Simon Webb, the head of orchestras and choirs at the BBC, has announced the closure of the BBC Singers.
This decision comes as part of a wider plan to implement changes to the BBC’s classical music strategy, including redundancies across the BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
What’s behind it?
The BBC plans to invest in a wider pool of choral groups from across the UK and establish a new nationwide choral development program to continue providing a choral offering after the BBC Singers are disbanded. With the money saved through these redundancies, the BBC aims to double its funding for music education and launch a major new ‘education offer’ in autumn.
How are people reacting?…
…Not well. The Musicians’ Union has released a statement saying it is in urgent talks with the BBC to save jobs following the corporation’s proposals. A petition has also been launched to prevent the closure of the choir.
- Alongside the compulsory redundancy of the 20 BBC Singers, voluntary redundancies will be offered to the other orchestras to reduce their salary base by 20%.
- The BBC Concert and Symphony Orchestras will share a director.
- The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will move to a new home in the East Bank in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2025.
- The BBC Philharmonic will continue to be based in Salford.
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