Herald Diary on Finlayson

March 13th, 2010 at 10:55 am by David Farrar

The Herald’s Diary:

The New Zealand International Arts Festival rolls into its final week. Among the virtuoso performances has been one by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister , although we are not sure he was supposed to have been the one performing. However, his chairing of an Arts Talk session with esteemed Russian-born conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy had the tongues wagging. To say the minister was well-briefed was an understatement. He had prepared no less than 25 erudite and highly detailed questions to put to Ashkenazy.

Here’s one example. “Once former British Prime Minister Ted Heath, an accomplished conductor, was asked whether he preferred conducting orchestras or chairing cabinet meetings. He answered ‘the former’ because orchestras have a unity of purpose, the players work toward a common goal, the output is excellent and they accept the leadership of the conductor. You have never been stuck in a Cabinet meeting but, thinking of all the orchestras you have worked with, is what he said about working with an orchestra been your experience? Did you know Ted Heath? Is it true of Italian orchestras that they are impossible to conduct?” And that was just the first question.

I’m surprised Chris only had 25 questions!

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7 Responses to “Herald Diary on Finlayson”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    I have this feeling of déjà vu with this post. Have a read something really similar about Finlayson doing something similar in the past?

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  2. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    I didn’t know former British Prime Minister Ted Heath, was an accomplished conductor. Interesting he say’s orchestras have a unity of purpose.. Would that purpose be extracting founding from the taxpayer.

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  3. RRM (8,987 comments) says:

    I’m sorry I missed this talk. Ashkenazy is one of the god-like figures of music today.

    “[Heath answered that Orchestras] accept the leadership of the conductor.” – Interesting comment – some conductors command respect, others merely demand it IMHO. There’s a difference.

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  4. kiki (425 comments) says:

    who cares?

    Did any of this get paid by my taxes?

    what benefit did I or my community receive?

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  5. Red Sam (120 comments) says:

    Despite being a socialist, I’ve found Finlayson to be an intelligent chap, whose speeches are interesting, amusing and well delivered. If only the Nats would promote him to number one.

    I see he sits beside Tolley in the house. I’m surprised he’s not jotting wee notes for her or having a whisper in her ear.

    I hope the talk between Finlayson and Ashkenazy is on the net.

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  6. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    I’ve always wondered how Finlayson and a few others slipped through the net and made it into Cabinet alongside the likes of Paula Bennett. I assume he managed to convince them his IQ was in double digits and by the time they’d appointed him it was too late :-D

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  7. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Good for Chris.

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