Pop go classics in Arts Council music review

David Lister@davidlister1
Thursday 24 September 2015 08:47

Orchestras should play more "pop" classical concerts and use the Channel Tunnel to widen their spheres of influence, according to an unpublished report by the chairman of the Arts Council's music panel.

Gavin Henderson's proposals are certain to strike a discordant note throughout the classical music and opera world. The report suggests that London's symphony orchestras could also play for the Royal Opera, Royal Ballet and English National Opera. This, he says, would answer the charge that London has too many orchestras.

"If one does have four orchestras, it seems absurd that they should each be chasing the others doing much the same work; the opera house and ballet pit must surely offer potential for serious variation."

They could also play more "pop" concerts, Mr Henderson says. "The great American orchestras do not fight shy of the light classical repertoire - the Boston Symphony `Pops' Orchestra and the LA Philharmonic's Hollywood Bowl".

The report also advocates building a new concert hall in Newcastle upon Tyne to house the Northern Sinfonia, and moving English Touring Opera from London to Newcastle. The BBC Concert Orchestra could be relocated to the South Coast.

Orchestras could use the Channel Tunnel and ferries to widen their spheres of influence. Kent could establish a partnership with the Orchestre National de Lille, and the Bourne-mouth Orchestra could estab- lish residencies in France,.

The proposals have not been published by the Arts Council, which has published only its own official joint review with the BBC into orchestral provision.

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