Couldn’t agree more, Roger

That there Roger Wright is on the Guardian website, in an interview coinciding with the first preview of this year’s Aldeburgh Festival.

It’s a delightful picture – a picture postcard from a very special part of the world. It’s a slightly surreal experience to see him in the setting, no longer in the usual BBC surroundings. He also looks incredibly pleased with himself. And so he should. A fine appointment.

It’s a deft positioning piece which no doubt seeks to reassure the local community that the festival is safe in his hands.

Wright sees one of his primary tasks as maintaining the balance between the charms of the local and the demands of the international.

“This is a festival whose roots are deep within the community, but also has international standing. And it is simultaneously closed and open.

People like things to be black and white, but there is valuable nuance and subtlety in being both open and closed. Part of the magic of Aldeburgh comes from the closed world of Britten and his circle, which has been well documented and which needed to be closed to protect him as someone in the public eye.

But at the same time, here was this very public thing, the festival, that wanted to engage the local community and to be part of the wider world.

So you still want it to be a privileged place for artists to work in, but something also for as many people as possible to share.

You want music to be a natural part of everyday life, not just something that goes on in the concert hall.

 

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