Exclusive: UK composer accused of antisemitism is now teaching in Munich

Exclusive: UK composer accused of antisemitism is now teaching in Munich


norman lebrecht

April 10, 2019

It was reported earlier today that the British composer Matthew Scott, former head of music at the National Theatre, is facing a police investigation after apparently posting anti-semitic comments on a BBC News report.

Here is what you get when you email Matthew Scott at his most recent post at the University of Southampton:

With effect from 1st August 2018, I have retired from my teaching at the University of Southampton in the UK. Please resend your email to me at the following address [redacted] and it will be forwarded to me. I am a visiting professor in Munchen from October 2018 and will be dividing my time between my homes in London and Anif.


  • The View from America says:

    Now teaching in Munich? How very apt.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    “Accused, investigated” rather than “convicted”; yep, one half of the society (the Left) doesn’t see the difference between accusation and due process. I expect its their admiration for their soviet and Chinese comrades. Read Solzhenitsyn to see where all this lands. They did and do love reporting on people, having their fellow countrymen watch, report, finger-wag. This is terrifying stuff.

    • Paul Brownsey says:

      The post seems to be pretty strong evidence.

      “I expect its their admiration for their soviet and Chinese comrades. Read Solzhenitsyn to see where all this lands”

      Don’t exaggerate.

    • Dominic Stafford Uglow says:

      Oh, do shut up. And don’t drag another writer that you haven’t read or understood into a discussion.

      Solzhenitsyn wrote extensively on the subject of Russian Jews and their complicated role in the history of Russia and the purges (on both sides). His work in this regard is controversial, extensive and complicated. That you would bring him into this discussion is only proof that you don’t know much about his work.

      Scott’s comment was: ‘The time for the erasure of Israel and the completion of the cleansing process is rapidly approaching.’

      It is entirely reasonable, using the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, that one would consider this an anti-Semitic comment.

      This has nothing to do with being Left Wing or Right Wing and everything to do with being a decent human being.

    • Viola da Bracchio says:

      On the topic of accusations, Sue… actor Geoffrey Rush learned yesterday that he will, finally, receive AUS $850,000 dollars compensation for the baseless accusations made by the Murdoch-owned Sydney Daily Telegraph, which have wrecked his career – and the possiblility of further ‘aggravated damages’ to follow. The judge handed down a strongly-worded condemnation of the DT’s code of conduct in this case.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      He kind of reported himself…

    • Nick says:

      How right you are!! I am afraid, they are MORE than 50% of the society. Uneducated Leftwing morons are everywhere with their political correctness!!

      • Tiredofitall says:

        Political correctness? You categorize outrage at this man’s public comments as mere political correctness? If there is an explanation for his statements, he has yet to offer it. They cannot go unanswered nor be ignored.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “Uneducated Leftwing morons are everywhere with their political correctness!!”

        Thank you for reminding us that we have uneducated right-wing morons, too.

    • Bruce says:

      People like Sue like to maintain that a person’s own public remarks or behavior are not relevant to others’ formation of an opinion about them, and that forming/ expressing an opinion of that person based on those remarks or behavior is an example of some kind of totalitarian-minded mob rule mentality — while claiming the right to do exactly the same thing to people on the other side of the political divide with perfect justification and immunity from criticism.

      It’s interesting to observe, for a minute or two.

  • Bruce says:

    Well. He should feel right at home.

    • Nick says:

      As if UK is not anti-Semitic enough?!? Even more than Germany at the moment. Germans at least have a guilt trip!! British do not. BBC is officially the most anti-Semitic company in UK

  • Matthew Scott wrote his PhD dissertation on the subject of the American works of Kurt Weill, a Jewish composer famous for works like the “Three Penny Opera” and “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.” Weill had to flee Germany in 1933 when the Nazis took power. Scott’s dissertation is not what one would normally associate with anti-Semitism. Still, his statement, if it was by him, is a direct allusion to the language of the genocidal Final Solution, as it was called.

    Munich was the birth city of the Third Reich, and the State Conservatory there is housed in the Führerbau, a large, elaborte marble edifice constructed as Hitler’s personal office building. I wonder if that is where Scott is teaching. Given Munich’s history, and the city’s desire to reformulate its image, anti-Semtic statements from members of the Musikhochschule faculty would be strongly frowned upon, to say the least.

    • fflambeau says:

      Just looking at his photo, William, I think it is fair to say that dissertation was written long ago. People change, many time for the worse.

    • Viola da Bracchio says:

      To me he just sounds like a pathetic little man suffering from mid-life career failure, and anxious to lash-out at anyone within reach as a scapegoat. When talent and ability fail, his kind fall back on some bizarre notions of ‘entitlement’ arising from his DNA. It’s the same claptrap we see among Tommy Gobby’s devoted Gauleiters.

    • Brettermeier says:

      2018: Sex scandal
      2019: Antisemitism scandal?

      I wonder what they go for in 2020.

    • FS60103 says:

      The current epidemic of anti-Semitism in the UK’s Labour party is proof that plenty of educated people who consider themselves progressive – even “anti-Nazi” – have in fact internalised anti-Semitic narratives (often characterised, disingenuously, as “anti-Capitalist”, “anti-Globalist” or “anti-Zionist”) while remaining wholly convinced of their own impeccable liberalism. I can think of numerous examples of musicians and musicologists in the UK who actually specialise in 20th German music (even Schoenberg) who have nonetheless been queuing up to defend and justify behaviour and language that clearly contradicts the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism – particularly when it comes from their political heroes. It’s as if they believe that holding left-leaning views renders them constitutionally incapable of prejudice.

      So, alas, this case seems entirely credible to me. I’m sure this gentleman feels he’s on the side of virtue.

  • Dan oren says:

    Probably wants to be there to celebrate his führer’s birthday ?

  • Viola da Bracchio says:

    Still on the run? I doubt he is still in Munich – the German police don’t like his sort either. Traditionally they used to flee to S America. Maybe there’s a market for his talentless tunesmithing there?

    • Paul Brownsey says:

      Have you heard any of his music? Perhaps he *isn’t* talentless. I don’t know. Contrary to what some of us love to think, bad people can be ever so talented and lovely people can be talentless.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised he isn’t teaching in Nuremberg. You know, so all his friends can rally round…

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Neither Munich nor Nuremburg were particularly Nazi cities. The Nazi vote (and support) was mainly in rural and small town Protestant Germany in the north and east.

  • Dick says:

    Pssst… just say it quietly – Mathew Scott is Jewish – shush now.