Friday, June 29, 2007

Classical music and a wider audience

I've uploaded the full text of Nicholas Kenyon's 2007 Hesse Lecture today. It's a very long read, and there are some gems hidden in it, particularly for a download doomsayer like me. Here is the condensed read:

"The cosmopolitan world will challenge every idea of a musical canon as never before, but it has huge potential. What we have now is: 1.4 million downloads of Beethoven symphonies from the BBC website, a free offer taking the message of classical music to a wider audience some of whom had never encountered it before, stimulating the market and encouraging listeners to buy CDs. In fact Radio 3’s initiative was so successful, that the new BBC Trust, the successor to the BBC Governors, has prevented it happening again. In a recent ruling it has forbidden the BBC to include classical music in any of its free downloads, even short extracts of works, on the grounds that it is distorting the marketplace --thus at a stroke undermining the BBC’s historic commitment to use every enlightened means to make great music available to all. (As the Director General of the BBC has disagreed with that ruling publicly, I reckon I can do so too.)"

Pliable's note - just so everyone is enlightened this is what the BBC Trust actually said: "There is a potential negative market impact if the BBC allows listeners to build an extensive library of classical music that will serve as a close substitute for commercially available downloads or CDs."

Photo of a wider audience by Pliable at 2006 Proms. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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