BBC Announces New Classical Music Strategy with Devastating Cuts to Orchestral Posts and BBC Singers
March 8, 2023

Today the BBC have announced a new classical music strategy which will have a devastating impact on their ensembles and musicians. The BBC has said at the heart of its map it commits to: agile ensembles that can work flexibly and creatively, working with more musicians and broadcasting more venues – up to fifty – in different parts of the country Reinforcing the distinctiveness of the BBC’s five unique orchestras, artistically, educationally and geographically serving their own audiences whilst fulfilling their collective role in providing the widest range of content across Radio three and BBC platforms.

Doubling funding for music education and launching new training initiatives, providing more opportunities for people to be engaged in with classical music, building audiences and creating extraordinary experiences. Creating a single digital residence for our orchestras, giving audiences access to the full range of our high-quality orchestral content, including new and archive performances, educational content and concert listings. Investing more widely in the future of choral singing across the UK, working with a wide range of choral groups alongside launching a major choral development programme for new talent.

However, the new strategy involves reducing salaried orchestral posts across the BBC English Orchestras by around twenty percent through voluntary redundancy and closing the BBC Singers (a loss of twenty posts). Independent Society of Musicians Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said ‘Today’s announcement to disband BBC Singers and severely slice the no of salaried positions in the BBC Orchestras will be devastating for the BBC, musicians, and classical music in this country. It's challenging to look how this strategy is well thought out. Taking far jobs singers and orchestral musicians is deeply destructive in these already challenging times when much of the music sector and those working in it are struggling for survival. Let us not forget that this announcement follows Arts Council England’s funding decisions November two thousand twenty-two which have also harmed many music organisations.

All these decisions fly in the face of the Government’s commitment to keep the creative industries at the heart of economic growth in this country. We call urgently for the BBC to advise with the ISM on not only these cuts but also its plans around a music education offer.'

2024 © Opera World
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram