Bad boys in the classical music world
With all the meterological distractions around here lately, I've been slowly catching up with some bits of news out there. Of morbid interest are the items about bad guys in the classical music world.
There's quite a dust-up at the Salzburg Easter Festival, one of the toniest events of its kind, with a long, distinguished history behind it. This story includes massive embezzlement and an apparent suicide attempt, so, naturally, folks are comparing it to the operatic drama that is a traditional part of the festival's attractions -- coincidentally, Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" is on the schedule this spring.
This scandal comes close on the heels of a scam at the Barbican Centre, home of the great London Symphony Orchestra and much more. A much smaller amount of
And then there's the sad case of Alberto Vilar, once the king of opera patrons, famed for throwing money at the Met, Covent Garden and the Kennedy Center, and for getting his name all over the place. He was recently sentenced to nine years for his Madoff-like schemes. I've always felt rather sorry for him ever since his rapid fall from the heights of donordom. After all, when the checks were good, this crook sure did some nice things for the arts.