Why the LPO had to act against four players

Why the LPO had to act against four players


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2011

In a commentary in today’s JC, I argue that the London Philharmonic had no choice. Four of its players had used its name in a political statement, calling for the Israel Philharmonic to be banned from the Proms. They had no authority to make a corporate statement of this kind and the company was put in a position where, by doing nothing, it appeared to endorse their action.

The musicians who own and operate the orchestra decided otherwise and took the exceptionally harsh step of suspending four of their colleagues for up to nine months. The JC, in its leader, applauds that action.

My view is that the punishment is too harsh. The suspensions need to be set aside after a brief period and the matter laid to rest.

There has already been a minor outbreak of para-antisemitic tittle-tattle, suggesting – without saying so explicitly – that a Jewish cabal forced the musicians’ suspension. The LPO, like all London orchestras, has a certain number of Jewish supporters, some of them wealthy and influential. They will have made their views known. However, the suspension could not have been imposed without the endorsement of a significant majority of players,executives and donors. Those, like the New Statesman, who point a finger at the Elders of Zion, merely expose their innate racism,


  • Mark Knoop says:

    “There has already been a minor outbreak of para-antisemitic tittle-tattle, suggesting – without saying so explicitly – that a Jewish cabal forced the musicians’ suspension.”

    Actually Norman, the only place that has come from is your own commentary.

    “The band needed to protect its brand. It has prominent Jewish supporters and one board member, Sir Bernard Rix, who will have made their views known. Its chief conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, is proud of his Jewish heritage.” http://www.thejc.com/node/54750

    Once again, you are the one equating support of Israel with Jewishness.

    • Wrong. I stated that Jewish supporters of the orchestra made their views known. They were in a small minority. The majority made its own decision.

      • But the entire decision process is shrouded in mystery. Who made the decision? The players on the board? The management? Was there a vote? And what sort of pressure was placed on the board? Complaints? Threats of loss of sponsorship?

        We’re not being told, and this is an institution that is largely being funded by the taxpayer. The orchestra owes it to the musical public – and the taxpayers who are footing the bill for this – to be a lot more explicit about process.

        • ulyssesjj says:

          Serenus, you make a good point. As the orchestra is a registered charity there is an exception report that should be made – although not a requirement, it is good governance to do so.

        • Oneiroi says:

          Actually less than 35% of their funding is from the tax payer. Ultimately they are a Self-Governing orchestra. The players control it and it will therefore be a decision made by them.

          • arcades says:

            “The players control it and it will therefore be a decision made by them.”

            Does that mean a vote has been taken? Several references have been made to a “majority” – but no one has specified how that majority was arrived at.

      • arcades says:

        Norman –

        you stated:

        “the LPO had little choice. Four players, a representative sample, had used its name in a public letter. The band needed to protect its brand. It has prominent Jewish supporters and one board member, Sir Bernard Rix, who will have made their views known. Its chief conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, is proud of his Jewish heritage.”

        Having “little choice” because “the band needed to protect its brand” & “has prominent Jewish supporters” doesn’t suggest you feel (or felt at the time you wrote the piece) that the ‘making known’ of “their views” was an insignificant factor in LPO management’s decision.

        “The majority made its own decision.” That’s very interesting. Was there a vote? Clarity here would be most helpful.

  • Zena says:

    It’s the New Statesman. ‘Nuff said..

  • Julian Rowlands says:

    I agree wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Lebrecht – it is very much to be hoped that these musicians will be reinstated soon and we can move on from this sad event.

  • Ben White says:

    Norman – I trust you can justify your claim that my article on the New Statesman is “a minor outbreak of para-antisemitic tittle-tattle”. Because I’m sure you wouldn’t want to devalue the term antisemitism.

    Mind you, you seem to have special interpretative powers that don’t require any evidence: “suggesting – without saying so explicitly”.

  • ulyssesjj says:

    There is little that has not already been said about this saga, however, I would like to add that perhaps there is a balance to be struck between freedom of speech and the eloquence thereof. The protesters who, no doubt, are well educated and cultured fall short in articulating a cogent case by acting like an unruly mob. Surely they, more than most, would understand that the complexity of the situation in Israel and Palestine requires an approach that is not characterised by a lack of intellectual diligence. They have only achieved publicity for their own individual cause now and have drawn focus away from the debate on the middle east. I would not expect a rioter in Totenham to have that foresight, but those who go to the trouble of buying tickets at the RAH and understand something about culture have surely let themselves down in terms of their ability to represent an incisive argument.

    • John Fallas says:

      The four musicians have been suspended for countersigning a letter to The Independent which called on the BBC to re-consider its invitation to the Israel Philharmonic.

      There’s no suggestion that they were part of the group which took the significantly more extreme action of protesting at the concert itself. Some commenters (ulyssesjj for one) seem confused about this?

      • That’s true, John. It is equally true that the signatories have not dissociated themselves publicly from the concert attack. Their letter, in some way, legitimized that assault.

        • arcades says:

          “Their letter, in some way, legitimized that assault.”

          What does “in some way” mean? That guilt by association is an OK way to proceed? As I’m sure you know there has been plenty of discussion for & against an economic, cultural, academic boycott of Israel. You may vehemently dislike the arguments of those who argue pro – but it is not illegal to make that argument & there is no reason why it should result in losing (or being suspended from) someone’s job any more than any other argument.

        • I’m afraid I think that the idea that their letter legitimized the assault is arrant nonsense and, frankly, a smear – a bit like saying that those who read the News of the World “legitimized” phone hacking. There’s a rather nasty piece of guilt by association creeping in here, with which those who criticise the Israeli government’s actions will be very familiar.

      • ulyssesjj says:

        No wanting to split hairs, John Falls, I didn’t mention the LPO musicians at all…

  • arcades says:

    “Those, like the New Statesman, who point a finger at the Elders of Zion, merely expose their innate racism”

    I suppose it could be argued that remark merely exposes a propensity for smearing people you disagree with by scandalous association?

  • Stefan says:

    Agreed, Norman. It’s actually very simple.

    1. These particular players signed their names and their employers’ name to a document which espoused controversial views. Neither the players nor the orchestra speak with authority on this matter. The orchestra did NOT give permission. It’s about protecting the brand.

    2. The players were disciplined in a manner deemed appropriate by the orchestra’s governing body. Too lenient, too harsh, whatever. It’s up to the governing body. In my view, they’re lucky they didn’t get fired outright.

    3. End of story.

    Nothing else need enter this discussion – i.e. Zionism, Israel or Jewishness. Irrelevant.

    • arcades says:

      It isn’t simple at all. As I have documented, people sign their names & give their place of employment routinely in newspaper correspondence. They aren’t slaves – so they don’t need to ask permission. It lets people know who they are, what they do, & where they do it. “Authority” is meaningless. If you followed that logically a mathematician would only be allowed to express an opinion on mathematics. Or a musician on vibrato good or bad in Mahler.

      Protecting the brand means what?

      “The players were disciplined in a manner deemed appropriate by the orchestra’s governing body.”

      Who they? According to Norman Lebrecht a ‘majority’ of the orchestra have had their say on the matter (though the mechanism whereby this happened hasn’t been explained).

      “Nothing else need enter this discussion – i.e. Zionism, Israel or Jewishness. Irrelevant.”

      What it comes down to is you don’t like what they have said & you want them punished for saying it. No? If they had written to the Independent congratulating the BBC on not cancelling the IPO invitation would you have wanted them “disciplined”? Would you like Vladimir Jurowski suspended for introducing & conducting ithe LPO in solidatity with protests at cuts to arts funding in the Netherlands?

  • Stefan says:

    Who but a mathematician could express a serious point about mathematics? Who but a musician could speak with authority on vibrato? Laymen can comment on anything they wish, but it’s likely that their opinions will not carry a lot of weight. Who would take me seriously if I had an opinion on mathematics? Nobody! And with good reason. I have nothing to say!

    Protecting the brand means maintaining its good name, keeping it free of controversy and keeping the focus solidly on what that organization is supposed to be doing, which in this case is making music. Every company in the world does this. No brand wants to be associated with any kind of scandal, no matter how big or small.

    Personally, I honestly don’t care what the musicians said about anything. I have no particular sympathies for either side of the Middle East conflict. Both have committed crimes and been the victims of crimes. The problems there will never be solved until both sides stop playing the part of perpetual victim and own up to their own crimes. But I’m not holding my breath for that to happen anytime soon.

    I can only repeat what I’ve said before – can’t make it any simpler. The players dragged the orchestra’s name into this. The orchestra has no wish to be associated with this point of view, because that is not its purpose. The orchestra only wants to make music. If it was a company that made tea-cakes, it would only want to make tea-cakes, because that’s what it does. If there was a company that specialized in having a certain point of view on political matters, then that’s exactly what IT would do. It wouldn’t make music or tea-cakes, nor wish to comment publicly on either of those two worthwhile activities, because that’s not what it does!

    It really is that simple.

    • ariel says:

      If they truly signed their employers’ name to a document without the employers tacit permission then they
      should be dismissed without further ado -and should face legal action . I don’t give a rats ass about their opinions
      but would be outraged if someone attached my name to a document of which I knew nothing.

      • arcades says:

        @ ariel

        “rats ass” or not, it is perfectly usual for professionals to give the name of the organisation they work for / are affiliated to in signing letters to newspapers. As in this letter, opposing an academic boycott of Israel.


        It would have been a long drawn out process indeed, getting the permission (tacit or not) of all those universities (Vice-Chancellor? Senate?). So i think it’s fair to say the signatories didn’t bother. Do you think they “should be dismissed without further ado -and should face legal action”?

        • ariel says:

          arcades – If the signers made it clear they were speaking only for themselves and were only employees
          of the LPO and not fudging the relationship so the average reader would wrongly think the letter had the
          imprimatur of the LPO and its board then of course one withdraws “off with their heads ” but…………
          Stefans note points it to be a document signed by people seemingly representing not only themselves but the LPO and goes on to write the orchestra did NOT give permission .Now if you don’t get permission did
          they ask ? were they turned down and told say what you will but leave our name out .What does their contract stipulate as to using the LPO name outside the musical context .Your example is good as far as it goes . we can note that the signers are speaking for themselves and what station in life they hold so as
          not to be confused with lesser mortals .Now answer a question with a question/… if you had an
          employee who seemingly compromised you & your public standing to make a living by seemingly ascribe personal views to you, which you do not hold ,what would you do >?

          • arcades says:


            Have you looked at this http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2005/apr/19/highereducation.uk link?

            None of the signatories “makes it clear they were speaking only for themselves and were only employees” etc. It’s like hundreds of letters to newspapers every year on controversial subjects which give the signatory’s professional ‘address’ – as in Bil Smith – Jones & Jones Solicitors; or Dr. Jane Smith, Middle Town District Hospital. The correspondence in the link I give is on a controversial topic (an academic boycott of Israel. Which it opposes). Believe me, if each signatory had attempted to get her or his university to agrre to it as ‘company’ policy the letter would still be unsigned. (a) because it would take for ever & (b) most importabtly, the university as a corporate body does not take a corporate view of such matters. & no one with the slightest familiarity with correspondence to newspapers believes it does. A whole new, & double, set of standards are being applied to these four musicians. & the reason for that is they said the ‘wrong’ thing about a ‘wrong’ topic which has annoyed some people with influence & financial clout who are connected to the LPO. That’s what this is about & that’s why it is shocking & wrong (& why it shocks some people who disagree strongly with the letter the musicians signed).

    • Caleb says:

      The usual hypocritical and hysterical posturing of the Israel haters, dressed up with manufactured moral outrage. Not anti-semitism? I dont think so….

  • C.J. Sperling says:

    Ever heard about the “Streisand effect”? The LPO is just about to learn that term.

    A decided but decent letter published in one issue of one newspaper was signed by 24 musicians. 4 of the 24 signed “name, violinist/cellist, LPO” – as other signatories did with their respective ensembles. No reader will have taken this as being more than a background information, and definitely not as being officially supported by the LPO.

    Now, after quite a campaign of smear and false allegations against those four signatories, the LPO is linked to a freedom of speech issue. The ban may be technically justified, but for many people it reeks of bowing to political influences.

    So who did damage to the LPO brand?

    PS (1) – Ironically, a branding campaign is cause for all that trouble. The letter in question raised the topic of IPO’s concert being part of the “Brand Israel” campaign which tries to shift public attention away from the Palestine conflict. Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy at Tel Aviv University (“a leading public policy think tank”, self-description) does research for “Brand Israel”; see the project description at their website: http://tinyurl.com/4y8w5bu and a marketer’s view on the campaign at http://tinyurl.com/3flxohb (excerpt from a Forward article). It’s quite irritating that the misuse of music for such political purposes has not been an issue for this blog.

    PS (2) – “It is very stupid to use the word ‘anti-Semite’ and to call people, who call for the boycott of Israel, as being ‘anti-Semitic’. I was born here, I have my children here, and I am also asking for the boycott of Israel, I have the same idea. (…) These claims of ‘anti-Semitism’ are propaganda claims.” – Aharon Shabtaï, one of Israel’s leading poets, living in Tel Aviv, in a 2008 interview worth reading – http://tinyurl.com/69w3kar

  • arcades says:

    Politics is not something to be left to “specialists.” Any more than questions of conscience or ethics. The consequences of that would be horrifying (are horrifying, where it happens). A mathematician, like any human, has as much right to inform herself & to comment as any other person on political / ethical matters. (Not that it matters, but why on earth should a musician be the only person who can have an informed view about vibrato in Mahler? A musician might have an informed knowledge of mathematics. On your model we would all go around in mute, awed, ignorance, waiting for the specialist to pronounce).

    “Protecting the brand means maintaining its good name, keeping it free of controversy and keeping the focus solidly on what that organization is supposed to be doing, which in this case is making music.”

    Interesting how one moment music is this universal language floating above politics & the next it’s all about brands. According to Mr Lebrecht what this meant wasn’t not getting involved in controversy as such, but not annoying quite specific supporters of the orchestra. “The band needed to protect its brand. It has prominent Jewish supporters and one board member, Sir Bernard Rix, who will have made their views known. Its chief conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, is proud of his Jewish heritage.” That’s not protecting the orchestra’s good name: it’s giving in to political pressure. I thought people here were against that?

    “The orchestra has no wish to be associated with this point of view, because that is not its purpose. The orchestra only wants to make music.”

    It makes political videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rZH0eeyTl8 ‘Soldier of Orange – for the orchestras of the Netherlands’. It’s about music? It’s about a campaign to protest the policies of the Dutch government. I might think those policies stink, Vladimir Jurowski might think they stink … but it’s as political as writing about Israel / Palestine to a newspaper, or about government policy here. & that isn’t the name of the orchestra conventionally included after a signature. That’s the orchestra directly involved. Will management act consistently & suspend Vladimir Jurowski? Since it’s clearly a more direct abuse of the orchestra’s metaphorical uninterest in cupcakes I reckon 18 months should do it.

    • Stefan says:

      That video about Dutch cultural policies is a different matter for two very important reasons:

      1. It relates directly to the business of orchestras, which is to be able to play music. Playing music, if you recall my earlier comment, is what an orchestra does and knows best. Musicians are the ones best qualified to speak about their own rights to make a living. Musicians comment on music matters; bakers comment on cupcake matters.

      2. It was obviously made with the approval of the orchestra’s governing body!!!

      • arcades says:


        It isn’t a different matter. It’s a direct criticism of the policies of an elected government. It is a blatant political intervention.

        “Musicians comment on music matters; bakers comment on cupcake matters.” But they aren’t only commenting on music. They are commenting on economics. If I supported the policies of the Dutch government (which, as it happens, I don’t) I’d say ‘what do these people know about what we need to do to balance our economy here in the Netherlands’?

        “It was obviously made with the approval of the orchestra’s governing body!!!”

        Who keep on telling us music & politics must be kept separate. So they’d better get on with the sad but necessary task of suspending themselves & Vladimir Jurowski.

        • Stefan says:

          A company is free to do or say anything it likes (no matter how irrelevant to its reason for being, and within the bounds of the law), AS LONG AS ITS GOVERNING BODY SIGNS OFF ON IT. Which in this case it DID, and in the other case it DIDN’T.

  • Geoff Pahoff says:

    I also agree entirely with Mr Lebrecht. This is not and should not be about punishment but why is there such a reluctance to discuss what this is about and that is antisemitism?

    The letter and the outrage at the Albert Hall are part of a global campaign aimed at tearing down the Jewish state that has seen protesters chanting about “blood in your hot chocolate” outside chocolate shops in Melbourne and Sydney. They must know what they are saying especially given here as in Britain some of them have or claim to have Jewish backgrounds. Of course they do.

    This is being identified as an antisemitic campaign at all Australian political levels with resolutions denouncing BDS by the Senate and the NSW Legislative Council so far. Of course it is antisemitic and there are many people here saying so.This “anti-Zionist” cover they use is too thin for Australians not to see straight through. A global campaign to tear down the only liberal democracy that protects human rights in the region solely because it is the Jewish state?. Even the master anti-Zionist theorist himself, Noam Chomsky says that is antisemitism as Julian Rowlands very helpfully pointed out the other day. Noam Chomsky is due in Sydney in early November to pick up the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize that has been awarded to him by the Sydney Peace Foundation of the University of Sydney. Last year’s winner was local boy expatriate John Pilger. Yes, there is a pattern.

    Antisemitism is an aggressive and infectious psychological illness but it can be cured with the snap of the fingers. This is not about individuals or punishment.. It is about any concept that there should be no room for the Jewish state anywhere between the river and the sea and therefore Israel must be torn down, peacefully or otherwise, is an antisemitic notion to the core that should be unacceptable in rational circles.

    These campaigns that are aimed at demonising Israel, and only Israel, guilty of barely a fraction of the human rights abuses of the Palestinians and other Arabs that the Palestinian and other Arab leaders of all stripes have been are clearly and obviously antisemitic . Saying Israel is just like the old apartheid state in South Africa and that it will dissolve like a pillar of salt just like the old apartheid is a racist lie.

    This needs to be said more often. One of the most successful nations on the planet is to be torn down on the sole ground that it is the Jewish state? Please do not pretend this is not antisemitism and through deploying these BDS tactics the campaigners have shone a torch on the very heart of the problem.

    Why will they not accept the Jewish state?

    Those looking for moral certainties in this old and horrible conflict will find them in the answer to that question.

    Sorry. Not on. Not sorry really. I saw somewhere a British journalist in Libya reported an “old Arabic saying” he picked up from fighters in Libya closing in on Tripoli.

    “You can piss on me but don’t tell me it’s raining”

    A little crude but says it all really.

    Of course this is antisemitism hiding behind noxious labels as it always does and with a few Jews up front as cover as there always have been as well.

    No state for the Jews. No peace for the Palestinians.

    BDS has made this very plain.

    They have the audacity to call this a humans rights campaign.

    Huge mistake.

  • arcades says:

    @ Geoff Pahoff

    Mirjam Hadar is anti-semitic? http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2009/hadar190509.html

    It seems to me the charge of anti-semitism is a convenient & scandalous way of bullying people into silence; the equation of Isareli / Israel with Jewish a way of enforcing that & of disallowing Jewish opposition to Israel’s policies & actions.

    There is racism on this page, of course. It comes @ Ari from Israel:

    “It is time to remove your PC attitude to the Islamic takeover of Europe. Israel is just a the red cloth waved in fromt of your eyes to distract you from the sword concealed behind it. Jihad and Killing the Crusaders is the true agenda of Islam (ALL Islam – just take a peak in the Kuraan).”

    Change some of the words & that could be a rant about another so-called takeover of Europe / conspiracy written any time from the late C19 – 1940s.

    Getting back to the subject of this discussion, I’m glad you agree that the LPO management is wrong to suspend the four musicians. “This is not and should not be about punishment ….” Since, of course, they’ve done nothing to entail ‘punishment’ of any kind.

  • Geoff Pahoff says:

    I have no idea what is in the inner and darker reaches of anybody’s mind and really I have no interest. Thankfully, It’s not my line and given that I don’t even know these people it would be impertinent to say the least. For that reason I rarely make the allegation of antisemitism against anyone.

    However the notion that by this stage of this old and ugly game there is no room for the Jewish state between the river and the sea is antisemitic to the core and this needs to said very clearly.

    At the very least those who believe that should muster the honesty to say so.

    The issue of “punishment” for these individuals is not one I am at all qualified to comment on.

  • “However the notion that by this stage of this old and ugly game there is no room for the Jewish state between the river and the sea is antisemitic to the core and this needs to said very clearly. ”

    But is anyone actually saying that in this debate? Certainly not in the letter sent to the Independent. I protest against the policies of the UK Government all the time but I’m not denying the UK’s right to exist. Likewise, there are plenty of people like me who have serious problems with the Israeli government’s policy towards Palestinians – and believe that the Israel PO, because of its position in Israeli society, is being used in part to justify that policy – but who do not challenge the right of the state of Israel to exist. I understand too that the issue of borders is really important here.

    But it is simply a smear to say that to oppose the policies of the Israeli government is to deny the right of the State of Israel to exist. And, yes, there are certainly anti-Semites out there who do take that view, but that does not make the criticism of Israeli government policy inherently anti-Semitic, any more than opposing the British Government’s policy makes one inherently anti-Anglican. (And I would remind those who say that it’s not the same thing that Established Anglicanism is fundamentally part of what the British state is)

    I want to see a lasting peace in the Middle East. I happen to believe that such a peace will require a much greater recognition of Palestinian rights than the current Israeli government appears willing to countenance. But that’s the starting place for a debate, not a statement of anti-Semitism.

  • Geoff Pahoff says:

    Of course criticism of Israeli policies is not antisemitism. Nor is genuine heart felt compassion for the plight of the Palestinians. No one has seriously suggested that. That would be absurd. But this campaign goes way beyond that and those who do not know this really should read the BDS literature and listen to what they are saying.

  • ed says:

    Can it be said with any measure of certainty that identifying oneself by one’s occupation and place of occupation in a letter advocating a political position can be reasonably regarded as an endorsement by the employer of the statement? If not, then this is not a “branding issue” where the LSO’s reputation and marketability is being damaged. Instead it is more of a human rights issue of one’s freedom to express one’s political views, where the rights would be abridged by imposing a penalty, just as might happen in China if one criticized some policy of the Party.

    If, instead, the musicians’ contract clearly prohibits this, and a process is prescribed to penalize the breach, such as by suspension, and the prosciption and procedure are not against the social policy of British law, then it could be rightfully imposed.

    However, if the substantive rights are clear, or there is no prescribed procedural process, then would it not be better to allow a full and open hearing before the Orchestra Board before determining and imposing a penalty?

    In any case, what this is not is an issue of anti-semitism by the four musicians. From what this reader can determine, they are all jewish and seem to care deeply enough about the future of Israel to question the legitimacy of the current government’s most repressive policies, something that Israeli citizens have themselves been doing at greqt personal risk, even to the extent of advocating a boycott of the present government- despite the threat of suspension or firing or blacklisting and loss of civil liberties.

    Whether one agrees with advocating a boycott against a fellow symphony orchestra, one cannot but recognize the courage and honesty of these four musicians to stand up as they have.

    Hopefully, the LSO will clarify its position on such matters, develop less arbitrary procedures, and in this particular, perhaps cut a bit of slack for the four, while also remaining mindful that some of the greatest art and music was a created as a way to inform the public, and bear witness to and protest injustice and oppression, (whether it was by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Picasso, or Velasquez, or so many other great composers.)
    Moreover, the LSO itself should not forget its own great tradition, when, during WW2 Sir Thomas Beecham specifically programmed French music in support of the French Resistance.

  • iain rutherford says:

    “suggesting – without saying so explicitly – that a Jewish cabal forced the musicians’ suspension”

    Where does this article suggest that? I’m genuinely puzzled. Clarification needed please.

    • White’s article hints at conspiracy – ‘What happened between 2 September and the decision to mete out the punishment? – and founds this nudge-wink on Gavin Dixon’s insidious comment: ‘ They are obviously trying to appease somebody. It would be indiscreet to speculate as to who and why.’ Somebody? Who, Paddington Bear? The inference to Jewish supporters could hardly be more specific.

      • iain rutherford says:

        I think you’re reading what you want to see, rather than what’s actually there. Accusing the New Statesman of anti-semitism based on one of their journos quoting another writer is a very cheap, easy shot. Why don’t also acknowledge that Ben White quotes Norman Geras? Will you still be writing for the New Statesman? Isn’t at least one of the suspended musicians Jewish himself?

  • ed says:

    Mr. Lebrecht, Mea culpa about referring to LSO with regard to Beecham and the LPO. In fact, I meant the LPO, and the LPO’s wartime programming. Whether or not Beecham was abroad during the war is irrelevant, the orchestra was broadcasting out of London or its environs and its management had adopted a very political position in setting its programming.

  • ariel says:

    “However expressions of private views has to be independent of the LPO itself and must not be done in any way
    that associates them with the LPO” If the players (workers ) signed such an agreement as a condition of employment then what is all the fuss about ? if they wanted the reader to know what their social status is
    so as to give weight to their letter they could sign it” symphony orchestra player ” and let the read guess which
    so called great orchestra they belonged to . If they did not sign an agreement not to mention in any form that they were affiliated with the LPO then they should institute court action and spare us the ranting and ravings of whether one
    is pro Israel or not or whether the music world is in the hands of prominent Jewish supporters and on and on .
    What was the agreement of employment and was it broken is all that matters . Giving up free speach as
    a condition of employment is another matter .