It's difficult to imagine a more pacific backwater than the genteel Wigmore Hall, London's most prestigious chamber-music venue – but that peace was abruptly disturbed when anti-Israel demonstrators disrupted a concert given by the Jerusalem Quartet on Monday lunchtime. Wigmore Hall director John Gilhooly told Classical Music magazine: "The demonstration was evidently extremely well planned. The protesters must have bought their tickets for the concert a long time ago, because they were all sitting in individual seats in different parts of the hall. One stood up and started singing and shouting, and while we were removing him, another one started up somewhere else, and so on."
One of the protesters, Tony Greenstein, wrote on his blog: "I stood up . . . and proceeded to tell the Jerusalem Quartet that they were the cultural ambassadors of apartheid Israel and its army whom they perform for." Supporters of the quartet highlight the fact that its cellist, Kyril Zlotnikov, works with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which was founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said to include both Israeli and Arab young musicians, and point out that military service is compulsory in Israel. The quartet's live broadcast on Radio 3 was truncated and replaced with a performance by the Salomon Quartet. But the Jerusalem Quartet's recital eventually continued. "The atmosphere in the hall was very tense," said Gilhooly.
works with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which was founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said to include both Israeli and Arab young musiciansdon't you know? Was this really such a hard case?