There has been much concern in recent weeks about the future of the Copenhagen Philharmonic and Denmark’s radio orchestras, which are facing a severe subsidy cut and structural overhaul.
It is now clear that the money saved will go directly to four orchestras in Odense, Aarhus, Jutland and Aalborg.
This is a coherent policy, and one that might take root elsewhere. Orchestras in capital cities have access to private wealth and international sponsors. With a boost in central funding, regional orchestras can (if well run) begin to compete on a more level playing field.
All too often – as I outlined in my Spectator piece this month – big-city orchestras are allowed to coast on past glories while regional ingenuity is ignored.
In Glasgow, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is letting in under-18s for free next year. In Manchester, the Hallé is experimenting with robots in partnership with Siemens. In Liverpool, the music director goes to home matches at Anfield and writes a column in the programme. In Birmingham, the players picked a music director who was under 30 (not to mention female and brilliant). And in London it’s same-old, same-old, same-old.
You can now read the full Spectator column here.