Conductor Dalia Stasevska has expressed her “heartbreak” after being blamed for the decision not to perform “Rule, Britannia!” at the 2020 Proms.
The Finnish conductor found herself in the limelight last week after reports from “BBC sources” suggested that both “Rule, Britannia!” and “Land of Hope and Glory” were pulled from the Last Night of the Proms at Stasevska’s request due to their history with colonialism and slavery.
Now, sources close to Stasevska have told The Daily Telegraph that the musician would not have the “arrogance” to demand changes to the UK’s patriotic music and that the decision was entirely the BBC’s.
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“From Dalia’s point of view there has been a lot of unpleasantness and some of the stuff that has been written is heart-breaking,” the source said.
“It is frightening, unpleasant, scary stuff and she can’t say anything as she can’t be a part of any of that.”
A spokesperson for the Proms has described attacks on Stasevska as “unjustified and misguided”, saying: “The programme of Last Night of the Proms was the BBC’s decision. As such, Dalia Stasevska should not be held responsible.”
Following the controversy, it was announced that the songs would still be performed by an orchestra without lyrics and would return next year to be sung as normal.
A BBC spokesperson said: “For the avoidance of any doubt, these songs will be sung next year.
“We obviously share the disappointment of everyone that the Proms will have to be different but believe this is the best solution in the circumstances and look forward to their traditional return next year.”