Letter: We're much more in tune with the Philharmonic

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The Independent Online
MAY I BE allowed a few comments on David Lister's review of Norman Lebrecht's book, particularly since Mr Lister quotes me at some length.

To write, as Mr Lebrecht does, that the South Bank's decision was 'the result of a proper democratic procedure', and to report uncritically (as Mr Lister does) a South Bank spokesman's statement that 'the selection of the resident orchestra was based on merit', is simply to fly in the face of all the evidence.

A postponement of the South Bank announcement had definitely been agreed to at the Sandringham meeting, and wasn't merely something Prince Charles 'felt' would take place. My direct quote regarding his displeasure is given out of context: I wasn't referring to the award of a sole residence to the LPO, but rather to the unilateral breaking of the Sandringham agreement.

Daniel Salem

Conde Nast Publications

London W1