Proms 2013: Jewish conductor Daniel Barenboim defends performance of anti-Semitic Wagner's Ring cycle
'It is Wagner's greatest misfortune that he became Hitler's favourite composer', says Israeli conductor
Renowned Jewish conductor Daniel Barenboim has defended his upcoming performance of the Ring cycle by Wagner, a composer known for his anti-Semitic views.
The Argentine-Israeli will perform the cycle in its entirety at this summer's Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, which is his first Wagner opera in the UK.
Speaking to the Radio Times about performing music by Hitler's favourite composer, he said: "First of all, one has to say Wagner's anti-Semitism is abhorrent, beyond anything that is acceptable.
"He was a German nationalist in the second half of the 19th century. All nationalists at this time - in England, France, Germany, Russia - were anti-Semitic. It was not unusual.
The 70-year-old, who lived in Israel from the age of ten after his family moved from Argentina, added: "Hitler saw in him - and in his anti-Semitism - a prophet and it is Wagner's greatest misfortune that he became Hitler's favourite composer. That was not Wagner's fault. And the operas are not anti-Semitic.
"They don't deal with the anti-Semitic questions. If they did, I don't think I would be able to perform them."
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
The Google future, including microphones in every ceiling and data sent directly to your brain
Arts & Ents blogs
YouTube star Rebecca Black is back with Saturday (it's a sequel to Friday, see?)
Norman Rockwell’s 'Saying Grace' tops record week of art auction sales in US
X Factor 2013: Luke Friend wins place in final as Rough Copy sent home
Back from the dead? Family Guy's Brian Griffin 'to make a comeback' after fan petition
Katie Hopkins mocks name of sick girl featured in X Factor charity appeal
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >