Letter: Contempt for artists

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Phil Murphy, director of the Arts Council of England (letter, 21 October) accuses the London Sinfonietta's Gillian Moore of reacting "with hypersensitivity" to Gerry Robinson's lecture of last week. Elsewhere we read that Mr Murphy has accused critics of Mr Robinson's speech of being "precious".

These attempts at damage-limitation fool no one, but confirm an attitude of contempt towards artists which was being consolidated in the new regime at the Arts Council when I left the Council earlier this year.

Ms Moore is upset; Mr Robinson has charm. Would it not be sensible for him to deal with this matter personally?

Though not present at his lecture, I have now read it. Mr Robinson addresses with vigour a number of issues that concern us all. If he made a mistake about who deserves credit for orchestras' educational programmes, why not admit it? He has clearly shown where his heart is. Mr Murphy's bureaucratic swipes make one suspect he has a heart of stone, or none at all.

THELMA HOLT

London WC2

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