BBC response to Slipped Disc orchestras report

BBC Statement

There is no truth to the suggestion the BBC is planning to merge their orchestras. The BBC orchestras and choirs are a key part of the BBC’s mission to inform educate and entertain, as well as being a key part of the musical ecology of this country. They will remain so as we emerge from the virus.

 

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  • THE BBC ORCHESTRAS
    issued this statement:

    “There is no truth to the suggestion the BBC is planning to merge their orchestras. The BBC orchestras and choirs are a key part of the BBC’s mission to inform educate and entertain, as well as being a key part of the musical ecology of this country. They will remain so as we emerge from the virus.”

    Could you therefore amend or even remove your article and send apologies to the BBC musicians AND the many free lancers who work with them for all the unnecessary stress and worry suffered by this false claim.

    Thank You

    • But would the BBC have explicitly ruled-out orchestra mergers if Lebrecht had not speculated publicly on the possibility? It is quite possible that Lebrecht has done the musicians a favour (assuming the BBC does not renege on its promises).

  • Good news. However, Proms season apart, how many TV viewers see any evidence that these orchestras exist?

    Orchestras, and the music they play, are simply off the radar for many people in the UK. The BBC is in a good position to go some way towards rectifying this and encouraging people to believe that it is normal to listen to classical music, at least occasionally.

    IMO, this is not happening.

    • One or another of the BBC orchestras is usually on radio 3 for the afternoon concert daily. not TV, but radio.

      • Radio 3 will not do the trick though. It is regarded as too esoteric.

        Not even the death of a major conductor or soloist is regarded as newsworthy so far as TV is concerned. I would expect better from an organisation that considers it necessary to have several orchestras. Either it matters or it doesn’t.

      • Lately, in all the contexts where people used to leave a radio on, I’m now seeing a computer or phone open to YouTube (or, if they are especial music lovers, Spotify) and autoplaying one music clip after another. Even people of older generations are streaming now. So, it puzzles me to think that people out there are really still listening to the radio, let alone that radio could still be any major force in classical music.

  • Maybe like many of the German broadcasters do, the BBC could film some of the many concerts their orchestras perform and post them on YouTube, or give them a permanent or long-term availability on iPlayer. It might reach an audience hitherto untapped by the BBC, and display a more encouraging commitment to classical music than we get on British TV.

    • A few years ago, the BBC put up some mp3s of (from memory) Vanska and the BBC Scottish doing Beethoven symphonies for free download. Cue much outrage from the recorded music industry about the “unfair competition”. It didn’t seem to occur to them that this was a great way to GROW a classical audience which might buy their products. I seem to remember that there were more downloads of the first symphony than the Eroica which perhaps points to a non-specialist audience…

    • Don’t know about the other BBC Orchestras, but the SSO do this on a semi-regular basis. It would be nice if all the concerts were filmed. A pity that to date they have only ended up on YouTube and have thus far been ignored by the newish BBC Scotland TV channel. But agree, it would be good to see more televised Proms and other concerts.

      https://youtu.be/KuqXUJzNlwI

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