Letter: Anti-culture club

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The Independent Online
Julian Lloyd Webber ("Stop the dictators of modern music", 22 February) and others who insist on performing classical works by dead and populist composers are not pro-culture, but anti-culture. For every performance of Schumann's Cello Concerto, or CD sale of Britten, there are at least 30 professional musicians, a conductor and a fashionable soloist commanding figures for which most young composers could create a whole new work of art.

It is a myth that very few people want to hear contemporary art music. The problem is that the people who don't want to hear it are the ones who have the most disposable income, the most free time, and the loudest voices. If there is a dictatorship of modern music, these people provide it, sustaining the 1990s "bums on seats" justification for artistic enterprise that Mr Webber espouses.

No audience, orchestra or cellist should try to influence what is felt by minds more creative and sensitive than their own and living composers should not allow their curiosity to be marginalised by mediocrity and commercialism. If it is true that only the best art survives its own lifetime, we will never discover what is best in the music of today if it is not heard.

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