It is not only at the BBC that live classical music is in crisis (There is no one with power to fight for classical music at the BBC now. It’s as if Herod runs the creche, 14 March). Music societies throughout the country are heading for extinction. Music departments in schools have been savaged by education cuts, on top of which there is virtually no time for classical music in what remains of the curriculum.
Inevitably, it is predominantly older people who both run and attend provincial concerts and their numbers have been dramatically reduced by both the fear of Covid and the actual disease itself. Even a successful society like our own has seen its membership more than halved. We are running at a loss and once the money runs out, we will close after over 70 years. How sad.
Concert secretary, Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire Concert Society
This evening we had the pleasure of listening to a concert recorded last month of the BBC Singers performing the Brahms German Requiem. It was a performance of a wonderful high standard of singing and emotion. It cut us to the quick that the BBC is seriously suggesting axing this group of singers and its accompanying orchestra; it is cultural vandalism of a breathtaking order.
The BBC needs to get a grip and realise where true value lies; once lost, this group of experienced singers and players can never be gathered together again.
Gradually, almost stealthily, the BBC’s output of classical music is being eroded and taken over by people who are unfamiliar with much of the repertoire. Would it be an idea for the BBC to sell off Radio 1? The commercial field is littered with stations devoted to rock and pop, and the money recouped by the BBC could be profitably used to save the BBC orchestras, as well as the BBC Singers.
In a world awash with soap operas, I find it hard to believe that EastEnders needs four episodes each week. Perhaps the BBC could consider axing one episode a week so that they could continue funding the excellent BBC Singers.
David P Stansfield