MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Strained Relations

in happier days…

After the bombshell that dropped on Friday, we hear a response from Thomas Dausgaard via Javier Herndández’s report in The New York Times on the Thomas Dausgaard-Seattle Symphony breakup: “I felt personally not safe,” Dausgaard said, providing few specifics as he offered his first public comments on his abrupt resignation, which the orchestra announced on Friday. “I felt threatened.”

According to Hernández’s report: “Dausgaard said he felt the culture of the organization shifted and became ‘ruled by fear.’ At one point, he said, an employee of the orchestra was pressured to make negative comments about him to the administration. (The symphony denies the accusation.)”

The irony is that, as far as I could tell, Dausgaard and the musicians still had an impressive chemistry together, even after the long absence due to visa restrictions and whatever else might have been responsible — as I noted in what turns out, in retrospect, to have been a de facto farewell concert.

The pandemic obviously exacerbated tensions that seem to have already been simmering, as Hernández points out. What a distressing turn of events — just when SSO was playing at such a high level. Along with Dausgaard and Jaap van Zweden, who are some other major classical music figures who have so radically reassessed their career commitments?

NYT story

Filed under: music news, Seattle Symphony, Thomas Dausgaard


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