Berlin Phil may face Paris riot tomorrow

The orchestra will play its annual Concert for Europe tomorrow in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay.

The conductor is Daniel Harding, former chief of the Orchestre de Paris.

No French orchestra is allowed to perform by law on May 1. This is looking like a somewhat undiplomatic gesture.

It is reported that 7,400 police will be on the streets tomorrow for anticipated Gilets jaunes demonstrations.

Stay safe,

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  • Reminds me of a night back in 2010 or 2011 when Occupy Wall St. staged an event at Lincoln Center, right in front of the Met. We — well, the young people among us — moved so fast that about 50 were in place by the time the NYPD got there and all they could do was cage us inside their portable barriers. Anyway, everything went fine and we had a big surprise: I guess they must have been performing Satyagraha inside the Met that night, and during an intermission Glass himself came out, climbed over the barrier and joined us. He was soon followed by Lou Reed and his wife. All these people in gowns and tuxes came outside to see where the composer of the evening’s opera had gone and why. It was a fun evening to be a protester.

      • In France hardly anyone labours very much for most of the time. They have the 35-hour week, remember?

        • They also only take 4 days to produce what someone in Britain can only produce in 5 days. Their labour force is surprisingly productive.

    • The 1st of May is the ‘day of work’, it is the celebratory day of the proletariat, which means: people involved in serious, necessary work. That’s why workers don’t work on that day, so that they can have a rally, and if musicians would go on with their usual business on that day, that would mean they are not ‘serious workers’, or that they – elitist as they are – don’t identify with the proletariat. So, also musicians are FORCED to enjoy that privilege to demonstrate their solidarity. Yes, it has become a bit complicated after the French Revolution.

        • Adding insult to the injury, they are called “couchons” by some “conscious, organized workers”.

      • I don’t get the reference to the French Revolution, John. May Day has its origins firmly rooted in the United States, France is just one of many countries who do/did observe Labour Day. The Netherlands once did, so did Belgium, Italy, the Soviet Union…need I go on? Its origins can be traced back to the so-called Haymarket Square riot in Chicago, I think in 1885 or so, much later than the French Revolution anyway. My feeling is that this non-subject was a bit of mischief-making by our friend Norman.

        • I was referring to the French tradition, since 1789, to go into the streets for any subject whatsoever.

    • Isn’t 1 May a public holiday across most of Europe, in which case there may be a union that forbids/protects French musicians from working on what’s a day-off work for most people.

    • Probably by simple precaution, a huge demonstration has been called by the “gilets jaunes” and rioters (“casseurs”) are expected (and feared) even from outside the borders.

  • Probably because May Day is Labor Day in France and considered a day for workers internationally. While in the US musicians work on holidays because they are big audience days since others are not working, in places where musicians are considered real workers (which unfortunately is really not true in the US) it is stupid to perform. It is almost as if they are scabbing (that means strike breaking in the the US)

  • France has a record number of holidays in May:1st(labor day), 8th (v day 1945) and 30th(that’s a religious one). But of course there are concerts and all kind of cultural events on May 1st

    • Nothing to do with the subject, but are you in any way related to the great operatic conductor Daniel Oren?

  • Well I was actually at the concert, and there was no trouble anywhere on the left bank. All nonsense as usual.

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