You can read why Gidon Kremer bagged the Verbier Festival here. Then you can read Fabio Luisi’s thoughts (agreeing with Kremer) here. I’m not gonna tell you what I think about what either of them wrote aside from the quote I’ll put below which I appreciated: I have nothing to do with that festival, don’t know Verbier, Kremer or Luisi, and I am simply not all that involved in these sorts of things.
Okay, okay, maybe just a short bit about this from me: I do think we are living in an era where it’s often the “younger the better” for classical music stars. We hear an eleven year old sing opera and go crazy over her. We hear and see other young musicians who, while not even close to some of their elders in quality, get a lot of PR because they are … well … young and attractive and very, very sexy. (Some people are older and attractive, but let’s face it, for most of us aging doesn’t bring out the best in us!) But I know a few younger people who accuse me of ageism ‐ then one called me OLD, so I’m not exactly feeling the love at the moment (I can call me old, but having someone in her twenties call me old cut a bit too deeply for me. Guess I’m too sensitive!). So there you go. I could be wrong about what I think, and I’m not about to say any more than I already have (which is more than enough).
But still, I liked this:
We see many young, gifted musicians who reach the most important music places in the world, pushed by managers and sought after by presenters who must constantly offer “fresh meat” to the audience: the next Netrebko, the next Pavarotti, the next Bernstein, the next Rubinstein, the next Oistrakh. They are “the nextes” and they don’t have time to be themselves, to develop to be themselves – many of them will disappear soon (we already have seen how many have disappeared after a couple of CDs, after concerts in Salzburg, Verbier, after productions in Milano, New York or London) although they might have talent and skills for a serious career.
This is the reason I appreciate this wonderful Gidon Kremer letter, because it is fresh, ironical, true and it comes from a real artist which constantly worked on himself trying to improve himself, refusing to be pushed by whomever.
For what it’s worth, Maestro Luisi is younger than I. Better looking too. :-)