BBC Young Musicians attack BBC music plans

BBC Young Musicians attack BBC music plans


norman lebrecht

March 15, 2023

Twenty-two former winners of the BBC Young Musician of the Year have issued a blast at director-general Tim Davie over his plan to scrap the BBC Singers and reduce ochestral posts by one-fifth.

The letter, sent to the Daily Telegraph, is signed by the likes of Nicola Benedetti, Natalie Clein and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

The rage is still boiling.

And listen here how the French are gloating.


  • George says:

    Such a fuss over a chorus. Orchestras can hire freelance singers next time they do a Beethoven 9 or Mahler 2. It’s done all the time in the industry. Sometimes I think the classical music world just feels best about itself when it can claim the victim role.

    • sonicsinfonia says:

      You are missing the point that the BBC Singers is a permanent body of professional singers, who perform a huge range of music. It is not at ad hoc chorus cobbled together to sing Beethoven 9 or Mahler 2 (indeed, it would be difficult as they total only around 16 voices. You really ought to find out the facts before jumping in.

    • trumpetherald says:

      Rubbish.It´s not done all the time in the industry…And they perform much more than Symphonies with choral part….A capella works( works for choir alone,for the uneducated) from 1200 to 2023.
      Sometimes i think some lesser individuals feel best about themselves when they can post moronic nonsense on a site for educated people

    • Chris says:

      The BBC Singers are not a chorus, they are a highly talented, versatile vocal consort/chamber choir and are unique in the UK in that they sing together regularly as a salaried entity so can undertake the most challenging repertoire with limited rehearsal. As a chorister myself I appreciate how good they are.

    • Robin Tunnah says:

      BBC support for music has been hugely wide ranging – it’s certainly not just about performances, and your examples of repertoire are not well chosen regarding the depth and breadth of expertise and skills of the BBC Singers.

    • Maria says:

      I don’t think you quite understand. It is a specialist choir of 24 attached to and paid for by the BBC licence fees, and a full-time position when you get in with others added when larger forces needed. They perform a whole range of music appropriate for their size, so not opera or the likes of that. There is the BBC Symphony Chorus on mass that does the big stuff, who are amateur in that they don’t get paid, but yet very fine singers individually as well. You don’t get in if you just croon but takes a lot to get into the Chorus too, but for the Singers, the sight-reading ability is extremely high verging on the most of them having perfect pitch and a very high level of musicianship. One rehearsal and they can be on the radio live. That’s the level

  • Carlos Solare says:

    “gloating”? Google translate seems to have failed you again.

    All I can see is an objective report on this regrettable mess; no personal opinions, no unwanted advice.

    Practically free of typos, by the way…

  • Dave says:

    The French are gloating? Maybe there’s something wrong with my auto translate, but all I could see was an objective report.

  • Di Jonson says:

    The French are NOT gloating- why would you say that?

    • Maria says:

      Because they just gloat at any kind of failure in Britain, even the football, and this is a great one for them. We have this rather strange relationship with the French and they with us – more than just Macron and Sunak or Boris, who at least along with Tony Blair, speaks French very well – so whilst they might not say anything, some of us know they are inwardly pleased! They just laugh at most of us trying to speak French! Don’t blame them!

  • Mr. Ron says:

    The French always gloat.

    It’s one of the reasons for the saying, “Save your last bullet for a Frenchman.”