Russian orchestra is stopped by German police

Russian orchestra is stopped by German police


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2017

A tour of Germany by the St Petersburg Chamber Orchestra was stopped last week in Cologne.

Police inspected the orchestra’s bus and found it unsafe, with damaged brakes and missing wheel nuts.

Forced to leave the bus, the 40 musicians were shuttled to their next destination in small vehicles.

Report here.


  • Rgiarola says:

    Should we love the cops for saving the ensemble? Or should hate then since they are germans? Please let me know the instructions, because I’m almost chosing the first option

    • John Borstlap says:

      The Cologne police is famous for its musical concerns, so it would be wholeheartedly advised to choose the first option. The second is too much of a cliché anyway.

      • j grunz says:

        @ Rgiarola: Why should one hate them because they are German? Are you a racist?

        • Rgiarola says:

          Dear, I’m asking (?) After the headline posted here, since I was in doubt about the “between the lines” of the author. Let’s talk straight. I’m italian and my grandfather and the holy family were fighting in the same side of Wermacht, for the good or probably for the worst. I don’t thing I hate any micro ethnicity, but I’m sure I’m not against german people at all.

      • Paddy Blair Mayne says:

        They had to check the Russian’s missing nuts, as you may know to lose one nut is unfortunate, to lose more is downright dangerous. Think of all that bus crash recently over there, it went up in a ball of fire.

      • Trucker Bob says:

        Russian transport vehicles are notoriously badly maintained, EU law states that police must ensure foreign non-EU vehicles comply with road safety regulations. The accident rate in Russia is grim and I have seen many pile ups. They are worse drivers than Italians and Belgians.

      • Rgiarola says:

        Mr.Borstlap, I’m sure you would choose option 1 as much I do. I was never in doubt about your and mine option.

  • Olassus says:


  • William Safford says:

    JOOC, what orchestra is the St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra?

    • Max Grimm says:

      While I’m not absolutely certain, I believe the orchestra in question is not the “St Petersburg Chamber Orchestra” as Norman and the WDR article refer to it, but the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg (oder die Russische Kammerphilharmonie St. Petersburg auf Deutsch).

  • Marykea van Daalen says:

    John Borstlap has it exactly right. Just because they are German is simply racist.

  • Nick says:

    It would have been much better if police in Cologne could take care of the criminals who rape women and kill, there are plenty of those in Cologne recently, and these are dangerous, die Russische Kammerphilharmonie St. Petersburg is an excellent group and their bus, I am sure, is not as dangerous. The orchestra’s very limited budget obviously prevents them from acquiring a new vehicle or renting a decent one. Not a big story, but very unfortunate for good musicians.

    • Croak says:

      Some of the comments here are ludicrous. Do any of you seriously think the police behaved in any way unreasonably? Defective brakes, missing wheel nuts??

      • Thomasina says:

        Agree with you. Not only dangerous for the musicians, but it could cause an accident and other victims…

    • Scotty says:

      As a pedestrian in Cologne, I like to think that buses can stop at intersections. Anyway, I haven’t heard of much in the way of an uptick in murders and rapes.

      And to other comments above, “German” isn’t a race.

  • Paddy Blair Mayne says:

    Humbug, the Band of the Grenadier Guards is miles better than any Russian orchestra!

  • BillG says:

    Not surprising at all after the recent accident in Bavaria that involved a tour buss. Rather large loss of life.