British violinist slams ‘Jurassic FM’

Nigel Kennedy, the British violinist known for mixing classical, popular and folk music in his performances and recordings, has canceled a date at London’s Royal Albert Hall with the Chineke! orchestra, known for its ethnically diverse membership and programming, after Classic FM, the network that was to have aired the concert, nixed Kennedy’s plan to present a tribute to rock great Jimi Hendrix and requested Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” instead.

In canceling the performance, Kennedy attacked the classical channel as “culturally prejudiced” and re-christened it “Jurassic FM,” The Guardian’s Dalya Alberge reports:

In the London Review of Books, Mark Sinker tries to fix Kennedy’s place in a long line of performers who’ve straddled popular and classical genres, from Paul Whiteman to Emerson, Lake and Palmer to Yehudi Menuhin and Stephane Grappelli. “Whether emollient or transgressive,” Sinker writes, Kennedy “has never lost his commitment to these odd no man’s lands.”