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The Arts and the Financial Crisis

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 14 February 2009

Tom Service discusses, together with an international panel of experts, the challenges arts institutions face in an uncertain future blurred by the global financial crisis.

Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy talks about a series of experimental concerts called Piano Dialogues he is offering at Kings Place in London, a collaboration with actor Peter Guinness and jazz pianist Misha Alperin.

And Tom looks in on a community-based project set up by Aldeburgh Music by composer Anna Meredith. Entitled Tarantula in Petrol Blue, it is a new piece for the stage involving local teenagers and young professionals.

  • Mikhaïl Rudy

    Russian pianist Mikhaïl Rudy is known for his interpretations of Chopin and Rachmaninov, appearing as a soloist with orchestras around the world, but this week he starts a series of intimate concerts at Kings Place in London where he teams up with jazz pianist Misha Alperin and actor Peter Guinness.

    He sits at the piano in the BBC studios to take Tom on a journey through Scriabin and Janacek to jazz and melodrama, and explains how classical music has always been an improvisational tradition.

    Mikhaïl Rudy’s ‘Piano Dialogues’ series runs from 18-20 February at London’s Kings Place
  • Arts and the Financial Crisis

    This week Music Matters faces up to the reality of the global credit crunch for classical music. Institutions around the world have already been affected, but with arts funding varying from 99% state funding in Germany, to the US where it accounts for just 1%, and the mixed public/private model here in the UK, how are different countries coping with the strain?

    Tom is joined by a panel of reporters to discuss the issues – Louise Jury, chief arts correspondent for London’s Evening Standard, Justin Davidson, New York magazine’s classical music critic, and Berlin-based Financial Times critic Shirley Apthorp.

  • Gerard Mortier

    Opera impresario Gerard Mortier has seen the effects of the financial crisis at first hand. He was due to take over the reins at New York City Opera this year, but bowed out in November after seeing a $60 million budget fall to just $36 million.

    Now signed up to run Madrid’s Teatro Real from 2010, he talks to Tom about his passion for finding new audiences and creating unconventional new productions which has already transformed the Monnaie in Brussel, the Salzburg Festival and Opera de Paris.

    Read Gerard Mortier’s biography at Opera de Paris
  • Tarantula in Petrol Blue

    Aldeburgh Music has also pushed the operatic boundaries over the years, with new operas by composers from Britten to Tansy Davies. Anna Meredith’s new work for young people, Tarantula in Blue Petrol, is the latest to hit the Suffolk stage. With a libretto by author Philip Ridley, and mixing acoustic instruments with electronica and Björk-like vocal lines, it’s a tale of teenage angst perhaps unlikely to be found in the peaceful surroundings at Snape Maltings.

    Tom visits the production in rehearsal and talks to composer, director and performers about gangs, betrayal, death, and spiders.

    Tarantula in Petrol Blue opens at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on Saturday 21 February



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