Composer smashes cello and violin on stage in anti-merger protest

29 October 2012, 12:11 | Updated: 30 September 2014, 14:21

Composer Johannes Kreidler has made an unusual protest against the merger of German broadcaster SWR's merging of two radio orchestras by smashing a cello and violin on stage at a concert last week.

Johannes Kreidler, a German composer who has regularly collaborated with the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR Sinfonieorchester), has made a protest at a concert by smashing two of the orchestra's instruments live on stage.

A controversial merger between the SWR orchestra and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra was announced in June of this year for budgetary reasons. Kreidler chose a SWR concert to make his protest, which saw him walk on stage, grab a violin and cello from the orchestra, tie them together, deliver a lengthy monologue and then smash the two instruments.

The head of SWR, Peter Boudgoust, was in the front row of the concert, choosing not to applaud along with the majority of the audience. Flyers were scattered from the balcony of the concert hall that read: "Johannes Kreidler im Auftrag der Gesellschaft für Neue Musik" ("Johannes Kreidler on behalf of the Society For New Music").

Kreidler can be heard to say "Das ist kein Kunstwerk," ("that is no artwork,") before stamping and collapsing on the two instruments.