Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Whiter than the Driven Snow

is Margaret Hodge's impression of the Proms, according to the Guardian. She's the English culture minister, and complains that the Proms do not reflect the multiculturalism of English society. Nor does the Royal Family, for that matter.

Is it that the audience is too white, or the programming? Is she looking for a quota system to represent the different groups in British society? She could start with women composers, black, Muslim and Asian composers...(I'll not even whisper that my Open University music course last year focused vastly on central European composers, particularly German and Austrian, because as I keep saying - British composers, Were Not, Are Not, and May Never Be All That Good). Sounds like she would like to the Proms to offer a concert spot to my black Scottish son, who plays Scottish and Arabic music on his violin, in a band containing, amongst others, a Palestinian percussionist and an Iraqi composer......(the security system would go crazy!)

Maybe classical music is not offered in schools with many ethnic minority children (NB - are Jewish people not considered an ethnic minority?)? Seeing as in Scotland we are trying to repeat the Venezuelan experience, it could be tried in some corner of London, too.

Or, whisper it (again!) - do non-white people not feel welcome in the Royal Albert Hall?