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Israeli musicians plan to break Richard Wagner taboo

31 May 2012

A classical music event in Israel on 18 June 2012 is expected to break the country’s taboo on performing the music of Richard Wagner, the 19th century German composer and a well-known anti-Semite.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the event, scheduled for 18 June 2012, will be an academic symposium at Tel Aviv University devoted to Wagner, conductor Arturo Toscanini and Theodor Herzl, the famed Zionist leader. The symposium, organised by the Israel Wagner Society, will feature a concert portion of 100 hired musicians, reported Haaretz.

Wagner’s music has been unofficially banned in what is now Israel since 1938. Wagner held anti-Semitic views and his music eventually became a favorite of Adolf Hitler.

According to Los Angeles Times, the June event in Tel Aviv will not be the first time that musicians have broken the Wagner taboo in Israel. In 2001, conductor Daniel Barenboim led a concert in Jerusalem that featured an encore performance of a selection from Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’.

 
Los Angeles Times – 30 May 2012:
Israeli musicians plan to break Richard Wagner taboo
 
 

UPDATE 7 JUNE

Politiken – 7 June 2012 [in Danish language]:
Nazisternes yndlingskomponist udløser ramaskrig i Tel Aviv
Planned Wagner-concert cancelled in respect for holocaust survivers

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