By now, many of us pretty much expect an uproar whenever a conservative is set to speak in public. We expect liberals to try to shut them down, lest somebody hear their ideas and a feeling be hurt. Today, I bring you the story of liberals trying to shut down a conservative set to appear in public when he isn’t even going to be speaking.
Conservative pundit Dennis Prager loves classical music and, on occasion, has been asked to conduct an orchestra to raise money. In the past, these orchestras have included the Brentwood-Westwood, Glendale and West Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras, the Pasadena Lyric Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
As wrote today in Townhall:
I conduct orchestras because I love making music. But I also do so because I want to help raise funds for local orchestras (I have never been paid to conduct) and I want to expose as many people to classical music as possible.
Here’s how the evenings go:
After I conduct a symphony, I then conduct select parts of the piece in order to show the audience what various sections of the orchestra are doing. After that, I walk around the orchestra with a microphone and interview some of the musicians. Everyone seems to love it.
After intermission, the permanent and professional conductor conducts his orchestra in another symphony.
On August 16, Prager is set to conduct the Santa Monica symphony orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall, which Prager calls “one of the great honors of my life.” Now, three members of the orchestra (two of whom, perhaps not surprisingly, are academics) are leading a campaign to have him disinvited. They are refusing to play that night, and Prager has invited them to appear on his radio show so that they might discuss their differences and, as he said “people will then be able to assess who is and who isn’t a hater.”
Fortunately, the board of directors of the symphony, unless that of our most august of academic institutions, is standing up for free speech and standing by Prager. They should be rewarded for their courage against these angry mobs who are used to having their way.
Prager concludes his piece by asking people to attend, showing support for the symphony board:
The more people who attend on Aug. 16, the greater the message that music must transcend political differences. And it rewards the Santa Monica Symphony board and conductor for their moral courage.
I will be conducting Haydn’s Symphony No. 51. Like Haydn, I think music is one of those few things that can bring people together. Clearly, not everyone agrees.
Not everything needs to be about politics. Prager is not appearing at this event in a political capacity, and will not be speaking about politics. He is simply doing this because he loves music, and I agree with him that this shouldn’t be a divisive issue.