Young baton leaves Britain over Brexit

Young baton leaves Britain over Brexit


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2017

Winner of the 2015 Aspen Conducting Prize, the British conductor George Jackson today declared himself non-resident in the UK. He has relocated to Wiebaden, Germany, stating Article 50 as his reason for the move.

He won’t be the last to go.


  • richard dorset says:

    on his website he looks very arrogant , which is not surprising

    • Jud Perry says:

      What kind of dumb comment is that? You base your opinion on a picture, I base mine on your comment. Fool.

    • Jud Perry says:

      Either you are a troll or an idiot. What a dumb, dumb comment. You judge based on a photo and I based upon your comment. Fool.

    • Norm says:

      Don’t judge a book by its cover. George is a good chap.

    • Alex Prior says:

      And yet in life he is not – a very genuine and pleasant guy who makes music because he loves music. An artist website is a rather odd place to go to form an opinion on someone’s personality.

    • Stefano D'Ermenegildo says:

      I know him personally, he is not arrogant.
      That said, it is a loss for UK.

    • Tony says:

      Hmmm… ALL successful conductors – in my experience – are arrogant. Arrogancy is the name of the game. I can’t think of even one conductor who isn’t arrogant but maybe some are worse than others!

      • Ben says:

        Pair of prats the both of you. George is actually one of the nicest, friendliest guys I had the chance to go to school with, and the fact he’s worked so hard on pushing into the conducting world for so long he deserves better than to have comments from two individuals who should know better at their age.

        George, amazing work my man. Keep it up; I may yet join you in abandoning this sinking vessel.

      • Leanne says:

        You are so incorrect. He is one of the most musical and engaging conductors I have ever worked with. Very nice guy as well.

    • Make Monsters says:

      From your comment you seem smugly opinionated. Or is it possible that it’s rather hard to tell something like that without actually meeting someone….?

    • Kevin Withell says:

      I don’t mean to undermine your comment (I absolutely do, but that’s beside the point…) but please do explain exactly how one would go about ‘looking arrogant’…

      In my experience of conductors, confidence and authority are a vital factor, as well as (along with all artists) a certain necessity to be able to raise one’s public profile.

      Please do excuse my obvious ignorance on the subject… I’m sure it’s an inability to understand such astute and informed observations on my part, as opposed to an uneducated, bigoted and mindless judgement on your part, that is the cause of my confusion.

      I look forward to your objective and cordial reply.

      Many kind regards,


    • Reto Nickler says:

      I know him personally, he is a very nice and talented young man

    • Luciano says:

      Have you met George? I have. Nice bloke.

      • Alan Titherington says:

        I have also met George, and also worked with George. He is not at all arrogant, although I have worked with many conductors who are. Dickie Dorset obviously just judges a book by its cover…possibly because he can’t read.

      • Jamie Phillips says:

        George is a good friend of mine and I can assure you he’s a genuinely very nice person and not at all arrogant. Please don’t make assumptions about people.

  • Jud Perry says:

    What is not surprising? That he looks arrogant? That he looks arrogant on his website? Is this a comment about websites in general? Are you commenting about him leaving? Please use proper punctuation and grammar when you make idiotic comments. Fool.
    (I don’t see any of my comments. I apologize if multiple comments appear, but I couldn’t let this one slide.)

  • Brian B says:

    Great way to get noticed and your obscurity remediated.

  • Piotr says:

    Great decision!
    Why should extraordinary musicians suffer under stupid decisions of uneducated idiots, for whom the furthest journey is potato field of their neighbour. There is no reason to remain patriotic when the leaders destroy your nation.

  • DESR says:

    Assume he probably was headed over there anyway to get some wider experience, and thought why not make a virtue out of a necessity? A bit of virtue-signalling to soften the career development look.

  • Tom says:

    Or maybe he has principles guys? Remember those?

  • Tom Bettley says:

    I’ve worked with George many times and am due to do so again in early February.
    He is by no means “obscure” or in the need of “virtue-signalling”.
    Britain leaving the European Union is going to present (indeed it already has presented) a great many problems for a large majority professional musicians, including myself. I see no reason to slander George or question his integrity over this. So to those who’ve commented above (with the possible not exception of ‘Tony’), please don’t.

  • Dave says:

    Bye Bye!

  • Marianne says:

    Heard some very nice comments about this man today from someone who has actually met and worked with him . Apparently not arrogant at all !
    Winning the Aspen Conducting prize is a big deal so he didn’t need to get noticed by saying this. He has already gained the interest of the classical music world .

  • Isobel says:

    Good luck George! Will you be going back to Sydney again to conduct Sydney Symphony Orchestra? And is your position at Trinity Laban still on-going? (Hilarious comments by Richard and Tony btw…how can someone LOOK arrogant?! Presumably the biggoted type that voted for Brexit in the first place)

  • Myrtar says:

    Who? Seriously, who is this guy and why is this relevant?

  • Will Duffay says:

    I doubt the ill-informed and fundamentally misguided leavers in Doncaster or Merthyr Tydfill will care or notice. They’ll be too busy wondering where all the regeneration money has gone.

  • Halldor says:

    Sad business – but if people in the world of classical music persist in circulating this myth, divorced from all measurable reality, that Britain is currently becoming isolationist and undergoing some kind of catastrophic socio-political breakdown, people within that world are going to start believing it.

    Agreed, the post-truth world is entertaining. This stuff may provide a satisfying glow of self righteous contempt for the unwashed (see comments above) coupled to a delicious horror-movie frisson (we’re all doomed!), and it certainly helps reinforce that sense of being in with the right sort of people. I’ve encountered these tales of Brexit terror often enough (most recently from someone standing in the Floral Hall at Covent Garden holding a £24 glass of champagne).

    But perpetuating these Alternative Facts can have real world consequences – and if I didn’t suspect that (based on his CV to date) Mr Jackson, like thousands of British musicians over the years, has excellent career reasons for relocating to Germany, with its network of well-subsidised orchestras and opera houses, this might indeed have been one of them. All strength to him, despite the political posturing. If there’s a story here it’s about the excellence of British musicians and the long-term lack of UK arts funding.

  • David Hutchings says:

    I have to applaud such courage. A class act.

  • DESR says:

    Why is ‘cutting and running’ courageous?

    To a nice warm bath of public subsidy, and the keening of his fan chamber?

    Courageous, forsooth!

    Sensible career development? That is as maybe.

  • RobKloos says:

    I know George from our studies in Wien. I am not a fan of his conducting, but he is definitely not arrogant. He is a very nice guy.

  • CJPatterson says:

    Sir Simon returns and a minor young conductor leaves. Who cares?