Are any musicians voting Brexit?

Are any musicians voting Brexit?


norman lebrecht

June 02, 2016

We’ve heard from the Alfred Brendel Remain camp today.

Are any UK musicians suffiiently sceptical or fed up to vote Leave?

Or brave enough to declare their intention?

English Music Festival, anyone?

boris johnson music


  • Daniel Grimwood says:

    Like most British musicians my training and career have been very international affairs. I was educated at the Purcell School which has some of the finest instrumental teachers from across the globe with a range of classmates no less international. The piano teachers who had the most galvanising effect on me have been from New Zealand, UK, Germany and Russia. Despite being enriched with such a wide range of viewpoints I have personal and musical traits which mark me as British. My entire mode of expression and sense of humour are of these isles; this despite, or even in part because of a life very much attached to the rest of the continent.
    Ergo: whatever decision you make, misplaced notions of nationalism are irrelevant and should have no place in this – whether we stay in the EU or recede further into the ocean will make no difference to our collective sense of nationhood.

  • Dominy Clements says:

    I would vote to stay if I could, but I’ve been living in and enjoying the benefits of big scary Europe for too long and didn’t keep up the admin.

    It ain’t perfect, but from over here it seems you guys already have the best of both worlds.

  • DESR says:

    Not a chance any of them would own up to it. You would have to be mad.

    Shy Tory Syndrome (STS) times a million!

    Looking back though, like that list of famous people publishes the other day and their likely intentions, I think I can add a few safely dead musicians to the Brexit column:

    Sir Thomas Beecham
    Sir Malcolm Sargent

    I considered Reginald Goodall but his love of Germany might have pulled him in to the Remain ranks, on the basis that he seemed rather keen on Germany being in charge of England at one point.

    Only one who might have some Brexit inclinations and who has enough gumption to ‘fess up would be JEG… but that is (also) complete speculation on my part.

    It’s a good game though!

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Very entertaining, but I don’t understand your argument about Beecham: his repertoire was quite international, and he had a particular affinity for French music. And he crossed the channel or the ocean a lot more than Goodall.

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, that would be a good game. Limit it to deceased British musicians and require a Twitter-length rational!

    • Minutewaltz says:

      Yes, the shy Tory syndrome is interesting. I’ve been wondering, on those grounds, if it’s worth putting a tenner on ‘leave’ at Ladbrokes.

      • DESR says:

        Better to do it quick sharp, as the odds are shortening by the hour.

        Bookies yesterday (political odds checker) quoting now 5/2 for Leave.

        The day before it was 3/1

        Last week it was 7/2

        Week before was 4/1

  • DESR says:

    Yes, Brexit-inclined people can often be well travelled, and might even like ‘foreign’ music. (Gasp!)

    So be in favour of Britain leaving the EU does not require that you refuse any music that is not English. Doh!

    But: anyone who ever heard Beecham play the National Anthem with his orchestras, knows that he would never have consented to national self-renunciation.

    Just sayin’.

  • Damien says:

    Staying in the EU has only to do with paying into a system that is generally acknowledged to be broken. I ask anyone here to think how Greece was treated by the other EU members when it was at the worst moments of its crisis last summer. Instead of coming to Greece’s aid, Germany, in particular, along with The Netherlands, Finland and a few others did everything possible to cause Greece to default and leave the Euro and most probably the EU. Is that how a real union works? No solidarity, no sympathy, no attachment to even having Greece in the EU. The EU is a club where you must pay your dues into a corrupt system to keep unelected bureaucrats in Brussels in cushy jobs, themselves exempt from taxation on their earnings. You can not remove those people, you didn’t even vote for them in the first place. Yet, they make and pass laws that affect your daily lives. If you believe in representative democracy Brexit is the only option. If you can live with a bloated unelected, unresponsive bureaucracy running the life of your country and seeing your tax being used to prop it all up, then you should definitely vote to remain in the EU.
    Saying that if Britain leaves the EU, its economy will crash, is fear mongering. Norway is not in the EU, nor is Switzerland, nor is Iceland. Their economies, in fact are doing and have recently been doing extremely well. Who would you like the British economy and standard of living to emulate: Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland….or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino? Those latter countries made a wise choice twenty years ago, not to join the EU, but to negotiate favorable trade deals, rights for their citizens to live and work in the EU and have all the benefits without the extortion and lack of democratic accountability.
    No person should be ashamed to say “I am for Brexit!”

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Those countries (Norway, Switzerland etc.) pay into the EU budget and accept the EU legislation. The EU laws are passed by the agreement of the countries, rather than “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels” and the budget is also approved by the countries. The only people excluded from EU decision making are those countries outside the EU who nevertheless contribute to the budget and accept the legislation. This would be our position if we left, since it would be a condition of accepting a trade-deal with the EU.