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Good to be wrong

img  Tobias

Sometimes it feels good to be wrong and it sure does in this particular case. A few days ago, we expressed our doubts about the true nature of the nomination of the Philharmonia's concert broadcast in April for the "BT Digital Music Awards": A mere 1.000 visitors seemed a rather poor showing and with BT the sponsor of both the Concert and the awards show, there were at leats hints at cronyism. We were therefore both extremely glad and relieved that Chris Martin, Head of Development at the Philharmonia, took the time to reply to our article in person.

First of all, Martin dismissed the 1.000 visitor-number: This, he pointed out, was merely the number of registered users online at the time. Apart from them, there were quite a lot of other music lovers out there - in fact, with 10.000 real spectators on the night, the audience was actually pretty sizeable indeed (add to that those who downloaded video- and sound clips later on and you might even call it "remarkable").
He also stressed that "Live and Online was entirely a Philharmonia Project and stemmed from the Orchestra's desire to broaden its audience and respond to its unique position as one of the world's most recorded Orchestras in the knowledge that the online market is one that we are therefore well placed to service with both existing and new material. Although BT are the sponsor of The Sound Exchange (or new Education & Access Website that the webcast was chanelled through), the webcast was, in fact, funded by Arts & Business, an organization that, through a programme called "New Partners", promotes "new" activity within arts/business relationships. BT were, of course, a partner in the webcast but they were not, in fact, the sponsor of it."

Most importantly, Martin disproved any fears that nominations for the award could have been tampered with: Even though BT were the official sponsor for the DMA, they had no influence on who made it to the vote. Instead, an independent jury was to be credited with their place among some well-known pop acts - a feat Chris said the Philharmonia was "delighted and proud" about.

This all bodes well for the future development of Classical Music. And Martin's final statement, that it should be a reson to celebrate "that orchestras are taking every available opportunity to engage with the realities of the 21st Century in ways that stay true to their core values without cynicism or "little white lies" could be our own credo in a nutshell. So let's celebrate indeed and hope for a surprise-win for the Philharmonia on October 18th.

Homepage: Philharmonia
Homepage: BT Digital Music Awards

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