CLASSICAL MUSIC / Upbeat: Off the record

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The Independent Culture
THERE's been a lot of huffing in the new music world about the Arts Council's decision to drop its recording subsidy for one year. Quite right too, since contemporary pieces can be massively expensive to rehearse and are not often economic to record without subsidy. But the fuss shouldn't obscure the real problem - a failure of the Arts Council to stop its level of music support from being cut in the first place. Something, in other words, had to give.

Now, almost unbelievably, comes news from the London Arts Board that its music support for the next year is to increase. This is the funding body that used to strike such fear into London orchestras in particular that they successfully lobbied against a plan to devolve their subsidy to it from the Arts Council. Will we now see clients queueing up to be transferred to the London board at the first opportunity?