Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is still agitating for a new venue for the London Symphony Orchestra , complaining that its Barbican home is too small.
Unveiling his first season as music director of the LSO, the 61-year-old is stepping up his campaign for a new base in the City – possibly the present Museum of London site – saying that 20% of his wish list could not work in the orchestra’s present home.
He said: “There are pieces that we do play in the Barbican that we probably shouldn’t for health and safety reasons.
“The stage was beautifully designed for a certain size of orchestra, but not for a very large orchestra and certainly it was made without a chorus in mind. Anything you want to do which is theatrical is a problem.”
The Corporation of London has recently pledged up to £2.5 million to fund a detailed business case for plans to build a new, world class £278million Centre For Music. Former Chancellor George Osborne had pledged Government support but that was reversed by the present administration.
Sir Simon conceded the point. “There are wonderful arguments for this project and wonderful arguments against it as well, but the minute you feel this could be spent by the Government on something else, this is a very difficult area,” he said.
“Anybody with half a brain would agree with that, even a conductor. It’s very important that we are now looking at other ways of funding it. We are all aware that we are in straitened times and straitened circumstances.”
However, he said that plans were "slowly and surely" coming together.
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