A small group of musicians has sent a letter to the Independent newspaper calling on the BBC to cancel this week’s Prom by the Israel Philharmonic. The gesture is absurd, almost beyond words. The BBC knew what it was doing when it invited the Israel Phil. Political conditions have nmot changed markedly since the invitation was issued.
To cancel now would constitute breach of contract and leave an empty Prom night – something which has not happened for nearly 30 years (apart from a fire alarm in 2006, as one sharp-eyed reader points out).
So why send the letter? To draw attention to themselves, I suspect.
None is a player of great note and at least one is a permanent pro-Pal activist.
I attach the list of shame:
Derek Ball (composer)
Frances Bernstein (community choir leader)
Steve Bingham (violinist)
John Claydon (saxophonist)
Malcolm Crowthers (music photographer)
Raymond Deane (composer)
Tom Eisner (violinist LPO)
Nancy Elan (violinist LPO)
Deborah Fink (soprano)
Catherine Ford (violinist, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment)
Reem Kelani (Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster)
Les Levidow (violinist)
Susie Meszaros (violinist, Chilingirian Quartet)
Roy Mowatt (violinist, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment)
Ian Pace (pianist)
Leon Rosselson (singer-songwriter)
Dominic Saunders (pianist)
Chris Somes-Charlton (artist manager)
Leni Solinger (violinist)
Sarah Streatfeild (violinist LPO)
Sue Sutherley (cellist, LPO)
Tom Suarez (violinist, New York)
Kareem Taylor (Oud Player/Guitarist and Composer)
Miriam Walton (pianist, organist and French horn player)
UPDATE: None of the above musicians has, so far as I am aware, condemned the disruption of the concert by people sharing their views. Here’s a further reflection.