Pinchas Zukerman Says There Are 'Rotten Apples' At NAC Orchestra
By Ben Mattison / Playbill
13 Jan 2006
Conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman, who surprised the
classical music world recently when he took a six-month sabbatical
from his conducting duties at the National Arts Centre Orchestra,
criticized unnamed colleagues there in an interview with the
Orange County Register this week.
"In every orchestra, in every institution that has climbed
to prominence quickly there's always going to be a few rotten
apples," he said. "And they have created an atmosphere that has
to be eradicated, quite frankly."
Zukerman made it clear that the sabbatical was not merely a
chance for him to "re-energize," as the Ottawa-based orchestra
had said in announcing the sabbatical last month. The break,
he told the Register, would give "everybody [at the orchestra]
a chance to speak and discuss and become a different organization
I hope in time."
Zukerman's comments prompted anger at the NACO, according to an
article published in the Toronto Globe and Mail today. Michael
Namer, the secretary of the musicians' union, said the remarks
were "a polemic that is absolutely counterproductive." Jayne
Watson, the orchestra's communications director, said they were
"intemperate" and added, "For the record, there are no rotten
apples at the NACO."
But managing director Christopher Deacon defended Zukerman,
saying that the music director was "frustrated," and "caught
off guard" by the Register's questions.
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