Friday, September 29, 2017
CORFU, GREECE AND FEAR OF GOOD MUSIC I know a man, born in the late Thirties, who was a famous orchestral conductor (I have even seen a letter from MARGOT FONTEYN, congratulating and thanking him). He retired to Greece in the Eighties. However, he was never young enough to retire, and practices the violin and piano every day. He is an hombre. He tried to offer his services, FREE, to Greek orchestras, but discovered that cabalism and fear win over quality. Thus, a BULGARIAN state orchestra is using his kind services to music (he loves music, and wishes to help young symphony orchestras). He has already performed beautifully there recently, and is about to perform again. Herewith a reply from someone who I thought might help him to help Corfiot and Greek music: ‘In Corfu as you know there is only one orchestra that has a permanent conductor from Athens. All the years he has been here no one else has conducted the orchestra from what I remember. This is something delicate. The best thing is to contact directly the conductor or the president of the Palaia in order to propose coming as a guest conductor.’ My reply: Thanks. He also told me that it can be very delicate in Greece, and not only. Professional jealousy is a huge factor. It takes someone with vision to accept even one 'outside' performance. Anyhow, if you send me the details of the conductor, I can get in touch, or ask ****** to do so. But they should be his public details, since I assume that you would not like your name mentioned. Perhaps no one has ever offered to conduct the Corfu orchestra? Anyhow, just in case things become 'less delicate', his e-mail is His telephone number *********** Easily the most beautiful house. You have his CV and a couple of photos. Well, miracles can happen. It would be a breath of fresh musical air, even if only brief.... William The reply: It s a matter of connections not jealousy. And I think he should contact any conductor or any orchestra not you. Things in music happen either with managers (agencies) or with personal connections. The orchestras also plan their programs a year before. By the way very many things happen in Corfu in music. Opera, chamber music concerts, jazz concerts etc. And they have a good level. This is the link of the palaia filarmoniki. Oh dear! The person to whom I wrote may be right, but I hope not. Herewith my reply: ‘ ****, You write that it is a matter of connexions, not jealousy. If not jealousy, then it must be fear. Does the 'permanent conductor from Athens' really control Corfu's musical freedom? I suspect that there are several orchestras in Corfu, even symphonic. No freedom means no free expression, and therefore no quality, only tired old repeats: running with turkeys, rather than flying like an eagle. You are a nice person, but are you a fighter for freedom and quality? Maybe you are right, nevertheless, but I am disappointed and even surprised that an orchestra on the island of Corfu does not exist to welcome a superb conductor, at no cost, whereas the Bulgarians seem to have more sense than the Athens stranglehold on Corfu. Mamma mia, per carita! Best to you, Will I am’ Then I wrote to a professor at the Ionian University (based in Corfu), as follows: ‘Cher ******, Je ne blague pas: cette homme formidable voudrait venir a Corfu pour quelques jours, pour faire quelques répétitions et une ou deux performances. Tu es l'un des seuls que je connais qui pourrait aider Corfu et la Grèce avec ça, a cause de tes contacts avec les personnes de culture. Sa motivation n'est pas pécuniaire. Il habite en Grèce. J'attache un bref CV, en attendant ta réaction. Best, William’ I RECEIVED NO REPLY. Now, I know that this sort of fear of quality, especially in the world of music, probably happens all over the world, but does not Greece pride itself on being the cradle of our civilisation? IF ANYBODY HAS A CONCRETE IDEA TO GET THIS KIND AND TALENTED HOMBRE TO PREPARE A SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, YOUTH OR OTHERWISE, AND THEN TO GIVE ONE OR TWO PERFORMANCES, FREE, DO PLEASE MESSAGE ME.