“An orchestra musician’s prized cello was badly damaged on a Southwest Airlines flight on Wednesday,” May 6, writes Brian Wise on Thursday (5/7) at New York radio station WQXR. “Nicholas Gold, a cellist with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, had flown from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Nashville after having spent the day shopping in Manhattan for a new cello. He says he gate-checked his instrument—a 1940 model by the Czech luthier Ladislav Prokop” purchased about a decade ago for $45,000. “When reunited with the cello in Nashville, Gold said that it was placed upside down beneath a golf bag and none of the case’s latches were fastened. ‘It had been completely smashed in…. The cello neck had been snapped.’ … The case was designed for the rough-and-tumble of air travel, made of Kevlar and carbon fiber and plastered in ‘fragile’ stickers…. According to Gold, the airline has offered him $3,400…. The musician is taking it to a luthier in Chicago next week…. Last month, he performed an evening of Bach suites on the instrument in a recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.” The current issue of Symphony magazine includes a feature article about air travel with musical instruments, and the federal regulations governing air travel. For tips and information from the League of American Orchestras about flying with instruments, click here.

Posted May 11, 2015