'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Video of Cunard's Queens & Arts Council Cuts

It is concert day for Robin and he is rehearsing hard but I won' get any details until late tonight or even tomorrow.
But if you follow this link you can watch a video and read a report by Tom Leonard, which opens with a beautiful image of the 'Three Queens' sailing past the Statue of Liberty, with fireworks in the background.
It's very strange for me to see knowing that Robin is on board. Especially when it shows the Queen Victoria in dock. I swear I can hear the distant sound of the guitar...

But I do now have the opportunity to mention the current cutbacks we are experiencing here in the UK.
I had an email from the 'Musicians in Residence' scheme, which has been running for many years, and which the Hill/Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo have occasionally had dealings with.

The scheme was aimed at supporting musicians and promoters in the Yorkshire region, by offering grants to promoters in the area, to book quality artists they would otherwise be unable to afford.
They have now had their funding removed and the scheme has been stopped.

It's a real shame as the general public are the ones who lose out.
It is now unlikely that smaller promoters and venues will be able to afford the top ranking acts without this financial assistance.
However, it isn't all caused by the Arts Council.
The Musicians in Residence scheme also reported a reduction in promoters taking up the offer over the last few years.

This brings me to an area we have discussed many times here. If people aren't given the chance to see live entertainment, be it music, theatre, or whatever, then their appetite for such things diminishes.
They begin to only expect performances in the major towns and cities, and even there, they are having similar problems.

Meanwhile on the television, reality T.V. is viewed by millions.
It appears that Oscar Wilde was right:

"The English public feels perfectly at ease with a mediocrity."

So some things are never new.

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