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The Independent Culture
PIANISTS wanting to specialise in music of the 20th century now have a special one-year postgraduate course available at the London College of Music. Devised by Philip Mead, a formidable performer in this repertoire, and starting in September, the course starts from Debussy, takes in the heavyweights from Bartok to Carter as well as independents like Ginastera and Tippett, and comes up to date with Finnissy and electro-acoustic pieces. 'To the best of my knowledge,' says Mead, 'it is the only one of its kind on offer at any of the London conservatoires.'


BARK and bite department: next month the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is touring with a programme of 'Degenerate Music'. Fifty years after Hitler came to power in Germany, it's devised by the conductor Lawrence Foster to draw attention to what the regime banned, 'music by Jews or political enemies, Afro-Caribbeans or jazz'. Fine words, except that this programme to illustrate 'the diversity of 'degenerate' music' turns out to consist of Mendelssohn, Korngold, Weill and Hindemith. So much for the Afro-Caribbeans and the jazz: will anybody now try a concert of music considered undesirable today?