Trouble in the trumpet section

There is no part of American culture where you can escape the civil war of politics.

The latest example is what happened at a Minnesota Orchestra concert on Saturday night, according to the Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider.

Guest Rufus Wainwright was at the piano, about to perform “Going to Town” when he noted he’d kept the political talk light up to that point in the concert but he was “a little in shock over what happened last night,” referring to the passage of the tax bill in the U.S Senate.

“It’s a call to arms,” Wainwright said, as quoted by Riemenschneider. “We have to fight for this country.”

That is when Minnesota Orchestra principal trumpet Manny Laureano put his horn down and walked out.

Laureano told Riemenschneider today he was already mad that Wainwright had earlier mocked “Cantique de Noël” while introducing it earlier in the show.

“He’s an angry dude that seems to have life all figured out, not the kind of guy we need to look to for philosophy,” Laureano said. “I found it to be beyond the pale of what that evening should be about. It’s a time of the year we’re supposed to all come together.”

He said he’s heard no recriminations from the orchestra.

[Update] – “It doesn’t happen very often, but we honor the fact that guest artists will sometimes offer politically-minded comments as part of their performance — especially in the case of an issues-oriented songwriter like Rufus Wainwright,” a statement from the Orchestra to the Strib said.

“We believe Saturday night’s audience knew what to expect from Wainwright’s performance. We also understand that our musicians might politically disagree with an artist; we’re not aware that a musician has previously walked offstage in this way, but Manny’s brass colleagues stepped up in the moment and carried on with a great performance for the audience, which is our priority.”