Many ulterior agendas lurk behind the new twinning deal between the New York Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Here are some of the more disquieting ones.
1 Long Yu, the Shanghai conductor, is a senior Communist Party official who was appointed music director in Shanghai without the musicians’ approval. Many, in fact, opposed his accession. How does that square with the democratic values of the New York Phil?
2 The agent behind the deal is Jean-Jacques Cesbron, president of Columbia Artist Management (CAMI, right in the pic below). JJ, as he’s known, is Lang Lang’s personal agent. Was Lang Lang party to the deal? Did he broker it? Lang Lang turns very shy when asked in interviews about Long Yu.
3 CAMI has moved in to replace IMG as Long Yu’s preferred partner. On what terms?
4 The Shanghai players are traditionally polite, the New Yorkers notoriously not. Who will be teaching what to whom?
5 How soon before Long Yu conducts the New York Philharmonic?
Credit to Brian Wise of WQXR for breaking the story.