February 21, 2011 10:30 AM Subscribe
posted by kipmanley (110 comments total)
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“The prevailing attitude seems to be that issues of politics and morality—the sort of issues that most people can perceive clearly in connection with, say, corporate glass ceilings or the patronage of lunch counters—are suddenly off limits where music is concerned.”
The Wiener Philharmoniker,
a democratically self-administered orchestra regularly considered one of the finest in the world, has 112 members. Four of them are women. One of the men is half-Asian.
“From the beginning,” said Dieter Flury, a solo-flutist, in 1996,
“we have spoken of the special Viennese qualities, of the way music is made here. The way we make music here is not only a technical ability, but also something that has a lot to do with the soul. The soul does not let itself be separated from the cultural roots that we have here in central Europe. And it also doesn't allow itself to be separated from gender. So if one thinks that the world should function by quota regulations,then it is naturally irritating that we are a group of white skinned male musicians, that perform exclusively the music of white skinned male composers. It is a racist and sexist irritation. I believe one must put it that way. If one establishes superficial egalitarianism, one will lose something very significant. Therefore, I am convinced that it is worthwhile to accept this racist and sexist irritation, because something produced by a superficial understanding of human rights would not have the same standards.”