Party in German concert hall left musical instruments severely damaged by fire extinguisher

10 November 2021, 12:23 | Updated: 10 November 2021, 12:26

Party in German concert hall left musical instruments severely damaged by fire extinguisher
Party in German concert hall left musical instruments severely damaged by fire extinguisher. Picture: Getty

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

An orchestra’s instruments were coated with a fine acidic dust after a fire extinguisher was set off in their rehearsal room.

Members of the Philharmonie Südwestfalen were shocked to discover their instruments had been destroyed during a weekend celebration at their resident concert hall in Hilchenbach, Germany.

A fire extinguisher was set off in the German orchestra’s rehearsal space, causing 25 instruments to be coated with white extinguishing powder.

“It’s the dust that lies in the room that worries us,” says musical director, Michael Nassauer. “It gets in everything as soon as we open a door.”

The acidic dust is so fine that it has settled into even the smallest of gaps in the instruments. A specialist company is being brought in to ensure further damage is not done to the instruments.

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Heartbreakingly, it is not known how many of the instruments are already damaged beyond repair.

The instruments affected included a harpsichord, and a €180,000 (£153,943) Steinway grand piano, and both the orchestra and the concert hall have filed for criminal charges.

While it is not known who the perpetrators were, the party cellar under the concert hall had been rented out for a private event the evening of the incident.

A police investigation is currently underway to determine why this disturbance took place, and how those involved were able to access the orchestra’s rehearsal room.