Classical Music - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:27 am on 7 December 2023.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 11:27, 7 December 2023

My Lords, anyone who has heard the annual performance of “Messiah” by the Halifax Choral Society, with the Black Dyke Mills Band and orchestra, will know that we are not entirely without some high-quality music in Yorkshire. The classical music industry is a net surplus invisible exporter for this country, and it is absolutely vital that we keep supporting it. I declare an interest as a former chair of Voces8, which spends quite a lot of time touring on the continent and in North America. Are the Government now within sight of getting rid of these bilateral arrangements, which do not really provide for orchestras and others to do proper tours of the continent—all the way from school orchestras such as the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, which is superb, to classical orchestras as such?