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:
(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.