Orchestra’s instruments are destroyed by a fire extinguisher

Orchestra’s instruments are destroyed by a fire extinguisher


norman lebrecht

November 09, 2021

The Philharmonie of Westphalia is surveying the damage caused by vandals who set off a fire extinguisher in the instrument locker after a party in the  Schützenhalle.

About 25 instruments have been damaged by a fine white residue that cannot be removed.

The Steinway is thought to be beyond repair.

Police are investigating.


  • Thomas M. says:

    News like that make me wanna throw up. This is the world we now live in: Brainless vandals destroy whatever is in their reach because of the thrill of it, and they stop at nothing. Something in our educational system(s) is clearly going wrong. Gravely wrong.

    • Dragonetti says:

      Why blame the poor old teachers for goodness sake? These young people have known no boundaries, especially the simple word “no” from the outset.
      Once they get to school a certain amount can be done but without parental help there’s no hope.

      • Alan Glick says:

        Because teachers (along with the news and entertainment media and one of our political parties) are spreaders of a culture-wide hatred of property and the propertied classes.

        • Dragonetti says:

          Obviously I don’t know which country you’re from sir but you are certainly giving the impression of living in the UK c1970. The pernicious influence of the Socialist Workers Party and Workers Revolutionary Party spouted that sort of poison then and infiltrated a lot of schools and colleges, particularly those in the inner cities.
          Now thankfully they’ve all disappeared up their own greater fundaments and good riddance too.
          Speaking as one who is the father of two teachers who both married teachers I can assure you that the world of education has changed. They’re all far too busy chasing impossible goals and SATS listings…and dealing with the results of bad parenting .

  • For the future, the venue may wish to investigate a different fire suppression system, one that doesn’t destroy the things it was installed to protect.

    • Douglas Anderson says:

      To clear up any misunderstanding, there were no fire or fire suppression systems involved. Just pure vandalism.

  • J Barcelo says:

    Education system or more likely a lack of proper parenting.

  • Douglas Anderson says:

    I have many friends here in Germany who are dedicated school teachers. My wife taught piano here for 40 years. Many of my colleagues give music lessons. Everyone agrees that many students today are virtually unteachable. But to lay the blame on the teachers and parents is perhaps a bit too easy. Society itself is changing rapidly, and the Zeitgeist being felt all over the world now seems to be born of frustration, ignorance, and anxiety. There are real reasons for this, and as yet very few solutions that can be taken seriously.

  • JB says:

    The WDR article doesn’t say that the Steinway is beyond repair, nor that the white stuff cannot be removed.

  • CRogers says:

    The report doesn’t say the vandals were young persons.