Friday, August 27, 2004

LSO US tour cancelled

The London Symphony Orchestra was supposed to have a three-week tour of the US in September, entitled 'The Music of Hollywood'. The programme was going to consist of music from the movies, including excerpts of John Williams's score for Harry Potter. According to most reports on American internet news sites, the promoter, Jeff Bown, has cancelled the tour because of sluggish ticket sales. One site cites 'travel difficulties' as the reason.

It's absolutely tragic for the orchestra, who presumably will be left out in the cold for that time with the usual British orchestra 'no play, no pay' situation. But dare I suggest that if the 'sluggish ticket sales' report is accurate, there may be a lesson to learn here? Faced with one of the great orchestras of Europe, probably with commensurate ticket prices, perhaps the concert-going public doesn't really want to hear it play Hollywood scores. Perhaps it would have responded a little more eagerly to a bit of Brahms, a dab of Debussy, a mouthful of Mozart... Alternatively, faced with a programme of film music, the people willing to sit in a concert hall to hear it maybe haven't heard of either the LSO or, indeed, London, which they may think is a little town in Canada.

Anyone know anything more about this?