Why Sony’s howler is a not-sorry sign of our timesmain
There has been a huge amount of chatter about a tweet from Sony Classical which confused John Williams, the film composer, with John Williams, the guitar virtuoso.
Some kindly souls have ascribed the howler to a lowly intern.
Wrong. On two counts.
First, never blame the mouse if the house caves in.
Second, it is symptomatic of a label that, under present management, treats artists as product.
Sony is not driven by editorial objectives and aesthetic taste, allied to acute commercial nous. It no longer identifies talent and nurtures it to stardom. Nor does it lead any intelligent issue or talking point in classical music, with the possible exception of Igor Levit’s Beethoven piano sonaata cycle.
Sony is just there.
Not a leader, not a nurturer, not an entity that engages meaningfully with music.
If it were not there, one would hardly notice.
In such circumstances, one artist is just the same as another, the more so if they happen to share the same name.
No regret has been expressed for the error.