Suspended music director sues German city

Suspended music director sues German city


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2018

The American conductor Evan Christ, suspended from duty as Generalmusikdirektor in Cottbus, has taken legal action to prevent his dismissal.

Christ’s leadership style has been the subject of complaints from ensemble members.

The court will hear his case against the Brandenburgische Kulturstiftung Cottbus-Frankfurt (Oder) on July 2.



  • Gerechtigkeit says:

    He is right and I hope he wins!

  • Doug says:

    I can see the headline now: CHRIST HIRES TEAM OF SATANIC LAWYERS.

  • Sharon says:

    Working with many non native English speakers and speaking a second language myself I have noted that I and others are for more direct, and sound harsher, when speaking in another language than in my native language because

    1. I am unaware that what I say may sound harsh in my non native language

    2. I do not know how to say things subtly or more softly in my non native language.

    Something like this, misunderstandings due to language differences, might have accounted for the complaints of the orchestra

  • Gerhard says:

    „Something like this, misunderstandings due to language differences, might have accounted for the complaints of the orchestra“

    I have made the same experience with myself and others, that sometimes phrases in a foreign language might not express correctly the intentions of the speaker. But I have also worked with plenty non-native conductors, and colleagues for that matter, to know that these moments are quite easy to identify and understand. While one might perhaps get a little miffed in a given instant it seems unthinkable that an otherwise good working relationship could get destroyed by such language problems. After all, it is a conductor‘s core skill to be able to communicate non-verbally, too.

  • Anon says:

    I agree with both of you, Sharon and Gerhard.

    Americans, abroad, particularly, often don´t get the finer points of European diplomacy and courtesy. They are much more direct, with less finesse. Struggling to express oneself in a 2nd language is also a problem. You often don´t have the verbal skills to express yourself diplomatically. I´m an American living in the EU and I speak from experience on this

    The secret, after working with many foreign conductors over the years, is that the most successful ones diplomatically, either don´t say much, or just rehearse in the language they´re most comfortable in. Christ is American. He should probably either stop talking so and provoking interactions or just speak exclusively in English.