SEPTEMBER 30 - OCTOBER 6, 2011 By Saskia Constantinou SASKIA’S CHOICE 73 AROUND THE WORLD • Four musicians from the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) have been susTimothy Walker pended for nine months for using its name when they called for the cancellation of a concert by an Israeli orchestra at the Proms. LPO’s chief executive Tim Walker and Chairman Martin Hohmann said the suspensions sent “a strong and clear message that their actions will not be tolerated… the orchestra would never restrict the right of its players to express themselves freely, however such expression has to be independent of the LPO itself. The company has no wish to end the careers of four talented musicians but for the LPO, music and politics do not mix.” The three violinists and cellist signed a letter as members of the LPO denouncing the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as an instrument of the country’s propaganda and wrote ”Denials of human rights and violations of international law are hidden behind a cultural smokescreen. The IPO is perhaps Israel’s prime asset in this campaign…Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians fits the UN definition of apartheid.” Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sarah Colborne said: “It is staggeringly bad judgement for the LPO to be seen attacking musicians who are simply voicing support for human rights and defending the civil right to call for a boycott of institutions which lend strategic support to Israel’s occupation.” • Sad news last week with the death of Kurt Sanderling who died in Berlin just two days short of his 99th birthday. He was closely associated with the Leningrad Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Berlin Symphony Orchestra and in London with the Philharmonia. He retired from conducting in 2002. His sons Stefan and Thomas are conductors and Michael is a cellist. Inspired and inspirational Interview with winner of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres Garo Keheyan “ strongly believe that cultural and artistic life is the foundation of our humanity and that art and music are the ultimate expressions of the inner beauty of the human spirit which ignites our passion and imagination. Culture can open up and free the mind.” Garo Keheyan, President of the Pharos Arts Foundation was last week awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ambassador to Cyprus JeanMarc Rives on behalf of the French government and Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterand. The following day, surrounded by his extensive art and book collection, Garo elucidated on what the award meant to him both personally and professionally. “I’ve been overwhelmed and very touched by the goodwill and appreciation that this recognition from France has elicited. It’s of course deeply satisfying to realise your work has been noticed at such an official level by a country with a rich cultural and intellectual history. Garo is a man of great vision, and has needed much courage and stamina to overcome the many obstacles which seem to beset him in Cyprus. “Despite bureaucratic obstacles and political inertia, I see a great thirst, especially amongst the young for genuine creativity and inspiration. Seeing Cypriot composers being given new opportunities or the wide-eyed rapture of school children listening to music makes me realise that our work is worthwhile and must continue despite the apathy of society at large. There is too much statism and not enough entrepreneurial spirit – I particularly revere Gandhi’s words ‘you must be the change you want to see in the world.’” Unfortunately, art and culture is not often thought of in terms of business strategy and ethics, especially in Cyprus with ethical practice seemingly on the wane with more and more scandals permeating our news. “Society becomes very materialistic when it loses sight of the spiritual dimension in life. The moral deficit we see in I Garo Keheyan political and economic leadership comes from a distortion in values. When we focus on and nourish our higher selves, we will create a healthier, saner society. The Pharos’ plan is to create a world class centre for the arts in Cyprus and host the world’s finest ensembles, artists and musicians as well as serving as a centre for global dialogue and debate.” The Olive Grove in Delikipos has already played host to some extraordinary concerts. It’s a vast area of great natural beauty, full of ancient olive trees with the surrounds much appreciated by enthusiastic concert-goers. “My initial plans were scuppered by a short sighted bureaucrat who said there was no precedent for a cultural centre in a non-urban environment. If she had taken the time to do some research she would have discovered that this is exactly the kind of initiative that EU regional policy encourages. I was very depressed to find out though, that there are plans by a construction company to build a stone crushing factory occupying a vast area of about 300,000 square metres in a forest area near the Olive Grove. We need to undertake a national and international campaign to prevent it from happening and preserve some safe ha- vens in Cyprus for the spirit and soul. Dostoevsky once remarked that ’the world will be saved by Beauty’. Garo also points out that there is a truth and beauty in art which political lies can never destroy which is why the highest achievements of the human spirit come to inspire us through works of art, music and literature. Garo is deeply passionate, motivated and inspiring and a breath of fresh air with his honest and forthright assessments of what should and needs to be done to move forward in Cyprus. The Pharos aspires to be a beacon of light in the face of the barbarism of the entertainment industry. The economics of easy pleasure and celebrity culture are another world. It’s essential for a society to carve a space for difficulty and not behave according to the dictates of the market or the vagaries of populism. We need to think about long term health, sanity and the creativity of our youth. Garo finds his balance through the creative process. “I’m really inspired by all the wonderful artists and musicians I meet and I want to share this joy and ecstasy with as many people as possible.” LOCAL EVENTS Tonight is the final in the series of DON’ Anna Vissi concerts as part of her T M I SS Unplugged Live. Tickets available IT online for concert tonight at 8.30pm at the Paphos Harbour. The love story between Maria Callas d into and Aristotle Onassis has been transformed i t a romantic ballet, Sorceress Maria Callas by choreographer Liliya Sabitova of the Moscowia Ballet which will be produced at the Limassol Garden Theatre on October 7 and at the Strovolos Theatre on November 3. Bluebeard – a comic ballet to the music of Offenbach and choreographed by the great Russian Mikle Fokin wil will be presented on November 4 at the Strovolos Mu Municipal Theatre. Online tickets will go on sale sho shortly. The musical by Rea Madella Ioannidou Gentlemen Pre Prefer Blondes as part of the Kypria Festival will t k take place tonight, September 30 and October 1 at the School of the Blind Amphitheatre, Nicosia. 8.30pm. It is a 1950’s fast-paced musical comedy and one of the most influential musicals of the 20th century which has left an indelible mark on the genre in America. The Romantic Piano – a recital by American pianist Uriel Tsachor at Castelliotissa, Nicosia on October 21 at 8.30. A programme of Schumann and Brahms not to be missed. COMPETI T ION All tickets for the above events are e available online usfrom www.cyprusd and by calling rday Monday to Saturday on 7000 9303 between 9.30 and 11.30 ONLY. Win 2 tick ets to the recital of American pianist Ar iel Tsacho Send an e r. mail to saskia@ stati ng what two great com posers will be on the progra mme.