Wednesday, September 13, 2006

John Drummond

John Drummond died last week. He was the man who, as Director of the Proms, commissioned Harrison Birtwistle for the Last Night, which caused quite a kerfuffle at the time. They played a bit of the piece in question, "Panic" on the Today programme to introduce their article about him, and very exciting it sounds too, brash and entirely Birtwistlian, while also showing a surprising affinity with hard bop. It's hard to imagine anyone daring to put something like that in that smug, tired occasion these days.

There's a mention of the BBC Music Library in the Telegraph's obituary that was sent to me (you can read the whole thing here), which sums up a lot of what's wrong with the BBC for me:

"The appointment proved difficult from the start. He found "an air of palpable hostility'' from some of the producers and soon found himself in conflict with Ian MacIntyre, Controller of Radio 3. He also found that the BBC governors had little interest in music. One of them asked him why the BBC needed its music library: "I thought musicians played from memory."

Sadly, such ignorance is still prevalent, we are under the rule of idiots. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer people like Sir John prepared to stand up and attack this kind of nonsense.

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