Letter: Penny-pinching on Brum's musical treasure

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The Independent Online
Sir: The content of Nick Cohen's feature 'Rattled of Symphony Hall' (Section II, 9 March) should perhaps be matched by 'Perplexed of everywhere else'. With the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham has created and placed a jewel into a world crown. The jewel seems to be asking for very little to remain firmly set in place.

Birmingham's basic necessities must, of course, be satisfied and they will cost a great deal of money; but if these alone are dealt with, only Birmingham will know about them and indeed only Birmingham will know about Birmingham. Penny-pinching is all very well, but isn't the present policy, for the sake of saving a very small amount, a massive waste of all the money spent on the jewel in the past?

It would be funny if it weren't so sad. Arts Council, Birmingham Council, what are you about? At the moment we know what Birmingham is about - will we be so sure in five years' time?

Yours faithfully,


London, N9

9 March