The Schmooze

Israel Philharmonic's Japanese Percussionist Reacts to London Protests

It used to be that being boycotted wasn’t any fun. Having protesters wave placards outside your shop was a mark of shame that could be quite effective in forcing a change in policy.

But Palestinian Solidarity activists’ interruption of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s September 1 performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall seems to have seriously boomeranged. British media outlets such as the BBC — which broadcasted the event on radio until cutting the feed due repeated disruptions — described a frustrated audience of classical music lovers who supported the musicians and objected to the forced politicization of their night out. UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, who was in the audience that evening, wrote on Twitter during the performance that, “Demonstrators seem to have turned entire audience pro-Israel.”

To get a first-hand impression of the evening, The Arty Semite caught up with Mitsunori Kambe, a Japanese percussionist playing in the IPO, who described the experience as “musical theater.”

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Israel Philharmonic's Japanese Percussionist Reacts to London Protests

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