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How did he get to Carnegie Hall?

On tonight’s edition of the Lebrecht Interview, Sir Clive Gillinson charts his progress from the second desk of cellos in the London Symphony Orchestra to the leadership of the world’s most prestigious concert hall…. a rags-to-riches story to warm every musical heart.

Or is it? The job may carry a million-dollar tag – the actual salary, Clive clarifies, is much lower than that – but there are high pressures to perform and deep infrastructural flaws. We had a discussion about the hall’s stagehands and electricians, five of whom take home $400,000. Clive explained that the union theatre agreements are city-wide and cannot be tackled unilaterally by a single venue.

Back in England, he continues to attack the Arts Council’s refusal to recognise excellence, funding all London orchestra at roughly the same level regardless of whether they rehearse much or not.

Catch Clive at 9.15 tonight on BBC Radio 3, and streamed for the next week.

The season’s final Lebrecht Interview, next Monday, is a man who has never spoken on British radio before.

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