vendredi 2 septembre 2011

Anti-Israeli protests at the proms

News are spreading in the music world of last night disturbance by Palestinian activists at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert at the London Proms. The BBC report is here. Several amateur videos can be seen including this one below:

There are various comments on this.

The first one is on the Palestinian situation for which these guys are protesting. While I admit at having my clear allegiances (known to many) and that this would not be the topic of this blog on classical music, just let me mention that too many in Europe do not perceive the complexity of the situation in the Middle East, too many do not realise that Hamas is not the most extreme of the fractions, ie, there are some much more radical ones and that the topology of the land of Israel makes the danger caused by rockets and worse, a genuine reality.

The other comments should be related to music so in bullet point (if I may):
  • Sabotaging a concert is terrible for musicians. When one realises what it takes to perform, wrecking a concert is an act of barbary.
  • I have read several posts where the IPO is positionned against the West-Divan Orchestra. This is nonensense. Barenboim himself performs regularly with them, the last time being in July. Listen also at Zubin Mehta's coments on the openess of the IPO. Artists are as always more forward-looking than most other groups in any country.
  • Why has not anyone protested to the Simon Bolivar whose regime is a dictatorship ? (and by the way, the IPO has better string sound than the SBYO ...)
  • I have gone through various sites of the BBC and have not seen one single line of condamnation of the incident by anyone from the Proms or the BBC. If I am wrong, let me know and I will amend this immediately but this BBC-esque silence is deafening.
  • Finally, I have often criticised Norman Lebrecht's articles as many of you know. This time, his coverage has been spot on, including the one post where he analyses that Radio 3 was right to interrupt the live program.
 No one got any cause advanced by what happended yesterday, quite the opposite.

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