Close to Brexit, UK is running out of concertmasters

Close to Brexit, UK is running out of concertmasters


norman lebrecht

October 10, 2019

The London Symphony Orchestra has just advertised auditions for the most important seat in its ranks.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is also searching.

As is the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Other orchestras are seeking an associate to share the post with an incumbent.

What happened to all those wonderful European leaders who used to come our way.

Anecdotal evidence is that the best are holding back until they see what the situation looks like after Brexit.



  • double-sharp says:

    If I were asked to play for Mr Yellowtooth Ciggybreath (pictured), I would walk out too.

  • Tamino says:

    Oh dear, what has that country done to itself?

    Lemmings running collectively over a cliff come to mind.

    • pageturner says:

      Hey, it takes a lemming to know a lemming. Don’t be so quick to judge things (and our country) quite yet. Brexit ain’t over till Boris and Barnier appear on a stage together and give us their version of “Au fond du temple saint…”

  • John Rook says:

    The UK has a long history of producing superb concertmasters. No reason they won’t find suitable candidates after Brexit.

  • Matt says:

    Here in Wales we are lucky to have two of the UK’s finest and most esteemed: Lesley Hatfield at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and David Adams and Welsh National Opera – both orchestras have wonderful co-leaders too – no worries this side of the border!

  • FS60103 says:

    The CBSO’s last three leaders have been respectively British, British and South African. That takes us back to 1965. Before that they had a Canadian, an Australian, and prior to that four Brits in sucession.

    The position has currently been vacant since 2015; it’s taken a long time to fill, partly because of sn extended transition between MDs and partly because the CBSO’s player-driven recruitment policy is staggeringly time-consuming and inefficient (it took them over a decade to appoint a first clarinet). There have been trialists of many nationalities, but don’t expect a decision any time this decade.

    So sorry, no political inferences to be drawn here. Except perhaps, what happened to all those wonderful Commonwealth leaders that used to come our way..?

  • Armchair Bard says:

    Odd grey urinals at the EU Parliament. But good that they’re non-gender-specific.

  • Rgiarola says:

    I just cannot understand. Brexit doesn`t mean foreigners cannot work anymore in the UK. It is going to be the same, or am I wrong?
    For example, originally from New Jersey and as far as I know only American Citizen, Jonathan Carney spent many years as Concertmaster of Royal Philharmonic and Bournemouth. The orchestras had always to get work visas for anyone from outside UE, and now it will include UE citizens as well.
    It isn’t a big deal at all. In the practical perspective, administrative staff will need to work a little bit more, something that is part of their jobs.