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Nigel Kennedy on Palestine: A statement from his manager

Terri Robson, who manages the violinist, has contacted us to deny the authenticity of a statement issued by a ‘spokesperson’ on his behalf. ‘It was not me,’ says Terri, and we believe her because she is an honest dealer. Before managing Nigel, she looked after Luciano Pavarotti.

Terri further contests several claims in the controversial statement and points out that the furore, whipped up by the Palestine lobby, can only damage the ensemble that Kennedy sought to promote.

Here is Terri’s statement:

nigel kennedy bbc proms (c) Lebrecht Music&Arts

 

I am Nigel Kennedy’s manager and I have issued no statement of any kind, whether direct or on behalf of the artist as ‘spokesperson’, in relation to the current social media scrum.

As far as I am aware, the editing of Nigel’s comments was not the result of ‘lobbying’ of any kind. The comment remained on the live radio broadcast through BBC iPlayer in its entirety. However, the BBC Proms television guidelines are clear in that they do not permit the festival to be used as a television platform for political statements. Other artists have made them in the past and they have not made it onto the deferred broadcast. The head of the BBC Proms reminded Nigel of this position prior to the performance.

The BBC welcomed the Palestine Strings (from the Edward Said University young people’s programme) to its Proms platform with open arms and the performance was extraordinary. These amazing young classical musicians presented a very positive message about their culture on a world stage they could previously have only dreamt of. Some of the political agendas currently doing the rounds serve only to overshadow this positive message, which is most unfortunate.

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Comments

  1. … [T]he BBC Proms television guidelines are clear in that they do not permit the festival to be used as a television platform for political statements. Other artists have made them in the past and they have not made it onto the deferred broadcast. The head of the BBC Proms reminded Nigel of this position prior to the performance.

    That says it all and well said too, Terri. Having the Palestinian Orchestra there is an action that speaks far louder than any words of poltics.

  2. So exactly who issued the “statement issued by a ‘spokesperson’ on [Nigel Kennedy's] behalf” which we are not told did not come from his manager, Terri Robson? The email chain can presumably be followed back to the original sender.

  3. stanley cohen says:

    One thing is clear and well-known- Nigel Kennedy’s tainted views of Israel and the Palestinians.

  4. Mary East says:

    If Kennedy’s statement is true, then Terri Robson clearly
    does not support his position on Israel/Palestine.
    Presumably he is paying her a lot of money to
    represent him as a musician,performer, and communicator.
    It sounds as if she is trying to distance herself
    from his views.
    Is it not possible to get an official statement from him instead
    of the second hand facebook version.

  5. I would respect the BBC’s position on this, *if* the editorial policy cited above were consistently applied. Personally, I am not convinced that this policy is being applied consistently. In 2012, the BBC organised and broadcasted a major concert in celebration of the monarchy, a contentious political institution. The Proms alone are replete with examples of political appropriation: perhaps the most notable in recent history is the Last Night of the Proms in 2001, which experienced a radical change of programme and atmosphere, on very short notice, in order to take account of a major terrorist attack in another country (I hasten to add — before somebody accuses me of being insensitive to the victims of 9/11 — that I am *not* saying that the Proms should have ignored the event, rather that to have done so would have been the logical outcome of following the aforementioned editorial policy). More generally, the speeches made on Last Nights often tend to reflect on society at large, including political issues (to at least a comparable extent to Kennedy’s very brief, abstract statement about “apartheid”), yet these are televised in full (although perhaps that is owing to the impracticality of making cuts to a live broadcast?).

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