Munich test case: Orchestra player is suspended for refusing Covid test

Munich test case: Orchestra player is suspended for refusing Covid test


norman lebrecht

May 07, 2021

A player in the Bavarian State Orchestra who refused to take a Covid test is suing the company for unfair dismissal.

The player has been suspended without pay.

The company says Covid tests are mandatory for all musicians in the orchestra.

Under Bavarian rules, employers must subject staff to two tests a week.


  • Gustavo says:

    The individual doesn’t count anymore.

    “I feel like Hans Scholl.”

    How dare you say that in public!

    But what is this?

    • HugoPreuss says:

      The question “what is this” is easily answered: this is complete lunacy. Anyone who equates a reasonable health measure in the midst of a pandemic with Nazi atrocities is an idiot, as well as illiterate in history.

  • Leo Doherty says:

    To avoid high levels of mortality, the only way to control this virus is through testing and vaccination.

  • V.Lind says:

    Waste of a lawsuit if it is under Bavarian law.

    if anti-vaccers must insist on their “rights,” be it on their heads. But they have absolutely no right to put their colleagues at risk because of their mixed-up conspiracy theories and politics.

    • Hayne says:

      Why do you care if you took the mRNA medical device?
      You’re protected…

    • BRUCEB says:

      I guess it’s one of those “the law is unjust” lawsuits, rather than an “I didn’t do it” not-guilty-plea.

    • Dr. Birchley Poundbottom says:

      Absolutely right. No doubt he is a selfish ego-manic who, for the past 14 months, has done nothing for his metabolic fitness, performed little exercise, indulged his anxieties, and packed on the kilos. To think that anyone could be so self-centred as to make of themselves such a dangerous vector boggles the healthy mind.

  • Andreas B. says:

    “Under Bavarian rules, employers must subject staff to two tests a week”
    This is incorrect information.

    There is a federal rule, mandating employers to *make tests available* to their staff.
    But there is currently no law, neither federal nor state, that forces employees to subject themselves to tests against their will.

    Quote from the linked BR article:
    “However, the employees are expressly free to accept these offers or not. The ministry argues that the legal barriers to compulsory testing for employees are too high. This would conflict with the basic right to physical integrity and personal protection rights”

    Also, as reported, orchestras in Munich (Staatsoper, Munich Phil, BRSO) seem to have different approaches to the problem.

    The main question in this court case seems to be whether the musician can be put on leave without pay in these circumstances.

  • MacroV says:

    What’s his case? Even if he has one, it’s incredibly selfish to refuse to be tested and possibly expose his colleagues.

    My son has had to get COVID tests to run in OUTDOOR track meets, so having to get one to play in the opera pit? Hell yes!

    I thought this de(nihilism) was just an American phenomenon.

    • Billy says:

      Maybe as a parent, you should have stood up and called out how ridiculous it is to make your son get tested for OUTDOOR events, instead of just kowtowing to the narrative.

      • Hayne says:

        Because kowtowing to the narrative requires less thinking. Authorities said it so it must be right.

  • Maria says:

    Just get on with it like anyone else! Be glad you have a job when so many musicians don’t, and just have the test – and stop whingeing. It’s not only about you and ‘your rights’! It’s about others, about being generous, less self-centred, and everyone feeling safe and confident in the work environment. By testing and being vaccinated, then there is light at the end of the tunnel for whatever life we all might have left.

  • Fiddleman says:

    A more elegant solution to this problem would be for the orchestra to continue to pay the musician, putting him on paid vacation. However he or she would have to make up the work when the covid restrictions are lifted. German rotate their musicians since there are more availabe than play any one concert. Of course the musician would have a lot of services to make up in the future.