Sep 092013

Valentina Lisitsa Palermo 375x500 Classical musicians from Palermo Classica go unpaidThe Fest­ival Internazionale Palermo Clas­sica (the Sicilian-based Palermo Fest­ival of clas­sical ) has recently com­pleted its third edi­tion. It has sporadic events from June until August situ­ated in some of the most glor­i­ous loc­a­tions in the world. Last July, at the jaw-droppingly beau­ti­ful Taorm­ina, Valentina Lis­itsa gave a recital, one for which, more than a year later, she has still not been paid.

The series of let­ters between her and the Fest­ival dir­ect­ors are repro­duced on her Face­book page. The reas­ons are typ­ic­ally Italian: they are wait­ing for the fund­ing for the next sea­son to pay their debts from the last. I, too, have waited for more than a year for pay­ments from City Coun­cils and Opera Houses. Once a month an email is sent off to jog their memor­ies, and more often than not there is not even a reply. The ‘per­son respons­able’ is never in the build­ing at whatever time one ‘phones (which is, quite pos­sibly, true!). Pay­ment usu­ally arrives at the same moment they call to book for the next sea­son… a coin­cid­ence, no doubt. Hav­ing said this, there are other theatres, oper­at­ing with the same fund­ing sys­tem (a mix of state sub­sidy and private spon­sor­ship) who pay imme­di­ately at the end of a performance.

Well Lis­itsa, hear­ing that many of her col­leagues were also await­ing pay­ment, decided to can­cel her announced appear­ance at this year’s fest­ival. Nor­man Lebrecht, with his usual cru­sad­ing spirit, has pub­lished a list of the other artists who have not seen a cent, which we repub­lish here. Maybe the Palermo fest­ival can be shamed into pay­ing its debts:

Valentina Lis­itsa – pian­ist
Francesco Attardi con­ductor
John Neschling — con­ductor
Janos Acs — con­ductor
Paul Badura Skoda – pian­ist
Cath­er­ine Man­oukian – viol­in­ist
Gunter Neuhold — con­ductor
Mar­tina Fili­jak — pian­ist
Miriam Gen­ov­ese — flaut­ist
Andrea Scarpa – — double bass
Roberta Trentuno — oboist
Sara Mes­cia — cla­ri­net­tist
Guend­alina Pul­cinelli — viol­in­ist
Flora Maria Todaro — cel­list
Ivana Calabrese — oboist

…and other?

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