Letter: An old musical battle

Most musicians would agree with Julian Lloyd Webber on the frightfulness of mid-20th century concert halls and the desirability of television spots for young performers, but in the tonality vs modernism debate he is fighting old battles ("Stop the dictators of modern music", 2 February).

My local CD shops shift much more Gorecki than Birtwistle and Ferneyhough. Last Sunday John Adams' Nixon in China got a complete concert performance at the Barbican. ENO is mounting an opera by Gavin Bryars later in the year. John Tavener seems ubiquitous. And who gets to represent the world of music to the movers and shakers in Davos? Pierre Boulez? Gyorgy Kurtg? Thomas Ades, perhaps, for the younger generation? Er, no. Julian Lloyd Webber, actually. If the "die-hard radicalists" really are running a dictatorship, then they should keep a tighter lid on their dissidents.

MARTIN PICKARD

Leeds

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