German government creates new fund for orchestral innovation

The federal cultural minister Monika Grütters has announced a pot of cash that orchestras can apply for to attempt new ideas and initiatives that are beyond their budget.

The fund, worth €5.4 million, is open to all publicly funded orchestras.

Grants will be awarded in tranches of 50,000 to 450,000 Euros.

How clever of Ms Grütters to spot this really vital need.

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  • A very good idea. Especially for new music: there is never sufficient rehearsel time, due to budget limitations. (Although sometimes budget limitations are used as an excuse to cover-up interest limitations, so that many new pieces are never really heard, only perceived.)

    • When you say “new music”, you obviously mean that tuneless wrong note stuff churned out by salaried subsidised academics! Here is some real music, James Scott Skinner, Cradle Song, my violin concerto is influenced by Skinner’s music, especially slow airs and Strathspeys.

      • Skinner is not serious art music.

        There are 2 types of new music: the modernist variety consisting of pure sound and – possibly – pure notes; and music that conveys a musical meaning. Rehearsing the 1st type is finished when everything is produced in the right place as it is written in the score; with the 2nd type when the notes are put together correctly the rehearsing of expression has still to be developed which also takes time. ‘New’ here is meant in the sense of ‘unfamiliar’. When an unfamiliar piece is rehearsed for the first time of a 19C work, it takes quite some time to get a meaningful result. For instance, the orchestration (by Berio) of one of the Brahms viola sonatas, while everybody knows the music as such, the orchestral players need quite some time to master their parts in coherence with each other, and the conductor needs a clear vision of how the result is to be. Such difficulties hinder full appreciation of 20C tonal works which hardly ever get their full rehearsel time, due to budget restrictions and the way orchestras are run and how the programmes are put together. The experience of modernist works where getting the sound right is enough, makes orchestras reluctant to give other, real music like Bacri’s or Matthews’ their full due. But sometimes a conductor does understand the full range of requirement like this performance of the short piano concerto by Karol Beffa:

  • I see Tom Coult has got a BBC Commission for the Proms. Having heard his stuff on you tube, I shall give his a miss. Beethoven 3 ok but then he had the creative spark. I hope he plays Ferdinand Ries’s cadenza, rather than Ludwig’s.

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