Thursday, September 22, 2011

Orchestra suspends four musicians who opposed Israeli musicians' concert


Following the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's (IPO) performance in London this month, four musicians have been suspended from the London Philharmonic Orchestra for speaking out against the performance.  The IPO performance was interrupted by Beethovians for Boycotting Israel (BBI), and footage of the demonstrations outside the performance can be viewed here.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra has suspended four musicians for nine months for using its name when they called unsuccessfully for the cancellation of a concert by an Israeli orchestra at the Proms.
The move follows the indefinite suspension of an unnamed LPO violinist after she allegedly launched an anti-Israel "rant" when Israeli musicians appeared at the Royal College of Music before the concert at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this month.
Tim Walker of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian
In a statement, Tim Walker, the LPO's chief executive, and Martin Hohmann, its chairman, said the suspensions sent "a strong and clear message that their actions will not be tolerated … the orchestra would never restrict the right of its players to express themselves freely, however such expression has to be independent of the LPO itself.
"The company has no wish to end the careers of four talented musicians but … for the LPO, music and politics do not mix."
They added that the orchestra had no political or religious affiliations and strongly believed in the power of music to bring peace and harmony to the world, not war, terror and discord.