Breaking: Met loses star player to LA Phil

Breaking: Met loses star player to LA Phil


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2019

We hear from LA players that Emmanuel Ceysson, sensational principal harp of the Metropolitan Opera, has won the audition for an LA vacancy and will be switching to a sunnier coast.

Ceysson, 35, is one of the standout musicians in the Met orchestra.

He will be the first to defect under the revivalist regime of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, but there may be personal reasons for his move.

Either way, it’s a coup for Dudamel and a headache for the Met.

Emmanuel will be the fourth ex-Met principal in the LA Phil, alongside Whitney Crockett (bassoon), Denis Bouriakov  (flute), and Boris Allakhverdyan (clarinet).


  • Malcolm James says:

    Lots of musicians have moved from the Met to plum positions in the big symphony orchestras. The fact is that an opera orchestra is hard work because operas can be long and, as a pit orchestra, it’s not as high profile. Why should Emmanuel Ceysson be any different from those that went before him just because YNS is in charge? You always make a crisis out of any departure from the Met and it’s not justified.

    • Yes Addison says:

      Agreed to all.

      I’m sure there were “personal reasons.” That’s the case with most voluntary job changes. It doesn’t necessarily mean he has a problem with someone at the Met. Maybe the personal reasons have to do with his now being married to an actor. A lot of them like to be in the Los Angeles area, for obvious reasons.

    • MP says:

      Well, the Met plays mostly the same rep day in and day out, for years. The LA Phil is actually busier, with tons of new rep and sometimes two or even three programs in a week. And there is the 13 week summer season at the Bowl, with 2-3 different programs every week.

  • Mike McGuire says:

    Norman this is hardly an exclusive. CK Dexter Haven published it yesterday October 3.

  • “Hmmmm… playing in a pit in New York or playing on stage in sunny California… what should I do… what SHOULD I do?”

    • Ruben Greenberg says:

      If I were a harpist, I would rather play in an opera orchestra than a symphony orchestra. The harp has, by and large, meatier parts in operas than in symphonic music. It has more to do and more interesting things to do. Plus, the Met orchestra is a fabulous ensemble. But I don’t want to harp on this.

    • Edgar says:

      Go to LA and make sure your life isn’t spent in traffic jams on the freeways in between rehearsals and concerts. And make sure there’s time for the beach in between hours of practice 😉

    • Trio says:

      Probably much higher pay too.

  • SMH says:

    Headache for the Met? I’m more than certain than are several excellent harpists able to fill his shoes in NYC alone.

  • John Porter says:

    There’s a ton of work in New York right now for actors. Winning the LA job doesn’t mean that he will take the job. The verdict is not out on this one yet. This player would win pretty much any job that is open.

  • Edgar says:

    LAPhil 5 – MET 0. A road well traveled, I see.

    The MET needs to shut down entirely. It will only have a chance when it starts from scratch with a new board, a new general manager, a new music director, and a completely new staff. And a completely new smaller autitorium structure within the outer shell which is in dire need of repair.

    Since the current board has the necessary billions easily on hand, they can do the decent thing and provide their parting gift to make such new future possible.

    This is not, and will not ever be the case, which is why the MET will survive as the crumbling mausoleum of its once glorious past, cash cow shows notwithstanding.

    Sunnier coast, indeed. Not only because playing in Disney Hall is better than in the cavernous MET’s pit.

  • Salvart says:

    Is there any significance that this is not listed as Principal Harp position?