Nigel Kennedy to David Garrett: ‘F… off’

Nigel Kennedy to David Garrett: ‘F… off’


norman lebrecht

April 03, 2017

As a general rule, we avoid publishing the regular proclamations of the ageing Bad Boy of British music – I’m giving up classical music, I’m leaving England, that sort of thing.

But Nigel Kennedy has just picked a fight with the Bad Boy of German music and we thought you ought to know about it as there may be consequences.

Nigel was asked by Die Welt what he thought of David. He replied: ‘David can play the violin. He finds the right notes.’

He went on: ‘I like to play new pieces. David plays last night’s stuff.’

And: ‘Käme David Garrett zu mir auf die Bühne, würde ich sagen: Runter hier!“’

Which, in the original English was probably ‘If David came up to me on stage I’d tell him to fuck off.’

The German tabloids are full of it today, just as Nigel intended.


  • Mr Oakmountain says:

    “Runter hier” acutally means: “Get off”.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      I know. I’ve never heard Nigel say that.

      • Alexander Davidson says:

        Maybe his German vocabulary is more polite than his English vocabulary. Or maybe he really did just mean, “I wouldn’t want him playing on the same stage as me”.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          Ich glaube nicht…. NK is not a great linguist.

          • Max Grimm says:

            Perhaps not. And while I can well imagine NK saying ‘f*** off’, one needn’t be a great linguist to know that, Ich glaube Nigel Kennedy to David Garrett: ‘F… off’

        • Robert Holmén says:

          Perhaps it is just that the German translator’s vocabulary was more polite.

          Sensitive readers and all that stuff.

  • jonathan dunsby says:

    There’s an interesting bit towards the end;

    ==Kennedy does not need a Stradivarius worth several million euros, as 36-year-old Garrett uses. “Winter and cold are a horror for the old violins, they sound shit. My violin is ten years old, costing 12,000 pounds==

    • Max Grimm says:

      You left out the most interesting part of that bit toward the end; the part where he states that apparently “one can play tennis or cricket” with his violin.

  • Walt says:

    Nigel- I recall asymphony performance of his where he asked an unsuspecting bassist or cellist to jam with him as an encore.

    Yeah, that’s right-he came off as great, the “volunteer,” less so. Way less.

  • Fleetwood Rose says:

    The way I understand NK wasn’t that disrespectful to David Garrett. Actually NK know for his eccentricity lifestyle and I think it’s good that he noticed DG being different from him. Of course NK have to make it more controversially interviewed for his own good too…

  • Sue says:

    No matter how vile some peoples’ behaviour is there will always be the usual apologists. Shows how far down the food chain we’ve sunk.

    • Fleetwood Rose says:

      Would you kindly clarify what do you mean by “Shows how far down the food chain we’ve sunk.” Thank you

  • jonathan dunsby says:

    ==NK is not a great linguist

    Well actually he’s supposed to be pretty good at Polish having lived in PL for several years now.

  • Tim Walton says:

    At least David Garratt doen’t look like Wurzell Gummage on a bad day.

    • Fleetwood Rose says:

      NK have a rights for freedom of speech. I think He’s very courageous to stand for himself.. it’s means he doesn’t care what people think of him. Look at him Nigel Kennedy he’s keeping it real. David Garrett is different from Him

  • Karajon says:

    The title should be: “I think, NK said f… Off.”.
    This is truly misleading, unfair.

    • Fleetwood Rose says:

      No… It’s not unfair.. the media sensationalist the interview… in my opinion NK have not done anything wrong! He’s just being him and it’s up to people how they received the news. he is what he is.. i think it’s good character being out of the open

      • Karajon says:

        NK did nothing wrong. The title is by Lebrecht, who gives a wrong retranslation (“I think, what he said was…”) of the German translation of NK’s interview. Which is veeery low.

  • Mary says:

    . I find it all rather amusing. “Bad boys of Violin”. One is upper class went to private school and puts on his working class accent, the other apologises to his mum if he uses colourful language. You expect this kind of trash talk from children. Well adjusted, confident accomplished people know that the only competition is themselves. Also how does this help classical music? Nigel Kennedy has no respect for either his instrument or music. He’s often brags about missing a masterclass with Menuhin to go for a pint. Obviously he felt he knew it all and still does. He’s not a bad boy, rebel or SO rock n roll. He’s a talented child who doesn’t play well with others and therefore should be ignored.

    • Fleetwood Rose says:

      The problem is this world People are judgemental and cannot accept a person flaws. We are all human being, not perfect. We have flaws and unique individuals. David Garrett is incomparable and no is like him He’s unique intelligent person and always been judged and not appreciated enough. I am David Garrett loyal fan

  • Carol says:

    David Garrett is truly one of a kind..Plays classical works, too many to name, with symphony orchestras as far as I can tell from memory. Who does this! Seriously we are going to question the sound from a stradivarius . I have never heard another violinist anywhere close to his playing. Yes there are others but he is absolutely gifted .

  • Franz says:

    NK, è unico e originale. DG è la sua brutta copia…..tutto quì.

    • Jennifer Musica says:

      DG is unique!! and he is HUMBLE and he RESPECTS everybody, you will never hear him talking shit about other musicians because he IS a gentleman and he respects other’s talent!! NK is not better than DAvid!!

  • Linda Cantrell says:

    NK’s verbal assault on DG, shows NK ‘s feelings of inadequacy. Bully’s are always cowards. He will never be even close to DG ability and charisma and he knows it. Sorry NK but you aren’t even in the ballpark, much less the game.