Birmingham plucks Danish principal

Birmingham plucks Danish principal


norman lebrecht

September 27, 2018

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has namedNikolaj Henriques as section leader bassoon.

He has been second bassoon with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra since 2016. He has also played with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He moves to Brum in January.

Will such moves be possible post-Brexit?


  • Graème Hall says:


    • Zelda Macnamara says:

      Could you explain why you are so confident, since we have recently seen cases of musicians and writers being refused visas?

      • Graeme Hall says:


        The cases of refused visas are to my mind regrettable (though I don’t know the facts of the cases), but they are massively outnumbered by the many unreported (because it’s not news) instances where visas are granted without any fuss.

        This though would be a case of coming to the UK to work as a highly skilled professional. The recent MAC report, current UK Government statements, and Labour policy (and Brexit does not imply permanent Tory government for the rest of time, as some people seem to think) all suggest that highly-skilled migration will continue, so if a UK orchestra wishes to recruit from overseas why not?

        Moving away from music, what about the Premier League? Are all PL teams only going to have UK players? Even now the PL is full of non-EU players (South Americans, Japanese, Koreans…) who seem to be able to get visas.

  • Robert Groen says:

    I would not necessarily think the CBSO was a significant step up for someone who’s been with the COE and the BFO. But that’s only IMHO….

  • Doug says:

    And when a Canadian or American orchestra chooses to hire a foreign musician…?

    I know, I know, President Trump aka “literally Hitler” personally stands at the airline gate blocking the way.

    • Dean Williams says:

      Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver all hold international auditions when they are seeking new musicians. In Canada, you have to prove that no Canadian can do the job when hiring a foreign artist. The audition process forces orchestras to meet that standard quite handily.

  • Ole says:

    He is a great Guy ! And Section principal CBSO is a step up Indeed as Henriques was on a substitute contract 50 % And a Academist in both COE And Budapest Festival Orchestra. This info was Also in the CBSO statement…
    The Mannheim Bassoon Class is very Proud of his achievements.

  • Mark Pemberton says:

    Since British orchestras can currently recruit non-EEA principals through the Shortage Occupation List, there is no reason why they will not be able to recruit EEA principals post-Brexit. Recruitment of tutti musicians may however be problematic, as some orchestras are not able to pay a salary at the level required under Tier 2 of the Points Based System.