Music: Comeback by a Poor Relation

Modern British music is getting a well-deserved hearing

British music has long been treated like a poor relation in the world's concert halls—the sick man of Europe. German, Italian, French and Russian compositions make up the bulk of the standard repertory. But British music—with a rich tradition stretching from Tudor church composers like William Byrd to innovative moderns like Peter Maxwell Davies—is patronized as a national school, a sort of cultural Toby-jug collection, of interest chiefly to natives and diehard Anglophiles elsewhere.

This is a misapprehension on the order of considering Picasso merely a Spanish painter, or Joyce a parochial Irish Catholic writer....

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