Composer made bankrupt after his failed libel bid
KEITH Burstein, the composer, was declared bankrupt yesterday after failing to pay £67,000 in legal fees to the newspaper he unsuccessfully sued for libel.
In June last year, appeal judges ruled that the Evening Standard of London, which brought the bankruptcy petition, was perfectly entitled to publish a review of Mr Burstein’s opera, Manifest Destiny, that expressed strong opinions.
The composer and co-librettist had sued the paper over the review of the opera, performed at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival, but the court struck out the claim. He said the review implied that he had sympathy for suicide bombers.
Yesterday, Mr Burstein failed in an attempt to convince Stephen Baister, the Chief Registrar, that the costs order made by the Court of Appeal should be stayed until he had a chance to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
He said after the hearing at the High Court in London that he was trying to go to Europe on the grounds that he was denied a jury to hear his libel case and, therefore, did not get a fair trial.
He said he had no money to pay the bill, but was working on a symphony for the London Symphonia orchestra and an opera with Ben Okri, the Booker Prize-winning author.
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