Saturday, July 28, 2007

BBC Proms - you thought it couldn't get worse?


Report in The Sun - 'It's gonna be classic on BBC2 - The BBC is launching “Proms Idol” — where celebs will compete for the chance to conduct an orchestra. Eight stars will learn how to wield a baton in Maestro. And the winner of the BBC2 show will take charge of an orchestra during the Last Night Of The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall next year. Channel 4 fave Jon Snow is believed to be in talks with producers to host it. A source said: “The winner will get a great prize.They’ll have to train hard, but it will be worth it.”'

I honestly had to check the Sun article several times to make sure this story wasn't a leg-pull. Is this really 'making great music available to all' as Proms director Nicholas Kenyon claims?

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3 comments:

JW said...

Jeez! What does a real conductor have to do in order to conduct the Last Night of the Proms? Get shot by a rival West Coast conductor and his posse? Have a love child with Lindsay Lohan or some other American style, celebrity-esque misadventure?

Jonathan said...

I've been sitting on this thought for days and I think I'll post it though it is against my better judgment.

Either classical music stays elitist, tiny, and inconsequential or it gets popular and has like all popular things, some level of "suck". But it will cause better things to occur once people grow out of the dumbed down music and it can perhaps be only be good in the long run.

Yes, it is appaulling, but how many Harry Potter fans are more likely to read Tolkien now? And Tolkien can lead to proper literature.

In my opinion, this is not the solution to the classical dilemma, it does not even touch upon it, but it will bring in new listeners even if they are giddy adolescent girls cheering for their latest musical pop star heart-throb. Economically speaking this will be great and culturally speaking, it will broaden the audience both in terms of size and demographics.

Of course it may be just an embarrassing flash in the pan but I'm not utterly dismissing it.

Pliable said...

Jonathan, thanks for that viewpoint. I worked in the book industry through several Harry Potter releases. Sadly they don't increase the market for books. All that happens is they distort the spending pattern, and concentrate demand into ferocious peaks of discounted selling. They do however increase the sales of the merchansise floggers, films, toys, clothes etc etc.

I wrote about it here in relation to classical music.

I once was of the same opinion as you. But I've come to the conclusion that if you keep feeding children baby foods their teeth never develop, and they stay on baby food all their lives. That is precisely what is happening with the BBC Proms.

Give them chewy stuff, and let their teeth develop!