Israel Philharmonic hope to play in Britain again

By Jenni Frazer, January 3, 2012

The secretary general of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Avi Shoshani, has categorically denied that the IPO will not return to play in Britain, in the wake of the row over September's disrupted Proms concerts.

A report in today's Times suggested that the IPO was unlikely to play again in Britain. But Mr Shoshani insisted: "I did not say I did not want to come back to the UK. I did say that I did not want to put my musicians in such a situation again, where they were being abused and threatened.

"As for the Proms organisers, I have nothing but praise for them; I can only say good things about them, they behaved beautifully. The Proms is a very important festival and we would like to return. "

Mr Shoshani explained that the IPO, which has just celebrated its 75th anniversary, was unlikely, in any event, to tour in Europe for another four years. He said: "I have nothing against demonstrations, where they are carried out in a civilised fashion.

"There was a civilised demonstration against the orchestra after the Proms, in Italy. People handed out leaflets outside the venue. But they did not disrupt the performance and they did not threaten the musicians. We had no problem with that.

"At the Proms, the concert was interrupted four times, in a very ugly way. I thought that it was one step away from a situation in which things would be thrown. I don't want to put any of my musicians, some of whom have very expensive musical instruments, in a situation like that again."

Last updated: 4:24pm, January 3 2012