Dennis Prager is a conservative columnist, author, talk-show host (nationally syndicated) and speaker based in California.
The Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra (SMSO) recently invited Prager to be a guest conductor for a benefit program to be held August 16 at the Walt Disney Concert Halls, in Santa Monica California. Many consider it one of the premium venues in the country.
Prager has studied classical music for decades and has been a guest conductor for several orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pasadena Lyric Opera.
Prager, an orthodox Jew, will be conducting one composition — Hayden’s Symphony No 51. During past performances, Prager liked to show how the music is put together and often breaks down the symphony section by section to let people see what instruments are playing.
Now it is important to understand that Prager will not be speaking at the event, only conducting.
Nevertheless three members of the SMSO were so appalled that a conservative person would be conducting the orchestra, that a month ago they wrote a letter calling for a boycott of the performance. The three that includes two UCLA professors, Andrew Apter and Michael Chwe, have stated they won’t be playing at the concert.
They cited some of Prager’s conservative views, such as his support for traditional marriage, as the reasons for their decision.
But one in particular caught Prager’s attention. In a column posted on the National Review website, he he wrote:
“Another example — my favorite — is my having said, if there is no God, ethics are subjective, will offend atheist members of the orchestra.”
Fortunately, the SMSO board of directors who represent the full political spectrum refused to allow politics to throttle the music and fully support the event.
Though a former Santa Monica’s mayor and two councillors have stated publicly they will not be attending, the boycott appears to be falling flat. A Symphony spokesperson told CBN that ticket sales are going well.
In response to the opposition, Prager said:
“[This is] a new low for the Liberal left. It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music.”
- Another left-wing attempt at Ostracism: National Review
- Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music: Libs boycott Prager orchestra: Breaking Christian News