Fiona Maddocks’ report, “The Best classical music of 2011“, Observer, Dec. 11, began her take on the best classical performances as follows:
This year’s riots and protests to some degree penetrated the usually self-contained world of music. When word spread that the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra would play at the BBC Proms, everyone anticipated trouble. It proved the case. Hecklers shouted in the Royal Albert Hall, bringing the Radio 3 live broadcast to a halt. Players from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, among several signatories of a letter to a national newspaper protesting at the Israel concert, were suspended, generating a second level of heated debate which is still, if behind the scenes, working itself out.
Other visiting orchestras brought purely musical pleasures…
Yes, those Israelis. Bringing trouble wherever they go.
In fact the only ones causing trouble were the Palestine Solidarity Campaign anti-Israel activists, and their few fellow political travelers, who somehow found it progressive to boycott a performance by Israeli musicians.
A handful of London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) musicians joined in calls for a cultural boycott of the Jewish state, expressing their view that the performance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) should have been cancelled.
Specifically, the musicians signed a letter as members of the LPO denouncing the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as “an instrument of the country’s propaganda,” echoing Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) who characterized the Israel’s Orchestra as an organization which lends “strategic support to Israel’s occupation.”
Yes, classical musicians performing for the national orchestra of the Jewish state are truly just another insidious element of Zionist oppression.
PSC, for those unaware, is an organisation which continually has demonstrated itself compromised by the explicit expressions of antisemitism of its “activists” and leaders; a group so “progressive” that it invited the extremist Islamist preacher, Sheikh Raed Salah, to speak – a man who was convicted for funding Hamas, who repeatedly incited his followers to violence, and who called homosexuality “a crime” that starts “the collapse of every society”.
However, as Richard Millet noted about the shameful disruptions at the Proms in contrast with the musical pleasure appreciated by the overwhelming majority of the London audience:
The band played on, the audience inside the Royal Albert Hall loved it and screamed “More!”,