Trump books his first symphony concert

Trump books his first symphony concert


norman lebrecht

May 17, 2017

During next week’s G7 summit, the US President will attend a 7pm concert on Friday, May 26, at the Teatro Antico in Taormina, Sicily.

Myung-Whun Chung will conduct the Filarmonica della Scala in Beethoven’s fifth symphony. Andrew Powell tells us that Dvorak’s cello concerto was also planned, but may be omitted amid fears the concert may tax the president’s limited patience.

No tweeting during the concert, please.

UPDATE: Trump’s concert is dumbed down.


  • Martin says:

    I just saw this photo of Chung in Dresden’s Semper Opera under this headline and nearly choked.

  • Urs Liska says:

    The 3rd symphony with its revoked dedication to an authoritarian leader would have seemed more appropriate …

    • David says:

      To the contrary, no one know more about classical music than Trump. He’s an expert in classical music, a total genius.

      Your comment is sad.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Best comment on Trump I’ve read in any Slipped Disc discussion.

      • Bruce says:


      • Marshall says:

        Trump derangement syndrome knows no limits-let us recall that both Hitler and Stalin attended classical concerts and operas frequently. Stalin had a beautiful tenor voice, and loved poetry-so what. Both were actually quite knowledgeable. Hitler sat through countless Rings, Tristans, Parsifals etc. Some of the the worst Holocaust operatives had PHDs and loved classical music.

        So what does all this prove?

        I’ll remind you of all American Presidents Obama was the most hostile and actively disliked our music-in fact unlike previous presidents I recall no instance where he dutifully attended any opera or classical event.

        What does it all prove?

        • James Turzer says:

          A few years ago, at a Lola Astinova Carnegie Hall concert, Mr. Trump was m.c.. That same night President Obama was uptown at the Apollo, and he sang one phrase: I’m (breath) so (breath) in love (breath) with you. The next day, he got rave reviews for his lovely singing voice. Nobody said anything about phrasing. The Times’ critic was not as kind to Lola, but, in my opinion, her demanding Chopin program was wonderful. But, what do I know?

        • David B says:

          >I recall no instance where he dutifully attended any opera or classical event.

          Incredibly ignorant or intentionally blind? This is the constant question to ask when dealing with the right wing. Is it all the hate that makes them so? And what’s hilarious is they’re not only wrong, they’re incredibly wrong. Repeatedly. It never matters. No introspection or self-examination.

          Not only did Obama attend the following classical music event, he hosted it.

          [B]ut on November 4, it felt entirely as if a new era for the performing arts had arrived in Washington, DC, when President and Mrs Obama hosted more than 150 middle and high school players from all over the US, as well as master artists, at the White House for an official afternoon and evening dedicated to classical music.

          The late morning was given over to workshops and masterclasses (not open to the press) given by four professional musicians. Violinist Joshua Bell, guitarist Sharon Isbin, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Awadagin Pratt all performed and taught student workshops. In the early afternoon in the State Dining Room, Mrs Obama hosted the annual Coming Up Taller Awards, which since 1998 has presented prizes to outstanding after-school arts and humanities programmes across the country.

          Afterwards, she and the press corps zipped down the White House’s pristine hall to the East Room to hear some of the students, along with their four professional mentors, show off what they had learnt. In the evening, the President joined the festivities for a culminating concert.

          • Marshall says:

            Always with the name calling, and speaking of hatred? You are obsessed with it as your ideology demands of you. So big deal, all first families, ex officio, have certain events they must seem to promote or attend. It still doesn’t change the point-this was not important music in his life. Do you think on his devices or in the private quarters late Beethoven sonatas are his most played? (by the way Jimmy Carter loved and knew classical music and had it played in the oval office-but to most it didn’t make him a great president, but he does appear to be a righteous man)

            We all recall on this very site when the award was given to Martha Agerich with notes, and I’m sure spelled out phonetically he mangled her name beyond belief. Not such a big deal, but what was clear, is that he didn’t have foggiest notion of who she is!

            Of course, in your frenzy, you typically ignore the core point I make-and the more interesting one, far more important than whether Trump or Obama go to the opera. What do the musical tastes of leaders prove about their abilities or moral rectitude? You ignore that one-too problematical, too challenging?

        • Petros Linardos says:

          For the record, there were classical music events at the Obama White house, like this one:

          That said, I have no problem if politicians skip classical concerts. I am tired of seeing some attend while in office and disappear thereafter.

          As for Trump derangement syndrome, please cut some of us some slack. He’s a nightmare, at many levels.

          • Steve P says:

            No slack cut. Lib hysteria sees bogey-Trump around every corner. And just think: 3 years and 7 more months to listen to / read the MSM silliness. No coverage of any Obama shilling or Climpton murdering, tho.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            Steve, that’s not true. There was no liberal hysteria against Judge Curiel when he vindicated Trump. Apparently Trump acted fairly by compensating with 25,000,000 USD the students of now defunct Trump University he had defrauded.

          • Steve P says:

            Did you seriously point out one (1) incident of judicial prudence as evidence the MSM / libs coalition isn’t berserk? Sir, that is naive on an epic scale. Bravo to you and your ilk! Stay insane!

          • Marshall says:

            For someone who doesn’t care if politicians skip classical concerts, you keep trying to show how Obama cared for classical music-which he clearly did not. So let it go.

            Why should anybody be cut slack. The alternative was Hilary Clinton-and Nancy Pelosi (who truly seems unhinged-) and Schumer who embarrasses himself everyday-they would be running the country. That’s the best you could come up with?

            I could certainly accept a statement-which you guys will never be fair minded enough to say-that the problem is not Trump, but a political system that no longer functions. Trump became the expression of that, a protest vote if you will (remembering that 46% of American do not vote-many because they know it fundamentally makes no difference)

            We should all be frightened that the Roman Republic cannot survive this system.

        • jansumi says:

          Obama ‘hostile’ to classical music? Where do these rumours come from:

    • Bruce says:

      It would be more appropriate, but it is too long. He might make it through the 5th if they play fast and don’t take any repeats.

  • herrera says:

    True fact: Trump wanted to be a classical pianist when he was young.

    Alas his hands were too small.

    • Steve P says:

      And the hot women those small hands have fondled…makes us normal (or HUGE handed) folks jealous.

  • David Boxwell says:

    Other Trump classical music faves: “Overture to The Master Singers” (from the soundtrack of “Trumph of the Will”), “A Hero’s Life” (by Strauss), and “The Sun Shines on Our Homeland” by Shots E. Kovitch.

  • Derek says:

    Trump says that he went to college with Bart Hoven. ” He was a friend of mine. He was a really cool guy. A really cool guy.”

  • Dave T says:

    Once again the lying media is peddling fake news. Actually it is a true fact that President Trump requested they play Havergal Brian Symphony 1. As an alternate, Mahler 3. He even offered to perform the 4th movement solo (with any funds saved going to veteran firefighters who were wiretapped by Obama). But thanks to the ruined economy of job-stealing, socialist Italy and the corrupt leadership of the crooked, ISIS-influenced government, all the stops were pulled out in an attempt to embarrass Trump.