Saturday, June 30, 2018

Innovative outreach project seeks new classical audiences


In refreshing contrast to proposals for a new concert hall in the affluent City of London, the Guardian brings news of an orchestral outreach project aimed at finding new audiences in less well-heeled East London. The project, which is backed by a celebrated conductor and is described as "genuine decentralisation', is based in the 770 seater Victorian People's Palace at Mile End seen above. Prices for the ambitious concert series are pitched low to simply cover expenses. The programmes, which are refreshingly devoid of dumbing down, are notable for including in every concert a contemporary work and one by a British composer. As well as established classics, promised rarities include Holst’s 'Beni Mora' Suite, Bliss’s 'Mêlée Fantastique', and, even rarer, the 'Dance of the Witch Girl' by Frederick Laurence, a composer so neglected that he does not even merit an online biography. Also noteworthy in the Guardian report is the absence of any mention of social media support for the concerts or any live streaming on YouTube or Facebook. Or perhaps that is not quite so noteworthy: the outreach project took place in 1921 and the celebrated conductor was Adrian Boult. Read the full story in the Guardian archive via this link.

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