Wel­come

BBC Music Magazine - - Welcome -

The con­cert stage is a much more open and di­verse place than it was even five years ago. Con­cert man­agers are, al­beit be­lat­edly, wak­ing up to the idea of book­ing more fe­male mu­si­cians as well as those from a broader racial back­ground. And, shock, hor­ror, the stan­dard re­mains just as high. This quiet rev­o­lu­tion is to be cel­e­brated by all – ex­cept the dis­abled fra­ter­nity. This month, Nick van Bloss, a pi­anist who suf­fers from a de­bil­i­tat­ing phys­i­cal form of Tourette’s Syn­drome, ar­gues on p50 that clas­si­cal mu­sic’s lead­ers and man­agers have been ne­glect­ing some su­perb mu­si­cians through their blink­ered pro­gram­ming. Di­ver­sity, he im­plies, means a lot more than sim­ply bal­anc­ing gender and race. It makes for fas­ci­nat­ing and thought­ful read­ing, and will hope­fully prick a few con­sciences.

It’s also about time we res­ur­rected the rep­u­ta­tion of Ethel Smyth, whose mas­ter­ful mu­sic and dogged de­ter­ma­tion to ef­fect change has made her one of the 20th cen­tury’s most im­por­tant artis­tic fig­ures. On p44 Kate Kennedy re­veals in ab­sorb­ing de­tail Smyth’s con­tri­bu­tion to our mu­si­cal and po­lit­i­cal land­scape.

Buried in Bromp­ton ceme­tery, Smyth’s grave is a sim­ple af­fair – un­like the flam­boy­ant memo­ri­als to the great com­posers, a few of which we fea­ture on p54. But are they ter­rific tombs or grave mis­takes? You de­cide…

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