Monday, June 11, 2012

Cultural boycott of Israel is biting, but quietly, Israel Festival’s classical music advisor admits

The cultural boycott of Israel is beginning to bite, a prominent figure in Israel’s classical music world has admitted.

Gil Shohat, an Israeli composer and conductor, who is also the Classical Music Advisor to the Israel Festival and Artistic Advisor to Israel’s Red Sea International Classical Music Festival, told Israeli reporter Sharon Dubkin:

In the world of classical music things are neither in-your-face nor crass, by the very nature of classical art, which is more noble, quite, and introverted, but there are are choirs and opera companies which are not interested in coming to Israel. Even if they don’t say it’s because of the political issue, they prefer not to get involved in such a sticky situation. As a composer active on the world scene, I can testify that more than once projectsLink have been cancelled or postponed based on their ‘Israeliness.’ And again - these things are not said crassly, no one will say: we are conducting a boycott. The word boycott doesn’t exist, but the political situation of Israel also impacts this field. This is primarily true about larger projects, and less so regarding the activity of individual musicians.

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