CLASSICAL MUSIC / Upbeat: On the nail

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The Independent Culture
HOLD on a minute. Since the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra started suffering grant cuts, it has picked up a large broadcasting offer from Classic FM, a contract with the CD and cassette firm Tring International for budget recordings, and this month an extension of the Tring deal to bring the RPO royalties as well as session fees. What's more, the cheap pricing of their discs has set off a battle in the recording world, with other firms refusing to work with musicians who collude in what they see as undercutting.

True, the RPO has had to cut costs, including musicians' pay, and its situation is not yet rosy. But it looks as though all the Arts Council has to do is sit tight and refuse to give way to lobbying, and suddenly the money starts to roll in from an orchestra's supporters and the cosy world of high-priced CDs looks shaky - an impact the bureaucrats never dreamt of. Or have I missed something?

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