Exclusive: Paris hires London’s new principal clarinet

Exclusive: Paris hires London’s new principal clarinet


norman lebrecht

July 06, 2020

Carlos Ferreira, a highly rated Portuguese, won the audition for principal clarinet of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London just eight months ago.

Today, the Orchestre nationale de France announced: Very happy to present our new principal clarinet Carlos Ferreira, the winner after 3 days of audition.

On coming to London Carlos kept his previous job in Lille. Presumably that will have to go. But does it make sense for Paris and London to go job-shares on a principal clarinet?






  • Josh says:

    The LSO principal trumpet (Dave Elton) is principal in both London and Sydney although that relationship may need to change.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Liverpool used to share a concertmaster with Toulouse, but they are not mortal rivals as London and Paris are.

      • Anon says:

        Yes, Malcolm Stewart! Worked well.

        • pjl says:

          he needed to move around as the poor bloke had a stalker for years who followed him everywhere. I remember in 1989 being on the front row in Liverpool and shouting a loud ‘bravo’ immediately at the end of a fabulous ‘Boeuf Sur Le Toit’ under Pesek; he turned with a terrified look on his face (not just because a fat oaf had shouted, but I suspect he feared that woman stalker). Malcolm had played one or possibly two of the short S-Saens pieces in the same concert (Havanaise & or the Rondo)

      • I don’t think there’s a big revalry between the londonian and parisian orchestras. The reality is that today it’s easyer to play in Paris, there will be more concerts during the next weeks (the Philarmonie reopen this week for the public) and maybe there’s more financial security in the 3 parisian orchestras than the ones of London. But the LSO and the BBC are going very year in Paris.

    • MacroV says:

      How does one manage to have such jobs on the opposite ends of the Earth? Even with the LSO having two principals.

      • BP says:

        The two sides of the Earth differ in their opposite seasons, so the Sydney orchestra takes its break when the London orchestra goes into full gear, and vice versa.

        • MacroV says:

          Yes, I know Sydney runs March to December, but that’s still a lot of overlap and scheduling challenges. Not to mention the cost of that long flight.

  • Aurélie Fournière says:

    Bulgarian violinist Svetlin Roussev (currently first concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande) used to be first concertmaster of l’Orchestre Philharmonic de Radio France (2005-2017) and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (2007-2015) ! On top of a busy international career as soloist, as well as often guest leading the London Symphony Orchestra, and also Professeur au Conservatoire de Paris !

  • David says:

    Re last post – true, no wonder Roussev declined a job offer for Leader at the LSO…

    • Patrick says:

      Roussev was never offered the LSO job. He was never interested but happy to be a guest leader once a year.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    I would like to see more job sharing among the top orchestras. Why can the directors do it but not the top players.

    In the winds, if you have a strong assistant who can cover, then the principal can go back and forth depending on the schedule of the music directors and the programming.

    I hope that this happens in my lifetime.

    • The View from America says:

      Some of this happens already — but it’s done on an ad hoc basis. More often with wind players.

      I know a brass player who, depending on the repertoire scheduled at his own orchestra, seeks out opportunities to play those weeks in other orchestras where the music selections are what he’s best at playing (or just more to his liking).

      • Old Man in the Midwest says:

        Yes exactly. So let’s make it more part of the industrial culture.

        There are some Michael Jordans in our space. We need to let them fly and see how they do in different situations.

        So part of going to a concert would involve hearing different players in different repertoire with different conductors.

        We need new ideas in our industry and having star players who draw ticket buyers could be a solution!

      • Omar Goddknowe says:

        And when orchestras are locked out or on strike other orchestras will happily screw their sub pool to use player from the other orchestra as subs/extras

    • BP says:

      Why would you hope it to happen when so many talented musicians are looking for work, and when top orchestras are already lacking in idiosyncrasies.

  • MacroV says:

    I don’t know about the Philharmonia, but I would think ONdF is busy enough that he wouldn’t have time for both jobs. But I guess if he gets a pass on the EuroStar it could be a manageable commute.

  • drummerman says:

    Forgive me but…which of these two gentlemen is Mr. Ferreira?

  • Luis Leite says:

    Maybe is still on trial at London

  • Norman Rosenbaum says:

    I presume he is a wonderful musician. But , once upon a time , national schools of clarinet playing ( British and French in particular ) were identifiable, and that was one of the fascinations of orchestral music.