Kosman, the fine classical music critic of the San Francisco Chronicle,
comes this reaction to my post about the Shostakovich ad:
The SF Symphony had a marketing director
once who was perfectly capable in many areas, just not really as marketing
director of a symphony orchestra. She lasted a *very* short time. The best
mistake she made — the one people still cackle over — was the ad she conceived
and approved in connection with the Symphony’s performance of Babi Yar on 2/14.
I can’t remember the details, but it was actually a Valentine’s deal, something
like "Treat your honey to Shostakovich’s great Symphony No. 13" or some damn
thing. No one who knew better saw it until it was way too late.
symphony, for those who might not know it, is a vocal piece in many movements,
premiered (not exactly to the delight of the Soviet communists) in the early
1960s. It condemns Soviet anti-Semitism, worries that Stalin’s terror will
return, and commiserates with beaten-down Soviet women lined up for hours to buy