Santa Monica Symphony Roiled by Conservative Guest Conductor

It was supposed to be a dazzling opportunity for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra — a volunteer ensemble of professional and semiprofessional musicians led by Guido Lamell — to play the prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles for a fund-raiser. Mr. Lamell, music director of the orchestra, invited the conservative talk show host and columnist Dennis Prager as guest conductor for the event.

But that decision caused immediate outrage among some members of the symphony, and a number of them are refusing to play the fund-raiser, saying that allowing the orchestra to be conducted by Mr. Prager, who has suggested that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and incest, among other contentious statements, would be tantamount to endorsing and normalizing bigotry. Some are even encouraging others not to attend the concert.

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