Tragedy at the Bolshoi: Violinist dies in orchestra pit fall

Tragedy at the Bolshoi: Violinist dies in orchestra pit fall
Russia's Bolshoi Theatre has been in turmoil since an acid attack on its ballet director left him nearly blind. Last week a senior violinist died after falling into the orchestra pit. (Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images)

A senior violinist died last week from injuries sustained after falling into the orchestra pit at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

The death of Viktor Sedov, 65, is the latest bad news in a mounting string of tragedies involving the historic theater that have led to chatter about a supposed "Curse of the Bolshoi."

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Sedov played in ballet and opera productions at the Bolshoi for nearly 40 years, a spokeswoman told the Guardian, adding that he was a popular member of the orchestra, known for his "sense of humor and extraordinary erudition."

The same spokeswoman has had a lot of explaining to do over the last six months, beginning in January with the now-infamous acid attack on ballet director Sergei Filin. The attack left Filin, 42, nearly blind, despite 18 operations.

Principal dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has played villains in "Swan Lake" and "Ivan the Terrible," confessed to orchestrating the crime, saying he paid $1,600 to make the attack happen because he felt that Filin favored other dancers.

The incident shed light on the tumultuous politics of the theater and several high-profile layoffs followed, including that of star dancer Nikolai Tsiskarisze in June, and July's dismissal of artistic director Anatoly Iksanov.

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