Some quotes from a double-page interview with Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey by Sunday Times Culture feature writer Bryan Appleyard, published today.
Alan Davey on his work as Head of Arts at DCMS and CEO of Arts Council England: “We tried to find a way of talking about the qualitative impact, what culture could do for the individual. If you get the conditions right for great artists to do what they do, to make a living and eat, then great intrinsic benefits come to individuals. There could be economic benefits but only if you create something authentic. People can sniff out bad art, they can sniff out the fake.”
Later, speaking about Radio 3: “If you set out to chase ratings, it’s quite hard to succeed. If you concentrate on doing the best you can do and offering quality day in and day out, people do find you and they do appreciate it. We almost undersell ourselves – we don’t have the courage to talk about what it is we are about.”
And on young audiences for classical music: “Young people are growing up with an open mind about various kinds of quite complex music, but its not pop music, either. The step into classical music would be quite easy for them if they were to encounter it in the right way.”
The feature hints at Alan Davey’s ideas for creating a new programme like a music introduction series on Radio 3 from the 1970s called Pied Piper. There is also mention of curtailing listener’s phone calls in response to ‘purists who had been objecting to the ‘interactive’ implications of the calls and the interruptions of the [news] bulletins.’
Bryan Appelyard’s feature ‘Lend Him Your Ears’ is available on the Sunday Times website.