Ioan Holender

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Vienna Philharmonic attacked by opera chief for ‘reluctant’ denazification
April 18, 2014 by Norman Lebrecht

Ioan Holender, former head of the Vienna Opera, has launched an extraordinary assault on the orchestra for dealing with its Nazi past only when it is absolutely forced to do so. Holender said he had never felt any positive desire on the part of the orchestra, and particularly its chairman and official historian Clemens Hellsberg, to bring the past to light, ‘unless there was external coercion’.
Holender was particularly savage on the orchestra’s ‘discovery’ this week that it owned an impressionist masterpiece, stolen by the Nazis from a Jewish family and gifted to the Phil. The ‘discovery’ was leaked to the New York Times, which reported its restitution as an act of benevolence by the musicians. The Green Party has joined Holender in condemning the orchestra’s tactics of ‘cover up, and admit only what cannot be denied’.
None of this public dissent was researched or reported by the lapdog arts journalists of the New York Times. Holender’s condemnation has been given prominence in the Austrian press.