Am I missing the point (3)?

Am I missing the point (3)?


norman lebrecht

April 21, 2019

From Žak Ozmo, Director, L’Avventura London:

What do Frédéric Chopin, Bob Marley, and Gloria Estefan all have in common?  They were all refugees who thrived artistically in their adopted countries after fleeing violence in their homelands – and they all have changed the history of Western art and music.  In this personal talk, music director Žak Ozmo reflects on his own path as a refugee and shines the light on trials that put life into perspective and inspire performances full of beauty, poetry, and peace.  The key is in art’s universal expression of the human condition, which resonates with us all.’

NL: I grew up among refugees. There’s nothing noble or uplifting about being a refugee. It’s different levels of hell and Chopin doesn’t make it better.



  • Nick says:

    Unbelievable nonsense. Nothing to do with anything. Just blurb. I am also a refugee, and we are not “uniquely qualified” for anything! We are all different, we are not equal and will never be. George Orwell is this guy’s a “must read”

  • steven holloway says:

    I think it dubitable that Chopin was a refugee, Marley’s case is sounder, though not crystal clear, and Estafan similarly so. It may not matter to many, or most, but the terms refugee, exile and expatriate are not synonymous.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Bob Marley really wasn’t a refugee. And in any case, he was fully musically formed and a global star before he moved to England (he still went back to visit Jamaica regularly after moving). He really wasn’t particularly musically influenced by being in England.

      Chopin moved to Paris mainly because he thought it was musically more interesting.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    NL: agreed! Chopin doesn’t make it worse, but it might not make it better. It’s called Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Bogus refulgences. Chopin was one European person. Today the entire world wants to move to Europe and the USA. If you cannot tell the difference it explains your susceptibility to cant, obfuscation and lies. Look no further than that utopia for migrants; France in the 21st century.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Highly questionable whether any of these were refugees. They left their homelands because prospects were better elsewhere. Those who do well are remembered, others blend into the crowd.