'Bravo - It's a form of culture-washing. Oil companies on the Public Broadcasting System in the U.S. pioneered the whole idea of "we're sponsoring high culture for free for you, we can't be bad." Well, yes, they can.'Yesterday's post, which pointed out that four of the main sponsors of the Lucerne Summer Festival have been linked to financial malfeasance, prompted that pertinent comment from SFMike.
Last week's London concert by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra drew a three line whip from the liberal leaning elements of big media, yet there was not a single mention of the funding behind the orchestra. Yes, the music making was sublime. And no, boycotts and demonstrations are not on the agenda. But classical music has its very own greedy 1% and keeping them in the style to which they have become accustomed by replacing dwindling public funding with toxic sponsorship is not the solution.
Classical music must confront its serious money habit. This comes in the form of peccadilloes such as the private jet and Sardinian retreat of Lucerne supremo Claudio Abbado and the Lamborghini of Bamberg maestro Jonathan Nott. Then there are the jaw dropping musicians fees negotiated by lavishly remunerated agents who in turn are supported by legions of middle feeders.
Right now a lot of people are demonstrating around the world because they are angry about inequality. If classical music is serious about reaching new audiences it needs to put its house in order. And talking of music festivals and toxic sponsorship...
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