Sources in the Vienna Philharmonic have contacted us through the night to give reasons for the shocking – perhaps unprecedented – resignation of José Maria Blumenschein as concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera and probationary concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic after only one year in the seat.
It is said he was daunted by the phenomenal workload – the Opera functions 364 nights a year and the Philharmonic makes heavy rehearsal demands on its concertmaster, aside from heavy touring.
But there is also a suspicion that this young and highly talented violinist was dismayed by last month’s election in the orchestra, replacing a reform-minded chairman with a regressive one.
Whatever the deciding factor, WDR Cologne has held his position open just in case he changed his mind, cancelling an audition two weeks ago. José Maria will return to Cologne from September 2018.