Thursday, March 27, 2008

CBC Radio Orchestra Cut - Boycott The CBC

According to the Chris Foley at the Collaborative Piano blog, CBC has cut the CBC Radio Orchestra.

From the (former) CBC Radio Orchestra website:

There's nothing else like it! The CBC Radio Orchestra is North America's only broadcast ensemble, a legacy of the days when radio orchestras were to be found all over our continent. With an audience as diverse as the Canadian experience, we create engaging musical radio programs, commission and perform new works as well as established classics, and showcase exceptional Canadian performers and conductors. Alain Trudel has led the orchestra since the fall of 2006. Under his direction the orchestra continues to tirelessly navigate a rich and varied musical landscape, never ceasing to grow and evolve.

No more. Today, I encouraged loyal Radio 2 listeners to tune out, because of programming changes. Now they are dismantling an entire orchestra.

What can one do? Here's a suggestion.

Classical musicians forget about the CBC as a broadcast platform. It seems that the only alternative is to build something out of the CBC's ashes, perhaps something akin to the local public broadcasting of orchestra concerts that happen across the US - the Minnesota Orchestra has it own radio program. Given the CBC's abandoning of high culture, why should the major Canadian orchestras rely on the CBC, when the CBC has just told Canadian orchestras that it will sacrifice professional musicians to pay for another episode of Air Farce? Why not just broadcast it themselves, or see if any other radio stations will pick up the slack? Moses Znaimer, anyone?

The numbers don't lie - there's a market for classical music, but the CBC doesn't care about that market anymore, instead groping hungrily for that elusive popera and light jazz standards market. Perhaps the only thing musicians can do is starve them back to their senses or move on.

So what about a general boycott? Given today's news, the time for letters to the program manager and hand wringing is past.

1 comment:

Chris Foley said...

According to the Globe article, the disbandment won't occur until the end of November.

Words cannot express how distraught I am at this story. But then again, you're right that the future of classical music in Canada is no longer in the hands of the CBC.