Sir, – Mr. Hartley suggests that as the citizens of Leeds are “paying the piper” they have every right to “called the tune.” Surely that is a very dubious statement to make about any of the arts.
It is widely acknowledged that any increase in the appreciation of music in this country has been largely due to the policy pursued by the B.B.C. The B.B.C. has not pandered to popular taste in its choice of music but has consistently presented the best music of all periods and as a result many people have had their musical experience widened, deepened and enriched. The B.B.C. has pursued this policy because it has a responsibility to the country and to music.
Similarly the Leeds Corporation, through the Y.S.O. Committee, has a responsibility towards the citizens of Leeds and must present music of all styles and periods if it is to discharge that responsibility.
It is surely a hopeful portent for the future that the present series of British music concerts is being supported largely by young people. Many of these young people, to judge from conversations the writer has had with them, are frankly amazed that so few people are taking the trouble to attend these concerts. Those who have attended have been rewarded by some magnificent performances of fine music. One remembers in particular Edmund Rubbra’s 4th Symphony, which seemed to many to be a most refreshing work.
So let those who have the responsibility of preparing the programmes and organising the concerts take heart from the fact that their work is deeply appreciated by many, and will be appreciated by many more in the course of time. Yours faithfully,
J. M. BUTTERFIELD.
10 Beckett Park Drive, Headingley, Leeds, 6.