In Thursday’s (10/7) Ha’aretz (Israel), Naom Ben Ze’ev writes, “In late 1938, at the opening of its third season, the Palestine Orchestra (Hatizmoret Hasimfonit Ha’eretz Yisraelit ), which would later become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, scheduled a performance of the prelude to the opera ‘Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg’ by Richard Wagner. But the anti-Jewish pogroms (Kristallnacht) throughout Germany that November and the work’s popularity among Nazis prompted the orchestra’s leaders to remove it from the concert. Since then, Wagner’s music has not been heard in concerts in Israel. … But recently, a different kind of effort was launched, from the heart of the Wagner establishment itself. Katharina Wagner, the composer’s great-granddaughter, decided to come to Israel in person and invite the Israel Chamber Orchestra to a historic and unprecedented concert opening the upcoming Bayreuth Festival in July. … For an entire year, the visit had been planned and kept confidential. … But news of the visit leaked out. Early reports in Israel were quoted on Tuesday by numerous news sites in Germany and Austria, as well as international news agencies, and this weakened Wagner’s hand. … At an emergency meeting Tuesday evening at the festival’s offices, organizers therefore decided to cancel Katharina Wagner’s visit.”

Posted October 7, 2010