Sad Decline of the BBC

January 12, 2010


Evgeny Kissin, the world-famous classical pianist, was described in these terms by the Times [10th May, 1999], "All the hall marks of his genius - and one does not use the word lightly - were on display: the rich, sonorous tone, the dazzling fingerwork and, above all, the inspired fantasy. So compelling is Kissin's pianism, so fresh his response to even the most familiar phrases, that one hangs on every note. The end of the slow movement found me gripping the armrest of my seat, mesmerized by the poetry of his reading."

Kissin began to play by ear and improvise on the piano at the age of two. At six years of age, he entered a school for gifted children, the Moscow Gnessin School of Music. At the age of ten, he made his concerto debut playing Mozart's Piano Concerto K. 466 and gave his first solo recital in Moscow one year later. He is now a British citizen.

After reading a dispatch by Tom Gross [December 23, 2009, titled "BBC feeding infamous anti-Semitic lies to Iranians -- in Persian" (which you can read here], Kissin wrote an open letter, for which he may well be ostracized by fellow musicians, sent to the Director-General of the BBC who has yet to answer.


Open letter to the Director General of the BBC
From: Evgeny Kissin

Dear Sir,

I first came to live in this country thirteen years ago and became a British subject seven years ago, having grown up in the Soviet Union. I was inspired and proud to belong to the country of Winston Churchill, who famously said "There is no anti-Semitism in England because we do not consider ourselves more stupid than the Jews" Above all, the BBC and especially its World Service had always been a beacon of light, of truth and objectivity to those of us behind the Iron Curtain, in the Evil Empire. Reaching out to far corners of the world, it was the voice of a country which for us was a model of democracy and human rights.

Since a long time now, I receive verified reports on an almost daily basis of the BBC's slander and bias towards Israel, painfully reminiscent of the old Soviet anti-Zionist propaganda. This culminated with the BBC's Persian Service's blood libel concerning Israel's alleged harvesting of Palestinian organs and blood for future transplant. It beggars belief that the British taxpayer should be funding an organisation which is aligning itself with Iran's despotic leader in its anti-Semitic propaganda.

Other print media, like the Guardian, which erroneously printed this libel, propagated by Israel's enemies, have since apologised. I am not aware of any such retraction from the BBC.

Is it not high time for the BBC to return to the values for which it was so much respected before it finds itself in the garbage of history together with Pravda, Tass, Volkischer Beobachter and Der Angriff?

Yours faithfully,
Evgeny Kissin