Boosey & Hawkes MD Janis Susskind has defended the BBC following Government talk of reviews into how the broadcaster operates.
Speaking to Music Week, Susskind said: “Those attacks distress me. I think they’re misplaced, they misunderstand a great deal. I’m 100% an advocate for the BBC and long may the Proms reign. I don’t really understand the motivation of people to attack it; you would never be able to build such a magnificent thing from scratch.
“It’s the envy of all my friends and colleagues in America. A lot of them try to listen to the BBC online because they can’t get something analogous in the States. I’m fine with charging for these services everywhere else, because the license fee is paid here. But let’s not attack them. Their efficiency is that they can work on that. But in terms of the offering, it’s miraculous.”
Discussing this year’s Proms, Susskind praised the BBC for “broadening the offering” of the festival, “to make sure people who might not think of coming to a Rachmaninov Prom would still think of going to a Prom, experiencing the Royal Albert Hall and thinking, Maybe I’ll try something else”.
Susskind said: “We’ve got a curious, younger audience out there, who don’t think in the old categories. They don’t think, That’s classical, that’s musicals. They’ll think, Is it interesting? Is it interesting in an indie way?”
This year’s BBC 6 Music late night Prom featured Nils Frahm and A Winged Victory For The Sullen, which the exec called “an innovation”.
“They filled the hall,” Susskind noted. “There are some people in the classical community who may be uncomfortable with that coming into the Proms; they think it’s disruptive to pure classical. I’m a broad church and I think there’s space for all of that in proportion.
“The Proms is the great success story worldwide for classical music, it’s the biggest festival of classical music in the world. The BBC is a beacon of excellence.”