Israeli Chamber Orchestra to perform Wagner at Bayreuth

Posted on: July 25, 2011

A report Monday (7/25) on the BBC News site states, “The Israeli Chamber Orchestra will break with tradition to play a work by Hitler’s favourite composer, Richard Wagner, in Germany. Roberto Paternostro will conduct classical piece Siegfried Idyll on Tuesday at Bayreuth’s Wagner festival. It is rare for Israeli musicians to play the anti-Semitic composer’s work, which was appropriated by the Nazis. Paternostro said that while Wagner’s ideology was ‘terrible’, the aim was ‘to divide the man from his art’. … ‘I know that in Israel this isn’t accepted,’ added Paternostro, who is Jewish and whose mother survived the holocaust. ‘But many people have told me it’s time we confront Wagner, especially those in the younger generation.’ … In July 2001, conductor Daniel Barenboim led a German orchestra in performing a piece from Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, at the annual Israel Festival. At the end of a concert in Jerusalem, Israeli Barenboim told the audience the orchestra would be playing the piece and that anyone who objected could leave. Some angrily protested and left the hall but at the end of the performance, the audience gave it a standing ovation.”

Posted July 25, 2011