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On Forbes: Munich Philharmonic Responds To Concert Hall Controversy

Munich Philharmonic Responds To Concert Hall Controversy

The concert hall debate in Munich has created waves in the classical music world: It was so important to Anne-Sophie Mutter that she took out her cell-phone during rehearsals for her Carnegie Hall performance of the Sibelius Concerto to comment on the issue. Even London, courtesy of Sir Simon Rattle—just this week appointed the new music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, has started a debate on its own, finding itself in a surprisingly similar position as Munich. In fact, in an interview with the BBC last month he said London and Munich were the two great cities in the world which did not have proper concert halls.

The decision to renege on promises to build a new hall—primarily to benefit the truly needy Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra)—in favor of revamping the hall of the somewhat needy Munich Philharmonic—but at a considerable cost for the musical life of Munich—has indeed created strong responses: All but a few solidly condemn the move–ever so slightly back-tracked upon since–by the Bavarian Prime Minister and Mayor of Munich. As Mutter stated, with a dash of hyperbole: “This city is about to ruin its international reputation in the world of music.” In a press conference Mariss Jansons added that he thinks “we were taken for a fool” and that “Bavaria has much to lose.”...

The extant concert hall, the Philharmonic Hall of the Gasteig, is now at the center of the musico-cultural attention of the city of Munich. This creates the opportunity to turn the Philharmonic Hall into an extraordinary space for classical music in Munich, and most especially one fit for decades to come.

Translated: Let’s... completely shift focus from the Needs of one orchestra to the Wants of this orchestra, painting it as something that would benefit Munich, rather than us—at the cost of most everyone else...

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