Letter: Music classes

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The Independent Online
Sir: The breathtaking assumption by British Rail ('Classical travels First', 28 April) that rich people and businessmen on expense accounts travelling first class on InterCity trains want to hear classical music, while the people paying their own fares in second class want only pop, is an almost unbelievable example of the crass and insulting snobbery that pervades 'official' attitudes to the arts in this country.

I would have thought that the enormous and abiding popularity of the Proms, the spontaneous appreciation by all age and income groups of classical performances such as Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa and Nigel Kennedy, and especially the huge and immediate success of Classic FM (with the biggest audience of any commercial radio station) had exploded this myth for ever.

Covent Garden's opera audiences are full of rich people only because other people can't afford it, not because they don't want it.

Yours sincerely,

DENIS QUILLEY

National Theatre

London, SE1

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