Sunday, October 18, 2009
Music of the sexes
Riveting concert this evening of Bach, Golijov, Piazzolla arr. Desyatnikov and Vivaldi from the Britten Sinfonia. Gratifying to see a good-sized audience for their Norwich gig (and pre-concert talk) despite competition from ECM's Tord Gustavsen Trio and the amazing Kit Downes (a name to watch) just across the road.
It is interesting to speculate why the Britten Sinfonia are making such a name for themselves in such difficult times. Is it because they do not have a jet set music director? Is it because they do not have an expensive conductor? Is it because they are one of the few environmentally responsible bands in classical music? Perhaps it is something to do with the Alexander Technique and that they play standing up - apart from the lower strings and harpsichordist!
Or is the secret of the Britten Sinfonia's success that 80% of the 25 musicians on the platform last night were women? I have already suggested that publicly funded ensembles should reveal the fees they are paying to performers. Yes, I know it is the music that matters. But how about publicly funded groups also being required to report their ratio of female performers, and, an area where the Britten Sinfonia and virtually every other ensemble still has much work to do, ratio of ethnic and other minority players?
I'm leaving on a green train. Back soon.
Header photo shows Britten Sinfonia in action at the Latitude Festival. I received two free tickets for the Britten Sinfonia concert in return for chairing the pre-concert talk. 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 errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk