- Linda Merrick, PrincipalRoyal Northern College of Music
Reverse the concert cancellation of the Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”
― Victor Hugo
Jazz was born as an art form for social commitment through improvisation as a way to express freedom.
If a jazz artist is not able to be free in their expression, then the freedom for everyone is at risk. Silencing an artist is complicit in censorship.
We, the undersigned, strongly protest the recent cancellation of the Royal Northern College of Music's concert featuring Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble; one of the most successful and critically acclaimed jazz groups in Europe.
It is our understanding that due to pressure from the Zionist Lobby group, the North West Friends of Israel, the concert was cancelled due to a "safety" issue.
We... the musicians, artists, listeners, citizens of Britain and the world say:
- No to intimidation
- No to censorship
- No to political pressure
- And, that we all must protect the principles of a free society
If the Royal Northern College of Music is committed to keeping Britain a free country, let music and speech flow freely. We call upon the RNCM to immediately reschedule Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble’s concert.
We ask the RNCM to not set a precedence in succumbing to pressure and bullying from external forces. Music is one of the few spaces where anything and everything is able to be expressed without the threat of censorship or intimidation.
The RNCM is a leading international conservatoire, training students to world-class levels in music through a specialised learning programme of the highest quality, delivered by internationally renowned teachers and underpinned by a unique artistic programme of performances.
The RNCM also is host to a world class theatre that features performers from the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond who seek the opportunity to perform and express their art.
Gilad Atzmon is a well-known and deeply respected British Jazz artist and author. Gilad was born in Israel in 1963 and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). A multi-instrumentalist he plays saxophones, clarinet and ethnic woodwind instruments .
Atzmon tours extensively around the world. His albums, of which he has recorded fifteen to date, explore many themes including those that are political and the music of the Middle East. But it is Atzmon's understanding and expression of the difficult jazz rhythms that resonate with audiences and have the esteem of musical colleagues from around the world.
To listen to an Atzmon jazz interpretation is to experience improvisation of a music theme in which he creates a uniqueness of atmosphere and language.
- Royal Northern College of Music
Linda Merrick, Principal
Please reconsider and reverse the concert cancellation of Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble.
Music is for the world as it brings people from all walks of life together.
But also artists of all genres must be able to express their art without suppression from outside influences or censorship.
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