Bolshoi Theatre violinist dies after falling into orchestra pit

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's Bolshoi Theatre was on Wednesday mourning a new tragedy after a senior violinist died after falling into the orchestra pit, the Moscow company's spokesman said.

Violinist Viktor Sedov, 65, a veteran of the ballet and opera house's orchestra for four decades, fell into the pit where the orchestra sits just below the stage during performances.

His death comes as the Bolshoi, one of the world's greatest theatres, is still reeling from the acid attack earlier this year on the artistic director of its ballet troupe Sergei Filin, which has left him with almost no sight.

"Viktor Sedov, who had worked almost 40 years at the Bolshoi, fell into the orchestra pit on Tuesday and died on Wednesday in hospital as a result of his injuries," Bolshoi spokesman Katerina Novikova told AFP.

Mr Sedov who played in the second violins, was much loved in the theatre for his "sense of humour and extraordinary erudition", Ms Novikova added.

The Russian government earlier this month appointed a new general director, Mr Vladimir Urin, who previously headed Moscow's highly regarded Stanislavsky Musical Theatre, to lead the Bolshoi out of its crisis.

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