End of line for London concert hall: heads roll?main
Today’s death certificate for a new London concerthall, designated for the wrong place at the wrong time, is not without costs.
The Arts Council put up a million quid for a rubberstamp feasibility study and thousands of hours of executive time were expended on a venture that was designed to please Simon Rattle but had no other validity. Those of us who opposed it from the start are entitled to say we-told-you-so.
This is a massive setback for the Barbican, the LSO and the Guildhall, who are condemned to remain in an unsuitable site because their leaders never came up with a better plan.
Heads will roll quietly into retirement: certainly two of three signatories on the abandonment letter:
Nick Kenyon, Managing Director Barbican Centre
Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director London Symphony Orchestra
Lynne Williams, Principal, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
But that’s not an end of the matter. The entire music press and almost every music critic supported this venture uncritically. Consciences need to be search. One very prominent critic owes the world a mea culpa if he wants to retain credibility.
London needs a better hall. But now not, and not where the three musketeers above so badly planned it.