Upcoming Scotland-independence vote sparks fears among orchestra leaders

Posted on: September 11, 2014

“Leading names in the Scottish classical music world have warned of a potential ‘disaster for the cultural life’ of the nation in the event of a Yes vote next week,” writes Phil Miller in Thursday’s (9/11) Herald (Glasgow, Scotland). “In a letter published today, composers, conductors and a former director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) express their ‘grave concerns’ over the future of the orchestra in the event of a Yes vote and the establishment of a Scottish Broadcasting Service. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop recently said the BBC SSO would be ‘ensured’ in an independent Scotland. However, the letter—signed by Hugh Macdonald, the former director of the BBC SSO; James Loughran, it former principal conductor; George McPhee, the organist and master of the choristers at Paisley Abbey and composers including James MacMillan—says it fears for the future of the orchestra if the BBC in Scotland is replaced by a new broadcaster. It says a Yes vote ‘would place an immediate question mark over the future of the currently thriving BBC ­Scottish Symphony Orchestra,’ adding: ‘To lose it would be a disaster for cultural life in Scotland.’ ” The referendum vote on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on September 18, 2014.

Posted September 11, 2014