Top flautist ‘devastated’ after her £15,000 flute was stolen on London train

25 October 2023, 12:06

Leading flautist Katherine Bryan had her £15,000 flute stolen from a London train.
Leading flautist Katherine Bryan had her £15,000 flute stolen from a London train. Picture: Katherine Bryan / James Montgomery

By Siena Linton

Leading Scottish flautist Katherine Bryan’s precious instrument, worth around £15,000, was stolen from a train between Farringdon and East Croydon stations.

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One of Britain’s leading flute players, Katherine Bryan, has had her instrument stolen from a train while travelling in London.

Bryan, principal flute with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), was travelling from Farringdon to East Croydon, on the train to Brighton on 23 October, when the instrument was swiped.

Sharing on social media, Bryan wrote: “Today my beloved flute was taken. It was in a beige rucksack, stolen between Platform 3 at Farringdon and East Croydon Station, on the 9.34 train to Brighton.

“Flute is a Brannen silver Millenium 5320 with a silver Lafin headjoint [with] gold lip plate. Please share!”

Read more: Stolen €250,000 Gagliano violin, sold by thief for just €200, recovered by police 3 years later

Bryan told the Daily Mail: “When I realised it wasn’t there I felt physically sick. It’s worth about £15,000. Flutes are very personal to the player. That’s why it’s so devastating when you lose one.”

Friends and colleagues from across the music industry shared their sympathies and advice, including pianist Ingrid Fliter, composer Jay Capperauld, and fellow flautist Jack Reddick, who suggested checking Cash Converters after having found another missing flute there previously.

A sought-after soloist and flute teacher, Katherine Bryan studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, before being appointed principal flute at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2003 at the age of just 21.

She holds the position at Classic FM’s Orchestra in Scotland to this day, in addition to being a lecturer in flute at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

The theft has been reported, and Bryan has appealed for anyone with information as to the theft of her flute to contact her directly, or the British Transport Police.