Boris Reznikow

The music director of the Washington Opera, Heinz Fricke, is under attack. Fricke, who led the Staatsoper in East Berlin for 30 years and came to Washington, D.C. six years ago, is being accused of having fired a violinist because that violinist is a Russian Jew. This is at least what Boris Reznikow says. He was hired in the fall of 1995 as a principal second violinist, but his contract was terminated a year ago. On New Years Eve, Reznikow went to Washington District Court to sue the president of the Kennedy Center, where the Washington Opera holds its performances. His official claim says that Fricke and a Munich-born administrative officer of the orchestra treated Reznikow unfairly because both are from Germany. The violinist demands to be re-hired and to be paid retroactively for the time he was not with the orchestra. So far, the parties involved have declined to comment, but we have a commentary by our Washington correspondent Georg Hirsch.

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