US music director is ousted in Germany

US music director is ousted in Germany


norman lebrecht

September 20, 2018

The months-long dispute between Cottbus State Theater and its general music director Evan Alexis Christ ended today by mutual agreement.

Christ was ousted in May after internal objections to his management style.

A legal settlement was reached today under which he will not return to the job.

His contract was not due to expire until 2024.

Here’s the official statement:
Die Brandenburgische Kulturstiftung Cottbus-Frankfurt (Oder) und Herr Evan Alexis Christ haben sich in einem Vergleich auf die Beendigung ihres Vertragsverhältnisses zum 31. Juli 2018 geeinigt. Herr Christ und die Brandenburgische Kulturstiftung freuen sich, dass sie die Differenzen aus der jüngeren Vergangenheit erfolgreich ausräumen konnten und nunmehr zu einer Einigung gekommen sind. Über den Inhalt des getroffenen Vergleichs wurde zwischen der Stiftung und Herrn Christ Stillschweigen vereinbart.

Die Stiftung und die Leitung Staatstheater Cottbus danken Herrn Christ für seine 10-jährige künstlerische Tätigkeit als Generalmusikdirektor am Staatstheater Cottbus. Unter seiner Leitung wurden vielbeachtete musikalische Höhepunkte erreicht. Hierzugehören richtungsweisende Programminnovationen und Konzertformate, CD-
Produktionen und internationale Tourneen des Orchesters des Staatstheaters Cottbus. Diese Arbeit fand viel Anerkennung. Unter anderem wurde dem Orchester unter der Leitung von Herrn Christ im Jahr 2011 vom Deutschen Verlegerverband das beste Konzertprogramm aller deutschen Orchester bescheinigt. Die Stiftung wünscht Herrn Christ für seine weiteren musikalischen und künstlerischen Vorhaben viel Erfolg.

And in English:

Evan Alexis Christ vs. Brandenburgische Kulturstiftung Cottbus-Frankfurt (Oder)
The Brandenburgische Kulturstiftung Cottbus-Frankfurt (Oder) and Mr. Evan Alexis Christ have reached a settlement agreement on the termination of their contract on 31 July 2018.
Mr. Christ and the Brandenburg Cultural Foundation are pleased that they were able to successfully overcome the differences of the recent past and have now come to an agreement. The content of the settlement may not be discussed. The foundation and the management of the Staatstheater Cottbus thank Mr. Christ for his 10 years of artistic activity as General Music Director at the Staatstheater Cottbus. Under his leadership, much acclaimed musical highlights were achieved. These include trend-setting program innovations and concert formats, CD productions and international tours by the orchestra of the Staatstheater Cottbus. This work has received much recognition. Among other things, the orchestra under the direction of Mr. Christ was awarded the best concert program of all German orchestras in 2011 by the German Publishers Association.
The Foundation wishes Mr. Christ good luck for his future musical and artistic projects.


  • John Rook says:


    • Max Grimm says:

      Some things are worth paying for.

      • John Rook says:

        Ouch. Was it really that bad?

        • Max Grimm says:

          Although they all come with many and varying types of personalities, capricious conductors with an exalted self-opinion are hardly a rarity. In the end, it was the handling of the overall situation here that was very bad.
          While Christ hadn’t been all that popular with a good portion of the ensemble for quite some time and aversion to him had been building, it was the fact that the powers that be extended his contract to 2024 in the first place (although they were aware of the general feeling toward Christ) that lead to the whole situation to boil over and things getting messy.
          Now, it was “good riddance” more than anything else. While the exact terms of the settlement will not be made public, in accordance with a non-disclosure clause agreed to by both parties, it has been announced that Christ’s contract will be dissolved with retroactive effect and that (according to the culture minister) any costs associated with the settlement will not be at the expense of the Staatstheater Cottbus and will not impact its budget.

  • Willi Werkel says:

    He deserves every penny!!!

  • Elke H.-Oesterwitz says:

    I’ve worked with Evan Christ for 10 years, NEVER had a problem with him, and have had the most wonderful musical moments during this time. He did not deserve how this whole situation went. That was a pitifully communicated theatrical noise! The lie is 3x around the world before the truth is revealed. He deserves every penny of compensation!

  • Soojin Moon says:

    Finally !!!! It was extremely hard for me to read so many disgusting lies and exagerated fake news about Mr.Evan Christ. I had worked with him for last several years and I am still so happy to have worked with him because he is a brilliant musician and a wonderful conductor with such a good heart and incredible creativity , who loves the music entirely with his soul and all existence of himself. Just marvelous and unique! I hope he can serve the music as long as he can and the music should be very happy to have him too! The music tells about our life… I really hope that the fake news or some kind of mobbing do not destroy our music any more and the music is not for them those who do mobbing and lies. Everybody can enjoy the beauty but everybody cannot create the beauty. And Mr.Evan Christ brouhgt me the beauty and I was lucky to be there in his world like ” L´invitaion au voyage”! Thank you very much , maestro!

    • Elke H.-Oesterwitz says:

      The more successful someone is or appears to be outside, the more envy, resentment and harsh criticism he attracts.
      Life in art, especially in music catapults musicians all too often into a shark tank. It’s hard to stand in it. And when one has a touch of success, he faces false friends and flatterers. You have to rest on your own, have a lot of strength and stamina to survive in this world.