Violist sues to have his picture removed

Violist sues to have his picture removed


norman lebrecht

December 20, 2019

A viola player in the Hannover State Opera has sued the organisation for damages over ‘personal pain and suffering’ after seeing a photograph of himself in the programme booklet.

The musician claimed that he should have been given the right to approve the picture before it was published (below).

The labour court upheld his claim, ordering the theatre to seek permission from its employees before it published their image.

It refused, however, the claim for compensation.

The violist remains unhappy.


  • Esther Cavett says:

    C’mon all – there must be a viola joke in this story
    Let’s make it a Xmas quiz

  • George says:

    Data are the oil of the 21st Century.
    The USA have facebook, amazon, Apple, google, netflix, youtube.
    Germany has the Datenschutzgrundverordnung.

  • George says:

    He wanted 2.500 – 5.000 Euros “Schmerzensgeld” because he felt it was not a good picture of him.

    Good luck to all groups now who need to take shots for their PR.

  • christopher storey says:

    I thought it took intelligence to play a musical instrument . Plainly not so in the case of the viola . What a load of cobblers

    PS I like the Viola(ted) joke !

  • Mick the Knife says:

    thats worth 5 million for “pain an sufferin’ ” in the US

  • John Borstlap says:

    I am in full sympathy with the player, because if you look at the picture, surely nobody wants to be seen with such blocked face.

  • Mathias Broucek says:

    What a wally. Can’t imagine this has done much for his reputation….

  • Organizations will write automatic approval into their next contracts.

    Getting each of 40+ people to approve a picture is probably impossible.

  • Dennis says:

    Utterly absurd. So now any organization has to get permission to use routine PR pics of its actual members? Just because he didn’t like the picture? Too bad bud. Just trying to get a big windfall with an inane claim. At least the court denied the windfall, but the case should have been thrown out in principle to being with.

  • Larry D says:

    Well, I’d feel pain and suffering too, if my face was made up of little squares.

  • Laura Berman says:

    Actually the case concerned group pictures of orchestra members printed in our season announcement – taken by the renowned photographer Sven Marquardt. In the future we are obliged to show the orchestra representatives images, but they have no veto rights. So the decision was fine for us. In fact most of the orchestra members were happy with Sven’s beautiful photographs – and our decision to print smaller groups which captured the “humanness” of the group.

  • Ceasar says:

    It’s one thing if it’s a candid shot but from the looks of the photo they posed for it so what gives? Don’t pose for photos you don’t want to be in?

  • Brettermeier says:

    He has every right.

    The Geneva Conventions clearly state that violists’ faces have to be blurred in photographs to protect them from public humiliation.

    I’ll show myself out.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Any photo of me usually causes pain and suffering – to anyone who looks at it!

  • Maria says:

    He should get a life! What a load of cobblers and a partridge in a pear tree!