Breaking: Vienna Opera fires principal cello

Breaking: Vienna Opera fires principal cello


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2020

The Vienna State Opera has confirmed to us that a principal cello in the opera orchestra was dismissed yesterday instantly and without notice following allegations of sexual misconduct in his role as a teacher at the University of Music.

The man had previously been sacked from the university. His appeal against dismissal was dismissed this week by a labour court.

Under Austrian law the player, who is also a principal cello of the Vienna Philharmonic, cannot be named.

The Vienna Philharmonic has just followed suit.






  • LewesBird says:

    Out of interest, by saying he’s the principal cello, haven’t they just effectively named him? That whole “under Austrian law…” is essentially specious.

    • V.Lind says:

      The post reads “A principal cello,” and two things strike me: it looks lie very careful wording, perhaps designed to avoid breaking the law; if there are several principal cellos (how does that work?) then as well as the guilty party others are being put under suspicion by those not quite in the know — i.e. those whoo know who is now an ex-principal cello.

      Otherwise, LewesBird is quite right.

      • Axl says:

        Vienna opera and Philharmonic have 3 principal cello positions and 3 associate principal’s in their 14 member cello section

    • Monsoon says:

      Not quite.

      If they named him, it then gets indexed all over the internet and in newspapers. Whether or not he deserves it, he’d be branded for life.

      And as another poster noted, the orchestra is small enough that it’s pretty easy to monitor players who abruptly leave.

  • piotr says:

    I think we all know who is. His name has disappeared from the WP list of musicians.

    • Gustavo says:


      He was still in the programme booklet for the John Williams concerts in January 2020.

      Better stop nagging.

  • Karl says:

    I followed the link chain and it brought me here:

    Breaking: Philharmonic principal is cleared in Vienna

    on September 6, 2018

  • Anon says:

    Yet bullying in the London orchestras doesn’t raise an eyebrow, not even in column inches. How many players are ruined by this silent and subversive act? Elephant in the room. Who shall speak out or research this well hidden monstrosity?

    • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

      ==bullying in the London orchestras doesn’t raise an eyebrow,

      Do you have specifics ?

      • Anon says:

        ==== I’m presuming Mr Clark-Maxwell that you are not a professional musician. This is the underworld of the profession. We are all acutely aware of this matter.