Concertmaster struggles with being Christian and gay

Concertmaster struggles with being Christian and gay


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2020

The Manchester Camerata has commissioned a film about its co-leader Caroline Pether, whose became a Christian as a teenager before discovering that she is gay.

‘I was in a church community that had very black and white views on homosexuality and believed it was sinful and should be prayed away,’ she tells local media.

Members of the orchestra accompany her through this filmed journey. The music is by Haydn, Pärt, Strauss and Harbison, ‘This episode aims to take the audience on a journey from shame, despair and loneliness through to the place where I find myself now in acceptance, peace and celebration,’ she says.

Caroline joined the Camerata in 2013 on graduating from the Royal Northern College and was promoted to co-leader two years later. She is also leader of Sinfonia Cymru and a member of the Zelkova Quartet.

Watch here from Thursday.



  • Maria says:

    Join another church with a gay priest!!!

  • Bob the Builder says:

    Give us all a break. I can remember the days when being “gay” meant, jolly, full of beans. It means summat else today. Many of them are depressives.

  • Anonymous says:

    Why a label about everything nowadays? As long as Caroline is an inspirational musician is all that matters! (Oh yes. Arts Council England need boxes that have to be ticked.)

    • Bruce says:

      LOL. Right… because there is such a shortage of gay people in the performing arts

    • William Safford says:

      Wouldn’t it be lovely, if she lived in a world in which such a label were unnecessary: where she could just live her life as she is, without anyone harassing her, threatening her, making her feel like she is less of a human, making her feel as if she is going to suffer eternal damnation for who she is.

      She doesn’t.

      That said, I’m glad that you wrote that what matters is that she is an inspirational musician. That is far more enlightened than many others.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Tick box exercise” regarding ACE, was a sarcastic throwaway line. As long as she is an inspirational musician doesn’t matter what God she follows or sexual orientation! Humour on SD is sadly lacking.

        • William Safford says:

          One impediment to humor on SD, or at least the recognition thereof, is the presence of trolls and people with truly bigoted viewpoints. Posts that might be so outlandish as to be hilarious satire elsewhere, are posted here in bigoted earnest.

          The hatred posted by certain commenters on SD, are a microcosm of the hatred in the real world.

          One thing that saddens me, is that more than a few of these haters are representative of members of the audience when I perform. My hope is that they are vastly outnumbered by others with love and tolerance in their hearts.

          It’s a pleasure to converse with someone who does not hold those ugly viewpoints.

        • Bruce says:

          Also, look up Poe’s Law.

          Basically, you can’t expect people to detect humor on the internet unless you explicitly point it out. That does take a lot of the fun out of it, but otherwise someone is bound to take you seriously.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Superficial, generalizational labels which at best cover 10% of the subject, prevent average ignorant people from any understanding. Stamping people’s amorous tastes with such distorting labels is one of the main reasons of discrimination. And the labels were invented only some 50 and 150 years ago. Before that, such natural variations were ‘sin’, and before Christianity took hold, there was no term for it, in spite of the high intellectual and linguistic level of Antiquity.

        Any form of discrimination results from the need of unhappy people to be able to look down on others, so that they can feel a little bit better themselves. It may be Jews, blacks, immigrants, women, gays, communists, dentists, undertakers, civil servants, viola players, music critics, – the list is endless.

  • Bruce says:

    It’s sad when a person’s religion, which (one would think) should be a source of strength and comfort, rejects them because of something that has nothing to do with whether they’re a good person.

  • anon says:

    One condition you are born with, the other condition you are suckered into, if you’re gonna take opium (of the masses), take the real stuff.