Another difficult year for music, when some of our finest classical groups were threatened with the chop. So, having just recently heard Britten Sinfonia and the BBC Singers together in a wonderful performance of the Handel-Mozart Messiah, it's great that they're both currently "firing on all cylinders". Much admiration also for those working to keep Dartington Summer School and Cheltenham Music Festival going in some form next year, hopefully to rise again.
I feel more worried by the mysterious circumstances surrounding the departure of English National Opera to Manchester. And worst of all by the lower than expected BBC licence fee increase recently announced by the government. My own highlight of 2023 was the premiere of Begin Afresh by the amazing BBC Symphony Orchestra in the BBC Proms, still "the world's greatest classical music festival". Make no mistake, these are all important national assets we can't afford to lose.
I personally have many things to look forward to in 2024. My work will feature significantly in the Aldeburgh and Three Choirs Festivals, and I expect to be reaching my 70th birthday in May ("God willing" of course.) I will also be stepping down after ten years as Master of the Queen's/ King's Music, and a new person will be in post, it's thought by the summer. We're fortunate to have a head of state who cares so much about classical music.
One final thing I'm looking forward to in 2024, but rather more nervously, is a General Election. Let's continue to use whatever democratic avenues are still available to us. Please go out and vote when the time comes.
PICTURED - Aldeburgh Sea Front, with the Moot Hall in the background. It's the 517th post in this nine-and-a-half year blog documenting my interesting times as the MQM/MKM. Thanks for reading !