Sunday, April 01, 2007

Not Bigotry?

Patrick J. Smith's definition of bigotry must be different from mine, since he doesn't see the Vienna Philharmonic's hiring practices as bigoted. Or maybe he just hasn't read what various members of the orchestra have to say about women and non-whites:
  • "[We] only take white men to play white music by white composers for a white audience," which is reliably attributed to Werner Resel at a time when he was chairman of the orchestra

  • Concertmaster Rainer Kuchl said publicly that he can tell a player's sex without seeing the player. (Wow, someone should turn him loose on the "Joyce Hatto" recordings!)
For more incriminating quotations and damning information, refer to VPO Watch.

I note, by the way, that this Patrick J. Smith (The Penitent Wagnerite) is not the Patrick J. Smith who was editor of Opera News for many years.


Michael Walsh said...

The quote by the "anonymous VPO string player" was telling, too. The orchestra ruined if women get to 20 percent!?

I was at Saturday's performance by the VPO of the Brahms Requiem (which was sublime), and I can report spotting eight women out of around 60 members on stage (one harpist, one oboist, and six string players). They're up to 13 percent now, and I don't see how they're in for a precipitous drop in quality when they get to or past twenty.

kumpfuz said...

The informations are not up to date: On Monday, March 10, 2008, oboist Helene Kenyeri was fired from the Vienna State Opera Orchestra after the unsuccessful completion of her trial period. Her contract will end on August 31, 2008(accdg Osborne-Conant). Werner Resel played an important role in this decision.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks for the update - since this is a blog, I don't typically update year-old postings because the updates are not visible to most.