Flutist leaves with a blast at L.A. Phil

dufour.jpgMathieu Dufour, on leave from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra while playing here with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has decided to return to the Midwest. In the Chicago Sun-Times, he's quoted yesterday saying some rather unflattering things about music in Los Angeles:

There are fine musicians in Los Angeles, but we have achieved a very strong common purpose and set of aims in Chicago that they do not have or do not yet have there. They have no tradition there — no tradition of sound and no tradition of working together as a dedicated ensemble. Maybe they will have that someday in the future.

The Sun-Times also reported that the L.A. Phil jumped the gun on Dufour:

Iin September, the L.A. Phil issued an unprecedented press release announcing that Dufour was leaving Chicago after 10 years to take up the first flute chair at Walt Disney Concert Hall under the Philharmonic’s new music director, the charismatic young Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The Philharmonic even posted a biography of Dufour on its Web site, claiming he had been appointed as principal back in 2008 by the orchestra’s former music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen.

There were a few problems with the Philharmonic’s statements, though. In the first place, they weren’t true.

"Mathieu has resigned for personal reasons,” the L.A. Phil's Sophie Jefferies told the paper. “He had a one-year contract with us, and with his known Chicago concert date commitments and his medical leave, he has fulfilled that contract and has played his last concert here."

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

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