The pianist Nick Van Bloss has obtained a sheaf of embarrassing emails about himself under Freedom of Information procedures. The embarrassment is not to Nick but to half a dozen British orchestras that he says have conspired to exclude him from their programmes.
The orchestras are the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Birmingham, Hallé Bournemouth and Liverpool, and Nick has gone to the Telegraph with complaints of collusion.
An email from one orchestra’s chief executive to another said: “I would cut and paste the response from [redacted] to show solidarity… and a message that we all think the same!”
An internal email between the directors of Philharmonia called van Bloss “trouble”. “Nick van Bloss is a protege of [redacted] and he is Trouble,” it said. “Switch off your phone, is my advice.”
Nick, 51, suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome, a disability that involves severe tics which, he says, do not affect his playing. He told the newspaper: ‘The emails display a hostile, mocking and pathological disregard for me and my complaint. The main point of my concern was diversity. The orchestras are funded to promote and celebrate it, but they reacted to my complaint by asking for me to apologise for having called them out.’
Is anyone surprised that there is collusion between public-funded UK orchestras? I wonder what the ABO has to say.