HC Deb 24 April 1989 vol 151 c651
66. Mr. Maclennan

To ask the Minister for the Arts what discussions he has had with the Arts Council on the allocation of funds for the rehearsal of contemporary British music by the London orchestras.

Mr. Luce

The allocation of funds to the London orchestras is a matter for the Arts Council. While I do not seek to influence the council's artistic judgments, I fully support its policy of encouraging artistic excellence, including the performance of well-rehearsed contemporary music.

Mr. Maclennan

Is the Minister aware that while it is sometimes relatively straightforward to obtain sponsorship money for the first performances of contemporary British music, it is more difficult to keep that music in the repertory? If that music is to enjoy success, it needs additional assistance. While recognising that that is primarily a matter for the Arts Council, will he at least undertake to consider discussing the matter?

Mr. Luce

That really is the reason for the answer that I have just given. Of course it is true that much sponsorship goes to the traditional arts, although there is increasing evidence that sponsorship is going towards innovative or experimental arts. That is one reason why the Arts Council has decided to use taxpayers' money to encourage the four London orchestras which play some contemporary music.

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