The pianist Andras Schiff has announced that he will never return to his Hungarian motherland.
Interviewed in Tagespiegel, he accuses the Victor Orban government of right-wing thuggery, racism, antisemitism and dangerous neo-fascism.
Schiff came under personal attack in Hungary after he published an open letter a year back in the Washington Post, denouncing state discrimination against the minority Roma. He now calls the country ‘not particularly European’ and is particularly incensed at the appointment of two openly fascist directors at one of Budapest’s most important theatres. Read on here (in German). See also here.
The renewed attack from an artist as renowned as Schiff makes it all the more perplexing that the classical music business – under its IAMA umbrella – has chosen to stage its 2012 conference in Budapest. IAMA should be having second thoughts.