Exclusive :Top musicians urge Concertgebouw to readmit Israeli quartet

Exclusive :Top musicians urge Concertgebouw to readmit Israeli quartet

Almost a hundred musicians have rallied overnight to petition the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to reverse its ban on two concerts this week by the Jerusalem Quartet. The concerts were called off  ‘to gurantee the safety of employees, visitors and musicians.’

Outraged musicians have acccused the Dutch administrators of capitulating to mob rule.

We present the petition below with the initial rush of signatories. They include some well-known artists. If you support their appeal, do share this post on social media and add your name in the comments slot.

Watch for updates during the course of today.


15 May 2024

We, the undersigned, as musicians and presenters who celebrate mutual respect across different disciplines and specialisations, who regularly collaborate and who draw inspiration from one another, are appalled at the recent announcement of the Concertgebouw to cancel the May 16th and 18th performances by the Jerusalem Quartet.

Threats to the safety of musicians, concert hall staff, and the general public, fly in the face of hard-won democratic values and freedom of expression, and should have no place in our society. The behaviour of our arts organisations should reflect this, and should stand up for these values.

By cancelling these concerts, the management of the Concertgebouw placates a vocal minority who advocate for their cause through intimidation and credible threats of disorder and violence. We need not look very far back into European history to see what happens when people acquiesce to the very behaviours that sow their own downfall.

Anything less than permitting the Jerusalem Quartet to continue with its planned performances — and to provide them and the audience of the Concertgebouw with protection and support — amounts to pure moral cowardice.

We call upon the management of the Concertgebouw to show strength of character in defending the concert platform as a realm for free expression of the sublime yearnings of the human spirit otherwise failed by words and actions that all too often lapse into meaningless, pseudo-moral binaries. The Concertgebouw’s behaviour succumbs to an “education at the college of fools” rather than continuing to affirm itself as a bastion of the ineffable.

We wholeheartedly protest this act and as musicians call for an immediate redress.

Yours Sincerely,

1 Mahan Esfahani, harpsichordist
2 Danny Driver, pianist
3 Joshua Weilerstein, conductor
4 Nicholas Daniel, oboist
5 Anna-Liisa Bezrodny, violinist
6 Craig Rutenberg, voice coach and accompanist
7 Hana Arie-Gaifman, Director Emerita Taschner Center 92nd St Y
8 Philip Clark, musician, writer, journalist
9 Michael Fine, Grammy Award-winning producer
10 Alisa Weilerstein, cellist
11 Jan David Schmitz, Head of Programme at the Brucknerhaus Linz
12 Andrew Litton, conductor
13 Ben Goldscheider, horn player
14 Anahita Abbasi, composer
15 Katya Apekisheva, pianist
16 Gemma Rosefield, cellist
17 Amy Dickson saxophonist
18 Lucy Parham, pianist
19 Itzhak Rashkovsky, violinist
20 Shiry Rashkovsky, violist
21 Walter Reiter, violinist
22 Roman Mints, violinist
23 Lars Anders Tomter, violist
24 Ulrich Gerhartz, Director of Concerts & Artist Services Steinway UK
25 Taras Voloschuk, double bass player
26 Diana Ketler, pianist, director Sonoro Festival
27 Boris Brovtsyn, violinist
28 Stephen Waarts, violinist
29 Tom Hancox, flautist
30 Andrew Zolinsky, pianist
31 Benjamin Navarro, violinist
32 Alexander Sitkovetsky, violinist
33 Shlomy Dobrinsky, violinist
34 Edna Landau, arts consultant
35 Jack Liebeck, violinist
36 Maria Schellenberg, mezzo-soprano
37 David Benedict, critic
38 Krzysztof Chorzelski, violist
39 Anahit Kurtikyan, violinist
40 Yuri Zhislin, violinist
41 Alexandra Raikhlina, violinist
42 Natalie Clein, cellist
43 David Cohen, cellist
44 Charles Owen, pianist
45 Kathryn Stott, pianist
46 Guy Ben-Ziony, violist
47 Patrick Savage, violinist and composer
48 Simon Blendis, violinist
49 Martin Owen, horn player
50 Margaret Fingerhut, pianist
51 Oleg Kogan, cellist
52 Arcadia Quartet
53 Rasvan Dumitru, violinist
54 Timothy Ridout, violist
55 Charlotte Scott, cellist
56 Claude Frochaux, cellist
57 Robert Rinder, barrister
58 Louisa Clein, actor
59 Thomas Carroll, cellist
60 Kristina Blaumane, cellist
61 Sacha Rattle, clarinettist
62 Julius Drake, pianist
63 Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux, violinist
64 Elizabeth Burley, pianist
65 Simone van der Giessen, violist
66 Polina Kogan, pianist
67 James Francis Brown, composer
68 Fiona Sinclair, CEO, Leeds Piano Competition
69 Philip Dukes, violist
70 Guy Johnson, cellist
71 Piers Lane, pianist
72 Marianna Shirinyan, pianist
73 Anthony Hewitt, pianist
74 Robert Max, cellist
75 David Aspin, violist
76 Dene Olding AM, violinist
77 Ryan Bancroft, conductor
78 Gavin Bryars, composer
79 Paul McCreesh, conductor
80 Arianna Zukermann, soprano
81 Rebecca Miller, conductor
82 Bartholomew LaFollette, cellist
83 Yuri Torchinsky, violinist
84 Alexander Kobrin, pianist
85 Tim Posner, cellist
86 Priya Mitchell, violinist
87 Dirk Mommertz, pianist
88 Reinis Zarins, pianist
89 Brian O’Kane, cellist
90 Boris Adrianov, cellist
91 Norman Lebrecht, writer
92 Boris Petrushansky, pianist
93 Cedric Pescia, pianist
94 Gaby Lester, violinist

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