A music festival proudly destroys a violin – live online

A music festival proudly destroys a violin – live online


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2018

This was Thursday’s highlight of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.

The artistic directors are Erik Peterson and Emily Ondracek-Peterson.

The festival’s mission statement reads: ‘Our mission is to enrich, educate and inspire our community with diverse art forms that celebrate the human spirit. CBMF presents outstanding performances in diverse musical genres with accompanying educational programs each summer.’

Enrich? Educate? Inspire?

UPDATE: Emily explains why.


  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Sickening. Äckligt. Nauseabondo. Widerlich. Répugnant. In summa, very avant-garde, progressive, anti-racist. Radical candorandrophobe composer?

  • Caravaggio says:

    The rock ‘n roll effect: Jimmy Hendrix, Pete Townsend (of The Who fame), et.al. They call that enriching and inspiring and whathaveyou?

  • Patrick says:

    Well, this is stupid, but they don’t care. I’m sorry to see this. Will avoid this festival.

  • Kent says:

    Well that’s the point of postmodern art isn’t it?

    To do violence to our normal, I’d say human, conceptions of beauty and order so that the ushering in of a brave new world society will be met with minimal resistance from human-kinds inherent sense of aesthetics.

    On the political side, doing things like this that require no effort or creativity is a great way to score renown and political points for your “edgy” and “original” content.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I don’t think she’s doing that right.

  • Michael Endres says:

    Please do stay in Colorado.

  • Gerhard says:

    Pathetic concept, and pathetic handling of a saw as well. At least she should have practised sawing before entering the stage.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Are you asking for a ‘better’ performance? Maybe she should begin with a viola, since she could not ‘play’ the violin appropriately?

  • Jack says:

    Every year, the greater Denver area accepts the donation of thousands of musical instruments to be provided to children in schools who might not otherwise be able to have one. This violin could have been one of those instruments.

    As a Coloradan, I have attended most of Colorado’s many summer music festivals, but Crested Butte was still on my go-to list. After this, it’s going to stay on that list.

  • Rustier Spoon says:

    This is utterly utterly disgraceful. She should be ashamed of herself. I’d be really concerned if she was MY teacher….

  • Sharon says:

    When stuff like this is done at rock concerts or as part of theater performance, whether comic or dramatic, they generally respect the instrument enough not to use a real one, although there are exceptions.

    I could not make out the sound but what is the point of this at a music festival? Humor?

  • Robert Roy says:


  • Sam Cheung says:

    May this music festival go into bankruptcy soon

  • Jaime Weisenblum says:

    I am speechless.
    I could use a few choice words to describe my feelings about this
    crime,but I will only comment that the person or people involved
    with this undertaking should be charged with a crime.A real chargeable crime.
    And no suspended sentence either.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

  • RW2013 says:

    Haven’t any of you ever heard of ‘dorm rats’ pushing upright pianos out of windows from tall dorm buildings?

    Equally inexcusable!

    • barry guerrero says:

      I would say far more inexcusable. Even a student level piano requires more resources, and at least some hand assembling and adjusting.

  • GM2 says:

    This is just unintelligent and vandalistic.

  • Austin says:

    Curious that when the destruction of an instrument is written into a score (eg. Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King) it’s considered genius and helps earn the notably white-Euro-male composer a knighthood. But here, in a free-to-the-public evening with an open stage for community artists who wish to explore their own creativity, where performance art might be redefined for those in the audience who have never experienced the avant-garde, it’s just heresy–with wishes that it go into bankruptcy.

    And for the record, for those who will neither support the festival or wish it financial harm, look at their website and see that CBMF provides free tickets to all children, aged 7-17, as well as summer music education programs instructing children in everything from folk music to opera that are only available in their area through their work. The destroyed instrument is made of plywood, mass-produced, and sells for $26.00 on Ebay. Learn the facts and get over yourselves.

    Get back to journalism and keep away from posting these sensational stories with nothing but empty rhetorical questions that appeal to your own echo chambers. There are two sides to every story and you, Slipped Disc, have done an excellent job lately of only representing one of them.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Free tickets to all children? God forbid! That should be R-rated.

      • Austin says:

        For its inclusion of all those adult themes, nudity, hard language, and violence, right? Please, enough with the hyperbole.

        • buxtehude says:

          Austin is right, “Enough.” Plus it will empower those kids who really feel the need to get out of violin lessons. Privilege their impulse. Address the imbalance in power relationships to which children are so understandably sensitive. We should be grateful they’re taking it out on insensate objects only, not on musicians — a stage yet to come.

          • Pianofortissimo says:

            Be careful. There are lots of idiots who would take your words at value. Their intelligence does not recognize irony. (Well, I guess you’re a normal guy… )

          • buxtehude says:

            @Piano: Well OK. Dunno if I’m normal or not, but not That crazy, and I was addressing fellow semi-normals.

            What I was trying to get at is a growing sense I have — which I hope is completely wrong — that there is such a thing as a vague but violent region of opinion that doesn’t see much wrong with taking a swing at the violinist as well as the violin. Trouble at the airport is an early sign, maybe not so early.

            Tell me this fear is foolishness.

          • Pianofortissimo says:

            Yea, (unfortunately) I feel you are quite right in this point.

  • David J. Rothman says:

    I founded this festival, and I am appalled. What a shame.