Europe’s radio orchestras thrive in digital age

Posted on: July 10, 2012

In the July/August issue of Standpoint magazine (U.K.), Norman Lebrecht considers “how much had quietly changed in the orchestral sector since the turn of the century and how some radio orchestras have seized the moment to achieve an unforeseen dominance. … In Munich, Mariss Jansons’s Bavarian Radio are the city’s global ambassadors, outshining the stodgy Munich Philharmonic. Paavo Järvi’s decade in Frankfurt has won that radio orchestra top sales on Virgin Records and a stream of star soloists. Sakari Oramo’s radio players in Helsinki were quicker and slicker to adapt to their new hall than the lumbering Philharmonic. Denmark Radio, not to be outdone, has booted up its orchestra with a state-of-the-art new hall. … Meantime, the BBC orchestras maintain and enhance their excellence. … What seems to be happening is that radio orchestras have stumbled upon their original advantage. When they first came into being, radio was king and its technology unrivalled. Eighty years on, a rewiring has taken place. Connections are being broached with giant telecoms to carry concerts nationwide, worldwide. The syntax of broadcasting is the lexicon of the internet. As a result, radio orchestras are better positioned to understand the new media environment than other musical establishments.”

Posted July 10, 2012