Where to start with Keith Jones’s letter on September 15?
How about “banning”? There was no ban. The concert omitted for this year two audience participation items because there was to be no audience. They will return in future years and for as long as the audience wishes to sing them. How long that will be remains to be seen.
The likely audience for cheap classical music concerts is almost certainly students and young graduates. An ironic singsong is one thing, but demands from people who actually believe this jingoistic guff that they should determine the repertoire are quite another.
It is also illuminating to watch the behaviour during these items of distinguished soloists. There was no ban, and no story. Now, what about the conductor’s “poor English”? Did Keith Jones take the elementary step of doing a Google search for her name – Dalia Stasevska? It took me about ten seconds to start watching an interview in English in which Maestra Stasevska speaks with near-native competence about her work and how she came to join the small but growing band of women conductors. How many whingers about her “poor English” could acquit themselves equally well in Ukrainian or Finnish?
Keith Jones’s equation of abuse and threats hurled at Stasevska for doing her job with abuse of Nigel Farage is absurd.
Farage is a politician – a deeply unpleasant, xenophobic one at that. Politicians take this in their stride: think of the resilience of the much maligned Jeremy Corbyn. It is not part of the job for a musician conducting Ockeghem or Birtwistle. Finally, Farage’s error? The frequent substitution of the text’s “will” with “shall”.
Alan Harrison, Walsall
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