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The Mechanics of Orchestras

How the Guangzhou Symphony, the Qatar Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Sao Paolo Symphony orchestras are driving a new classical music world order.

Petroc Trelawny turns his attention to the mechanics of the new orchestras which have led to an extraordinary surge in performance of Western classical music. Building dramatic and iconic concert halls will count for nothing if they are not filled by both visiting and local artists. That puts a great deal of pressure on relatively young orchestras who need to develop audiences unfamiliar with the classical music repertoire.

Concentrating on the Guangzhou Symphony, the Qatar Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Sao Paolo Symphony orchestras, Petroc talks to performers, audience members, organisers and government officials about the long term ambitions for their respective bands.

Will the current funding levels sustain? Are the audience numbers really growing and will the Western repertoire come to dominate or are they delivering something entirely new to their respective cities and ultimately to the rest of the world? He also hears from composers and programmers who have to balance cultural ambition with economic pragmatism.

55 minutes

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