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The Lebrecht Weekly


Visit every week to read Norman Lebrecht's latest column. [Index]

Chocs for aunties at the seaside band

By Norman Lebrecht / September 24, 2008

With a young Ukrainian coming in as principal conductor against brilliant ex-Soviet rivals in Liverpool and Birmingham, you might have expected the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to plaster its programme with glamour pics of Kirill Karabits.

Not a bit of it. Perhaps under sponsorship pressure, Bournemouth has decorated it seasonal brochure with chocolates from the kind of box a maiden aunt would have cracked open at the Wednesday matinee of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Each concert is paired with one of Terry’s All Gold classics - pralines for Dvorak, heart shapes for Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, no cliché unturned.

Karabits, 31, was elected last year by a ‘unanimous vote of the musicians’ – surely a first outside Soviet Russia – to succeed the high-profile though sometimes distracted Marin Alsop. He has good credentials in Budapest and Paris but he will need lots of help to match the explosive lift-offs of Vasily Petrenko and Andris Nelsons with other regional orchestras. Decking out his programme in auntie’s matinee dips does not suggest that Bournemouth is breaking out of its blue-rinse image – or that Karabits, if he's any good, will want to stay very long.

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Visit every week to read Norman Lebrecht's latest column. [Index]



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