Author: David Russell
Organisation/Affiliation/Publisher: Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 114:1, pp.43-55
“It is a commonplace that the nineteenth century witnessed a flowering of provincial musical life, and nowhere was this more pronounced than in the field of concert promotion. However, with a few notable exceptions, such as Michael Kennedy’s work on the Halle, little close scrutiny has been given to the topic. This paper seeks to give the provinces the attention they deserve.
It focuses on two concert series in one provincial city, Bradford, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and aims to do five things in varying degrees of thoroughness: to shed some light on the organization and financing of concerts; to assess the social base of concert life; to analyse the ‘social meaning’ of concerts; to consider the issue of public funding for the arts in an historical context; to explore the notion put forward by a number of writers… that the period from about 1900 witnessed a decline in the public appetite for the concert performance of ‘serious’ music.
These five areas have been intermingled throughout the paper rather than deal with separately, but it is hoped that the finding emerge clearly enough.”