Simon Rattle loses a London leader

Simon Rattle loses a London leader


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2017

We’ve just heard on social media that Gordan Nikolic has played his last concert as leader (concertmaster) of the London Symphony Orchestra and is moving to the exciting German province of Saarbrücken.

Nikolic, 49, has been a strong leader of the LSO for 20 years. He was recently named artistic director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and has a busy solo career.

photo: Ronald Knapp


  • Max Grimm says:

    “…the exciting German province of Saarbrücken…”

    Saarbrücken is a city and the capital of the state of Saarland, Norman.
    As to Saarbrücken or the Saarland being “exciting”…well, I guess tastes vary widely

  • Robert King says:

    If I remember rightly Gordan has been artistic director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra since 2004 (and he’s a formidably talented and inspiring musician).

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    He will be missed at the LSO.

  • Andrew Condon says:

    A sad loss for music in London. Two particularly indelible memories of his playing come to mind: A stunning Paganini First Concerto where he also directed the LSO from the violin (violinists will appreciate what a supreme achievement that was), and more recently a televised performance of the Missa Solemnis conducted by Sir Colin Davis (which I think was his very last Prom). As the lower strings and organ set the scene for the Benedictus, Gordan rises and adjusts his music stand. As he gets ready to play, with a bar to go, you see a remote television camera rise from the depths to stop just above the level of his music stand. Fearless as ever, Gordan played played like an angel.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    The first paragraph is a bit reminiscent of when Alan Partridge, instead of filming a second series for BBC TV, ‘fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition by returning to local radio in Norfolk’.

  • LondonCellist says:

    He’s been appointed as a Professor at the Hochschule there.


    I usually check who’s on stage for LSO concerts and apart from a few with Simon Rattle, GN was hardly ever listed. I may be mistaken, but I don’t think he ever played under Gergiev or Daniel Harding. When I queried this in the LSO chat room some years ago I was advised that he tends to appear with Colin Davis, suggesting that he’s otherwise absent. No doubt a busy career away from the LSO goes a long way to explaining this, but I have to wonder how much a consistent absentee will really be missed. Let’s hope Roman Simovic and Carmine Lauri stay put, because it takes years to fill vacancies!

  • Guido says:

    Saarbrücken=exciting…Everybody in here in germany,even if there are from Saarbrücken,will have a big smile on their face!!!