Letter: Ludwig doesn't need the money any more

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The Independent Online
Sir: We refer to the letter from Jenny Clemens (19 January) following the report 'Music Board gives Beethoven a Grade C' (15 January).

As an organisation whose members are all living composers, we are writing in support of the Arts Council policy of giving more money to concerts containing contemporary music than to those that do not. For, while we fully accept Ms Clemens's point that there is always someone who is hearing a work such as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony for the first time - and this is an exciting experience - it is a mistake to say that new music is not exciting or popular as well. This can easily be proved by just looking at the popular music charts over the last few months, where works by both Gorecki and John Tavener have been holding their own among the top places.

Don't forget that Beethoven was once a composer of 'new music' and as such was in need of subsidy. Now that his music is universally popular, he is less in need of financial aid than today's new composers.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID BEDFORD (Chairman), SIMON BAINBRIDGE, ANTHONY PAYNE, ANTHONY POWERS, JOHN McCABE, EDWARD GREGSON, BRIAN ELIAS

The Association of

Professional Composers

London, W1

21 January

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