Monday, December 27, 2010

Lightning conductor


It is suggested elsewhere that Jiri Belohlavek will leave his position as the BBC Symphony Orchestra's chief conductor after the 2012 Proms to join the Czech Philharmonic. I was going to ask whether anyone will notice that he has left London. But then I realised that the check in desk at Heathrow will.

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2 comments:

JB said...

How nasty and unpleasant you can be be when persuing your anti-BBC agenda! Doubtless you will not print this but someone needs to tell you.

Pliable said...

JB, thank you for your anonymous comment. In response to the accusation of an anti-BBC agenda I would respond as follows.

I freely admit to being critical of the BBC. This is because in my view the BBC deserves criticism in a number of areas. Ironically one of my main criticisms is that the BBC pursues a self-serving agenda.

Two factually substantiated examples have been published here to support this view. The first involved preventing adverse comment about the BBC Proms on a BBC radio programme - http://www.overgrownpath.com/2009/08/no-such-thing-as-bad-review.html.

The second involved offering financial incentives to bloggers to write favourable posts about BBC Radio 3 programmes – http://www.overgrownpath.com/2009/04/travel-accommodation-provided-by-bbc.html

I also admit to being critical of the performance of Jiří Bělohlávek as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. But please read the first post I wrote after his appointment - http://www.overgrownpath.com/2006/02/new-bbc-conductor-brings-european.html.

The following quote is typical of that substantial post:

’Jiří Bělohlávek should provide a very welcome counterbalance to the increasingly influential Anglo/American orchestral axis with its penchant for the latest avant-garde tricks. As well as bringing real strength in the core symphonic repertoire he is also a specialist in the better known composers, such as Dvorak, Martinu and Janacek, from his native Czechoslovakia.’

Was the change in my viewpoint due to an anti-BBC agenda? Or was it due to what has actually happened at the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the four years since I wrote that post?

I also freely admit to praising the BBC on many other occasions. As an example I draw your attention to a series of articles about the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra one of which was titled “Is this the best British Orchestra?” - http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/08/is-this-best-british-orchestra.html.

The reality or otherwise of my anti-BBC agenda can be judged by another post praising the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra being featured for some time on the BBC Scotland website - http://www.overgrownpath.com/2006/01/bbc-scottish-symphony-orchestra-on.html

Have you listened to my interview with Jonathan Harvey in which I ask him about his relationship with one of the BBC orchestras? This was probably the highest profile project in the seven years of the blog. What a splendid opportunity to pursue an anti-BBC agenda. Can you find one scrap of evidence of such an agenda in that interview? - http://futureradio.co.uk/podcast/2010/september/chance-music-jonathan-harvey -

The problem is not an anti-BBC agenda on my part. The problem is that those at the BBC and those who defend it believe the BBC is above criticism. This problem is compounded because On An Overgrown Path is one of the very few voices that does not respond to the insidious pressure used by the BBC to keep the media toeing the party line. And it is further compounded by the large readership, despite alleged agendas, of this blog - http://www.invesp.com/blog-rank/Classical_Music

On An Overgrown Path is a personal weblog. If expressing forceful but substantiated views about the BBC, both positive and negative, constitutes being “nasty and unpleasant” I plead guilty as charged and suspect I will plead guilty many more times in the future.

Further comments on this topic will be restricted to those submitted by identified readers.