Theft alert: Cello is stolen on a French train

Theft alert: Cello is stolen on a French train


norman lebrecht

October 17, 2019

From Kevin Bourdat, baroque cellist:

Cello stolen on the train between rambouillet and le mans (departure montparnasse 15:06). Instrument Built by Charles Coquet in 2012, in a black soft cover. Thank you for spreading as widely as possible!



  • John Borstlap says:

    Incredible. How can you get a cello stolen? It is supposed to be wihtin eye sight when on any public transport on the ground.

    A similar case happened in 1987 in London where a double bass was stolen under the nose of its owner who was reading a book (Adorno’s Philosophy of New Music).

    Pianist travelling with their own instrument face similar hazards, not to speak of organists, who have already so much trouble with getting their instrument through the customs.

  • V.Lind says:

    How? How dim are musicians?

    • David K. Nelson says:

      Travel with — life with — an instrument is no easy matter. Must you take it with you each time you go to the restroom or seek out a sip of water? Are you not allowed to nod off, or engage in an absorbing discussion with someone? Sometimes it must be placed where you are not. And musicians are neither more nor less forgetful or subject to distraction than anybody else. I suspect more parents have lost track of their toddlers, or more owners wander away without their pets, than musicians have lost track of their instruments while traveling.

  • Rebecca says:

    Depends on how it was being stored as the musician had to sit away from the cello .. I’ve had the porters semi-force me to part with my guitar, a much smaller instrument. I sit as close as possible to it but someone could easily grab it and run. It may not be irresponsibility of the cellist.

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      Whenever SD posts a story about a musician having had an instrument stolen, clueless fingerpointers who have never toured disparage these crime victims. I’ve toured on-and-off for decades. A lot can go wrong. Sometimes on trains there is no room in the overheads even with or in front of the traveler and the instrument has to be stored somewhere several rows behind the seat. Sometimes at stops criminals run through the isles snatching attractive items. Sometimes the traveler needs to use the facilities, into which a contrabass cases, cello case, or even a large guitar case won’t fit. That’s just the start of things that can go wrong. Now when I travel by train, I connect my instrument to the luggage rack with a small cable and combination lock.