Upbeat: Two cultures

AS Gorecki follows Tavener to the top of the classical charts - see page 24 - the relationship between the record industry and contemporary music comes under an unexpected spotlight. Not so long ago the two seemed simply incompatible. Apart from the favoured few composers, it hasn't changed much - most of them sell as badly on records as they do in concerts.

There are now in effect two cultures of contemporary classical music: the one with the popular following, and the one promoted by the major institutions. To composers who haven't broken through, or who feel they would be pandering to the market if they tried, the gap is a cruel one. Find out what all sides are saying at the National Sound Archive in London on 3 and 10 February when the International Society for Contemporary Music runs two early-evening symposia on the subject (free admission: reserve seats on 071-431 3752).