Jan 17, 2011


"Dear Thomas Quasthoff,
We noticed that on January 11, Die Welt and most other German
newspapers reported you will be performing 'for the first time’ in
Israel in February. We interpret this, sadly, as your reply to us
and the many other people who have written asking you not to sing
in Israel. And we have to say we’re slightly surprised.

Because to perform with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is to
declare an identification with the State of Israel. We’re not saying
this because we’re a bunch of leftie English professors. We’re
saying it because the Israel Philharmonic itself says so.

Here’s its website describing the period 1947-1956, the decade, it
says, 'in which some of the world’s most renowned artists came to
identify through the orchestra with the State of Israel’. You’ll be in
illustrious company – Koussevitzky, Fricsay, Giulini – but do you
want your appearance to be spun this way? It will be, whether you
like it or not."

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