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Vladimir Ashkenazy: British musicians must maintain European links

March 19, 2017 by norman lebrecht

18 comments.


The music director of the recently jeapordised European Union Youth Orchestra tells the Observer today:

‘I am sorry about (Brexit), and I know it will be difficult to get used to a totally different situation, but for musicians many things will remain the same, simply because we will work to find a way to make agreements for the sake of music…

‘ In Germany classical music is, of course, incredibly strong traditionally. But it has become much stronger here in Britain, with a very high level of musicians who are, perhaps, more open to all sorts of new endeavours.

‘Brexit seems quite small compared to the changes you once saw in communist countries.’

Read full article here.


Comments (18)

  1. Rob van der Hilst says:

    Dear Albionians, what is so wrong with your very own and very old-fashioned Speldid Isolation? It’s in fact the most authentic-British THING in the world. So cuddle this..
    We from ‘the European continent’, we just walk further on, together of course, each from a position of national-selfawareness the basis of Sir Winston Churchill’s projected ideal of an United States of Europe. Forgotten this? Of course, of course.

    1. Ellingtonia says:

      Could we have this translated into English as I haven’t the slightest what you are on about?

      1. Steven Holloway says:

        I understand it very well indeed. I light touch of sarcasm at the start, another of irony, and overall a most astute observation. You must, of course, allow for the fact that English is not Rob’s first language, but the ‘Albionian’ Splendid Isolationists have ever supposed all other nations should be fluent in English and damned them for speaking in foreign tongues. I’m English, an historian, and work in five languages other than English (six if you include Old Church Slavonic, though that is no longer useful for diurnal communication), yet I still feel a touch embarrassed for my country when I hear the measure of competency in English of the peoples of the Continent (and elsewhere).

        1. Zelda Macnamara says:

          Splendid Isolation is a thing of the past. Many of us are heart-broken at the thought that it is going to be imposed on us again.

          1. Steven Holloway says:

            Yes, indeed. The problem is that we thought it was a thing of the past, but now it seems we were mistaken. I’m appalled. I have a sense that we are in a general state of regression of which this is just a part.

          2. Ellingtonia says:

            It is not being imposed, it is the will of the British people (perhaps you have heard of the term democracy) that we take control of our own country. My goodness, don’t the “luvvies” get themselves into a tizzy when things don’t go their way! I still remain European in outlook, nay, I have a world view, but I am fed up (along with millions of others) of being dictated to by those in Europe whose sole aim is self aggrandisement.

        2. Ellingtonia says:

          And I speak three languages, English, Lancashire dialect and Yorkshire tyke……..but have to confess still getting to grips with the latter despite residency in the White Rose county for nearly 40 years.

          1. Zelda Macnamara says:

            Sorry to get “political”, but 37% of the electorate is not “the will of the people”, especially when they were lied to and in many cases were only reflecting back what the tabloids were telling them. I think many people will regret it when they realise just what we will lose (starting with little things like our EHIC cards, our cheap mobile phone tariffs when on the continent, up to the brain drain in our universities which has already begun, and many other consequences which have been outlined and others which we can’t yet foresee). We will wait and see the devastation it causes in the musical world.

          2. Zelda Macnamara says:

            And I would be grateful if you could give me an example of the “self-aggrandisement” you refer to. I have worked in Brussels for an NGO and know plenty of MEPs and civil servants in the Commission, and I have not come accross any “self-aggrandisement”.

          3. Ellingtonia says:

            And your evidence for all your claims is…………………? You really have to be tongue in cheek when you say “I have worked in Brussels for an NGO and know plenty of MEPs and civil servants in the Commission, and I have not come accross any “self-aggrandisement”………no self interest in not “finding” anything that I suggested, do me a favour please!

          4. Steven Holloway says:

            I didn’t notice any evidence provided in support of your assertion, Ellingtoniana.

          5. Ellingtonia says:

            I didn’t notice any evidence from you to disprove my assertions………..try doing a little research and search out those who have lined their own pockets, NGO that have milked the EU and those in power because they like the power (Lord Mandleson anyone))

          6. Steven Holloway says:

            That’s not quite the way it works, Ellingtonia. You make an assertion, you provide the evidence. Thesis, argument with evidence, conclusion. Not ‘I believe this, so you just prove me wrong’. That is the ‘Trump Methodology’, and that means you’d just ignore any evidence to the contrary anyway.

    2. Hugh Jaarsz says:

      “United States of Europe”- you mean the Fourth Reich headed up by Frau Murkle, with the drunkard Juncker and the Goldman Sachs money printer Draghi in her coterie?

  2. Gabriele says:

    Am a bit surprised that in Ashkenazy’s biography his fairly long connection as conductor of the DSO Berlin (from 1989-1999) is not mentioned. Omission-why, such an important orchestra,..He also decided, together with the orchestra management, to change the name from RIAS Symphony Orchester to Deutsches Symphony Orchester Berlin. Maybe I am beside the point of brexit, etc.

    1. Alexander Hall says:

      It also prompts the question whether the author of the Observer article had bothered to do the all-important background research. Ashkenazy has never had an association with the London Philharmonic Orchesra; he was a Principal Guest Conductor and later Conductor Laureate of the Philharmonia Orchestra and spent almost a decade as Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

  3. stefan verbeek says:

    is that the only Coll sweater he has….?

  4. Sandora says:

    I am a little bit reluctant of reading about the high quality of musicians in the UK. I never came across to so many mediocre musicians and a system which supports the existence and spreading the big average grey mass than here in the UK. That I have seen widely in music education, by visiting concerts, and last but not least listenning BBC 3 and Classic FM……..


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