LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, is the target of the left’s most recent attempt to shut conservatives out of all artistic and cultural endeavors.
Santa Monica Symphony conductor, Guido Lamell, a longtime member of the violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, invited Prager to guest conduct the orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on August 16. A long-time student and admirer of classical music, Prager has been guest conducting symphonies for years, including the orchestras of Brentwood-Westwood, Glendale, the West Los Angeles Symphony, the Pasadena Lyric Opera and even the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
“I conduct orchestras because I love making music,” says Prager. “But I also do so because I want to help raise funds for local orchestras. I have never been paid to conduct, my goal is simply to expose as many people to classical music as possible.”
Now, a protest of the concert is being organized by three members of the orchestra, each of whom has refused to play that night. Not surprisingly, two of the three organizers are college professors: Michael Chwe, a professor of political science at UCLA, and Andrew Apter, a professor of history at UCLA.
In an open letter to the symphony’s members, the three wrote, “A concert with Dennis Prager would normalize hatred and bigotry.” The letter also lists additional support for the symphony boycott from Mayor Ted Winterer, Santa Monica City Council, Mayor Pro Tempore Gleam Davis, Council member and former Mayor Kevin McKeown, and various other professors and local officials.
“These are the types of academics who are giving universities their reputation for illiberal closed-mindedness — which not only ruins the universities as educational institutions but also hurts them financially,” says Prager. “The New York Times recently published an article on how many alumni are no longer donating money to the colleges they attended because of the war on diverse thought on their campuses. Now they want to do to orchestras what they have done to universities.”
In response to their calls for protest, PragerU has created an online petition where people can voice their support for Dennis Prager and the Santa Monica Symphony. The petition reads:
“Sign the petition below telling these left-wing activists (Santa Monica city officials included) that their opposition to Dennis Prager conducting an orchestra is itself bigotry…[and] send a message that you stand for a conservative’s right to make music and support our efforts against ideological discrimination.”
MEDIA NOTE: PragerU founder and CEO, Dennis Prager, is available for interview as is PragerU’s CEO, Marissa Streit. Contact: MediaInquiries@theKcompany.co
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.