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The Malaysian Philharmonic is desperately seeking missing musicians

The following advertisement appears in the January issue of das Orchester:

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra is trying to contact Mr Arne Neckelmann who was the section principal cello of the MPO from August 2004 to November 2004 and Mr James Judd who was to assume the position of Music Director in 2003 for the purpose of finalizing certain administrative matters. Anyone with information on the above individuals, kindly contact Ms Hassina Begam at

Now, neither of thee musicians are hard to find. Both are on facebook, one has an agent and a Google search will reveal more. I suspect that they, along with the rest of the music world, don’t want to have anything more to do with the MPO, which is under an international musicians’ boycott over the sacking of nine foreign players.


In the same issue of das Orchester, the MPO announces auditions in Munich in May for no fewer than 21 vacant positions. Musicians, beware.

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  1. Is it true, or a slander, the the MPO does the music of Mendelssohn?

  2. 21 vacant positions? Maybe thats what they have advertised…
    In reality vacancy count should be about double…
    There have been ca 25 vacancies end of 2010. Middle of last year MPO management dismissed 9 players without stating any reason, and several other players resigned on their own since and over the last two years.
    Well done, Maestro Flor!

    And yes, it’s true: If they hire any new musicians they will receive contracts with clearly less salary than existing contracts.

    Absolutely correct: Musicians, beware

  3. Interesting advertisement. The dates are a bit off: Arne was principal cello from August 1998 I believe (not 2004). And James Judd was set to take over as M.D. in 2005 if I’m not mistaken – not 2003 – when they abruptly changed course and hired Maestro Matthias Bammert instead.

    In any case – the two individuals mentioned both sued the MPO, and one could assume that this notice for “contact” is definitely NOT for engaging their musical services. :) More likely to satisfy some court motion that they made a suitable effort to contact them. It is rumored that both cases did not succeed, and the MPO may have filed some motion to recover costs – thus the newspaper notice to locate them. I doubt if either party is interested in a dialogue. ;)

    I wonder if they will try New York again, for auditions, following Munich. Both continents’ unions will likely boycott, as they should, since absolutely nothing has changed in the management, contract offer, or the MD”s (infamous C.P. Flor) hiring (and firing…) practices. Beware indeed…

  4. Richard Face says:

    What’s amazing to me the the steady flow of bottom feeders that continue to accept work and audition for positions knowing the reality of what has happened (is happening) there. I guess the days of musicians sticking together when facing these sorts of circumstances are over. Pitiful.

    • Anonymous says:

      From what I hear, the NY audition had virtually no applicants, despite the US’s horrific orchestral situation. Sounds like they did stick together.

    • Bottom feeders indeed, and let’s just not forget how this all got started, a majority part of this disaster were started by the bottom feeders within the orchestra itself, CP Flor, Viola and Violin principals, and few other individuals. These bottom feeders are certainly sticking togehter.

  5. An anonymous commentator criticizing unspecified individuals. Insightful.

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