Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Dorset, United Kingdom, aged 80), one of the world’s most renowned orchestral conductors, has canceled his scheduled appearance at the BBC Proms (the daily concerts held every year from July to September at the Royal Albert Hall in). London) after his attack on singer William Thomas came to light last Tuesday. Eliot struck while the two were backstage at the Berlioz festival in La Cote-Saint-André, the composer’s hometown in south-eastern France, in late August. Eliot was irritated by the singer’s mistake, who appeared to have left the stage at the wrong end at the end of his performance.
“I deeply regret losing my temper,” Eliot said in the public statement announcing his retirement from attending the London concert. “I have no excuse for my behavior and have personally apologized to Will Thomas, for whom I have the utmost respect. “I apologize again, also to the rest of the artists, for all the inconvenience I’ve caused,” added the director.
His representative, who is known for his easily irritable temperament, attributes what happened to the extreme heat wave in the south of the European continent, which would have particularly affected the aged director. “All musicians have the right to perform their art in an environment free from abuse or physical harm,” a spokesman for the director, aware of the seriousness of what was happening, told the BBC. The incident was uncovered by music information website Slipped Music after several people reported to their editors what had happened. In any case, Thomas was able to perform the following day, Wednesday, and did not appear to have suffered any serious damage.
living legend in Britain
“We take any allegation of inappropriate behavior very seriously and are currently collecting data on the reported incident,” the BBC Proms organizers had expected shortly before Eliot’s resignation, expecting a clear request for the director’s help to be reconsidered. The Monteverdi Choir, founded by Eliot, was to perform fragments of Berlioz’s opera The Trojans at the London Festival. Assistant Conductor Dinis Sousa will perform the Royal Albert Hall performance as well as the choir’s remaining European tour appearances.
Eliot, who specializes in composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Monteverdi, has founded chamber orchestras such as the Monterverdi Choir itself, the English Baroque Soloists and the Revolutionary and Romantic Orchestra. He conducted world-class orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. “I know that physical violence is never acceptable and that musicians should always feel safe. “I ask for everyone’s patience and understanding while I take the time to consider my actions,” Eliot concluded in his statement.
In Britain, Eliot is a living legend. He attended the coronation ceremony of Charles III. of England last May, at a concert in which he conducted the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque soloists, just before the service began in Westminster Abbey.
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