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Slightly off-topic: Can you BELIEVE this??????

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  • joy_fleisig
    Conductor Forced to Check Baton at Airport New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal/Canadian Press - 23 April 2002 Saint John, New Brunswick (CP) — Symphony New
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2002
      Conductor Forced to Check Baton at Airport
      New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal/Canadian Press - 23 April 2002

      Saint John, New Brunswick (CP) — Symphony New Brunswick music
      director Nurhan Arman may have terrorized his share of musicians. But
      the normally mellow maestro got a big surprise on the weekend when he
      was told that his conductor's baton could be used as an instrument of

      Arman was passing through a security check at the Saint John Airport
      on Saturday when he was asked what was in the thin yellow tube that
      he had tucked in his carry-on luggage, alongside his laptop computer
      and music scores. After passing his bag through the X-ray machine, he
      turned on his laptop for the female security guard. The woman then
      spotted the tube.

      "What's this?" she asked.

      "That's a conductor's baton," Arman answered.

      When the maestro was informed that the blunt-ended, flexible wooden
      implement with the cork handle would not be allowed on board, he was
      stunned. "I almost fainted."

      Arman, who lives in Toronto and flies all over the world for musical
      engagements, explained he was the conductor of the provincial
      symphony. Although he didn't have his business cards with him, he
      pulled out his music scores to prove his point.

      "I tried to explain that you could not harm anyone with it. A simple
      pencil would do more damage."

      Although correct in his assessment, he was told to check his baton as
      luggage or he would not be able to fly back to Toronto. "The only
      people I can terrorize with a baton are the orchestra players." With
      great reservations, he checked the $200 baton that he had bought in
      Paris, along with his laptop.

      Arman understands that security measures have to be taken in the wake
      of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. But he said
      the security is getting ridiculous. "There is such a hysteria," he

      He said he has always travelled with his baton in his carry-on, since
      his checked baggage often goes missing. But from now on, Arman will
      put his baton in with his luggage.

      GOOD GRIEF!!!

      Ok,I will admit that accidents have occasionally happened with
      batons - flying out of hands into the orchestra (that actually
      happened to Antonio Pappano recently in a performance of a
      Shostakovitch symphony!) or the coiffures of ladies in the audience.
      Or conductors accidently stabbing themselves in the eye or scarring
      themselves in the forehead. But this is RIDICULOUS!

      And I bet this would probably NOT have happened to Tony or Charles
      Dutoit or someone who did not have an Iranian (?) name. On the other
      hand, this might say more about the appalling ignorance of most
      Americans (and presumably Canadians) regarding classical music.
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