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View Diary: Matthews implicated in Abramoff scandal (210 comments)

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  •  Placido Domingo???? (none)
    How did this great tenor get in with such a bunch of losers?? I thought all classical musicians were liberals...
    •  Anything for a SHILLing, I guess... (none)
    •  Classical Musicians And Politics (4.00)
      As a classical musician myself, I can safely say that most musicians are very liberal, with few exceptions.  This is partially due to the fact that many classical organizations are funded in part by the government (the Republicans aren't exactly gung-ho about funding "elitist" music, even if Scalia and his some ilk ARE rabid opera queens).  Our liberal attitude may also derive from the diversity of the classical musician population: the pianist Horowitz once said, "There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish, homosexual, and bad."  (He was Jewish AND homosexual)  Although it's a joke, it does apply to a good number of musicians: I'm gay, and about a quarter of the other musicians I'm acquainted with are gay as well.  Musicians are also racially and gender-diverse, with many Jews, Asians, women and other groups making up most major symphony orchestras.  It's certainly not a white-male-baptist dominated field (although at the beginning of the 20th century, classical performance was a white-male-Jewish dominated field, with some notable exceptions).

      It's interesting that this comes up, as I just finished an excellent biography of Richard Strauss, a German composer who reached his twilight years during the Nazi regime.  Strauss, although never a member of the Nazi Party, was a long-time anti-Semite who never complained about the disappearing musicians in the orchestras he conducted.  Other (in)famous example of Fascist or conservative musicians include Elly Ney, a rabidly anti-semitic pianist, French pianist Alfred Cortot, who was accused of collaboration, conductor Oswald Kabasta, who committed suicide soon after the war ended upon losing his job as conductor of the Munich Phil.  Many other examples abound.  

      As dark as that period was for music, there are many shining instances of liberal musicians. Lord Yehudi Menuhin, an expatriate American who spoke out often and effectively for various liberal and humanitarian causes, the most important of which was Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation. Rudolf Serkin, a naturalized American and one of the greatest German exponents of Beethoven's piano works, quietly donated to the campaign of Adlai Stevenson.  

      Needless to say, I don't know many musicians who are also Bush supporters - we know which side our bread is buttered on.

      "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

      by Arturo52 on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:45:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So I guess that Toby Keith isn't into classical? (none)
        Given that he's an ardent Bush supporter, along with quite a few country stars. But I'm guessing that the Grand Ole Opry (ironically indirectly named after an opera radio broadcast) is a lot more popular than opera down in Bushland.

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