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MUSIC: CLASSICAL: FESTIVALS : ECONOMY : ECONOMIC AUSTERITY : COUNTRIES: GREAT BRITAIN: The Proms, BBCs Classical Music Festival, Is All the More Important as Austerity Looms


David P. Dillard
 

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MUSIC: CLASSICAL: FESTIVALS :

ECONOMY :

ECONOMIC AUSTERITY :

COUNTRIES: GREAT BRITAIN:

The Proms, BBCs Classical Music Festival,
Is All the More Important as Austerity Looms

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The Proms, BBCs Classical Music Festival,
Is All the More Important as Austerity Looms

By DAVID ALLEN

August 5, 2015

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/06/arts/music/the-proms-bbcs-classical-
music-festival-is-all-the-more-important-as-austerity-looms.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/qhlrku4

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LONDON Classical music has been part of the British Broadcasting Corporations mission since its early years. In 1927, when the BBCs first royal charter dedicated it to education and entertainment, the corporation also took over the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. That music festival, dating to 1895, has been under the BBCs stewardship ever since, barring a brief wartime interlude.

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This year the Proms, where I heard three solid concerts this past weekend and three more earlier last week, is spread over eight weeks and features 76 major concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. Every performance is broadcast online and on the national classical station, BBC Radio 3, and many are shown on television.

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Because of the Proms enviable roster of visiting orchestras, its support for contemporary composers, and its accessibility, there remain few larger forces for musical good anywhere. But it is now operating in an atmosphere of some discomfort: Its parent corporation and fellow musical broadcasters in Europe are under pressure. And the British government remains bent on austerity.

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George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, recently described the BBCs website as being a bit imperial in its ambitions. The corporation said in July it would slash 1,000 jobs, and it has suffered a budget cut of 650 million pounds (about $1 billion).

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Across Europe, the model of publicly funded radio orchestras and classical music stations is being buffeted.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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