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The illusion of fusion

Ivan Hewett finds the London Philharmonic subverting the fashion for musical inclusion

By Ivan Hewett   May 2002

For an orchestral manager to say “the core repertoire is at the heart of what we do” is a courageous statement these days. One who does so is Serge Dorny, artistic director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appointed Kurt Masur, a master of the “core repertoire,” as principal conductor and this spring the LPO is mounting a Beethoven symphony cycle-an emphatic affirmation of the great tradition.

But Dorny is a shrewd man, and he has also deferred to the musical trend that best embodies the culture department’s preferences: fusion. Fusion does the things that art is now supposed…

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