Sunday, April 20, 2008

Save the CBC Orchestra

CBC Radio Orchestra Protest

CBC Radio Orchestra Protest

The CBC Radio Orchestra's concert today was more emotional than usual. In spite of a promising few seasons in the works, the funding for the orchestra was axed without warning a couple weeks ago in a closed-door meeting.

It is the latest in a series of developments that have seen the CBC's management in Ontario gut classical and orchestral music programming in favour of more mainstream fare. It has sparked a great deal of anger among CBC listeners, especially since this leaves people outside of Toronto and Montreal with few opportunities to listen to classical music.

During the orchestra's 70 year history it has shown a dedication to showcasing Canadian talent, commissioning new works from upcoming composers, experimenting with different styles and instruments, and bringing foreign performers to Canadian audiences. It produces music that is just not available anywhere else. Tickets to shows are inexpensive (which is why I go), recordings from concerts are played on the radio and available for free on demand on the Radio 2 website.

It is the last remaining radio orchestra in North America, and it provides a foundation for the development of new talent that does not get support from the commercial media. I think the decision to dismantle it is extremely short-sighted, especially since the development of new talent is and will always be an ongoing task.

Anyways, the concert today was pretty moving in spots, because it may possibly be the orchestra's last performance. It began and ended with standing ovations and went a lot longer than they usually run. There was an awkward moment at the end where the soloists realized that people were cheering more for the orchestra than them but that was alright.

I'm going to be writing a lot of angry letters this week. You can help out too, if you want. Signing the petition is easy and would make me happy. You can also visit:

Save the CBC
Stand On Guard for CBC Radio
Save Classical Music at the CBC Facebook Group
Save the CBC Radio Orchestra Facebook Group

CBC Radio Orchestra Rally