A new concert hall for London? Rattle rattles the begging bowl

Charlotte Higgins wrote an article in The Guardian, 23rd February 2015, “Simon Rattle is waving his baton at the wrong cause”, which was  right on target. The article dealt with Simon Rattle’s cry for a new concert hall for London, presumably so that he can conduct the LSO. What is needed is a level playing field for arts funding, as presently it appears to be run like a dodgy hedge fund egged on by a cultural Mafia. How many concert halls does London need?

Even with a cut in ENO funding opera funding increased from £50.5 million in 2012/13 to £59.2 million in 2015/16. Jazz increased its overall funding from £1.25 million in 2012/13 to £1.67 million in 2015/16. Classical musics funding was reduced from £18.9 million in 2012/13 to £16.9 million in 2015/16. The audience for opera is 1.67 million attenders, for classical music 3.29 million and for jazz 2.67 million.

The opera companies, the orchestras, the national companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, like the banks, are too big to fail.  The brunt of the cost of this deluded exercise of a new concert hall for London will fall on the smaller companies and art forms.

The only solution in these austere times is a national policy for the arts that would deliver equitable funding across art forms and regions. If Simon Rattle is so desperate to grace the shores of Albion perhaps the Sage Gateshead would give him a home.

Attached documents (click to download)

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