Talking Points
Do you agree with John's point of view?
Yes, totally agree
Yes
Undecided
No
No, totally disagree

Results:

Yes, totally agree: 10
Yes: 1
Undecided: 0
No: 0
No, totally disagree: 0


So far there have been
0
Replies

Click to Reply
Click to read replies

John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queenís Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, poses another Talking Point

In trying to attract the young, classical music is in crisis, but no category is in a worse state than the symphony orchestra. Despite the centrally funded orchestras sugaring the pill by passing off great music as fun, the young avoid concert halls with rare discrimination. Millions are spent by the state-funded bands on so-called education because it is the single aspect of their policies most likely to attract cash from cynical government departments and the naÔve trusts of the private sector.


Fifty years ago, most orchestras gave childrenís concerts on a regular basis. Real orchestras played real music in real concerts in the large cinemas of the day. Even when tone-deaf, the teachers who steered their silent crocodiles through the streets, subscribed to the belief that the word ëmusicí meant the works of the great western European canon that stretched from the early Middle Ages to Shostakovich, Britten and Stravinsky. This was why the popular music of World War II was so relentlessly upbeat and optimistic. The tensions and horrors were left to find expression in works as awesome in their passion as Shostakovichís Leningrad Symphony. At such a time, when maturity was a necessity for survival, the idea of street culture being encouraged to gain market domination was unthinkable.
Because our great orchestras subsequently took their eyes off the ball, a couple of generations have grown up believing orchestral music to be ëelitistí, even though the majority of the greatest composers were of extremely humble origin. Instead of offering them Jamie Oliver school dinners, they deliver the equivalent of fast-food. Worse still, the LSO has gone the last mile in imitating the NHSís approach to its patients. Instead of taking real music-making to the children of Londonís suburbs and outer regions the LSO expects its future audiences to trek to a ëfacilityí (LSO St Lukeís) convenient only to the orchestraís base in the City of London.
Just as the recently dead Pope clung to the central truths of his religion, so should the people who spend our money on orchestral music have faith in its capacity to communicate to the unformed minds of children. In short, let them deliver proper concerts to the young. Not all of them will enjoy the experience, but not all of them ever did. There never was equality or fairness where insights, talent and understanding are concerned.


Views expressed in “Talking Points” are not necessarily agreed with or shared by The Classical Source.

Previous Talking Points

Idiocy
John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queenís Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, poses another Talking Point [click here to read]
Music for Children?
John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queenís Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, poses another Talking Point [click here to read]
Another Concert Hall Blight?
John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queenís Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, poses another Talking Point [click here to read]
A Spliced Creation
John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queenís Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, poses another Talking Point [click here to read]
A Fair Field?
John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queenís Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, poses another Talking Point [click here to read]
Orchestras in the UK
John Boyden, Artistic Director of the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, and formerly the first Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, argues for a change in how orchestras are funded [click here to read]

 

Why Donate?    
Important Notices