Male C. Pig a.k.a. Svinopolist (piggymouse) wrote,
Male C. Pig a.k.a. Svinopolist

Swiss terror swoop discomposes Boulez, 75

Без комментариев! Original article can be found here.

Jon Henley in Paris Guardian
Wednesday December 5, 2001

In these troubled times no one, it seems, is above suspicion of harbouring dubious sympathies. Even a 75-year-old French composer and conductor of world renown staying in a five-star hotel in the not notably terrorism-prone town of Basle, Switzerland.

It emerged yesterday that Pierre Boulez, a colossal figure in modern classical music, was the target of a pre-dawn raid by the ever-efficient Swiss police in his hotel room early last month because his name featured on a list of potential threats to the nation's security.

"The incident occurred at 6.30am on November 2," said a Basle police spokesman. "Unfortunately, three officers entered Mr Boulez's room and confiscated his passport, despite the fact that he was due to fly to Chicago later that morning. He was not very pleased."

Happily the confusion was cleared up "within a matter of a couple of hours", the spokesman said, adding that the chief of the city's police had already written a letter of profuse apology to the conductor "for the force's excessively zealous behaviour".

Zurich police added Mr Boulez's name to the list of terrorist suspects some six years ago after a music critic who had written a particularly scathing review of one of his performances claimed to have received a threatening phone call alluding to a possible bomb attack. Since the composer, who has as many catcalls as plaudits for his experimental, avant-garde style, had already left the country when the critic filed his complaint, the inquiry was shelved and Mr Boulez was never questioned about the false alarm - but neither, apparently, was his name removed from the wanted list.

On heightened security alert since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, police in Basle spotted the suspect's name while carrying out a routine check of the guest list at the city's luxury Drei Konige hotel, where the composer was staying after conducting the inaugural concert of the 2001 Month of European Music.

"He was really quite understanding after he eventually realised what was going on," said the police spokesman. "I hope it won't stop him coming back here again. I understand a lot of Swiss people like his music."


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