It’s getting worse, year by year. American orchestras, whose players once went off to shoot bear or pool in the Adirondacks, now oblige staff to report to work ever earlier in August to rehearse the Aix-Proms-Lucerne-Salzburg-Lübeck festival programme. Pallid and jet-lagged, the musicians return to open the home season with as much enthusiasm as an England goalkeeper facing a penalty kick.
Festivals have become an etiolating factor in our lives, stealing our precious summers, weakening marriages, depriving children of parents at leisure, eating away at fantasy and freedom with the scant reward of late-night microwaved meals and far too much to drink. The festival transaction has got out of hand.
– From the Lebrecht Conversation in the September issue of The Strad, out now.
Discuss below. Especially if you are a player, or a festival manager.