Exclusive: Zukerman is cancelled at Carnegie Hall over ‘disrespect’News
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has told Pinchas Zukerman he is unwelcome at their January 2022 Carnegie Hall concert.
The Israeli-US musician was to have performed Mozart’s 5th violin concerto with the conductorless orchestra, which originally considered him ‘a trusted collaborator’.
But a recent Juilliard masterclass incident in which he abused students of Asian origin proved too much for the strong-minded orchestra.
In a statement issued to slippedisc.com, Orpheus say: ‘Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has taken the decision not to proceed with the collaboration with Mr. Zukerman for its opening night Carnegie Hall concert on January 29th, 2022. The Orpheus family provides an inclusive environment for its valued musicians and audiences and places great value on respectful collaboration. We will communicate an exciting new opening night program very soon.’
This may not be the last backlash, we hear.
What can the reasoning behind their decision to be so public about the cancellation have been? To me it seems not a little like posing with their, by all means sound, values.
I don’t think they were public about it. The way the SD article reads, it sounds like the statement was solicited of Orpheus by SD, not that they sent it out far and wide.
Is that wrong? Why should they lie about doing the right thing?
A lot of what gets derided as ‘virtue signalling’ is often little more than ‘doing the right thing’.
I don’t think they should lie?
But it’s possible that you’re right about how “virtue signalling” is often used.
Only in some alternative universe can any of this virtue signaling nonsense be called “doing the right thing.” Acting like grown ups would be doing the right thing. “Cut and run” is never doing the right thing. It’s cowardice.
No matter. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra just won the Virtue Signaling Olympics against a Jew.
What does his being Jewish have to do with what he did at Juilliard? Or are you merely playing the ‘Jew Card’?
Whatever else is going on here, I do NOT think Zukerman’s being Jewish had anything to do with THIS particular caper.
Yeah, that’s right – forget all Zukerman did to promote Midori, Sarah Chang, and other Asian musicians, and damn him forever for one careless, misunderstood comment! That’s right, all you talentless, mediocre masses – take any opportunity to tar & feather a genius! You’ll be just as talentless & stupid afterwards, but you’ll feel great!
He was a tireless supporter of Yuja Wang when she was an unknown, and though Lang Lang was already celebrated, he brought him to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for the first time, which led to LL doing a fundraising gala for them — like him or not, he was a draw for a time. He (LL) even offered Master classes there, which gave those who could not afford the gala a chance to see him play for free. That implies a decent relationship.
What matters is that he OFFENDED somebody. Everything prior must be forgotten.
Pinchas Zukerman is now the Donald Trump of the violin world.
Do you think he will start to turn orange?
The fact that you actually valorize a blatant Fascist like the orange-haired animal suggests that Zukerman’s “punishment” is quite well-deserved.
If this is irony you’re doing well!! If you are serious, then you need an eye doctor and a psychiatrist.
Your current leader, Biden is clearly bipolar. Hunter DEFINITELY is. His use of crack along with the multiple rehabs he spoke of are proof beyond his privileged upbringing and ‘job’.
Godwin’s Law has to be updated.
Correction: They won’t feel great. They’ll continue to look for more “wrongdoers” to attack in hopes that it will justify the lack of their own success.
And, no less significantly, they will not hesitate to turn on each other should the opportunity arise.
Right, Cast t F S: but you are talking to a bunch of left idiots who do not understand what they are after.
But they will when the US Gestapo knocks on their doors!! Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
Nick- yes, we know what you mean. MT Green and her insurrectionist idiot buddies are ready and waiting to tear apart our country, neighboorhood by neighborhood. Good call!
Yet, world-renowned Italian Maestros get away with deriding Korean Maestros and labeling them “Chinamen”.
I am confident Bernard Jacobson will enlighten us all.
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as far as I know, plays without conductor, so I’m not sure why they should be expected to take action against a conductor.
What is going on in Afghanistan at the present moment should teach us something about the pitfalls of taking sides in cultural issues. First, we are consistently intervening in cultural issues out of our own (often narrowly Cultural) viewpoints (cultural in the sense of what is right and what is wrong) and second, I find that there is a certain inverse hypocrisy in all of this. We’re i to go to China with my own British/American expectations, I would be soon disappointed. We are defending in our own country hordes of people who come from places that would not extend the same protective, almost infantile concern for how I felt in their own country, or more.
Yes. The beating and raping of both male and female children, forced covering of women, stoning and elevation of males who inflict pain and kill those who do not obey their will is actually ‘enlightening’ entertainment.
The US left is jubilant over the easyTaliban seizure and feels elevated in their thinking now that Trump is gone.
Interestingly enough Liam you mentioned China who is poised to help the Taliban. Don’t forget the catch-all Russia too. They are both swooping in to get the minerals, not help the Afghans.
Then there’s American culture. These are the same values and morals that Democrats uphold with their true treatment of women, disregard for others safety and degradation of everything they touch. Biden and Cuomo girls are just meat now even to peaceful protesters. It’s no wonder the US left has suddenly remained dead silent over the horrors their president and vp facilitated by abandoning innocent people to the hands of women haters and murderers. It was yet another anti-Trump virtue signal to celebrate to the left! The dead laying in the streets, forced covering of ONLY women, etc are now ‘appropriate’ since Biden-Harris ordered it. Feminists, the DNC, blm, antifa all believe it’s ok just because it ‘hurt’ Trump and his base. It’s victimless humor to them as well watching how the news media has chosen to cover their highly edited reports.
This member of the “US left” is certainly not jubilant over the tragic events in Afghanistan. My friends who served there and I agree that if there was ever a good reason for us to have been there, it ended long ago.
What a confused load of garbage you are peddling. The “left” was always opposed to military intervention in the Middle East. The simple fact is that every subsequent president has been saddled with an unwinnable war started by a Republican administration. Biden was just unlucky enough to be the one holding the bag when it blew up in his face.
You’re not educated in both former VP Biden and Pres Obama’s 8 year history. They didn’t do anything except “smooth talk” people just like you who don’t know US history. Both of them financially benefited from the wars hence their wealth.
You also don’t know Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State under both men either or that Bill was the President and was too busy with his multiple mistresses along with young victims. Hillary was ‘only a woman’ so she got laughed at and ultimately lost 2016.
The Taliban executed 9/11, murdering scores of people. It will happen again; perhaps next month on its 20 year mark which will make you happy but not the sane in the USA.
Biden and Hunter are clearly bipolar. Hunter is a crack head as well. Mainstream US news documented this along with the slew of pricy rehab clinics Hunter’s white privileged daddy and mommy were able to stick him in. NONE of them worked obviously. Jill is a narcissistic failure as well according to her ex and her children.
As a Canadian you should investigate what you’re intimidated by regarding true American history and stop worshipping Trudeau FAUX North.
It seems that you lost the North. In the latest hundred years or so all wars where the USA was involved was started by an Democratic administration, with exception of the ‘war on terror’ after 9/11. Or did I miss something?
You missed everything something. Go back and read the history of these last 100 years. Just another red-hatter cherry picks his/her info.
PS. What does this have to do with the ‘canceling’ of PZ by the Orpheus Ch Orch?
And of course your concerns over “true treatment of women, disregard for others safety and degradation of everything they touch” are not attached to the rapist Trump, Matt Gaetz, etc. So typical of the sheer moral imbecility of the right-wing Republican “mind”.
You have no idea Hugo how right you are indeed!
I’m anti trump and proud of it .
He’s a gross parasite!
Worst racist pig. Not my President
Go book a flight to Biden’s paradise aka Afghanistan. You’ll learn quick how to shut your holes and cover up or it will be done for you by the Taliban permanently. Those men really don’t put up with self absorbed, “educated” lefties like you.
Are you endorsing the way the Taliban treat women?
Ms. Lind, You should go “educate” the Taliban since girls like yourself live to argue and nothing more.
Abaaz- million dollars Karen would last longer than you would.
The new feminist graduates know nothing of how the Taliban treats women. Biden has allowed these animals to take over both Afghanistan and the stockpile of US arms. American girls are no match for these adversaries. Hillary Clinton proved this under the soft Obama administration.
You are a blockhead.
British Music Colleges don’t seem to mind taking hoards of Korean or Chinese or whoever because they have to pay the full international fees, and yet so many of our own students can’t afford to go at all on British fees. 40% of students at the RNCM allegedly according to one of my friends who teaches in Manchester, are Oriental of some sort. But then anything else, and everyone gets so thin-skinned. You go to a music college to learn, not say how good I am!
Once again those “bloody barbaric hordes” invading “your” country. You only forgot to add “slant-eyed” as well.
“Hordes” of “bloody foreigners and invaders”. What disgusting and revolting language so characteristic of the widespread dehumanization of the “other” that typifies all nationalistic and supremacist thought.
The same Maestro who calls prominent Jewish donors “rabbis” and prominent gay Maestros “f******”?
Who is he, may I ask? He/she sounds reprehensible.
I am no fan of Zukerman the man, whom I know to be difficult to work with. But even I think this is excessive and misplaced. As Burnham says, others have done worse. He said something stupid, I believe he apologised. Sometimes there has to be an end to it.
Seems everyone is getting somewhat thin-skinned these days. Some of these people want to work on a shop floor!
I’d rather listen to Pinchas Zukerman playing Mozart 5th without an orchestra than the pasteurized Orpheus with an ‘approved replacement.’
I’d rather he played something else!
I’m concerned by this trend. Does collaboration with others artists need to indicate endorsement of their less than positive traits? Zukerman said some things he said at a masterclass. He apologized. And now he’s cancelled?
The amount of moral indignation some are showing at relatively minor offenses cannot be a good sign for our society. Do we really want a society where people can be cancelled without warning for making a mistake, even one that shows particularly bad taste? It’s seems hypocritical at best; everyone has made their fair share of mistakes.
Indeed. I was almost fired when I made a typo in a contract that reduced the fee to one tenth. Anybody could make such mistake!
You are always superb and so professional.
I could never imagine the prospect of you being fired…
Some of us are fortunate to make most of them in private, rather than a public forum!
I attended the masterclass. He did issue a sincere apology afterwards. No need to vilify him any longer. This cancellation is ugly human pettiness disguised as phony self-righteousness.
Not to mention the significant loss in ticket sales. If Orpheus thinks this concert will be just as commercially viable without Zukerman…
So bloody self-righteous.
The fascists of cancel culture are at it again.
What in the world is wrong with you American snowflakes? Thank God we didn’t rely upon you to protect and fight for us in WW2!!!
Once again you are in serious need of a history lesson.
You are conflating two entirely unrelated things. The social justice movement of today did not exist in the 1940s. And American veterans of WW2 would be appalled to hear from you that they did not fight bravely when called upon. (They most certainly did).
The USMC alone suffered twice as many casualties as the entire Australian Army! Care to list some campaigns where Aussie troops were a decisive factor?
Utterly unfair question. A lot of Aussie soldiers fought and many died. Their lives were just as valuable as any others. Whatever campaigns they fought in, they did their duty and more.
NEVER denigrate those who served in time of war (and that goes to Sue as well). Like Canadians, New Zealanders, Indians, many from African colonies and (eventually) Americans, Australians rallied round to serve the Allies in the just cause. And their contribution in WWI was FAR more significant than was the Americans’.
Our favorite SD Karen/troll, AKA Sue Sonata Form, at it again. I had three uncles who were all Dems who each received Purple Hearts from different campaigns in WW2, protecting your freedom to come on here and be a red-hat blowhard.
If you have no idea what you are talking about, please do us all a favor and shut up.
And for the record, you’ve never made one substantial comment on anything concerning the music discussions on this site. The SD community must keep you around because they find you entertaining. That’s your legacy.
I suspect if you had actually been alive during World War II, you would have been on “the other side”.
Many American soldiers died in world war 2.
They and the Russians saved us.
Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.
This is a pity as I was privileged to hear this great master of the violin a few years ago in Manchester,a truly unforgettable experience.
The next stage will be that the guillotine is taken from the barn and installed anew, dusted-off, given a rainbow banner as a symbol of inclusion – except of people who make tasteless jokes about diverse people.
Or the contraption is simply decorated with a joke referring to its function of instrument of justice:
Hard to believe anyone would miss his vulgar and distasteful performances anyhow……
One of the biggest virtues of the Christian culture was forgiveness. In the name of the new tolerance, this is now gone. So very, very sad.
I always found that “culture of forgiveness” to be somewhat coercive: the perpetrator apologizes to their victim and asks forgiveness, and somehow in the eyes of everyone else that makes everything OK. Now it’s the victim’s job to forgive the perpetrator, and everybody looks expectantly at the victim like “Well? Are you going to forgive them? Why not? Jesus says you’re supposed to” — the idea now being that the victim owes the perpetrator something. It’s like being expected to say “thank you” when someone does you a favor.
I DO expect to say thank you when someone does me a favour. You don’t?
I do think it is important to say thank you as the recipient of a favor, but I think it is important to do favors for others because the act of doing the favor makes you feel good, not to get the thank you. The world would be a much worse place if the only favors and beneficial acts done were those where a thank you could be expected and received!
Doing a favor is not to make you feel good, it is to help the other person, whether they thank you or not. But I hope I express my gratitude to people who help me.
The escalation from ‘offender’/’person offended’ to ‘perpetrator’/victim’ is alarming. If somebody says something that offends me, does that make me a victim? Is hurting somebody’s feelings (intentionally or not) now a major crime, comparable to rape? Of course the person whose feelings are hurt can choose not to forgive, but is that necessarily the best way forward (leaving Christianity aside)?
I was using broad terms because “forgiveness shaming” (I just made that up) is used in a very wide range of circumstances, from casual thoughtless remarks to rape and murder,— not to equate the two.
And as for the person “choosing” not to forgive: that’s their business. It’s just like anything else: people get over things in their own way, at their own pace.
My wording was perhaps insufficiently clear.
Of course I don’t think favors (or favours) should go unthanked. But very often, people seem to think an apology should be answered by forgiveness, the way a favor should be answered with thanks, and try to shame the victim into forgiving the perpetrator.
(I’ve seen this kind of pressure applied in much worse situations, like rape or domestic abuse: he said he was sorry, now you have to forgive him. If you won’t do it, you’re the one spoiling things now.)
I think the Asian “victims” in this case forgave Zukerman after two minutes. If there ever was anything to forgive. This is about something else. It’s about white people hijacking non-white person’s (assumed) feelings.
Or, possibly, something along the lines of “It’s fine if you [the victim] forgive him, but *I* was so offended that I still don’t.”
I doubt that Orpheus is doing this because they imagine those two girls are still upset.
Your use of the word “abuse” is quite appalling. I’ve seen Mr Zuckerman give master classes before, and he has never approached being abusive.
‘Abuse’ seems to be a word Americans in particularly like to use for anything.
Is it not possible that someone might behave badly only some of the time? I’m sure plenty of people have witnessed Derek Chauvin arresting someone without putting his knee on their neck until they were dead; does that mean that he didn’t do so last summer?
You should have seen the Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta ones! We used to wince! Callas was pretty direct too.
There is an Orpheus member that is half Japanese and has quite a bit of power. The incident must have struct a nerve given the fact that the girls were also half Japanese. But the thing is this: Pinky said nothing wrong during the masterclass. He pretty much summed up what is wrong with the classical music world of today.
lucky he is not short of money.
After all Zukerman has done to promote young and new artists of many and varied nationalities and backgrounds, this is ridiculous. I’m willing to bet he has done more for Asian musicians, not to mention Armenians and many others, than the Orpheus have. I agree with the comment above -he made a stupid and thoughtless comment, he apologised. The Orpheus have broken a contract just make themselves feel good. But they don’t look good. Not at all.
Perhaps it is nothing to do with that masterclass, beyond the alleged “disrespect” being a convenient pretext that allows the Orpheus to cut costs whilst saving face. Presumably, they stand to save a lot of money if they no longer have to pay Zukerman. Could someone confirm whether they are still contractually obliged to pay him in full? Is the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra may be in financial difficulty, perhaps?
this little man is a hostile nothinggarian. He has been secretly loathed by all of us for decades upon decades. Karma, baby. Suivant, next!
Loathed by all of who(m)?
You certainly don’t speak for me, nor for scores of professional players, students, and audience members who count PZ among their favorite artists for 5 decades, “Little Man.”
I can’t ever recall reading a more bullshit post on this site.
And his being canceled by Orpheus for saying something insensitive and stupid is just disgusting. What a stain on the mostly fine reputation of this (previously) important ensemble.
“Little man”? He’s 6′ if he’s an inch.
This beyond sick…very sad
Folks, can we please get back to covid hysteria? This woke stuff is sooooo 2019.
Fifth concerto of teenager Mozart??? Might have thought differently if he’d been booked to do the Schoenberg one.
The Schoenberg one uses-up all the notes that were carefully left-out of the Mozart.
If Mr. Zukerman was performing the Schoenberg Violin Concerto with Orpheus, I’d surely boycott the composer, not the performers..
The conductorless Orpheus cannot play the Schoenberg violin concerto. (Yes, I know, they tried the Chamber Symphony No. 1 about 20 years ago, and it is far away from being a reference recording)
A win for the low achievement who can only tear down men whose accomplishments they could never approach. Pinchas Zukerman certainly does not need a gig with Orpheus … let’s get serious here. This will go down as a low point in classical music.
And certainly Orpheus does,t need a concert with Pinky. They can bring in Gluzman, Haedlich, Jansen or so many others. It,s their concert and their audience, up to them.
Yes Orpheus can… Haedlich and Jansen are superb violinist that hopefully will be around years to come. Anybody that has any contact with Zuckerman knows that these comments are just him , major character , and that NO malice or harmful intent (racism) was meant. This man is a giant and has contributed so much to classical music. To attempt to take him down at this point or cancel him … shame on all …. Orpheus , Juilliard , and all the other key players involved here.
Other commenters seems to assume that the orchestra was trying to act “virtuous.” Perhaps though the orchestra’s members simply didn’t want to work with Zukerman after his racist comments. Especially if I were an Asian woman I would not particularly want to collaborate with him.
I agree, Tom Clowes. It seems this was a case if PZ showing the Orpheus who he is, and they believed him. The non-apology from his agent really didn’t change anything. What he said was not just culturally insensitive, it was an incorrect assertion — something I think he still doesn’t understand. It’s not just about saying sorry, it’s about addressing the beliefs and biases that led him to make such odious remarks throughout career.
Tom, I appreciate your thoughtful comment, which is far closer to the truth than most of the disdainful and meanspirited comments posted here.
Hi Alan, love your playing
So kind of you, JT!
His comments were not racist. They were ignorant. The ignorance of a sheltered, pampered, feted and vain man whose life has been blessed by good fortune and whose personal relations have usually been fraught with issues because he has never quite known how to treat the mere mortal.
His worldview is also very narrow. His musical education was taken care of, but his social skills have been sadly ignored. Every so often it comes out, usually as a demonstration of how little he knows about anything except violin concertos.
I’m as PC and “woke” as anyone, but this is ridiculous. He said something stupid and inappropriate and apologized for it. Move on. We are all more than the worst thing we ever did.
If I ever attend an Orpheus Chamber Orchestra concert again I’m going to wear a Pinchas Zukerman mask. And boo loudly.
I’m so tired of the anti-PC nonsense. “I wasn’t offended, so you shouldn’t be” is the idiotic message.
I begin to think the sensitivity of classical musicians is a bit over the top. Zuckerman has been at the highest level of violin soloists for over 50 years and if he can’t catch a break the whole bunch of them have a distorted view of their importance.
They rob me of my right to hear the best.Will never attend their concerts again.
Sounds like you don’t have ears and just assume whatever is the best is what other people tell you. Perhaps you should consider thinking more independently.
If you prove impossible to work with, this is what results (like that idiotic woman in Baltimore). Zukerman has no one but himself to blame.
…”strong minded orchestra….?!?” rather, STUPID and POLITICALLY CORRECT COWARDLY orchestra
I imagine neither one of them will have trouble replacing the other.
But this debacle reminds me of a professor who grew to think he could toss off any demeaning remark that came to mind and the students would just have to take it because… he was the professor!
He’d been doing it for years.
But then one day his remark began with, “If you black students would stop being late to class…”
Stupid move by Orpheus.
I have known Pinchas Zukerman for over fifty years – we met at Ivan Galamian’s Meadowmount School o Music. Pinky may sometimes say things he shouldn’t, but he is anything but a racist. If he told a Jewish violinist or violist that their playing needed a bit more schmaltz or chicken soup, would anyone have cared? I think not. He has done so much to nurture and help so many young musicians, including Asians such as Midori and Sarah Chang. I am surprised and disappointed that they have not come to his defense. Midori, have you forgotten what Pinky did for you when you were a little girl? Words from you would be extremely meaningful and appropriate, especially now that you are a recipient of the Kennedy Center Award. Orpheus members, you should be ashamed of yourselves for taking such a holier than thou position. Perhaps you should first make sure that none of your musicians have any sort of racial prejudice before unjustly accusing others.
I always remembered hearing about how great “Pinky” was and then I heard him slop through some stuff with the Philharmonic, and this was years ago. Even then he was past his prime. Really unimpressed. Surely back in the day he was good and he had lots of friends in the biz, but maybe, like, move over boomer, you’ve, like, had your time and stuff.
This poorly conceived joke by Zukerman (and I do believe him when he says he meant it as a joke) is going to follow him around for a long time to come, maybe forever, as conductor, as string soloist, and as chamber musician. Particularly as a conductor I suspect.
I doubt if many in the audiences would even be aware of the controversy, so that is not the main issue — but there are so many people under all circumstances he performs with that will find it difficult or impossible to accept him as a “colleague” with the usual handshake niceties and such. Perhaps particularly acute in the “primus inter pares” atmosphere of Orpheus Ch. Orch., but also with just about any orchestra. The atmosphere may get a bit poisonous.
Wow, everyone is so triggered by this. What a bunch of snowflakes. Get over it! Orpheus can do whatever they want, and Pinky should walk away calmly and maybe just *maybe* learn from it.
Mr. Lebrecht –
Perhaps you should be cancelled for your Asian disrespect?
I mean, I don’t hold you to any journalistic ethics, because you aren’t a journalist, you’re a mean spirited gossip.
But….glass houses and all that:
No violinist on earth can a l w a y s play at the same standard or level.