Oleg Vedernikov, the principal cellist of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and arguably the most famous Russian expat in China, is now officially jobless. The orchestra has decided to sack him for his “uncivilised behaviour” in an incident on a high-speed train headed from Shenyang to Beijing last week.
In a video taken by a fellow passenger and placed on the Internet, Vedernikov was seen placing his feet up on the seat in front of him, above the head of a female passenger. When confronted by her, Vedernikov would not back down, but instead hurled insults at her in Chinese.
After he was named and shamed in Chinese media following the incident, Vedernikov recorded a video of his apology in Russian.
Unfortunately for him, that was too little, too late. In a statement published on its website yesterday, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra said Vedernikov’s behaviour had “severely harmed the reputation of the Orchestra”, and that he was being sacked “in accordance with the orchestra’s employment regulations”.
Tan Lihua (谭利华), Beijng Symphony’s principal conductor, said in the statement, “The Beijing Symphony Orchestra is an ambassador of advanced culture. All employees, including foreign musicians, need to abide by the laws of the land, traditional moral codes, as well as the orchestra’s rules and regulations.”
“Employees should behave in a civilised fashion both on-stage and off-, maintain the manners expected of artistes, and consciously safeguard the image and reputation of the Orchestra,” added the maestro. “We will take additional management precautions to prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future.”
Read the complete Oleg Vedernikov saga here.