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Event - Sun Jan 17th - Barbirolli Quartet at Conway Hall

IF we believe the mass media, the only path to success in today’s world is to beat down all competition, especially in the realm of entertainment. X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing are examples. They may offer opportunity to one lucky winner but sometimes even that is achieved at great personal cost.  
So it is refreshing to be reminded that alternative approaches to providing entertainment of the highest ­standard exist. One has been leading the way since 1887, bringing top quality classical music to the public without making anyone else seem inferior. The launch of the new series of Conway Hall Sunday Concerts highlights how quality entertainment can be provided to mass audiences without competing, without humiliating others. The 2010 season started on Sunday.
The concerts were founded in the last quarter of the 19th century by a group of people with a love of good music. They represented a determined effort to make available to those unable to afford the music on offer to the social elites the best in musical performance without compromising on standards. For more than half a century they charged no admission, encouraging those who attended to give whatever they could afford. They were able to do this as they were treated as an independent committee of the South Place Ethical Society and not charged rent. Even today charges are a modest £7 (£3 for under-18s).

• On Sunday January 17 at 6.30pm the Barbirolli Quartet will perform Beethoven, Britten and Brahms.
For the full programme go to


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