Gerard Schwarz responds to antisemitic slur

We have received the following note from the former Seattle and Liverpool music director in response to our earlier report on his new book.

Gerard Schwarz writes:

‘I had a wonderful time in Liverpool, both musically and personally. Just listen to our live recordings of the Mahler Symphonies to attest to the high musical and technical level of the orchestra. I also had a wonderful relationship with members of the Liverpool Jewish community –  I write about that experience one page before I quote the Rockwell article. “We would also, on occasion, attend services at the Princes Road Synagogue, a very beautiful and very spiritual place where one can see and feel the history of the Jewish community in Liverpool.”

‘I certainly felt no anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism while I lived and worked there. It was never my intention in my book to give the impression to the contrary. I did quote John Rockwell’s article in The New York Times from August 2004, but the importance of the quote was his evaluation of British vs. American style music directors. When John asked me about anti-Semitism, I said I did not agree with that evaluation. In my memoir of 375 pages I devote ten pages to my years in Liverpool. I hope everyone might read those pages, and I also hope the impression they give is of a wonderful experience with a terrific orchestra in a fascinating city.’

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  • Very glad to read this and to say that there were certainly highlights at the RLPO during Gerad Shwarz’s period as Music Director when we had some fine American music as well the Mahler he mentions. He also seems to have invented the successful Sunday afternoon concerts in Liverpool. Incidentally, four musicians from the orchesra rcently played a fine concert of klezmer and other music of travellers in the magnificent Princes Road Synagogue.

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