Vienna Phil fills flute seatmain
The young Frenchman Luc Mangholz, principal flute of Hamburg’s Elphilharmonie orchestra, won today’s audition for a vacancy at the Vienna State Opera created by the contentious removal of the Italian principal Silvia Careddu.
If he wins tenure, he will also become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic.
Mangholz is 24.
Who knows what to make of any of that. I thought Careddu played just fine, but I’m not a huge flute connoisseur. Hearing them both do “Afternoon of a Faun” with the orchestra might tell you something – or a lot. I’d like to hear some serious flute people chime in on this.
Two French principals in the wind section of the Vienna Philharmonic; the other one being the principal bassoonist. There won’t be a French oboist, horn, or clarinet, however, as Vienna doesn’t use the standard instruments used everywhere else. Maybe it’s just as well that they cultivate their individuality.
Actually they have a Croatian horn player. They dont’t look nationality (except perhaps clarinet and oboe) Their mainly criteria is that player’s sound must be blended with orchestra’s Viennese sound.
Axl: True! But there aren’t many people that play a Viennese horn, oboe or clarinet. If you do, your chances are equal at an audition whatever your nationality. But who does?
Mostly, but they did let Yasuhito Sugiyama go (tuba) for, allegedly, not blending in visually. Vienna’s lost has been Cleveland’s gain.
And the principal bassoonist is an absolute marvel!
To Barry, I’m sure they both play Faun and everything else beautifully. Not sure if that’s a good indicator in this situation. Here’s what I think:
My take is that Vienna has suffered some serious damage to their image over the no women, no racial diversity thing. Mr. William Osborne and everyone else who’s tackled this issue have hit their mark. It looks like they are trying to catapult themselves out of the dark ages rather abruptly right now. They clearly want and need more women, esp. in Principal positions, to bring themselves into modern times.
Careddu is a highly regarded flutist, well established in Europe as one of the best. She has extensive Principal experience in other major European orchs, and the senior Principal Flute of Berlin, she’s a Geneva Competition winner. It doesn’t get much better than that. Artistically, she was a logical and wise choice for Vienna, a sure thing.
She is also known for strong personality and temperament. Like any woman who’s risen to the top of a male dominated profession, she is determined and confident. Those are qualities most orchs. and conductors would value. Not so much, Vienna, I suspect. I speak as an outsider, here, not knowing either Ms. Careddu personally or the Vienna situation 1st hand, but I see Vienna as being a very conformist organization. They want change, but while preserving the status quo, the Vienna tradition. It’s still a very homogenous, tradition-laden orchestra, and perhaps Ms. Careddu, with her passionate and charismatic Italian personality just didn’t fit it.
When Ms. Careddu, as a well-qualified woman, wasn’t tenured, Vienna took a new approach: a very young, relatively inexperienced young man with tremendous potential who, unlike Careddu, can be easily molded into the Vienna tradition. This fellow has the goods: the training, a track record of winning other auditions in his brief career, and he probably did an outstanding audition. But most importantly, I believe they are betting on him because 1. his youth and energy is something the orchestra urgently needs right now and 2. he can be molded to fit in, and to continue the Vienna style and tradition.
That makes sense. Who knows!
Yet another white male…