And this is what all the fuss is about...

Revelations about Grigory Sokolov's objection to joining Norman Lebrecht as a winner of a Cremona Music Award continue apace. But, somewhat surprisingly, nobody has asked the question as to what exactly the Cremona Music Awards are. So as professional journalism, or otherwise, is at the heart of the debate, I thought I would exercise some due diligence and share my findings with readers.

The Cremona Music Awards were instigated in 2014, which is when Lebrecht won his. The four annual awards have the aim of promoting "the commitment and work of artists and journalists who provided a real contribution to the ever increasing role of music in the culture of entire populations and individuals". This is a very laudable objective; but the awards also have the objective of generating interest in Cremona Mondomusica. This is an annual string music instrument fair held in Cremona in September, at which the awards are presented; after which the fair is repeated in New York . The Italian exhibition is held at the Cremona fair ground; this is managed by CremonaFiere S.p.A, which also manage the music awards. The music instruments fair is just one of the major events presented by CremonaFiere S.p.A at the fair ground, the other high profile events include the International Dairy Cattle Show, Italian Pig Breeding Show, International Poultry Forum, and Food Waste Management Conference.

Livestock fairs are big business for CremonaFiere S.p.A and my photo comes from their website. It shows a concert by "three international renowned musicians" organised by CremonaFiere to test the effect of music on milk production, which gives a whole new meaning to 'churnalism'. There is no Cremona Music Award for new audience development, so I can reveal exclusively - sorry Norman - that the audience for the concert was 100% bovine. If you must you can watch the video of the 'happy cow concert' - their words not mine - here and read about the results of the test here. And that dear readers is what all the fuss is about.

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