Classical Music / Update: Coda

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The Independent Culture
FOR the first time in several months the departing music director of the Arts Council, Kenneth Baird, pops up this afternoon in an interview. He will be talking to the Radio 3 magazine programme Music Matters about Thursday's meeting of The Main Music Agenda, a large across-the-board gathering of musicians and promoters speaking for the full range of Britain's musical life, much of it sidelined in public debate by the politics of symphony orchestras and opera companies. Baird, who resigned last month over similar issues, is also expected on Monday's Radio 4 Kaleidoscope.

The Agenda, first proposed in this column, is planning a string of ear-catching performances around the country to press home its points. Meanwhile there are signs of orchestra fatigue in Birmingham, the home not only of the CBSO but of one of Britain's most diverse musical scenes. This week the great and the good were wheeled out again in support of the orchestral cause, but they have now provoked a counter-lobby to defend the funding claims of the city's other music.