Tuesday, 12 June 2012
BDS quietly impacts Israel’s classical arts scene
Gil Shochat, pianist and conductor al music programme of the upcoming 2012 Israel Festival, admits that while “in the world of classical music, things are not...in your face...there are choirs and opera houses not interested in coming to Israel. Even if they don’t say it’s because of the political situation...(and) the word ‘boycott’ doesn’t exist, the political situation of Israel also impacts this discipline.
Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium, home to Israel's Philharmonic (Photo: Wikipedia)
“As a composer active on the world scene”, continues Gil Shochat in an article that appeared in a Haaretz commercial supplement on 5 June, “I can testify that more than once projects have been cancelled or postponed on the backdrop of the “Israeliness” in them.”
An area of future focus for BDS activists, however, is pointed out by Dr. Raz Binyaminim, Director of the Chamber Music Centre of the Israeli Conservatory for Music in Tel Aviv. Binyamini contends that “relatively, in the field of classical music, we suffer less from the boycott trends, as the field receives less resonance amongst the public...I encounter no few ensembles which are excited to come. These are generally ensembles from the younger generation, in their late 20s to early 30s, for whom a visit to Israel sounds exciting and exotic...