Bohm and the Arts

By David Peat February 12, 2014

When Bohm was a member of Oppenheimer’s group he was exposed to classical music. Oppenheimer himself loved music and believed that Beethoven’s Third Symphony was one of the world’s great masterpieces. When I was with Bohm I took him to several concerts, one was a performance of Bach’s Musical Offering in London, and when he was visiting me in Ottawa, I took him to Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the National Art’s Centre. He was particularly struck by the end of the opera when the Don refuses to repent and is consumed by fire.

As to art, when we were at the Bailey Farms, in Ossining, I arranged a trip to New York and together we visited the Museum of Modern Art. Bohm was particularly interested in Picasso and the paintings from his various periods. However, I had the distinct impression that Bohm was not so much seeing the art himself, but through the eyes of Charles Biderman. (Biderman was an artists and author of “The New Cezanne” and Bohm had had a long correspondence with him.

As to literature we never had a discussion of novels or theatre. Neither did Bohm mention any films. However he did make a point of mentioning that he would watch Dr Who on television!