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Re: OT: French composers are leaving France for the US?

As I lived in France for almost 5 years, I'll add some of my own
observations here:

Am 30.11.10 13:01, schrieb Rick Walker:
> Per Boysen wrote:
>> Indeed surprising, given the fact that while most European
>> countries are adapting to the bad economic times by decreasing tax
>> financed support for the arts France has increased that budget post
>> by seven percent.

As always things are more complex than numbers alone. Yes, I doubt there
is any country in Europe which puts more money into culture than France,
even the tiniest village seems to have its own, well funded, conservatoire.
But - all is very controlled and it seems to be biased on the education
of the educated upper and middle-class. Classical music is big, new
music is supported if it sounds like Boulez (for the simple reason, that
those who control the money flow do not know better). In Theater there
is more freedom, as a crucial part of the whole art supporting system is
based on the "intermittent du spectacle". It means that performing
artist and also stage technicians have a status which allows for times
without work to receive payment from the unemployment office easily.
Composers do not have this status, they usually need a teaching job at
one of the conservatoires, which they usually hate...
Another effect is, that a performer from France is way cheaper for the
organizers than a performer from other countries (they can accept a
lower fee), which leads to less exchange. It seems to support the local
artist, but in reality their mind nutrition suffers from a lack of
foreign inspiration.
The quality of craft is high, but the diversity is low (a lot sounds the

I'd wonder how french loopers look at that, this is just a very personal
observation from a small angle...

> One night,  we played at a village concert hall in the dead of
> winter (it was snowing outside and very cold).    At the end of the
> concert, we were treated to a gourmet meal by a couple of chefs from 
> the best restaurants in the region.   These folks had shut their 
> restaurants down to make the four of us this gourmet meal.  At the
> end of the meal,  we were presented with bottles of wine that had our
> names printed on the labels from regional vintners and then presented
> with a beautiful Marzipan cake  that had our likenesses airbrushed on
> with colored icing (and an amazing resemblance it bore).   This
> largesse was jaw dropping to me.

I had also different experiences in the country side. Local majors are
proud of having artists present their work in their town. They wouldn't
be able to pull out as much nowadays, but the spirit is very different
to Paris and its surrounding areas. Its not like two different
countries, its like two different planets...


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