yes but I want to think about it’. Or say: ‘No’. Or burst into lauchter, what overcame poor Ravel on the first and last time he proposed, that was once and never again.

  • James says:

    Another self indulgent act by people who think it’s ok to hijack a public performance for their own egotistical ends. I’d be asking for my money back.
    Sick of this todaying to the igeneration – imfirst. Imattermorethanothers, imimportant. Yuk!

  • Eric Broomfield says:

    Wow, what a bunch of hopeless romantics. Yet somehow got passed the recaptcha