The classical music editor of The New York Times takes up his longtime role once again as chief media apologist for the Vienna Philharmonic. In a promotional article about the orchestra, James Oestreich plants a big wet kiss on Clemens Hellsberg, its chairman and archivist, lauding him as “a force for change.” He dismisses the orchestra’s continuing discrimination against women as a “female issue” not worth mentioning except in passing, let alone its exclusion of people of color. Oestreich also writes, “Probably no one knows better [than Hellsberg] what lies in the orchestra’s past, especially during the Nazi years, for which it may need to make amends.” May?
Today’s promo follows a full-page ad in the print edition of the Times on Sunday, which announced the orchestra’s concert tonight at Carnegie Hall, featuring conductor Zubin Mehta and Lang Lang at the piano, to benefit the National Academy Foundation. The ad thanked “corporate partners” for their largesse, listing such financial titans as that wonderful philanthropist Sanford I. Weill (of JP Morgan Chase & Co., formerly CEO and chairman of Citigroup), and announced a Lifetime Achievement Award for Peter G. Peterson (of the Blackstone Group, formerly Nixon’s Secretary of Commerce). Ain’t it all so cozy …
And by the way … is this the brass section of the VPo, or old-fashioned sonic warfare? Both?
Postscript: Those whatchamacallits are, in fact, World War I early-warning listening devices for enemy aircraft.
PPS: j — here’s a beautiful, “Fuck you fascist bastards, we’ll form our
own!” — n