The BBC’s head of classical music Alan Davey has printed a considerably damp response to the Guardian’s editorial deprecation of the approaching Proms season as uninteresting and posh.
Right here‘s Davey’s defence of his sticky wicket:
Your editorial (5 July) asserts that “for the wealthy, occasions just like the Proms present standing experiences that may convey bragging rights with fellow have-yachts”. It should please be famous that when once more this summer time there will probably be 100,000 seated tickets accessible for beneath £15, alongside 70,000 Promming (standing) tickets that may be bought every day for £6, because the Proms continues its dedication to being one of many world’s most democratic festivals.
On the query of “What’s classical music for?” you make some good important factors: that classical music is and by no means needs to be decreased to background muzak; it mustn’t dwell prior to now; it mustn’t turn out to be merely a commodity. It ought to make the listener suppose, perceive humanity, and really feel extra alive.
Nevertheless, I don’t recognise the suggestion that the BBC Proms is “straightforward listening” nor that Radio three is a “complacent titan”. Radio three and the BBC Proms are among the many most vital commissioners of latest classical music anyplace on the earth. A lot of the music we play will not be heard anyplace else, the BBC Proms certainly opens with a world premiere and new music options proper via to the final night time. On Radio three we play full works, reflecting dwell music up and down the nation, supporting expertise making new work and dealing arduous to redraw the boundaries of the canon, recording historic works by feminine and BAME composers that haven’t been extensively heard earlier than. So it’s curious the author dismisses Radio three, and the BBC Proms, orchestras and choirs for his or her work pushing boundaries in classical music – the BBC’s help on this space ought to by no means be taken without any consideration.
Controller, BBC Radio three and BBC Classical Music